The deadline for the 2023 Group Christmas Project submissions has now been extended to Monday the 11th of December.
Thanks Mark Emily Mouse and Stringy. It’s been tough this eve 😫I can’t do it. I made a video but I’m going to take it off in a bit ! I’ll carry on practicing . I’m trying to do what you say with the wrist tilt stringy.feels uncomfortable though.
I’ve had a re think… I’m going to work on the wrist tilt because I can see it in the video my online teacher Alison sparrow has on vibrato . I’ve never heard it mentioned until you said Stringy !! Why don’t teachers mention these things !!im going to practice the position in front of the mirror without the bow !! Also does anyone know how I can add a video without putting it on you tube first please !! And another thing, I’m going to see the royal philharmonic orchestra on Sunday !!! 😁😁😁
Katie L said
….It’s been tough this eve 😫I can’t do it….
Hey @Katie L , let’s revise that… You can’t do it yet, in the way you would like it to sound.
I know you’ve been very driven and dedicated to developing vibrato, but the fact is that vibrato is an elusive, complex skill that takes time to develop. It’s not just the time invested per day, but the time that passes over many months. It needs to marinate or ferment so to speak. I know you’ve mentioned gardening. Think of vibrato like you do seedlings. No matter how impatient a gardener becomes standing over those seeds waiting for them to sprout and grow, they will thrive in their own time at their pace.
Even though the hand needs to be relaxed to do vibrato, there are muscles involved and these muscle are being engaged in ways they rarely are in day to day activities. A lot of the painstaking preliminary vibrato practice is really just geared to developing the necessary muscles and gaining fluidity with your joints and tendons.
The internet leads new violinists to believe they need to learn vibrato early on and rapidly. I feel this leads to frustration and unrealistic expectations. If you were in a program of study with a qualified teacher, the teacher would probably not even broach vibrato until you’ve had quite a few years to develop muscle, dexterity, technique, and intonation. Until intonation is really consistently precise, most teachers don’t go near vibrato. Regardless, you’ve worked really hard with a mind open to pursuing good technique, and you have a great head start! Just be gentle and kind with yourself. If you keep doing a small amount of vibrato practice every day, one day it will surprise you as something starts to blossom.
Personally, if I were feeling that degree of frustration, I would give the vibrato a rest for a couple days. Play the pieces you love the most and focus on drawing the loveliest tone out of your instrument. (If you were American, I’d suggest you relax and eat a lot of pumpkin pie, stuffing, and turkey for a few days.😄) Next, play your favorite melodic pieces, and simply add a tiny bit of vibrato on a few notes with your best finger. Just listen to it, and enjoy the pretty sound and resonance you produce. Don’t think about speed, wrist, arm, anything else. Just listen and enjoy the small things.
The vibrato in your video didn’t sound that bad. You just sound wispy because you’re not using enough finger pressure on the notes. Forget about worrying about finger pressure right now. That’s usually an issue with musicians who have played guitar or cello first, or men with stronger hands. You are slender, so it shouldn’t be a big issue. Also, real, acoustic violins require more finger pressure than electric instruments, so keep that in mind when you watch instructional videos. (It is important not to grip or clench the neck tightly. That’s a different issue, and is always important as you already know.)
You’ve made a valiant effort to learn to play the violin on your own, and you’ve made great progress. Keep up the great work and enjoy yourself! Vibrato will come in time.😊
P.S. We cross-posted, so I was responding to your post 462 with your video, not the following one. If you’ve found new inspiration with Alison, go for it! Enjoy the concert!
Please don't take this as criticism, but a helpful observation. I watched your video four times and it appears to me that you're doing a type of hand vibrato rather than wrist vibrato. I noticed that your arm from the elbow through the wrist and hand has no movement. Even the base joint of your thumb and through your hand is rigid - little to no movement. It looks like you have the finger movement correct. It will also help to bring your thumb back towards you an inch or two to make the movement easier.
Try this. Sit with your elbow on a table and have the palm of your hand towards your face about a foot away with your fingers partly curved and then wave to yourself using your wrist, not your hand or fingers. That's the motion you want and maybe that exercise will help you. I'll try to post a video of what I'm referring to.
I've been working on vibrato for a couple years (still trying to perfect it) and you'll find one day that it just all of a sudden "clicks" for you. Some people get it right away - others it takes a while.
Try to focus on COMPLETE RELAXATION in your wrist and just enough pressure with your finger on the string to play the note. That's what finally worked for me and I hope it works for you!
Take care - Grandpa
Violin ---- the most human of all instruments
Thank you Mouse, Grandpafiddle and Unfretted !
