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Elke Meier
This discussion includes members-only video content

Two months ago I shared my vibrato frustrations. At that time you guys really, really surprised and encouraged me because you seemed to have a very different impression of my "vibrato" than I did! I haven't had much time to practice since then because of very heavy commitments in the rest of my life and then several weeks of travel. But when I came back I started again, mostly with practicing individual fingers (with the metronome) and with different bowing patterns. It seems I need to learn each finger for each note separately, and it just takes so much time. But at least by now I do beliebe that I WILL learn it eventually! 

After the last video Beth recommended that I should start implementing it into some of my pieces - which I started to do. I wouldn't call it vibrato yet, it is more of a wobble, but I can't do it any faster if all the fingers are involved. In individual practice #2 and #3 can do faster. #1 has much less problems when it is on its own. But together with the other fingers it is just not relaxed any more. Actually, not much feels really relaxed. I feel much more relaxed when I practice the individual fingers, or do a very slow scale or something the like (=even, no surprises, like hooked bowing...) - then even the tone is better. Somehow this implementation (even though it is LOTS of fun!) seems rather challenging - too much to think about all at once for my brain... So I am wondering whether this is really what you had in mind, Beth, when you said I should start implementing vibrato. 
Elke Meier
23 Responses
Posted: October 21, 2017
Last Comment: October 29, 2017
Replies

Elke Meier
Posted: October 29, 2017
Haha, same for me, Katja: In Germany this is definitely also a Christmas song and finally we are getting close the the time when this piece will not feel out of place any more :).

Katja
Posted: October 29, 2017
What a treat we had here - thank you 😃.

For me this is a Christmas piece and soon it is again that time of the year... It brings me memories of my very first violin performance - I was so nervous and the whole thing was just terrible... So we played this one and we had an arrangement for three violins (not the Suzuki one) - maybe I need to take it out again and get rid of that terrible nervous memory as it probably is not that difficult any more 😋.

Jaime - Orlando , Fl
Posted: October 28, 2017
Wow Elke! Beautiful violin accompaniment! Sounds so regal! and the violins coming to the same note at the end..... brilliant! :0)

Elke Meier
Posted: October 28, 2017
:) :) :) - great, Maria! 

There is actually a book with Suzuki Trios. I bought the second violin of it and the CD some time ago. I found that I don't really use the second violin book. I still stick with the melody, but I use the CD a lot to play along. Here is a link to this piece so you can have an idea what it sounds like. It is a lot of fun to play along with them - even in the very easy Suzuki 1 pieces! I like it a lot more than any of the piano accompaniments. Although I had to work on the mp3 files, since this is a German book and the usual tuning in Germany is not 440 but 442 or 443 (as in this book).

Jaime - Orlando , Fl
Posted: October 27, 2017
Wow Maria!  that was nice impromptu! We are almost like an ensemble now!! hehehe
Thank you for the nice addition! :)

Maria
Posted: October 27, 2017
This discussion includes members-only video content

That was really great Jaime and Elke and such fun!

So here's the impromptu trio, it would have sounded better if I have time to practice but I'm going to work in 30 minutes so here's the rushed recordings.

Gudnite...

Jaime - Orlando , Fl
Posted: October 27, 2017
You are welcome Elke! You are truly an inspiration! 
And a trio using the G/D strings?..... NICE!!! Will have to try it ! :0)

Elke Meier
Posted: October 27, 2017
Wow, Jaime, that was special!! Thank you! With your vibrato in the foreground it didn't show any more that mine is so painfully slow. That was nice!

I couldn't help but take my violin right away and try a base line with it on the G- and D-string. It sounded really nice as a trio :). But I won't record it - it would really crummy with the audio re-recorded several times... 

What fun! Thanks again!


Jaime - Orlando , Fl
Posted: October 27, 2017
This discussion includes members-only video content

Hi Elke!
Hope to see more videos on your wonderful vibrato progress!
... and since we are pretty much VL classmates from the same "graduating class" I think it was long overdue.. a duet!! (I follow your lead on the audio) Hope you like! :0)

Katja
Posted: October 24, 2017
You are doing great! I really hope and believe that you will one day have the kind of vibrato that you are aiming for and without any pain. 

I see that I have pretty much the opposite issue with vibrato - I can only do a very narrow and fast vibrato, but now it is at least audible.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: October 24, 2017
Elke,good observation.  Perhaps driving the motion from the wrist put pain in the joint, but if it was just loose to ben natural it wouldn't hurt. Yes that Stephen has a unique vibrato. I wish I could do it too!

