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The 'Composer' guaranteed Vibrato teaching method
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (13 votes) 
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Composer
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March 7, 2013 - 6:02 am
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My method doesn't employ "watch me" videos or boring reams of exercises.  It simply employs the best musical passage for the job that already exists...that is 2 measures from Wohlfahrt book 1:  http://fiddlerman.com/wp-conte.....1_1-30.pdf

Its study #16 (first measure is 6 slurred 8th notes on the d-string and the second measure is a dotted half note on the a-string). 

The dotted half note (c-natural) on the a-string is the vibrato point.  The first measure contains chromaticism on the 2nd finger for the F-natural and F-sharp.  This means you slide the 2nd finger instead of dropping it.  This is an excellent preparation for the vibrato point in measure 2 which also uses the 2nd finger.  Also, the slurring and finger pattern on the d-string are excellent for developing dexterity (basically an extended version of Fiddlerman's dexterity exercise for the d-string) .  The string change to the A-string is great for freeing up the hand in order to vibrate and the fact that the last note on d-string is played with the 3rd finger provides leverage for the vibrating on the c-natural on the a-string.  Its best to try the arm vibrato at first.

Finally, there is a reference dvd for the Wohlfahrt books by Rachel Barton Pine to see how the entire study is done (although she uses the more difficult hand vibrato)

 

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Fiddlerman
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March 7, 2013 - 8:59 am
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Perhaps if you are referring to the wrist or hand movement but I consider this more an exercise for achieving quick quiet 1st and 2nd finger slides.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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EJ-Kisz
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I really don't think that there are any "guaranteed" ways of learning a particular skill just based on the uniqueness of every student.  My path to vibrato was quite different than most others that I've spoken to.  The funny thing is, my arm vibrato came last!  

I actually had to start with the lesser-known finger vibrato with very little finger bending.  Just applying and releasing pressure to a given note.  From what I've heard, that was an extreme baby step.  But that led to mild hand vibrato and eventually, my finger muscles became relaxed enough to hit arm vibrato.  (just recently to! lol) :D  

It's still a work in progress, but it was quite interesting blazing my own path! It reminded me of when I was younger, being trained classically on the trumpet!  We started with the Suzuki method, but it only worked for me up until a point.  After that, we had to change my lesson plan a few times. (As a beginner, most students have trouble hitting high notes.  With me, I had trouble hitting low notes and high notes came more naturally)

All we can really do is share our experiences with others in hopes that it helps them on their own path!  

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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Picklefish
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March 7, 2013 - 11:18 am
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this guys got a whole video series on W's op 45.   

http://youtu.be/SSCkplakNLA

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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March 7, 2013 - 2:22 pm
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For some reason, Todd Ehle can't understand the simple concept of 'proper lighting' when making a video  I never watch his videos (not that any of these online videos has much value) for the simple reason he is playing in the dark. 

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March 7, 2013 - 2:42 pm
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Its really hard to imagine why violin instructors can't understand the necessity of  dependencies.  Its obviously madness to plop down a calculus book in front a child who has not done any previous math studies yet in the world of violin, its perfectly sensible to study vibrato the moment a violin is purchased.   And this is what actually happens, because the student gets something like Suzuki book 1 and then listens to a mp3 file of a pro playing 'Row lightly' and then quickly comes to the conclusion:  "its all about vibrato".  So they spend the next 3 months doing nothing but practicing vibrato in the most naive fashion in that some video can "show you" how to do it.  Of course it doesn't work, but the instructor and student are both happy to lie to one another.

The situation is so ridiculous that its even taboo to actually state in public why vibrato is hard to learn explicitly.   The obvious problem is that its impossible to *easily* move (either the hand or the forearm at the elbow) back and forth fast enough to produce a functional vibrato of 5 cycles/second.  The destructive trap is falling into the belief that a correct vibrato is the action of rocking to and fro.  In reality, its a mysterious pulsing action of which the source of the motor cannot be found.  Anybody can set a metronome to 180 (3 cycles/sec) and move the hand back and forth flexing the first joint in the finger.  But thats not a vibrato.  Its too slow and probably too rigid to produce a correct sound.  The metronome doesn't even go high enough to measure 5 cycles/sec which is the minimum speed for a functional vibrato.  But it doesn't matter because once you try the incorrect way to move the hand really fast back and forth you can't get to 5 cycles/sec without uncontrollable shaking the result.  And practicing this over and over just leads to more tension.

