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David Rowland
This discussion includes members-only video content


David Rowland
14 Responses
Posted: January 26, 2018
Last Comment: January 31, 2018
Replies

David Rowland
Posted: January 31, 2018
vibrato help needed
Great advice from Beth. I have been working at the improvements she suggested. The movement to the right has greatly improved my tone as the bow is now more consistently perpendicular to the strings. Also whilst playing Lightly Row I was counting in my head so that a crotchet was receiving 4 vibrato movements of my finger. I have since tried playing it with out thinking about how many beats are in each note as Beth suggested. The improvement is noticeable. The vibrato sounds much better and less mechanical. Many thanks to Jamie for his kind words and to all the other contributors.  Really feel that posting a video has helped to improve my playing. Will post another in the near future.

Jaime - Orlando , Fl
Posted: January 30, 2018
David, 
Welcome to VL! Excellent strong intonation and vibrato as well! Love the performance and hope to see and hear more! :0)

David Rowland
Posted: January 29, 2018
Some great responses that I find very motivational. I have followed Ted's advice and have started again at 40bpm and am slowly building up again making sure that the finger is straightening more. Some great comments from Beth that persuade me to hope that I am not too far from the great vibrato sound that I seek. Many thanks to all who have responded.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 28, 2018
This discussion includes members-only video content



Rustam Gill
Posted: January 28, 2018
David great job so far!

 I remember very vividly the stage of vibrato learning you are in. You can vibrate very well on short notes to emphasize them and give them a bit of a kick but when it comes to a sustained vibrato for longer notes your vibrato seems to tighten up. I had this same problem for the first year of incorporating vibrato into my playing.

Once I identified the problem this is what helped me:
-I focused on the movement of the fingertip touching the string. I conceptualize the vibrato as a movement where you relax the impulse “motor” (whether its the arm or the wrist)  as you flatten your fingertip and go away from the pitch. The active movement then is when you go back to the pitch. So its a very fast cycle of relax-contract-relax-contract of the wrist/arm. All the while, the actual hand is completely relaxed.
-With that in mind, I slowed down the movement and built it back up. This didnt take long because I already knew how vibrato feels and just tended to tense up when it was sustained. I used long bows and really slowed down the vibrato frequency and increased the amplitude and felt the relaxed hand and the relax-contract-relax cycle of the wrist (I use a wrist vibrato). Practicing this at the beginning of my sessions allowed me to have a better vibrato when I played my pieces.

Maybe some of this will help you. Good luck!

Ted Adachi
Posted: January 28, 2018
This might help. 
If you want to play that piece with exaggerated wobbly and slow vibrato like I suggested, you would also need to slow the piece down a lot.

Playing slow is another challenge (at least it was for me) but I would start out playing that piece at something less than half your current tempo (around 45 -50 bpm).

Elke Meier
Posted: January 28, 2018
David, I would deduct from the description of your problem that you just haven't done the exercises long enough for them to really become automatic. It is like this with every aspect of the violin: You practice shifting exercises and they work wonderfully well, then you get to a piece where you have to think about something else apart from the shift, and there goes your accuracy. Remember when you first struggled with straight bowing? It worked very well on open strings when you had your eyes glued to the bow. Then a piece came, you had to think about left hand and all sorts of things and all of a sudden the bow was crooked again or drifting to the fingerboard, etc. And then comes a time when you realize: oh, no matter what I do now with my left hand, my right hand just seems to stay in its place. Finally the movement has become automatic. It seems to me that your body and brain just haven't had enough time to really internalize the movement of the exercises to be able to do them without thinking.

David Rowland
Posted: January 28, 2018
vibrato help needed
Many thanks to Diane, Janice and Ted. Nice to hear from old friends and new. I am caught in a problem of speed regards vibrato. I can do the exercises that Beth demonstrates so well in her videos and the fingers straighten. However when I put these into a tune my vibrato quickens and the straightening of the fingers lessens. Also I feel that on many of the quicker notes the finger would not have time to straighten even by students who have mastered vibrato. I will post another video which shows how my finger can straighten when performing exercises but loses something when put into a tune.
Will appreciate any further comments on this problem. I have found all the comments so far very useful and it has encouraged me to keep endeavouring.
David

Dianne
Posted: January 27, 2018
Hi David, Here are some ramblings. First, I wish to thank you for posting your video. Thanks to your video and our discussion, I checked some things out. What I have developed over these past weeks is that motion of the free wrist on top of the arm. I thought it was becoming a hybrid vibrato, but yesterday I recorded myself and discovered that what felt like a hybrid vibrato was really just a better wrist vibrato that allowed for a freer motion. I was able to develop a fast and wide vibrato, and worked the metronome back from this to 72bpm. I am training this now to be reliably even and consistent at different speeds. This will take time. In all of this, I listen closely to the sound, because if it doesn't sound good in my pieces, sounds too mechanical, it wouldn't be tastefully or artistically applied, so I work on this, too.