Elke Meier
Posted: October 23, 2017
Hmm, I will try what you suggested. It is true: I am very stuck on having the movement come only from the arm - but that is just because practicing wrist vibrato became so painful that I had to stop and I am afraid of inviting the pain back in if I involve the wrist again. But maybe having just a loose wrist wouldn't put as much strain on the wrist as normal wrist vibrato. I will see. I was also kind of worrying what would happen once I tried to vibrate out of first position. Third is easy but what about fifth or sixth? After all, one day I will play there :). In those positions I can't imagine how it would even be possible to vibrate just with an arm vibrato. Then I would have to involve the wrist again anyway. So maybe it will be good to start involving the wrist again even at this point. I will see how it reacts. I wish I could do Stephen's vibrato - he hardly moves either wrist or arm and it still sounds so beautiful :)!

Beth Blackerby
Posted: October 23, 2017
This discussion includes members-only video content



Beth Blackerby
Posted: October 22, 2017
That's exactly what I had in mind Elke! Since you can vibrate with good periodicity, it really only makes since to start using it, even if it's slow. I have to cook dinner now, but I'm formulating a better response that I'll post tomorrow. Stay tuned :)

MsPolkadotz
Posted: October 22, 2017
So thrilled to see your vibrato coming along so well Elke😊
Your movement is nice and controlled and I like how you are approaching this from a wide amplitude first which makes for a luscious tone. Really wonderful progress. And lovely to see you reunited with your beautiful Violin😉. Thanks for sharing and hope to see more of your playing. 

Barb Wimmer
Posted: October 22, 2017
Very good Elke, I agree with Barbara. Very consistent and amazing your pinky so strong- hard to do. You know how to do the hard stuff. Tension yes - a little less of that I still think if I tense up I can get better tone but I am finding the opposite. 

Elke Meier
Posted: October 22, 2017
Thank you for this observation, Barbara! I worked a lot on getting the pinky to stay above the fingerboard in normal playing. Although I found that there are different ways of curling. I still have it curled sometimes but that is normally no longer with tension. It is just a "sympathetic" reaction to another movement. But it surely is different in vibrato - but I guess that is because in general it does not feel very relaxed yet. But I will keep an eye on this especially during practice and try your exercise.

Barbara Habel
Posted: October 22, 2017
Dear Elke

Nice that you are back to practicing. It is very nice vibrato and very regular. A good start to get it implemented into a piece.

You do what I did too, namely curl up the pinky below the fingerboard when playing the 3rd finger and even on 2nd finger. This means that there is tension in your hand.

Try not to do that. For example, you do not do it when you follow with playing the 4th finger.

For me, I solved it by consciously playing the 3rd finger repeatedly with the pinky level with the 3rd finger at a very slow speed. For example 4 beats a bow, then 8, then faster.

I think you are doing really well with your arm vibrato. It is not an easy thing to do. So well done Elke.

Urban Kristan
Posted: October 22, 2017
Well, I don't really feel confident enough to give advice, but I think the vibrato is very nice and even. I reckon the speed will come. The video speed options on youtube are very useful for analzing I think. 

Elke Meier
Posted: October 22, 2017
Haha, Jaime, you are funny! Yes, I would love a little faster oscillation - actually I would love a LOT faster oscillation! Then it would sound like vibrato. But vibrato does not seem to come to me as naturally as it does to other people. I posted my first practice videos with wrist vibrato and harmonic pressure two and a half years ago and have been practicing ever since... First I had to change to arm vibrato and start all over because my wrist complained just too badly about the wrist vibrato. But even with arm vibrato I felt I had to start over so many times it was not nice any more. My hands are not too healthy, maybe that is the reason. Remember, when I joined you in your sliding exercises with music after you shared your practice? That was a LONG time ago! It was such a clever and fun practice idea. You shared ten minutes of practice on all strings, my hand and arm cramped up after a maximum of two minutes. After many months I was up to five minutes... Often I do not have much strength in my fingers, they are rather stiff sometimes and one finger clearly already has a rather reduced range of motion. I think violin practice (and vibrato practice!) is a wonderful physio-therapy against further deterioration :). But it is very slow going. 

The other thing that keeps me from going faster is a rhythmic problem. When I practice like this sometimes one finger goes faster automatically. As I said, especially second finger CAN go faster, third finger also, but just with its reduced range of motion. But it throws me right away because it is then out of rhythm. Actually, I had to slow down the accompaniment to be able to do it with all fingers in rhythm. I do not know whether it is good or bad that I am so stuck on the rhythm/beat of a piece. But it comes into play when I listen to others also. I don't find every vibrato pleasant to listen to. Sometimes, when it is just a nervous flicker of the hand that does not coincide with the beat of the piece I find it really difficult to listen to. 

It is VERY slow going, but I have a saying on the board above my desk which I like a lot: Never worry about going slow, just worry about standing still. :)



Jaime - Orlando , Fl
Posted: October 21, 2017
Elke!
I do see a very solid foundation for arm vibrato! May I suggest a little faster oscillation? 
Your motion is superb, your finger flexibility- SPOT ON!

I think you are progressing beautifully! :0)

Maria
Posted: October 21, 2017
Yes, you've got it!



Dianne
Posted: October 21, 2017
Elke, you've got it!