I just wish instructors would actually deal with real world problems in an honest way.  That chic beth from violinlab really takes the cake:  "I got a million videos on vibrato"...yah thats because NONE of them work.  lol.

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HDuaneaz
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March 7, 2013 - 3:09 pm
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Composer, I appreciate your comment. I believe there is a good place to start vibrato, and it isn't the day you start playing. Let's get intonation and timing, and the very basics of a good setup where your left hand can be relaxed in the first place.

 

When I took group lessons as a child from a double-bass player, my violin wasn't supported well. I was given a catcher's mitt sponge and two rubber bands, and that violin was in no way supported under my chin. I could never hope to learn vibrato that way. Very little freedom in my left hand, but I still loved it.

 

I didn't start having any vibrato until I finally got to take private lessons in 2001, and I had a good shoulder pad. My teacher had me just start going through the motions on my fingerboard the way Pierre teaches. My vibrato isn't near what it should be yet, but I am working on it.

Duane

 

"Violin is one of the joys of my life."

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Composer
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March 7, 2013 - 8:09 pm
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"Let's get intonation and timing, and the very basics of a good setup where your left hand can be relaxed in the first place."

 

A good setup does not eliminate the physical barriers every beginner has to deal with.  

Fact 1. strong fingers in both hands are required to play anything well.  It sure as hell aint going to happen by "show you" videos combined with a paltry 1/2 hr practice a day.  Yet, the ridiculous remedy always when a student complains about not being able to something immediately is that it is a matter of not being shown correctly or its a "setup problem".  Its all bs.

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StoneDog
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March 7, 2013 - 10:37 pm
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I learn from all that I watch, read and listen to > When one is advanced to a certain level it probably seems fruitless > as a beginner it is priceless.

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Robyn.fnq
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StoneDog said
I learn from all that I watch, read and listen to > When one is advanced to a certain level it probably seems fruitless > as a beginner it is priceless.

I'm with you StoneDog ... I've never had a teacher to put my hands in the correct place ... my teacher is youtube, and from there I discovered this forum and have gone ahead in leaps and bounds.  I still can't do vibrato without badly bruising my neck rofl but I've improved in all the basic techniques.

Baby steps for us beginners.  I appreciate that some people seem to have a natural ability for techniques such as vibrato, but if the physiology is not apparent then all the sheet music in the world will not make it happen.

My opinion only.

If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.

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Fiddlerman
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March 8, 2013 - 10:56 pm
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Have you ever had any private lessons Composer?

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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"Have you ever had any private lessons Composer?"

Nope.  Never saw any sanity in their "Scales, etudes, repertoire" breakdown of lessons.

Their idea of scales practice is nothing more than lip service because I believe it takes several hours/day to secure a foundation of accuracy and evenness (in tune, rhythmic, dynamics) or else its pointless.  They don't.  For example, Rachel barton Pine has a podcast (#10) on her website that lasts for 20 minutes that talks about how to practice the violin for all ages, amateur or aspiring pro.  And its complete nonsense.  She actually believes that the critical thing to do is make a plan even if its "just" 2 hours/day.  In other words, she would dedicate a whopping 1/2 hr/day to scales.  But in reality there is no planning required because the real world adult beginner has no choice but to spend every precious minute of those 2 hrs practicing scales even though various technical problems (straight bow, bow change, constant bow speed, tone quality, etc) should be worked on as well. 

She practiced 8 hrs/day from age 11 to 17.  She started at age 3.  She had all the benefits of soft cartilage and adaptable neural structures.  How can she even pretend to understand that its totally different for an adult beginner.  She has no clue whatsoever.  Here is a news flash for you, Rachel:  "ROTE LEARNING IS LESS EFFECTIVE WHEN YOU ARE AN ADULT".  At least that Dounis collection book of violin exercises doesn't follow the sevcik principle of Maximum coverage and tries to utilize the neocortex to advantage.  And it recognizes the physical barriers.