This week, I read part of an article in which was written that learning vibrato is a turning point for many students. They learn shifting and how to make the instrument ring, and when they learn vibrato, they know the sound they want, and they strive to develop it. If they struggle, some may give up and stop their lessons. Quite an interesting article.

Janice Branley
Posted: January 27, 2018
I was reviewing Beth's vibrato videos myself today and this one is so crucial to refer to, even after a lot of practice it's easy to lose this core principle and stray into bad habits, well it is for me any way!  http://violinlab.com/videoLibrary/lesson.php?id=25

Ted Adachi
Posted: January 27, 2018
Hello David,
I am glad to see you are sill actively playing. As you may remember, I have only been playing a little while longer than you so I am still very much a beginner. Any advice I give must be taken with a grain of salt and my vibrato is still very inconsistent.

Quite a while back you posted some vibrato videos and in those you were getting the wrist vibrato movement quite well at slow speeds. However, rather than speed up gradually, you would suddenly jump from say, 36bpm to 60bpm. At this fast speed, it appeared that you tensed up and 'shook' your hand rather than let your wrist do the work.

I really think you are still doing something like this now which results in a quick but very narrow and uncontrolled sound.

I would suggest that you aim for a slow, 'wobbly' sound. Start very slow with the wrist vibrato action that you have demonstrated that you can do. Don't try to go fast but try to play a slow, really wide and wobbly vibrato. It won't sound that good but that is not the point at this stage.

Wobbly also means a very loose and relaxed hand so you will need to watch your intonation as well. 

Speed up very, very gradually. If you want to play with a metronome, I would speed up maybe 2bpm at a time. You will not be able to go fast yet. Your muscles really need to build up and this will take a lot of time. This patience is of the utmost importance, I think.  

I've been working on speeding up this slow, wobbly sound for around 18 months now and it is only very recently that things have started to come together, but just started (so now, it's not so slow but still not fast, most often too narrow and still never good). So at least for me, it has taken a long time and a lot of patience and there is much more to come.

Probably not what you wanted to hear but again, I am just a beginner so I may be downright wrong. 

David Rowland
Posted: January 27, 2018
vibrato help needed
Thanks for your inputs. I will look at my wrist and endeavour to make sure it rocks further back. I agree that the vibrato is tighter than I am striving for. Will access the sites suggested and see if they can help. All comments much appreciated.
David

Janice Branley
Posted: January 26, 2018


Hi David,


I think you are showing great ambition to attempt continuous vibrato including all fingers on all notes especially the 4th finger, which is working hard.


My advice would be to not be too impatient with yourself, as it takes time to build the motor/muscle control. I would recommend developing a reliable and controlled vibrato that you are happy with using the finger you favour, usually 2nd or 3rd, higher up the fingerboard  (not worrying too much about making a tune) to start with.


When you can make a vibrato that is well towards the sound you are looking for with one or two fingers on one or two notes, you can then use those fingers to 'teach' the rest of your hand.


Beth has some great video lessons if you search lessons for 'vibrato', and I  also thought of these classes by Bill Dick which helped me too.

http://violinlab.com/videoLibrary/lesson.php?id=481

http://violinlab.com/videoLibrary/lesson.php?id=482


David Rowland
Posted: January 26, 2018
vibrato help needed
Coming up to a year of playing the violin and I am still struggling mightily with vibrato. I can vibrate the quick notes quite well but I am still not satisfied that my finger is completely straightening when I attempt longer notes. I have tried wrist vibrato, toyed with arm vibrato, gone back to wrist and the circle continues. I can straighten the fingers quite well up to 4 beats a click with the metronome at 60 and even 70 when my fingers are fully warmed up but are the fingers fully straightening? Am trying to incorporate arm vibrato into the wrist vibrato to see if this helps. Any words of advice very welcome.
David