Do you get bored by playing solo? Do you wish you had an orchestra, or a piano, or another cello to play along with you? I find that by practicing with the orchestra in my practice room definitely helps me in the actual rehearsals. The problem is that all the recordings (via YouTube) are at tempo, which is faster than my fingers go, especially during the early practice days. Here’s how to do it. You’ll need an app called “Amazing Slow Downer”. This app allows you to take a recording and slow it down to a tempo you can actually play. It’s not terribly expensive ($14.99), but don’t bother with the free version as it doesn’t let you use much of your recording. You also need to use “listentoyoutube.com”. This will convert any YouTube video to an mp3 audio and it’s free. Here’s the process. Find a version of something you want to play on YouTube. I try to use videos that don’t have initial chatter, but go right into the music. Listentoyoutube will walk you through the very easy conversion process. After you have converted the video, you can import it into “Amazing Slow Downer” and you’re ready to play with anyone from Yo Yo Ma to the New York Philharmonic. Or anything in between. I like to use ASD on my iPad so I can connect it to a bluetooth speaker and amplify the sound. I convert the YouTube on my desktop, then connect the iPad to the desktop to download the mp3. (It goes through iTunes so it is pretty simple.) From there I import the mp3 to ASD (again, it’s just a push of a button) and I’m rockin’ it with Yo Yo! Let me know if this works for you.