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Any Tips for learning Vibrato


tigger_1
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I read a post from a month or two back that listed some suggestions for practicing vibrato (ie using a film canister or a box of matches), but they didn't really explain what exactly you are supposed to do with them. I have been trying to follow the exercises listed in many method books (All for Strings, Essential Elements, and another book which the name escapes me now) and nothing seems to be helping. My teacher can only show me what she does and doesn't seem to know what to tell me to do.

Here's what I know. My hand is supposed to be relaxed and move only at the wrist. The finger is supposed to rock back and forth. However, my finger rocks sideways! Any help is appreciated.

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Use the search function and read more older posts. It's all there.

Also forget what you think you know, because there are "wrist" and "arm" vibrato techniques, and even some motions called "finger vibrato." The important thing is a rapid (5-8 per second) pitch variation caused by the finger tip motion on the string changing the position of contact, and thus pitch. On fine instruments, this engages a wider range of overtones (also called harmonics or partials) of the note(s) being played thus enhancing the brilliance and the sound volume in (sometimes) most remarkable ways.

There are exercises that can be used to "grow" arm and/or wrist vibrato technique, but it's not something you get done "before lunch." The exercises are more pleasant if first done without a bow in hand - in other words, silently. Expect it to take weeks or months before you enjoy the sound of your "vibrato" - although you may be a rare person who has a great knack for it.

Vibrato is easier on the cello - for sure - where the natural arm and hand positions lead to natural vibrato motion in just the right direction - even a forearm "roll" can work there, although there are cellists who say this is not the right way to do it.

Andy

[This message has been edited by Andrew Victor (edited 03-12-2001).]

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I'm into a month of learning vibrato. This week is the first time I'm starting to feel a little more comfortable with it, although I still have a long way to go (especially that darned first finger on the E string). I'm with Andrew Victor on the "expect weeks to months". I just practiced and practiced and practiced over and over and over again, the motions my instrutor told me. The "comfort" seemed to just fall in place somehow.

Not sure if I was much help. Good luck!

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There have been several posts on vibrato. Some texts state there are three vibratos - finger, wrist, and arm. Some schools add a fourth, namely bow (more like a pulsing bow) vibrato. However the key to vibrato is RELAXATION. Once the hand and arm are relaxed you will find the vibrato will come -however in the beginning you'll find that you have to make a conscious effort to remind yourself to relax. Hope that helps.

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I think I was one of the people asking the question in the old post you're referring to (matchbox, etc.) I got so frustrated with the whole thing a couple of weeks ago that I just put the violin away for a few days. After that I've just been playing for fun and totally concentrating on relaxing because I know that is my problem!!! Tonight at my son's lesson (he was "too tired" to go on after about 15 minutes) the teacher handed me her violin and said, "do this, now try this..." AND IT WORKED--I ACTUALLY COULD HEAR IT!! Very exciting, as you can tell. Don't necessarily expect it to be there tomorrow, but at least now I know it's possible. smile.gif So--whatever you do, don't give up.

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quote:

Originally posted by Celloontheside:

Try the book "Viva Vibrato." One of the authors is Gerald Fischbach.

I would recommend this book. After working with Fischbach for a summer, I gained a lot of respect for him and his ideas.

roman

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tigger_1: i learned it from the book 'Viva Vibrato', too. i think my biggest hindrance was a mental block from people i'd talked to who made it sound so mysterious and hard. the main thing is be persistent. don't start thinking you can't or you never will. look at it this way....millions of people do it, why should you be any different?

little bit country: good for you! i bet it'll still be there tomorrow. once you've had that initial breakthrough it's just a matter of exercising it.

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Hey when I experimented with the violin I tried to use a guitar vibrato, which resulted in the instrument shaking too violently for me to bow it. This was just slightly more successful then trying to use violin vibrato on a guitar, which would essentially do nothing.

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All right, now I'm confused. I don't understand the concept of relaxing my arm. If my arm was to relax I wouldn't be able to 'pinch' the fingerboard/strings between my thumb and fingers. I know I'm not supposed to apply weight to the neck so I have to keep my arm somewhat neutral which makes it somewhat stiff. HELP!

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quote:

Originally posted by wolfnote:

All right, now I'm confused. I don't understand the concept of relaxing my arm. If my arm was to relax I wouldn't be able to 'pinch' the fingerboard/strings between my thumb and fingers. I know I'm not supposed to apply weight to the neck so I have to keep my arm somewhat neutral which makes it somewhat stiff. HELP!

Hello,

I think people are saying that you need to be relaxed and string should be a continuation of your finger.

If you try to do vibrato like forcing it won't work.

But of course you need to feel the fingerboard :-)

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