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Hi Beth (and all),

While viewing the vibrato videos I was wondering about how the use of shoulder support will affect how the vibrato motion is executed giving the fact that without the shoulder rest the left hand helps supporting the violin.

In other words, does players that don't use shoulder support execute vibrato the same way as players that use shoulder support? I venture to guess that in essence it should be same motion but maybe there is a subtle compensation due to the fact that the left hand is helping supporting the violin. (This is just my uneducated guess...)



2 Responses
Posted: August 27, 2011
Last Comment: August 27, 2011

Posted: August 27, 2011

Thanks Jo!

I am familiar with the Alexander Techique and that was my main concern regarding how to properly compensate while maintaining the proper balance while doing the vibrato. I found that playing without the shoulder rest is best for me (kind of surprised to find out...) but always striving for safety.

Do you know of any book or website that offers information on the Alexander Technique applied to the violin?

I am more familiar with its applications for the guitar and while I suspect that some general concepts apply to all cases, I am sure that it has to be adapted to the particularities of the violin.

In any case thanks for the information!

Posted: August 27, 2011
Hi Pedro,

I am Jo and I started learning violin 4 and a half years ago using a 'shoulder pad' (we call it a shoulder rest here in the UK).  But then I stopped using it last January and it is now 6 to 7 months I have not used anything anymore. When I 'transitioned' I have had professional teachers/violinists (and alexander technique teachers) helping me learn to play with no shoulder pad and checking what I did by the way and I'd recommend anyone thinking of doing this transition of doing the is too easy otherwise to end up doing the wrong thing and injuring oneself or end up with bad playing technique or both :(

So...going onto the subject of vibrato...I learnt this in March 2010 when I was using a shoulder pad and I can tell you that it is the same with and without the shoulder pad!

If anything without the shoulder pad generally people tend to use the wrist vibrato a lot more than arm vibrato, yes, mainly the wrist vibrato I'd say (I take it you do know there is wrist and arm vibrato and it is more common for teachers to want you to start learning wrist first), as arm vibrato tends to 'pull' on the violin more, apart from that, all the same :)