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how to play long notes without vibrato


Patrewski
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Here is a question -- I have not yet learned vibrato.

However...I am working on a piece on my own this summer, with lots of whole notes (an easy adaptation

within my ability!!).

As I am practicing, I am finding these long notes without any colour or interest. However, I dont know how

do vibrato yet.

Any tips as to how to make these long notes interesting without vibrato??

Thanks!

Pat

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You have to use your right hand to get the sound out and you must bow in such a way that the bow does not dampen the resonance. This means that the bow is not pushed down hard into the string. The strings vibration must be able to persist through the pressure of the bow hair that tends to dampen it.

Experiment with long, light bow strokes. start with slow bows, then try faster bows. Carefully study the sound you get. Try changing the force of the bow into the strings (what is often called "pressure"). You can make big changes in sound this way, but you will never engage the range of overtone frequencies you could with vibrato.

Andy

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I agree -- it's time to learn vibrato.

There are (at least) two reasons for vibrato:

1. To add emphasis to music, as an alternative to an accent in the right circumstances; and

2. As you realize, to warm up longer (and as you get better at it, even shorter) notes.

I would suggest that, rather than try to warm up the notes in some other way, learn the real thing.

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It's time to start learning vibrato.

Typically you can spend a year learning and start to use vibrato the following year. Keep doing vibrato free scales though, so that an obsession with learning vibrato does not interfere with your intonation. You'll need to try several exercises to develop vibrato along with the close observation and instruction of a good teacher.

Books also help, - Simon Fischer 'Basics' has exercises specifically for learning vibrato. Like practicing long bows on open strings with say a smooth, controlled half inch slides at the beginning, gradually reducing the amplitude of the slides to get your wrist familiar with the motion.

Vibrato is a tough one but a major achievement/milestone in violin once it clicks for you - and it will with enough practice!

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