I agree Grandpafiddle , when I look at that video I don’t see any movement either! However your exercise sounds like a good one so I’ll definitely do it.
Unfretted and Mouse, I agree with everything you say. My priority is the group project at the moment and I haven’t practiced it for a couple of days so really I need to get on with that . I think I’ve got carried away with the details of vibrato and just getting stressed that I can’t do them. I get that it’s a slow burner ! I think a couple of days off is the right way to go and then just try and do a bit of vibrato on the longer notes of some pieces.
I think I do need to look at the wrist though and I can clearly see how the wrist is supposed to be in Alison’s vibrato videos. I think I might just look at it in the mirror without the violin.
One thing though, I’m definitely much more aware of my finger pressure and I can do it … I can play more lightly when I think about it.
So tomorrow I finish work early I’m going to get on with the group project !
Thanks for the comments and for watching, I appreciate !
Looks incredible. Great watching musicians of that quality, astounding skill and dedication.
If it ever comes on again and you get the chance watch Amelie on stage, I think you would love it.
@Katie L -
Very cool mirror!
Hey, for what it's worth, I think what you are doing in the video LOOKS GREAT for wrist vibrato!!!
It's true, your hand didn't move much in your previous vibrato video, but have you seen the 'Itzhak' film (2017)?
I hadn't seen it until recently, but it has some GREAT closeups of Itzhak Perlman's playing - talk about hand NOT moving much for vibrato! I was so surprised he uses mostly wrist vibrato, but he also uses (equally as well) what looks like 'finger' vibrato where his hand hardly moves! Crazy!
Just thought you might get a kick out of it. 😊
Be happy - you've made a lot of progress!
Thanks Emily , I’m interested to watch !
It’s funny because the first video I ever watched on vibrato was the one Nicola Benedetti made and I didn’t pay much attention , I was just a bit curious. And since then I’ve practiced it on and off, forgotten about it then gone back to it, watched lots of videos about vibrato and now I’ve gone back the that first video I watched and I think for me it’s the best one. I think she does about three exercises and they are so simple and clear. The camera angles are really good too!! I think somewhere along the way I got really confused with what I’m supposed to be doing and was definitely impatient.
I think practicing like that without the bow is good and I can see what Stringy means about the wrist too. Even thought I’ve gone back to the beginning I think it’s the right way. I think if I spend a long time on that motion and get that nailed and then concentrate on the next step of adding the finger, I might be able to do it.
Thanks for watching .
That movement you are doing in the mirror looks bob on to me, I think you were going along pretty good as it was anyway, but the practice you are putting in certainly will pay off. When I first started practicing it I used to do half an hour every night just on vibrato, and I still give it at least 10 minutes but now I do it by dropping it into tunes wherever It will fit, I think that's the best way to practice, but that's only my opinion. I think you are doing great👍
By the way Slan la maigh is a good one for practicing vibrato, you can really go to town on it, and it's a very simple tune to play which makes it very enjoyable, for me anyway;)
Thanks Stringy .
I am trying to keep it simple, there are so many exercises out there. I get confused with the motion sometimes do need to make sure I’m doing it right each time I practice .
There is no need for me be in a hurry with it so I think I’m going to carry on just doing that motion everyday.
No one mentions the wrist sticky out thing though … maybe because you are supposed to practice in third position and if you play higher up it does stick out ! Who knows , it’s s mystery to me !
I think with the wrist, most people don't even realise that they are doing it, which is why it's not mentioned, I only found out because I watch very carefully what I see violinists doing.
You are correct about no hurry, its like Bonsai growing some things can't be hurried, and there is no point rushing anyway, take your time, enjoy the journey.
Definitely Stringy 😁 when I go into 1st position to try a bit of vibrato my wrist doesn’t want to stick out at first but if I make, it feels better, however it’s not coming naturally .my plan is to see if it comes more naturally. I’m finding that if I play around and try to speed things up or bring something like the sticking out wrist into the equation, the motion gets a bit distorted ! am I making sense 🤣
So anyway , I have got my Xmas video in and I am back practicing normal stuff again . I’m concentrating on Gymnopedie, I think it’s helping me with my bow distribution and because it’s lovely and slow, I can try to get a nice clear sound . My plan is to then eventually put some vibrato into some of the longer notes. But I actually think my vibrato practice is going ok … taking it really slowly. I practice the motion in 3rd position and if I feel like it go into first . It’s a mission but I will get there !! I find there are several motions you can go sideways along the neck toward the pegs or pull the finger more downwards !! It’s this kind of thing that confuses me . But then when I listen the sound I can’t really hear a difference . !! Also I think it’s quite an even sound. I think I just need to work on maintaining that ! For now anyway.