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8 Sep 2016


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  1. Learn to control the speed of your vibrato. Vibrato should not be the same all the time. Depending on the music it can be either slower or faster. During the violin vibrato exercises try to imagine vibrato as the heart. It never beats with the same speed. When we sleep or meditate, it is slower; when we are running or excited, it beats more quickly. But as the heart never stops, the vibrato should not arbitrarily stop between notes.
  2. The vibrato movement comes from the elbow (forearm), not from the wrist. If you use only the wrist vibrato, it becomes fast, uncontrolled, and always with the same speed.
  3. Keep watching to ensure your left wrist is relaxed. Let the hand itself find the right movement for the vibration. Do not interfere with it. Hold your left hand a little bit closer to the wrist with your right hand and gently shake your left hand away from you, back and forth. If the left hand is relaxed, the left wrist and the fingers themselves will naturally follow the necessary movement, even though you will not touch them with your right hand. Exactly at this point between the wrist and the elbow, the control centre of vibrato, and not in the wrist and fingers.
  4. The basis for the vibrato is a relaxed first joint of the finger. It turns out that the whole hand is working for one joint that moves during the vibrato and is a “shock absorber” preventing the finger from moving away from the desired note.
  5. Do not press the string with your finger. If the first joint is clamped, the whole hand will be clamped and the natural right movement will be quickly replaced by uncontrolled movement of the wrist. Always pay attention to this while doing violin vibrato exercises.
  6. The vibrato movement has to be accurate and correct. If you quickly shake your hand, it does not mean that the vibrato will be faster and better. Basically vibrato should be calm and “lazy”, but not nervous. If you learn to play calm and “lazy” vibrato, then you will be able to make it consciously faster and more emotional. But to slow down and balance the nervous and rapid vibrato will be much more difficult, as a nervous and fast vibrato is often the result of the clamped hand, that does not allow the controlling of its speed.
  7. Accelerating the vibrato is not achieved by moving your hand (forearm) more quickly, but rather by reducing the amplitude of the movement.
  8. Try to feel the natural vibration of the violin and strings using the vibrato. Vibrato should help to improve the resonance and sound of the violin, and not be something alien.
  9. You have to control the speed of the vibrato. If the vibrato starts spontaneously accelerating to the end of the note, it means that your hand is clamped.
  10. Vibrato always needs to be performed with awareness, “wisdom” and balance, not hysterically fast. It will help you to make your vibrato violin technique much better.
  11. Learn to play vibrato with different speeds so that the oscillations completely coincide with the metronome. It is especially important to learn to play slow vibrato so that each swing is clearly heard without changing the speed.
  12. Attention! It is necessary to achieve the same speed and quality of vibrato on every finger of your left hand. It will be much easier to do if you perceive the vibrato not as independent movements of each finger, but as one major movement for the vibration of all fingers, during which you will only change the fingers in the necessary sequence without stopping vibration. Thus any finger combination should affect neither the speed nor the quality of the vibration. You should study at a moderate tempo, making sure that the left hand does not clamp, as it is difficult to maintain a relaxed hand at a fast speed. More rapid vibration has to come naturally and gradually. The feeling in your left hand at a fast speed has to be the same as at a moderate tempo. The speed of vibration has to be achieved not at the expense of clamped hands accelerating, but by reducing the amplitude of the vibrations.
  13. When you are doing violin vibrato exercises, make sure your index finger is gently touching the side of the neck. Pulling the finger away from the neck while doing vibrato, may result in an uncontrolled, too fast vibrato and unstable intonation. Let your index finger touch the neck as long as possible when you play vibrato and change positions.
  14. The position of your hand on the fingerboard during vibrato has to be exactly the same as without vibrato. Do not change anything in your hand when you add vibrato.

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