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Picklefish
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March 11, 2013 - 1:24 pm
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Im now totally confused and ready to quit altogether. There is no way to learn to play the violin because all instruction is "crap", theres no real starting point, and after age 6 lets say arbitrarily you can never be good anyways. I have no way to learn proper technique because thats a myth, I cant be good at bowing because the physics are impossible. I shouldnt practice because as an adult I have not enough time to make it effective or worthwhile. Learning vibrato is a impossibility due to body mechanics and the absence of suitable metronome speeds. So whats the point? Why even try? Lets just burn it all down and leave it to the youth!

and Yet  although I had musical training in elementary through high school I didnt seriously start Violin until 2 years ago. I am now 42 yrs old this May. I have used primarily the Suzuki books and youtube vids as my source of educational materials. I have used a real teacher on three occaisions but none taught me in a way that I felt I couldnt figure out on my own at home. I am a success story because I wasnt born with a talent for this, yet my ability is being developed. I dont have natural quick reflexes, finger dexterity, wrist control and flexibility, yet that is being developed. I could not do vibrato the first time I tried, yet following along the instructional videos that is being developed. Suzuki believed that all persons could develop their talents regardless of age. Thats why he called his method "Talent Development". Any graded repetoire can do this. Could I do this, any of this without some form of following along? not effectively, everyone I watch play regardless of recorded or real life is my teacher now. The really good player I sit beside during Orchestra practice, the guy on PBS in his bluegrass band to the FM vids, they are all teaching me something, it has taken me to have an interest to see that though.

Without picking apart each rediculous statement I am responding to it seems the OP has created a rationalization out of absurd observations and conclusions to fit his dilusional opinions.

Is vibrato impossible, I hope to prove not. How do you learn it? Gotta start somewhere, its not gonna develop itself. Whats the best way to learn it? Learn from the people who can already do it. Is someone lying to me about whats the best way to practice or develop my talent? Only Composer as far as I can tell. No proof that any of his ideas are valid, no example of his talent development under his ideas. It only takes a dash of truth to make the lie convincing.

So whats a body to do? I read alot, formed a hypothesis, tested the hypothesis, recorded the results and shared the data. Did everything I read work for me? Nope, didnt give up though. Am I where I want to be as a violinist, guitarist and pianist? Nope, didnt give up though. Am I happy playing the instruments, sharing with others and being a all around decent human being? OH Yeah! Whats wrong with that?

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Fiddlestix
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March 11, 2013 - 2:49 pm
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Nice one, Rob, very well put.   clap   dancing

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dogandponyshow
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March 11, 2013 - 2:53 pm
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cheers

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Almandin
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March 11, 2013 - 5:17 pm
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I've just got to say two things here: If you believe something is impossible, then it will be. And greatness doesn't require perfection.

Just keep trying and keep having fun! coffee

~ Once you've ruled out the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. ~

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ratvn
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March 11, 2013 - 6:05 pm
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pfish said
Is vibrato impossible, I hope to prove not. How do you learn it? Gotta start somewhere, its not gonna develop itself. Whats the best way to learn it? Learn from the people who can already do it. Is someone lying to me about whats the best way to practice or develop my talent? Only Composer as far as I can tell. No proof that any of his ideas are valid, no example of his talent development under his ideas. It only takes a dash of truth to make the lie convincing.

So whats a body to do? I read alot, formed a hypothesis, tested the hypothesis, recorded the results and shared the data. Did everything I read work for me? Nope, didnt give up though. Am I where I want to be as a violinist, guitarist and pianist? Nope, didnt give up though. Am I happy playing the instruments, sharing with others and being a all around decent human being? OH Yeah! Whats wrong with that?

Great one, pfish. So well stated.

thumbs-upthumbs-upthumbs-up

 

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Composer
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Well, at least we now know the "Just do it" method is actually "Do not collect 200 repetitions of scales and go straight to vibrato".  Pierre's market is now well defined. Viva Vibrato!

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Ferret
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March 12, 2013 - 2:26 am
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If I where to say what I would like to say here I would probably get kicked off the forum.

I actually did write it and, after some thought, deleted it

red_cursing

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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Fiddlestix
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Composer said
Well, at least we now know the "Just do it" method is actually "Do not collect 200 repetitions of scales and go straight to vibrato".  Pierre's market is now well defined. Viva Vibrato!

 

That's it ?  You mean, you started this thread, got people's dander up and you finish with two measily sentence's ?

I don't see your point, I've tried, believe me, I've tried. All the thing's you've been saying about vibrato, in two more sentence's, please let us know if you think it's a waste of time or is it worth the effort to learn. It sound's to me that even with all the video tutorial's and other type's of information, it boils down to one thing, 'you can't do it', so you write about how it's a waste of time for anyone over the age of  6 to even bother with it. 

I wish you would put up a video, just to explain your theory and maybe a short demonstration and show us your "guaranteed" method of learning vibrato.

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