D.C. Dounis described several key points about performing the Bach cello suites or solo violin partitas. To understand his ideas let's us look at the following observations...Continue Reading
These days the assumption warming up prevents injury seems to be a commonly accepted truth.
So why would Dounis, a master teacher, a medical doctor, a man with a reputation for successfully fixing physical problems recommend playing first thing in the morning without warming up?Continue Reading
What are "Displaced Impulses?"
These are impulses that end up in the wrong part of body when a player is struggling with a passage technically and work contrary to the natural movements of the body. A classic example is someone bobbing their head when playing a difficult passage. Of course it can be any part of the body, but always prevents the natural motion needed to play a passage.
The Cure...Continue Reading
I was working with an exceptional violinist the other day and discovered that she didn't know this important but little known fact of the bow. This is how the conversation went. I said to her...
What is the line or direction of the pull on the down bow?
Quickly we deduced that it is to the right and horizontal.
Then I asked her what is the direction of pressure?
After considering it for a moment it was discovered to be vertical or downward. Then we proceeded to the up bow.Continue Reading
Miming is one of the great secrets of learning to have a natural technique.
The idea is really simple...
While holding the instrument you sing a passage while miming the movements of the left hand and bow arm. Feel the motions of the miming and then imitate those motions when you play normally. Repeat this exercise until your technique feels the same as the miming.Continue Reading
You can have great intonation!
It is possible to solve most intonation problems.
The most important factor is how much you care.
If you have a serious commitment then most problems can be overcome.
The two causes of bad intonation are...Continue Reading
How does this relate to cello playing?
Regarding the natural physiological laws of string playing, Dounis said…
“The body is more important than the instrument.The instrument is an extension of the body.”
Dounis would conform the instrument to natural bodily motions. He made the cello fit you.This is how you make your playing completely natural.Continue Reading
The foundation of the Dounis method was reawakening your native instincts. He had remedial exercises for restoring those instincts and allowing the natural player to emerge...just like a prodigy.
Usually the first question is...
Can I play the cello like a child prodigy?
Yes, once your native instincts are reestablished, then the instrument becomes an extension of your body and not the other way around. Then you become a natural player, just like a prodigy.Continue Reading