#1
Ok I'm not sure where to put this so sorry if this is in the wrong place.

As you guys may know, Bach made 6 cello suites. It is my project in trying to learn these suites. I have been playing cello for a while and I think I can handle it. Anyway, there is suite that I am confused on.

All the suites are based on the open string when were talking about key. All the suites dominant's is what I am trying to say. This gives it sort of an overtone feel. However, the 5th suite is based in E flat if I am not mistaken.

Here's my question, since E flat has no open strings involved (the cello strings are A,D,G,C) would it be possible to drop tune the cello. This is to just make it easier. I have heard of different baroque cellists playing it in a different key, which gave me the idea of dropping everything down a half (or a whole) step so I can easily play it in F major. Would this give it a E flat sound still?
#2
inb4 ultimate-cello

It depends on how much tension is on the strings. You don't want to lower the tension and have your bridge unsupported. Try transposing it to a different key of you're desperate, but they were originally written for that instrument, so I don't think playing it in the original key should be that difficult, but then again, it's Bach.

Also, I've personally never heard of anyone drop tuning any of the 4 string instruments (violin, viola, cello, bass). I know Paganini had his own little tuning system, though.
#3
Thanks for the response. I may just have to figure it out myself. I just took another look at the piece, and it may not be that hard.

Out of curiousity, did you know what Paganini's tuning system was?
#4
Quote by one vision
inb4 ultimate-cello

It depends on how much tension is on the strings. You don't want to lower the tension and have your bridge unsupported. Try transposing it to a different key of you're desperate, but they were originally written for that instrument, so I don't think playing it in the original key should be that difficult, but then again, it's Bach.

Also, I've personally never heard of anyone drop tuning any of the 4 string instruments (violin, viola, cello, bass). I know Paganini had his own little tuning system, though.


I don't think Bach really cared whether it was hard to play or not. If he composed from his mind or piano, then everything was "easy" to play for him, and he just cared for the sound, not the technical side. Unless he knew how every classical instrument is played, and how hard each one is in every key, which is possible, but unlikely.

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#5
Quote by Childofbodom21


Out of curiousity, did you know what Paganini's tuning system was?

Umm I forgot precisely, but it's somewhere in this documentary. That's where I heard it.

http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=7115856528082343477&ei=5vw2Se3hIKGI-gH0jfmsCQ&q=paganini+documentary

I think something about the strings being a minor third apart and one of the strings higher than usual or something. I dunno lol.
#6
Do you have a cello teacher? He's the one to ask.

I don't see why it's necessary to downtune. Learn it as it is, it'll make you a better player.
#7
Quote by xxdarrenxx
I don't think Bach really cared whether it was hard to play or not. If he composed from his mind or piano, then everything was "easy" to play for him, and he just cared for the sound, not the technical side. Unless he knew how every classical instrument is played, and how hard each one is in every key, which is possible, but unlikely.


Are you really suggesting that one of the most brilliant composers of all time did not have deep knowledge of the instruments he wrote for? Any composer, lets alone Bach, would be lambasted for writing sloppily for any instrument as it is absolutely a job of a composer to be familiar with such things. Completely ridiculous.
#8
I told myself that a goal of mine will be to memorize all the cello suites in my lifetime. I've only been playing cello for 8 years.
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#9
From wikipedia:

Suite No. 4 in E-flat major, BWV 1010

Suite No. 4 is one of the most technically demanding of the suites since E-flat is an uncomfortable key to intonate on the cello and requires many extended left hand positions. The Prelude primarily consists of a difficult flowing eight-note movement that leaves room for a cadenza before returning to its original theme. The very peaceful Sarabande is quite obscure about the stressed second beat, which is the basic characteristic of the 3/4 dance, since, in this particular Sarabande, almost every first beat contains a chord, whereas the second beat most often doesn't.


So apparently it's supposed to be hard, brave it out.
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#10
Yeah, its the 4th, not the 5th suite, The 5th was transcribed by Bach for the Lute, where it appears as No3.
#11
Quote by Nick_
Do you have a cello teacher? He's the one to ask.

I don't see why it's necessary to downtune. Learn it as it is, it'll make you a better player.

This.

As I said in the thread about donwtuning a violin, playing in akward keys (and I don't know about Cello, but on violin at least Eb is not that awkard) will make you better at playing in them.

Think about it, if you keep droptuning to play difficult keys you'll never learn how to play in those difficult and you will waste a lot of time drop tuning. In contrast, if you practise and learn to play in these keys you will save yourself time, and you will end up a much better cellist.
#12
thanks to everyone who responded but I don't think what I was trying to say was clear. It's the fact that I was wondering if it was possible to drop tune the cello more then that I was trying to avoid playing it.
And sorry for the typo, what I meant was the 4th suite.