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Vayia UK
I have watched and re-watched the videos. I have also been doing the exercises for few months (not every day, I have to admit). Vibrato has not surrendered itself to me yet. Do I continue with the exercises until it just happens? Is that how it works? Does it just happen at some point?


Vayia UK
15 Responses
Posted: December 1, 2017
Last Comment: December 6, 2017
Replies

Dianne
Posted: December 6, 2017
Hi Vayia, I would also suggest you film also your whole arm. That way you can check if there is any unwanted movement in the arm.

Ray
Posted: December 6, 2017
Yes it 'happens  but there is no one time frame which fits all.  5-10 minutes a day.  Persistence, record yourself, analyze the recording the next day.  Make notes on what worked and areas that need changing then focus on those areas.  You will get there.  :)))

Barbara Habel
Posted: December 5, 2017
Dear Vayia

In the video you have your pinky curled up below the fingerboard. This might just be something you did so the camera could see the vibrato motion of your 3rd finger. If it is something you always do it can foster tension in your hand.

I did this too and on faster playing I could really feel the tension. Then I trained myself to have the finger level with the 3rd finger when playing "very slowly". Once I did this and speeded up the vibrato again, it morphed into a pinky that sticks up in the air. But this way there is "no" tension in the hand.

Watching videos on YouTube there are also others that have the pinky sticking up in the air when another finger plays vibrato.

Elke Meier
Posted: December 4, 2017
Interesting, Christopher, what different people notice! That is the beauty of the community! I noticed something else: I think you start the sliding exercise all right. Then, when you start putting weight on the finger things change. It is the final joint that needs to be flexible to do the forward rocking motion. If you set your video to half speed in Youtube you can observe well what the last joint does. It looks to me like you started to put weight on the finger (= add pitch) at :13. While you stayed at this speed I could still observe some movement in the final joint though not very much. Then, when you went to double the speed most of that flexibility was gone and also a lot of the regularity. At half speed it shows when there are jerks in the movement. 

I would at this point stay with the speed that you have between :13 and :19 and not go to the double speed until your final joint has gotten a bit looser and it gets regular without effort. Have you come across Laurie Scott's explanation of how she trains vibrato? I found that very helpful also - especially in working on regularity.

Christopher Sinkule
Posted: December 4, 2017
Your thumb looks like it might be too far back and causing your hand to tense up.

Vayia UK
Posted: December 4, 2017
This discussion includes members-only video content

Please let me know if this is the correct motion for the exercise? Can you see any issues?

I would like to thank you for all your messages so far.

Beth, I haven't realised how this should actually take the form of a physical exercise to train the muscles. I am finding it tiring but rewarding as I can already notice that my wrist is getting used to the motion. Now I just need to know if the finger motion is correct...



Beth Blackerby
Posted: December 3, 2017
Vayia, this is absolutely true:

It is a step-by-step process, over a long period of time. Patience and persistence are of the essence. We need to do the exercises knowing that they will lead to success. One day, it will just happen. 

Remember that persistence is not that you just keep trying, but that you keep working on the exercises without time lapsing in between. As soon as a few days go by without exercising the muscles, you almost have to start all over again. Some techniques are about training the mind, and some are about training the muscles. This is all-out the muscles! I don't know how long you've been playing, but I think in general, adult beginners try and learn vibrato too soon. So yes, be patient and allow your body the time it needs to develop all kinds of skills. Vibrato will come once the hand and fingers have learned to play with ease.

Frieda
Posted: December 3, 2017
Hi Vayia,
In my opinion learning vibrato is a very personal story. Of course in the first place it is very important to study and incorporate all information you can get from professional video’s like you find here on violinlab and elsewhere and/or from your teacher. 
Anyway, I tried and I tried but it didn’t work for me. I parked it all in the back of my mind and continued with all the other things who were waiting to work on. During my exercises I occasionally tried a wrist vibrato on long notes while thinking of all I learned from the video’s. I wouldn’t force myself and told myself that one day sooner or later it would happen! What I’m trying to say is that I never have been studying hours and hours on vibrato but I implemented short but regurarly  exercises, trials during my playing. 
Then the day came that I decided to try arm vibrato instead of wrist vibrato and while I was focusing on my arm, suddenly my wrist began to wake up! It became more relaxed and started to participate. Strange but that is how it happened with me! I had the feeling that in my case finding the ‘missing link’ was at least as important as doing the exercises.
But again… this is only my personal story… wish you all the best!


Maria
Posted: December 2, 2017


Vaya, just watch the vid tutorial, cont. practicing and if you can try it on slow pieces...When you are doing it, sing! Sing in your head but let the violin mimic the sound and  be your voice. Close your eyes and concentrate on the sound you are producing. Make sure you are all relaxed and positive, no worrying at all.

Good luck Vaya and never give up!

