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I started playing the violin when I was 21 ,played for 10 years,but never leaned the proper technics for a proper vibrato. Having watched do's and don'ts about vibrato ,it clear to get rid of that "death grip" with the left hand as some instructors call it. I'm 60 yo now ,and on my bucket list is to developer a nice vibrato, even if it takes several years. Here's the problem, no matter how hard I try,it's almost impossible in the first position to maintain ANY clearance between inside of first finger and fingerboard on the "d" string,without feeling a ton of stress or tension . I have 3 daughters ,so for a experiment I asked my 25 yo, if she could hold the violin and touch the e on the d string with her first finger. She easily did it with a lot of clearance and no stress, same with the 28yo,, her first finger easily could do the same. With the 30 yo, she was the same as me,there was no way she could hold the first finger on the d, without she said, " she felt her elbow was going to come apart". Do you think there are people like me whose wrist or elbow joints prevent them from vibrating on the lower d and g strings.? . I thought if I spent a1/2 hr a day just holding the violin with my first finger on the e on the d string ( even though it kills my arm and elbow) maybe eventually my joints might loosen up enough to get some clearance? I would hate to have a nice vibrato everywhere else, but scared to play any long notes on the lower g and d. Do you think I am wasting my time hoping my arm will configure itself?
Thanks; dean Wittick
So you were 21 and played for 10 years, and then stopped, and now your 60.
How long have you been playing for now?
The death grip is for sure a terrible thing and it will kill any possibility to vibrate.
Now you wrote that there is no clearance between the inside of your first finger and the neck/fingerboard when you play on the 'D' string.
I take it that the same is true on the 'G' string as well?
Naturally it is real hard for me to diagnose your problem without looking at the way you are standing and holding your fiddle, but I am guessing that your fingers are too low or being inpeded by the position of it.
Watch some old videos of Milstein or Heifetz (YouTube) where the camera zooms in on their left hand and you will see how high the wrist and fingers are. This gives greater freedom to the fingers to move rapidly and vibrate in all positions on all strings.
Also notice how they position their fiddles, this has much to do with giving the left had the freedom to do what it has to do Dean.
Hope this is of some help.
P.S. Dean ask someone to take a photo of you holding you violin and attach it to your reply please.