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Dianne
This discussion includes members-only video content

Looking for some feedback on integrating vibrato in a piece. I've been working on vibrato for a very, very long time- had to reset to zero last summer and try again. Now I have it to the point of a relaxed vibrato, and working on bringing up the speed. In this piece (I used Lightly Row from Suzuki Book 1), I set the metronome to 72 bpm, and ideally would have liked to have done 4 oscillations per beat, but could only do 3 per beat. This makes sense because 72 bpm is not ready yet in my practice. But this piece seemed 'right' at that tempo. What I do like, is that I am able to move from finger to finger and keep it going, and was never able to do that.

Later, not in this audio, I moved the metronome down to 63 bpm and could do a relaxed 4 oscillations/beat, but that is my max on continuous vibrato for this piece right now. I look forward to continuing w/this piece until I can reach a relaxed 72 bpm and 4 oscillations/beat. Am I on the right track in my plan to integrate vibrato into a legato piece?

Any feedback on my progress, or plan, is very welcome.
Dianne
15 Responses
Posted: August 7, 2017
Last Comment: August 12, 2017
Replies

Dianne
Posted: August 12, 2017
Thanks, Beth! Look forward to trying this!

Beth Blackerby
Posted: August 12, 2017
Dianne, your vibrato is looking great. As you do the exercises, try and reduce thumb and finger pressure to the point that the tone starts to fuzz. I would say reduce to about 70% pressure. The will help free up that base thumb joint which is the joint responsible for limiting range of motion. See what that does for you.

Dianne
Posted: August 10, 2017
Thank you Mary & Jaime! A work in progress!

Jaime - Orlando , Fl
Posted: August 10, 2017
Awesome job! I like how relaxed the hand is...and the vibrato sound shows it! Well done!

Mary Freeman
Posted: August 10, 2017
Nice to see that there is no gripping
Your wrist looks relaxed and loose especially on the first finger


Dianne
Posted: August 10, 2017
This discussion includes members-only video content

Vibrato Exercise @ 72bpm
Hi Mary! Here is the video for my vibrato practice I am doing for 72 bpm @ 4 oscillations/beat of the metronome. I usually use the Simon Fischer Warm up exercises for this, to warm up my hand. tonight instead, I used just a free form 1-3-4 oscillations to get it going. Notice how my hand loosens up as I go. I am coaxing it out @ 72 bpm to try to train the muscles. This is @ the extent of what I do each day- with the intent to build evenness and get it as relaxed and as wide as I can for right now @ this particular tempo. The hand gets looser quicker as time goes on. For the 4th finger, I got a little bend that I didn't like so I used the violin as a temporary support for it. Some days it is fine at this tempo. Also, I wasn't concerned @ pitch tonight-so sorry for the off notes. I was just going for it. Would love to see a vibrato video from you or any others that would like to share. It's been a while since we've seen vibrato videos and they are fun!

Dianne
Posted: August 9, 2017
Thank you, Beth! I can hardly wait to try this. I can't thank you enough. I felt as if I had hit the wall. I have looked everywhere for an idea of how to move forward. This is exactly what I needed. I'm practically in tears with joy. If I can do this, then I will feel like a little bird who has taken a step out of the nest and can fly!

Hi Mary, I will definitely post a video on the vibrato. I tried the audio as an idea to "hear" the pulses.

Jaime - Orlando , Fl
Posted: August 9, 2017
Very interesting points that Beth brings to the table! Engaging on the performance , being expressive with the legato, allowing the nerves to take over the vibrato and the notion that vibrato does not DEFINE musical expression, but rather enhances it.... everything so crucial for the development of musical expression! Valuable pedagogic points indeed!! :0)


Mary Freeman
Posted: August 9, 2017
Crazy how our problems differ I am tring to make my vibrato wider.
It sounds good but I would love to see your hand motion
are you using arm or wrist vibrato.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: August 9, 2017
Dianne, the good news is that your vibrato is audible and even, and continuous. Those are the three most difficult qualities to achieve! I agree that increasing speed is a goal, so keep working on that. My advice though has more to do with the overall expressive development which will change how you're perceiving your vibrato. After reading you email, I get the feeling that you are wanting your vibrato to be "expressive". At this point, I think your muscles won't undo the evens you've achieved if you focus on the expressivity of the bow arm.  I think you should take this piece, or any other, and play it as legato and expressive as you can. For instance, add slurs to the quarter notes. Add phrase dynamics and tapers. When you do this, all of a sudden the vibrato will sound different. Vibrato really serves to amplify sound and to give it more resonance, it won't by itself make anything expressive. That's the right hand's job. Even a slowish vibrato will sound beautiful if the bow arm is phrasing and making smooth bow changes. 

The benefit from being expressive in the right hand is that it inspires the vibrato to move faster! I have the world's slowest vibrato on scales and such. It's only when I'm totally musically engaged that my vibrato will move faster. I'm serious about this. Strangely, speeding up my vibrato is not in my voluntary control. I have a definite ceiling on speed. The 3 things that will get it going faster, is 1. being in shape  2. being musically engaged and 3. being nervous! That's the one wonderful side affect of nerves: faster vibrato!

Dianne
Posted: August 9, 2017
Hi Jaime, thanks. I totally agree- slow practice. It's amazing to me how easy I can play this piece @ what appears to be a ridiculously slow vibrato speed of 63, but it is when I can best expressively perform the piece with an even vibrato that is relaxed and effortless. I guess I"ll just have to assume it will eventually speed up on it own. In the meantime, the exercises continue at higher speeds. I started the 5 speeds I mentioned @ 4-5 months ago- and have stopped at 72. It is the absolute ceiling for me right now. It is the speed I worked up to 1.5 years ago when working with my teacher, but it was tight. Teacher said it was the minimum speed and would serve me well for a while and not to worry @ speeding it up beyond that for a while. I'll be doing the 72 bpm exercise for a long time, using very short daily drills. Patience...patience...is key for vibrato.

Jaime - Orlando , Fl
Posted: August 8, 2017
Dianne! I enjoyed it very much! I felt a duet coming on... so I did practice a little harmony with your performance! :0)
I think is a good idea... starting your vibrato exercises slow... that way you get the feeling for the oscillation and dynamics.... the tutorials by Beth help a lot! I'm LONG ways to learn good vibrato, but its always fun! Keep it up! :0)

Dianne
Posted: August 8, 2017
Hi Maria, your comment about narrowing the vibrato to increase speed sounds like a good exercise to try. I do think that I shoot for the widest vibrato possible too much, even if not successful, and the narrowing is just as important to experiment with for range, speed & tone quality.

Maria
Posted: August 8, 2017


Hello Dianne,

With the slow tempo your vibrato sounded really nice, I have the same problem I can't sustain nor make it faster- but I think you can make it narrower.

I must try it and experiment later...

Dianne
Posted: August 8, 2017
What I wanted to also add is that I have been working on speeding up the vibrato in vibrato exercises of 4 oscillations, using 1st 60 bpm, then 63, 66, 69 and now working @ 72. But just because I am successful at 72 bpm in an exercise, does not mean I can sustain it in continuous vibrato on quarter and half notes in this piece, obviously. I had to go back to 63 bpm in order to be successful in 4 oscillations. Exercises, and integrating in pieces, are two totally different things. I also wanted to apologize for the harsh beginning to each of the two iterations of this piece- yikes. Hopefully, you have your volume turned down.