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Vibrato: Why it has a near 100% failure rate
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Composer
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May 11, 2013 - 3:09 pm
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Because it seems nobody can differentiate between a vibrato and a wobble.  Even some professional soloists are just barely outside of the wobble boundary.  A wobble is always annoying and nasal sounding.  It actually makes the dull normal white sound even worse. 

Wobble:  Too slow and too wide of amplitude.  (Horrible sound)

Vibrato:  Fast and narrow.  (Very distinct from a wobble)

So *everyone* operates from the basic assumption that vibrato is simply "a rocking of the finger".   THAT IS TOTALLY WRONG.

Not only will you end typically end up with a wobble that sounds horrible, but it also leads to playing out of tune which is the topic of the next post.

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StoneDog
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May 11, 2013 - 3:50 pm
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Can you play vibrato well Composer??? Cause I really am struggling with it. It is getting better. I have read countless post on it. Watched countless vids on it and still just don't have it. > The vids and post have helped greatly with attempting to play vibrato but it seems that it comes from within. Sort of an extension of energy > kind of a Ki thing.

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Freq
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May 11, 2013 - 4:24 pm
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But it is fair to assume that there is no way to do vibrato without going through the wobblestage? The way I understand it is that the wobbling is just the fundaments of vibrato.

I understand what you mean about the difference between the two. I would very much like to do the vibrato, but I think I have some hours of wobbling ahead of me:)

Practice don't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

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Composer
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May 11, 2013 - 4:27 pm
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All the videos on the internet are mostly of no value.   The key is to finding the missing information that is preventing understanding what is wrong.

The basic mistake that everyone seems to make is thinking of the motion mechanically as:

1. Stop note with finger

2. Move finger back (with the first joint of the finger flexing properly, of course)

3. Move finger forward

Now try speeding (more oscillations ) that up before that notes time duration is up.   Thats the problem (another is that step 3 leads to a sharp note which is what the ear picks up), I can't speed it up enough so that it sounds good instead of bad.   Its always too slow and the note goes sharp which is the definition of a wobble. 

There is a brain lock between command from the mind to the response of the muscle.  Many will say this is tension which is unhelpful. 

Anyways, I have no time left today.  Next week I will try to make the problem more concrete and what to do about it.

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DanielB
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May 11, 2013 - 5:27 pm
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Well, I don't see it as having a near 100% failure rate, since obviously many players do use it. 

But I think it is perhaps the most over-hyped and obsessed-over embellishment in the modern history of the violin. LOL  To my personal tastes, also probably the most over-used.

If you have ever been in a band with or around a guitarist who has just gotten the first guitar they've ever owned that came equipped with a "whammy bar", then you are already perhaps familiar with the "syndrome". 

Weee---ooowawawawawawawawaeeeeeooooooooooooooo....REEEEEEEEooooooREEEEEEEoooooowoooowoooowoooowooooeeeeeeeeeow...

...is not necessarily as much of an "improvement" on their playing as they may think.  LOL

It had led to jokes like..

"What is the lead guitarist's favourite song?

 

50 Ways to Love Your Lever"

 

Or the singers that vibrato all the way through every note and even every change?  I often wonder if they can actually even hit the notes they are singing dead on.  LOL  Is it style or a nervous disorder?  Who can tell?

It's a matter of personal taste, of course.  But I tend to think of embellishments like vibrato as being kind of like using reverb.  A little can add some life and feel.  Too much and one runs the risk of playing the effects more than playing the music.

I'm a rather stodgy old SOB, though, y'know?  LOL

 

 

 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Worldfiddler
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May 11, 2013 - 6:05 pm
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Composer,I really don't understand why you post the content that you do.

On vibrato, it's clear that you are either : completely misinformed, or are simply making a trolling post.

I hope it's the former.

As to you statement "All the videos on the internet are mostly of no value." , that would include my video on vibrato, and other players, who are also highly respected, and a lot more well-known than I am.

I would suggest that, if you really do know what you are talking about, then please show a video of the correct way to play vibrato, either from yourself, or from another experienced player.

Anything positive and constructive would help :)

 

Mr Jim

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Rattus Norvegicus
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May 11, 2013 - 6:08 pm
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my favourite guitar doesn't even have a whammy ;)

and the one that does, it's almost never screwed in.

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coolpinkone
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May 11, 2013 - 6:08 pm
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@Composer 

Do you mean 100% failure rate in the first and early attempts? I mean I think that is what you are saying?

@DanielB -good point.. on the overuse.  I have seen violinist that vibrate on every note ... in a subtle pretty way that is not over done and it is nice. But I have seen it over done and I don't like as well as a nice seasoning to a piece.

There are exceptions of course.

 

"Fifty was to Love your Lever"  ha ha ha ha

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Picklefish
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May 11, 2013 - 7:49 pm
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Wobble isnt even a real musical term man!

According to the Sausmanhauss dude there are many types of Vibrato. Wide and slow, fast and narrow depending on the type of emotion you are trying to convey. He seems pretty accomplished and plays way better than I do. Im sure Pierre has thoughts on the various types he's played.

