Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How To Do Vibrato On The Violin

About Vibrato
Many people ask how to do vibrato on violin and what the points are to consider when learning this new concept. Vibrato is one of the more advanced concepts on violin that is basically the shaking on the hand and fingers to produce waves of sound instead of just direct notes. Being that the violin is a fretless instrument vibrato has many advantages to learning violin other than just the better quality of sound.
When vibrato is used correctly, it can actually help intonation because it gives a violinist more room for error when he is playing, especially in higher positions. Without vibrato you really have to nail each and every note in exactly the right spot otherwise it will sound sour and out of tune. In this guide I will explain the main points of how to do vibrato on the violin correctly.

Choose the Right Music
Playing vibrato takes a lot of skill and concentration which needs your full attention especially at first. When you are first starting to learn vibrato I suggest learning on a simple scale that you already have mastered so you don't have to worry as much about intonation and rhythm. If you try to do vibrato on a piece that you don't have learned very well, it is going to take your focus off the vibrato which can develop into bad habits.

Use your wrist not your Fingers
Even though it looks like vibrato is coming mainly from the movement of your fingers this is actually untrue. Your fingers are used like a rocking boat and are powered by the engine of your wrist. By moving your wrist and forearm back and forth, your finger will go along for the ride and move along with it. Your finger should never change its angle and should only move because the rest of your arm is moving. Another key to this process is to keep your finger on the tips and it should never move from its location. It just rocks back and forth.

Start Slow and Be Consistent
The key to building a tight vibrato is starting the vibrato motion very slow and consistent. This is obviously easier said than done but eventually y you should be able to play the vibrato so the note sounds the same from beginning to end. Even if you have to start off so slow that it almost sounds like a totally different note, this is better than fast inconsistent vibrato.

Be Patient
Many beginners are anxious to learn vibrato very quickly and feel it should be an overnight process. Mastering vibrato takes a lifetime and you want to make sure you do all the right fundamentals correctly especially when you are first starting to do it. Be patient and before you know it vibrato will come naturally to where you won't even have to think about it.

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