Thumb position is a technique that cello players often use when playing in the higher register. Once the left hand reaches the body of the instrument, in order to play higher notes, the thumb has to come out from under the neck and it can then be used to stop notes on the fingerboard. This is called 'thumb position' but it is not only on high notes that it is used, because the extra reach that the technique gives to the third finger often comes in handy in passages of music lower down on the instrument.
Description: Glissando is a continuous slide in pitch. The left hand finger is placed on the string and then, as the note is played, the finger slides up or down the finger board.
Notation: The beginning and end note of the glissando are written and connected by either a straight or a wavy line. Usually the word gliss or glissando will be written above.
Comments: Various types of glissando are easily produced on string instruments, so composers should consider carefully the rate of glide, start and end points - in particular when considering pizzicato glissandos.
Description: a rapid alternation between two pitches - either a tone or a semitone apart.
Notation: The example shows a minor trill (semitone) followed by a major trill (whole tone), indicated by accidentals over the note. If these are not given, players will choose a trill type based on musical context. Wavy lines to indicate the duration of a trill are optional.