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Lee Gordon Seebach
Vibrato Training Feedback

Since the beginning of January, when I bought a better beginner violin, Iíve been back on ViolinLab and have been focused on learning how to play again.  Iíve gotten the idea from several sources that learning vibrato is more or less for intermediate players, and, that it would take many months of training to get the knack of it.  So, in May, I thought, ďWhat would be the harm in doing training exercises - along with my other training - anyway?Ē  The idea being that I will have put in the groundwork for vibrato about the time I could feel fairly good about the other aspects of playing.  Since then, Iíve followed Bethís recommendations for training exercises and taken a couple private video lessons with her, and Iím finding that this has worked out for me very well since I am definitely getting the hang of it.  I still have a long way to go before it sounds good, but I am definitely glad that I did those exercises all this time.

And now we have the new vibrato training course.  Iíve been doing the #15 play-along exercise daily, building speed slowly.  Right now, I work my first finger at 90% speed, my second finger at 100%, my third at 90% and my poor, awkward pinky is lagging behind at 70%.  I focus on keeping a steady beat and my fingers pressed to the fingerboard all the way through.  Itís a workout but great to do, I think, because Iím building strength and stamina in my fingers as well as developing a steady pulse.  Iím also doing scales with vibrato and incorporating vibrato into pieces that have longer notes.  And, if I play any piece slowly enough, I can do vibrato on more of the notes.  My results arenít great yet but I do feel that Iím making good progress, and thatís encouraging.

I find it most difficult to play vibrato on the E string because it still feels awkward to me, and of course, my pinky finger isnít as flexible as the other fingers and the angle is more side to side and in a circle.  The G string isnít much of a problem because I donít mind reaching around for it.  It kind of feels good to stretch for it actually.  For me, vibrato is much easier and feels more natural with my first and second fingers.  The third finger is a bit awkward, but not as bad as my pinky, which has strongly objected to this abuse.  ;)

Thatís my experience in learning vibrato as a first-year student so far.  I hope it helps to know what Iíve been doing!


4 Responses
Posted: November 21, 2018

Alan Barnicoat
Dream come true
I received today an email from Jerry (Intonia developer) with the following notice that Intonia is or will soon be available in IOS:

6 Responses
Posted: November 20, 2018

guangjiu wu
how to bow to the frog
how to bow to the frog is the real heache for my son to do ,his pinky always tried to balance the bow weight, but it will cause his pink stiff, straight, and his teacher kept telling him to have the pinky relax and curved bending, till now not find the good way to improve , wants to hear you advice and suggestion on how to improve and how to use pink when bow to the frog.

3 Responses
Posted: November 21, 2018

Janet Doherty
Beth:  would you mind sharing the type of chinrest you are currently using?  From videos it looks like somewhat of an interesting cup design, which may be what I am looking for.  Thanks!

4 Responses
Posted: November 20, 2018

Alan Barnicoat

In case you have not seen the recently revised Vibrato Training videos yet, please do take a look. The improved clarity and closer views have really helped me in understanding how the positioning of the thumb and placement of the wrist's heel against the lower rib result in maintaining a straight wrist/hand relationship  and also provides more of the finger pad touching the string.  Lately, I have been overshooting the forward motion of the fling causing my fingernails to constantly strike the string.(ouch!) - regardless of how short I cut them. Positioning my thumb under the neck a bit more has solved that problem.   There are plenty of videos on You-Tube showing the greatest musicians using vibrato but they are documenting great performances and are too blurry for me studying at my entry level. The Violin Lab videos really show the subtle movements involved - like under the microscope!

5 Responses
Posted: November 19, 2018

Bryan Toll
My name is Bryan, and I am a brand new member and just wanted to introduce myself!
I have been a musician (electric bass and guitar) for over thirty years, though entirely self-taught. However, my first foray into music was violin at the age of 9 in elementary school. After a year my family moved to a new state and school that had no orchestra. So, that was the end of my violin career...for about 40 years! My youngest daughter began playing violin last year and so my interest in violin has been rekindled.

Since last year we have rented my daughter's violin from a local chain music store. But, once I began researching the fascinating world of the violin, I found a local violin shop specializes in orchestral strings. I then returned my daughter's violin and rented one for her and myself from the new shop! For the past month I have been working through the Essential Strings Book 1 volume, and some level one etude and scale books. My biggest need right now (beyond basic skill in this difficult instrument) is an effective practice regimen. Right now I will practice a few scales and the one etude I have learned and then continue on with the ES book. I realized almost immediately that I needed to find some formal instruction. Private lessons are expensive enough that I was hesitant to go that route not knowing if I could fully commit to a rigid weekly schedule. Violin Lab seems the perfect way to go for the time-being. With the guitar, I have been primarily an "ear" player, and can play pretty well from chord charts - especially for bass. However, with the new lease on musical life presented by the violin, I am committed to nail down note reading. Already in the one month I've been at it, this area has improved dramatically. I am really looking forward to growing musically once I dive into the curriculum here!

Best regards,

4 Responses
Posted: November 19, 2018

Jose Felix MartŪ Masso
This video is useful for activating mirror neurons. Different ways of performing a complex movement pattern with a good result
This discussion includes members-only video content

2 Responses
Posted: November 19, 2018

Karen Wyatte
Hi Beth,
Re-watched the Best Practices for your Best Practices video and I was wondering what the difference was between warm-ups and exercises? So I can be on the look-out and know where to put them on my list?

4 Responses
Posted: November 16, 2018

Partita in D minor - J.S.Bach
Hello Dear VLabbers 
Hope you're all doing well, i really missed you all :) It's been a while since i posted anything, here is the Partita in D minor which i'm still working on, it's a very challenging piece especially with the shifts in 2nd positions, i'm still rusty 
I hope you'll like it , and any help is much appreciated :)

This discussion includes members-only video content

6 Responses
Posted: November 9, 2018

Janice Branley
I am working on musicality at the moment, and trying to understand how to shape notes and phrases of essentially a simply melody line, like moon river, or amazing graze.  I'm working on kreutzer 2 and 4 with different rhythms each day to develop some sensitivity in the bow arm.  

I have two different musical groups which I play with now, each with a different repertoire and style, so it makes me aware of how we can change or evolve our own style as wish;  and the dots on the paper are the starting point, but it is up to us to 'tell the story'...

This is less to do with technical gymnastics and more to do with the heart, I think......

Do you aspire to play in a certain style, and if you do, could you describe it or post a video?
This discussion includes members-only video content

11 Responses
Posted: November 14, 2018

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