Cello practice in front of a mirror

September 28, 2017, 1:12 PM · My teacher tells me to practice in front of a mirror, partly to help me with straight bowing. But the mirror is straight up and down (i.e., a 90 degree angle to the floor) while the cello and bow are not. So I get a distorted view. Is this a familiar problem for anyone? I am thinking of rigging the mirror so it is at about a 70 degree angle to the floor.

Replies (2)

September 28, 2017, 3:17 PM · That would probably be more efficient, but you should still be able to use a regular mirror. There is a similar problem on violin, but we still just use regular mirrors. Once upon a time I thought up an invention that would use multiple webcams mounted all around the player so they could view the appropriate angles in play without having to change their chin/neck position.

But then I realized that players who simply CAN'T use a mirror will also probably be too confused by all the different angles anyways. So the invention wouldn't do much good for the people who need it most.

Edited: September 30, 2017, 4:12 PM · Using a mirror is almost as important as using your ears. (Not being funny.)

I have a mirror from a discount chain that is framed, and has an 80cm x 60 cm reflecting surface. I stand it about 200 from the floor, tilted back at 10 degrees, and it sits 90 degrees to my music stand, and about 1 metre away from my chair. I made the stand from tube steel, but you could easily make one from wood if you can't weld.

With this set up, I can see the entire cello, nearly half the way down the endpin, to above the scroll, and the full arc of my bow arm.

If I want to use the mirror with my violin practice, I pick it up and stand it, tilted back, on the top of a book shelf, against a wall in my studio, and I stand back several metres. Again, the music stand is at an angle, so that I can see what needs to be seen.


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