Just because you dont like the sound doesnt mean its wrong.

As far as how to perform the task? Many ways to get er done unfortunately with only time and trial as your teacher. I dont consider myself as having failed at vibrato since the only way to fail is to give up. I dont do "give up".

Once again you post something that should be rhetorical since you offer no solution to your "problem", probably cause its all in your mind.

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

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Ferret
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May 11, 2013 - 8:03 pm
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@Composer 

Do you actually practice what you preach. If so please 'show' us. Action not words

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;,,, I guess you've succeeded, you've got me completely discouraged in learning how to play violin. There is no point of even going on, i'll never learn. I quit.

Thank's alot, chump.  red_cursing

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Ferret
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May 11, 2013 - 10:37 pm
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Fiddlestix said
@Composer;,,, I guess you've succeeded, you've got me completely discouraged in learning how to play violin. There is no point of even going on, i'll never learn. I quit.

Thank's alot, chump.  red_cursing

@Fiddlestix 

You wouldn't 'really' do that would you mate?

Myself, I'm in no great hurry to learn vibrato. There is so much else to learn. When it happens, it happens. So many great fiddlers never use it. Over rated I think.

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

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screeeech
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May 11, 2013 - 10:43 pm
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Also remember playing a violin is not "EASY"

IF it was everyone would play.

You have to take a technique that is very complex and adapt it to how you physically fit with your violin. That is everyone wobbles while they try. It is also why Mr.Jim explains how vibrato works for Jim and Pierre explains how vibrato works for Pierre. You have to take all those pieces and fit them together with you your violin and the way you play.

Once you figure it out, then you can play with vibrato.

But it needs you elbow grease to work. So put your chin to the chinrest, take violin in hand and wobble around 'til find what works for you. 

 

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DanielB
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May 11, 2013 - 11:24 pm
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@Pfish: Umm.. Itzhak Perlman uses the term "wobble" in reference to vibrato as having speed and how wide the "wobble" is as the parameters one can use in vibrato to make it fit different moods and give "colours".

 

Just sayin'.. dunno

 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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RosinedUp
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Composer said
nobody

always annoying and nasal sounding. 

even worse. 

(Horrible sound)

*everyone*

THAT IS TOTALLY WRONG.

sounds horrible

I can hardly recall anyone with a more bombastic or more immoderate style.

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Ferret
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May 12, 2013 - 1:28 pm
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RosinedUp said

Composer said
nobody

always annoying and nasal sounding. 

even worse. 

(Horrible sound)

*everyone*

THAT IS TOTALLY WRONG.

sounds horrible

I can hardly recall anyone with a more bombastic or more immoderate style.

I just can't make out if he is serious or just trolling. dunno

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

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DanielB
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May 12, 2013 - 2:42 pm
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C'mon, folks, take a deep breath.  Composer did say..

"Anyways, I have no time left today.  Next week I will try to make the problem more concrete and what to do about it."

 

So, presumably Composer has something constructive to say about the topic.  Yeah, maybe a bit melodramatic to start it off with vehement complaints about the state of violin education on youtube and etc and then say "tell you about it next week"  LOL

But the other thread Composer started at least tries to be informative and practical.  It has some good info.  It is not impossible that there may be some useful insights on how to accomplish a good vibrato coming up in this thread.  Patience, folks.  LOL

 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Freq
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May 12, 2013 - 4:20 pm
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@DanielB Thanks for showing me that Itzhak Perlman posted videos. If there is anyone I want to give me tips on vibrato/playing the violin, it must be him :)

Practice don't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

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cdennyb
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May 12, 2013 - 4:32 pm
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Replies to COMPOSER are worthless and fall on deaf ears. I refuse to engage any detailed thoughts on the matter until I see a video of his attempts at "anything violin related".

Writing and talking about it all day is worth less than 5 minutes of hands on practice.

If I go further here I'm likely to end up banned.

Mr Jim... I'm with you on this matter.

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Watchtower68
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Wait a minute Fiddlestix there's only room for one quitter herecoffee1.

I've attempted vibrato once or twice here in the past month as far as video's on any violin technique I would have to say this has to be a hard way for the established player to teach a beginner or student and slowing vibrato down along with explaining how to do it at the same time can't be an easy task.

I was discussing this with my teacher told her I was going to try to learn vibrato because I'd heard it takes months to master,one video I watched on the subject was done by a woman who said you just don't wake up and start doing vibrato on the violin,what does my teacher tell me "I woke up one day and it was just there I was able to do vibrato" I don't think this is going to happen for me.

I'm no longer considering throwing in the bow by any means thanks to Ferret and others who gave me some tough encouragement,and to boot two days ago I played in front of a crowd of over 30 people in a recital even if I did flub a couple times1st-place.

Though I'm pretty sure a few of them went home to check their calendars to see if it was May or actually December(I played a Christmas song)thumbs-up

 

 

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