How long can a cellist reasonably sustain a tremelo?

How long can a cellist reasonably sustain a tremelo? Topic: How to write a string quartet
May 19, 2019 / By Jakki
Question: I've been asked to write a string quartet, and unfortunately strings are the group of instruments with which I have the LEAST personal experience (being a woodwind player myself). This being said, I do have at least a little working knowledge and a pretty solid idea for the piece, except I want the cellist to do single 16th note tremelos at Quarter = 128 for quite awhile it seems. Is this feasible in terms of stamina or should I find another solution for the sound I'm after? Edit: I know, my instincts telling me to ASK the question is a huge clue, but still such information might be useful at a later date. Also occured to me maybe I should mention the time frame. About 34 bars in 4/4 time before the texture changes.
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Best Answers: How long can a cellist reasonably sustain a tremelo?

Enya Enya | 2 days ago
String players are not limited by their breath and could theoretically sustain a tremeolo indefinitely. The longest I've seen a sustained tremelo is in Bruckner symphony four last movement, in which the strings sustain tremelos for about 3 minutes without break. Sibelius' Finnlandia also has an extended string tremelo section. Any decent high school cellist should be able to do what you've described. The cellist may not be thrilled at the prospect but it's certainly feasible.
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Enya Originally Answered: Can only love sustain a long term relationship?
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Cimone Originally Answered: How can i hit those higher notes with sustain?
Hey? Sustain is a fragile thing that can be easily be mistaken for feedback and should be used liberaly. First of make sure the volume pot on your guitar is turned up 100% This is a must. The volume pot seems to filter out the sustain if it's not all the way on. Distortion is a obvious one. The closer your amp comes to working at it's peak volume the easier it will be to get sustain from it. When practicing at low volume use a small practice amp so you can crank that sucker without blowing your ears. Try a slight vibration with your finger on the note bending the note ever so slightly back grinding it into theFRTT, this will encourage the note to keep ringing. Listen to Hendrix he was a master at sustaining a note. Be patient and keep at it. Remember volume is your best friend when looking for sustain. [email protected]
Cimone Originally Answered: How can i hit those higher notes with sustain?
Without going into too much detail, you have to support those notes extremely well. You should be able to hit those notes without straining your throat or anything. If anything, just use your falsetto, but make sure you have the air and the support to back it up. It is possible to expand your range, but by how much depends on where you are currently. If you are currently practicing sub-par technique, then your range could increase drastically just by learning proper technique. However, in reality, you can only expand your range about a half-step every few months. It takes a while, but practice is the only way to get there. In theory, you could eventually go higher and higher, but your vocal chords are only so long, so there will at least be a lower limit. If you're not already doing it, I'd recommend enrolling in some voice lessons. Every singer can benefit from them, no matter what point they are at in their career. A proper voice instructor could probably answer all the questions you have, and help you achieve your goal.

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