How do you know when to shift positions when playing a score?

I'm learning the cello (though this applies to many instruments) and this one piece I'm learning I've been playing in first position however all the youtube videos I've seen of others playing the same piece they all shift and, being a beginner (who really shouldn't be playing the pieces I do) it got me wondering how do you know when to shift?

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago
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    i have always used the following technique: play it through a few times as first comes to me and if a section is difficult or involves larger stretches than seem practical try them in a different position. 

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    • When I first learned violin, I shifted into 3rd position within 1 week of playing to play Shenandoah's high "D". That's the luxury of being self taught I set my curriculum. I also learned vibrato at 3 months. At 1 year I've nearly mastered the butterfly played by mairead nesbitt. I push myself hard

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  • 2 months ago

    I’ve played the viola for the past seven years. I don’t play anymore, but if I had a friend that wanted to learn viola, I could probably teach them.

    I’ll tell this to you: since you’re a beginner, you shouldn’t have to worry about shifting too much right now. There’s no true reason to play beginner songs in a shifted position. For now, stick to just knowing the basic songs and when you become an intermediate player, that’s when you should start to shift. It’s incredibly useful for more advanced repertoire with tricky little sections.

    But here’s what I’ve done:The first thing I do is I like to get familiar with the notes of the song and the different positions they could be.Feel free to experiment with various ways of playing the same part while shifting to try different positions.One thing I tend to do is if I notice there is a part which has like the same four notes, and those four notes are next to one another, the bottom of the four notes is where I place my first finger.

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    • If you're curious I'm also learning violin too. The similarities help with crossing over to the cello a lot. I self teach for all my instruments (I play 7) certainly couldn't afford that many lessons! :)
      Advice like what you folks provided here help immensely in my learning. Thanks again to all.

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  • 2 months ago

    Your private cello teacher will instruct you - and also provide you with works that introduce this concept when YOU have the foundation to be ready for it. You do yourself no favor by attempting works that are this far above you - by all means, we all want a challenge, but not one so far ahead of us.

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