Vibrato!

Vibrato!

Ive been playing the fiddle for, coming up two years, im really keen and do practice alot. in general im well content with my progress as ive been self taught till now except some assistance from my girlfriend who studies music.
Of late ive been experimenting with vibrato but usually find that 1. i end up shaking the whole fiddle or
2. i lose track of what im actually playing
generally i think my right hand is too tense and needs to relax alot more. im well aware that 2 years is only a short time but i am of the view that the sooner i start practicing it, the sooner it can be mastered, especially with it being such a fundamental element of slower tunes.
any suggestions?
whats the best? just moving your hand or allowing the whole wrist to wave?
advice much appreciated cheers!

Re: Vibrato!

Mike, relaxation and control are the keys. Vibrato is a complex subject in its own right - there are very many kinds of vibrato and ways of doing it - and it’s not the easiest thing to teach over the internet. For the best results you’ll need personal lessons from an experienced teacher.
But to start with, concentrate on good intonation and good quality of tone. When you get those right then vibrato will come that more readily.
Trevor

Re: Vibrato!

Hi Mike,

If you are trying vibrato for the first time I would advise you to do so on long single notes before you try to incorporate it into tunes, this way yo can concentrate fully on the technique. You’ll find you have a favourite vibrato finger at first (mine was the third) so concentrate on that one for a while.

Vibrato comes from the wrist so your elbow should remain pretty still. You mentioned that you "end up shaking the whole fiddle" - try standing up and resting the scroll of your instrument against a wall lightly to steady it. Also, don’t be too vigorous until you start to get it sussed.

Cheers

FMF

ps let me know if this is any help (or ifI haven’t been too clear!)

Re: Vibrato!

yes. Relaxation is the key. But remember that no vibrato is way way better that too much

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Re: Vibrato!

Took a while for me to get this one, but I’m getting there once I got it into my head to relax the wrist. Try with your thumb in normal position, waving the rest of your hand at you a few times before attempting the vibrato. This helps to ‘loosen’ out the wrist. Then practise really slowly but concentrating on waving that wrist towards you and away from you.

I found when learning it, that shaking the violin was as a result of moving the wrist sideways rather than back and forth in an attempt to do the vibrato.
This is just a few tips from another beginner..
Dor

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Re: Vibrato!

For trad musicians, one of the benefits of learning to do vibrato (since most of us don’t actually _use_ it once we’ve learned it :o), is that it forces you to relax your hold of the neck. You simply can’t do a decent virbrato if you’re squeezing the neck.

Classical players are taught vibrato in a pretty standard set of steps.

1. Shake your hand out to loosen it up.
2. Place the middle finger on the c sharp.
3. Stretch the thumb away from the neck, and then let it come back till it’s just touching the neck lightly.
4. While doing long, slow bow strokes, slowly, gently rock the tip of your middle finger up and back to raise and lower the pitch around the c sharp. Do this until it begins to feel comfortable, second nature, and you gain some control over the higher and lower pitches. Also aim for a steady rhythm, like a playground swing going forward and back in even proportions.
5. If your hand begins to tense up, stop, shake it out again, and start over.
6. Gradually (over the course of a week or two) begin to speed up the rhythm of the playground swing until it starts to sound like true vibrato.

Most people struggle with vibrato for a few weeks, and then one day it clicks and you wonder why it felt so hard. It’s important at that point to stay focused and think about refining your vibrato—learning how to play a loose, relaxed, wide vibrato, and a quick, tight vibrato, and everything in between.

Then use it sparingly if at all when playing trad music.

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Re: Vibrato!

Yes, I found the 3rd finger was the easiest one to do along with the 4th. The 1st is a nasty one.

Re: Vibrato!

Most people find that once they have the general feel for it on one finger, vibrato comes easily on the other fingers, although the first finger can be tough—it’s bent over on itself, limiting it’s relaxed range of motion.

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