Ted Adachi
Posted: December 2, 2017
HI Vaiya,
So I think your question is about the basic hand movement when making vibrato?

If so, then if you have not done so, really watch closely 221 Slow Motion Dos and Donts.

I have been playing for close to 18 months and from day 1 have been working on vibrato. I didn't do any of the sliding exercises but rather, after watching this video (which also was the reason I joined Violinlab) I worked on the 'rocking' motion that is so clearly shown in the video.

Now I would work on this every day, probably at least an hour a day (no bow, just using the left hand). Like Barbara, I did a lot of this while watching TV. About 10 days in 'got' the movement! And then promptly lost it again but because I did have it the once, I knew the 'feeling' and so it wasn't too hard to find it again. But that was just the beginning.

So watch that video, watch how the finger rocks back and forth and then try to do that but with your wrist and hand really relaxed. You have to really conciously relax your hand. 

Also make sure your violin hold is good. Being able to hold the violin without using your hands will really help in being able to relax your hand for vibrato.

Now I said that after 10 days or so I got the movement but today my vibrato is still a very long term work in progress. So you do have to be patient and diligent.

This worked for me but as we are not all the same, it might not work for you. If you have been working on those sliding execises for months and feel like you have made no progress, you might want to post a video which Beth can see and she will be able to tell you if you're on the right track or not.

Christopher Sinkule
Posted: December 2, 2017
Have you tried arm vibrato? Wrist vibrato never worked for me until I got arm vibrato first. Another big thing for me was my hand and finger positioning. I suggest getting a mirror, watching a few violinists on YouTube, and making sure your hand looks like there’s in terms of angle and things like that. 

Elke Meier
Posted: December 2, 2017
And again, Vayia, don't take us as an example! - Well, you can take us as examples for not giving up :). But as for progress I don't think Barbara and myself are the "typical" cases. There are other people here in the community who have mastered vibrato much quicker. Just think of Rustam, or Andrea, or Jaime. Jaime and I started around the same time but he already has a very nice vibrato! And then there are a few people around like Cyril who just take to the violin like a duck to water. So, just do your own journey, and don't compare yourself with others. It will only frustrate you, since we tend to compare ourselves with the people that have already mastered the thing we are struggling with and not with the ones that struggle even more... For us as adults there are just a myriad of things that influence our playing and our progress - other commitments, work, family, and not to forget our age and health. 

Happy practicing to you :)!

Vayia UK
Posted: December 2, 2017
Thank you lovely ladies for your encouraging messages!

I watched Beth's interview with Dr Redfield just now and the answer to my question is from 1:40 in this
video (http://violinlab.com/videoLibrary/lesson.php?id=140). 

It is a step-by-step process, over a long period of time. Patience and persistence are of the essence. We need to do the exercises knowing that they will lead to success. One day, it will just happen. 

Good to know that!!! 🙂

Barbara Habel
Posted: December 2, 2017
Dear Vayia

My story is similar to Elke´s story.

I spend a good year and a half just practicing without the bow to get the "motor" movement going. I practiced whilst watching TV.

The real difficulty for me then was to move the hand down to 1st position after many months in 4th position. My wrist started to wobble instead of my hand. I posted videos and the community was very good in giving me help. So I finally managed to progress through that difficult phase.

Then I did not practice the violin at all for 2 years but went to weekly lessons. In the lessons I would try to incorporate vibrato into pieces on the very long notes. Since August I am practicing again. And I started with deliberate practice of vibrato with the bow. Whole bows followed by 4 vibratos a bow, 8 vibratos a bow and then faster. It really helps me to get the bow arm and the vibrato hand to work together.

So I am at about nearly 4 years into vibrato and it only now - with the bow exercises - is starting to work out ok in pieces. It is not refined yet. So you see it takes a lot of time for an adult beginner to get it going. This is a marathon and not a sprint. So do not be disheartened. Keep practicing and post a video so you can get help from the community.

Focus on enjoying the journey then it does not become so daunting. Praise yourself for every little bit of progress that you make. Keep a journal. It will help you look back and see your progress. God bless.

Elke Meier
Posted: December 1, 2017
Well Vayia, if you have been doing exercises for a few months (and not regularly) don't feel despondent. Most people get it quicker than myself, so don't take me quite as the example. I have been doing exercises for around three years. Often for four or five months very, very consistently, and yet, it didn't "happen". Several times I felt I have to start completely from scratch again after a hiatus of a few weeks. And even more often I was ready to give up and thought that I will just have to content myself with baroque music :). It was only this year that finally I gained hope that one day I will get it! It is still painfully slow and not real vibrato, but at least I have hope. So, don't feel bad after a few months...

It helps tremendously if you post a practice video. I got very, very valuable feedback and encouragement to my "vibrato ordeal installment videos", even though they felt just grose :).