In this clip from his tonebase course on Bach's first suite for solo cello, Jan Vogler highlights how important it is when playing Bach’s music that we distinguish bass voices, middle voices, and upper voices – a bit like a one-person choir. This is especially the case toward the end of the Allemande from his Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007, where the wide leaps separate the voices more clearly.

Jan Vogler On Bach's Music:

“The music is so approachable; you can play a prelude for someone who has never listened to classical music before, and they'd probably be in awe of how beautiful this music is.”

Contact Point

Just as in previous movements, the left hand should speak first. The bow arm requires us to bevery clever with how much bow we use. Lots of Romantic music has us play on extremestoward the fingerboard and bridge, but with Bach, we stick toward the fingerboard. Notes thatwe like and find important require more bow, while less-important notes require less. The firstbeat, for example, with a three-voice chord, uses a lot of bow.

Distinguishing Voices

It’s important that we distinguish bass voices (red), middle voices (purple), and upper voices(blue) – a bit like a one-person choir. This is especially the case toward the end of the piece, where the wide leaps distinguish the voices more clearly.

Measure 27-29 of Bach's Suite No. 1 in G Major - Allemande

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Dave McLellan

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