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VIbrato

by Daniella
(Australia)

Hi, I'm Daniella. I've been playing the violin for quite sometime now. Now learning to play with vibrato. Do you have any tips for learning it? Does it go above or below the pitch? I can only do the narrow vibrato. And my hand keep on rotating, I'm not really sure how to do it. Can you help me?? Thank you.

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Answer from Marie,

Vibrato is always a fascinating topic for beginning students, and why not?

The two things that will help vibrato are good form (meaning you're holding the instrument correctly) and relaxing the muscles as much as possible.

Different people do vibrato a little differently.

One popular starting exercise is the "wave goodbye to yourself" exercise.
1. Hold the violin in playing position (no bow).
2. Hold your left hand up under the violin as per usual, but with no fingers down.
3. Moving only from the wrist, wave good bye to yourself. The movement should be small and not super fast. In fact, the sooner you control the speed of that wave the better.

Try using a metronome to wave at specific speeds. Start super slow (one wave per beat at 60bps, then accelerate).

From there, after you have more control there, you can start putting down a finger. Do not bow yet. Your fingering position must be somewhat arched, not flattened.

Vibrato tends to rely on each of the joints involved being as loose as possible, while still being able to produce the note.

Extra shoulder tension will send tension down the arm to the hand.

Stiffness in the fingers may result in "nanny goat" (or really fast and tight) vibrato.

Make sure your left arm from the elbow is straight.

Make sure your fingers are somewhat arched over the fingerboard and not collapsed.

Try your second or third fingers first. They tend to be the easiest.

Rest often. Practice wavering with a metronome to get it under control.

Good luck! Hope this helps!

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