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Arm Vibrato v.s. Wrist Vibrato


nickia

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Hello everyone I'm back again with another question.

I'm currently using a wrist vibrato but I'm not sure if i'm doing it right or wrong.

According to the professor in www.violinmasterclass.com, the forearm should stays still when executing a wrist vibrato. However, when I do my vibrato, my forearm seems to move along with it. The vibrato will get really slow or barely audiable whenever I try to eliminate the arm motion. By moving my arm I don't mean the large arm motion like in arm vibrato, but smaller motion created by the movement of the wrist.

So my question is, is it ok to have a small arm motion while wrist moving? Also where does the vibrato motion come from? The fingers or the wrist? Should the wrist motion be small so the arm doesn't move along with it?

Thank you!

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Nikia, Interesting topic. Here is what I was taught by my teacher, who had an exceptionally beautiful vibrato.

You can hear it on the soundtrack of "Gone With The Wind", "Wuthering Heights", and about 150 other Hollywood films.

1. Don't get too concerned about wrist vs. arm. It's fine for both to come into play.

2. Focus on the rolling motion, down and back up of the finger.

3. Listen for the sound you want, don't get hung up on mechanics. As long as the movement is correct, i.e. down and back up, just use it, and let it evolve.

4. Incorporate some vibrato into whatever you are playing. Everything from now on should be pleasant to the ear.

5. Use it or lose it. So use it.

All best. Larry.

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nikia, if you have a chance (please do find it), get some dvds of great players. with the exceptions of very few, most use a combination of arm, wrist, finger during any play.

feel free to use pause and replay with your remote control. better be sure to see it at least once well than assume. look critically when and how they use elbow v, the wrist v, the finger v. they each produce a different effect if not a different sound, a different feeling.

when they do slow sad notes, look.

when they do slow but powerful notes, look. how is that different?

when they do fast, spirited notes, look.

when they do extremely fast notes but want to give an emphasis here and there, look.

it is all there. for you to see. for you to find out. for you to choose. just look.

in the end of the day, your best teacher will still be yourself. because no one can tell you what is right until you make the final call. and when you do make your judgement, it should be based on thorough research and understanding.

techniques are not as important as knowing and believing the logic behind them. it is easier to create certain effect if you first know what that effect is.

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just talking through vibrato with a viola student the other day.

He brings his tight sharp fiddle vibrato to the viola which doesn't always suite - to my mind.

I have been encouraging him to think upper arm rather than hand or wrist, especially when playing on the lower strings.

I personally try to mimick a nice cello style vibrato sound on the viola

- violin you can get away with a lot more finger vibrato maybe.

Just a thought

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It is important to cultivate both. I would not say that you are doing it "wrong" if your arm is moving while executing a wrist vibrato--some arm motion will be incidental. Also, while performing an arm vibrato, do not keep your wrist tense as it should remain a fluid joint to transfer the energy from your arm's impulse.

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Was your teacher Louis Kaufman?

quote:


Originally posted by:
guta

Nikia, Interesting topic. Here is what I was taught by my teacher, who had an exceptionally beautiful vibrato.

You can hear it on the soundtrack of "Gone With The Wind", "Wuthering Heights", and about 150 other Hollywood films.

1. Don't get too concerned about wrist vs. arm. It's fine for both to come into play.

2. Focus on the rolling motion, down and back up of the finger.

3. Listen for the sound you want, don't get hung up on mechanics. As long as the movement is correct, i.e. down and back up, just use it, and let it evolve.

4. Incorporate some vibrato into whatever you are playing. Everything from now on should be pleasant to the ear.

5. Use it or lose it. So use it.

All best. Larry.

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I have a student who has a very tight sharp vibrato that grates a little with me. I would like to get him to vary it and relax it a little but it's hard work.

I like to think mine is a little more flexible and "warm"?

Playing some Bach yesterday we decided to try a dry minumal-vibrato style - it takes a conscious effort to maintain it - unless you are practiced authentic period performance freak.

Maybe there is hope for a good natural vibrato in old age when it becomes involuntary!

Omo.

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Hi Vieutemps - Yes, my teacher on and off for 30 years was Louis Kaufman. I was fortunate, because to my knowledge he only taught one or two others besides me on a regular basis, although he gave a lot of workshops and master classes. He was also a good friend. His approach to the violin was very practical, common sense based. But when he put the fiddle under his chin and demonstrated, it was a world of mind- boggling super- lush sound together with superb musical taste.

Amazingly, he got that same honey-like sound whether he was playing on his "Barrere" Strad, or on his Emile Blondelet. Don't ask me how... All Best, Larry.

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