Practicing double harmonics in the Paganini

Sorting out the double harmonics in the Paganini is going to take some time. Single harmonics aren’t too bad. They are pretty straightforward, especially when they are the normal fourths.

Double harmonics are pretty unusual on the cello, so I’m not used to keeping track of my fingers this way. Fortunately, most of the execution is the same as the violin, so most of my effort has to go to working on a reliable fingering and consistency.

The challenges:

  • training my mind to think in double harmonics
  • getting used to the spacing between notes
  • developing the left hand technique to not strain my hand as these spacings are big
  • shifting between double harmonics
  • bow pressure, speed, and placement so that the harmonics are clear and sparkle

I’m still experimenting with different fingerings. I’m leaning towards using my fourth finger. It definitely makes it easier to reach everything.

I recorded practicing only the first 4 measures of the double harmonics. I was hoping to have them more consistent by the end, but progress is not linear. Sometimes this part came out beautifully, and when I went to reinforce it, sometimes I bombed it.

I thought about copying some of the time stamps with good executions, but this is really just a video of practicing. It’s only worth watching if you are curious about how I am going about learning this passage.

Hopefully it doesn’t take too long to learn!

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