Backward Extensions and Shifts

As cellists, we are constantly feeling like acrobats...of maybe that we're playing a game of Twister on the instrument. We have to shift (move our hand) much more often than our violin friends. Another very important technique is what we call an extension. 

There are two types of extensions - forward and backward. They look the same, but are very different in nature. It's all about where we are coming from and where we are going to. In Musette, we use a backward extension to play a note (C) in 2nd position. It can be a bit tricky at times, which is why I like to introduce it to students in an exercise prior to learning this piece. This tends to set students up for success and make it easy.