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What's your favorite music to play? Who publishes the best edition? Share your insight about great string music to play, whether it's a solo piece, or a composition for duo, trio, quartet, or orchestra.

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Mona Lisa Sound music! Can't get enough of that rock - of course, I'm a tad biased...

Seriously - when I teach, it's straight classical, tried and true method - scales, etude, Bach, Sonata and Concerto - every week. But strangely, whether I'm playing Dvorak or Piatti - I still find playing my own arrangements of rock the most challenging. It's the repetitive, rhythmic nature of the rock on cello that I find so challenging. A relatively simple (at first glance) arrangement such as "Sweet Dreams are Made of This" for example, has what looks like a simple ostinato for cello and viola at the top. But to play each eighth with equal attack, volume, and clarity for an extended time is truly hard. I have 100s of examples of these types of challenges in our rock repertoire. Try the pizz. in "Helplessly Hoping" at the prescribed tempo - brutal. Try page two in "No Quarter" up to speed to see just how good you are at clean string crossings. Want to see how good you really are at grabbing chords cleanly and in tune? Try "Gallows Pole" for a possible awakening. If you want to hear more examples - I could go on, and on.

- John Reed
Looking for romantic music for a wedding or other casual gig? Stringletter Publishing has just released Eric Gorfain's new string quartet arrangements of Elvis Presley's "Blue Hawaii" and "Hawaiian Wedding Song" on a new Strings Charts edition. Check 'em out at the Stringletter store. And check out the whole line, including holiday tunes and fun, instructional charts for beginning string orchestra.

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