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Does anyone else experience this problem while using Vibrato?
When I try to play with vibrato when my hands are dry, my fingers keep sliding up and down the strings. How can I correct this?
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Gordon Shumway
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April 7, 2021 - 4:19 am
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As far as I am aware, water is very bad for your instrument, so keep your hands dry..

I'm sorry, but I am a finger-vibrato cynic. Ask yourself about the angle your little finger would have to make to a string for those pictures to make any sense. Most of the time your little finger is perpendicular to the string.

Is it possible that the OP vibrates from the elbow with a rigid wrist and thus over-exaggerates the motion? I'd suggest keeping the whole arm loose/supple and focusing on the wrist, extending to the fingers or the elbow later for special purposes.

Let me rephrase that last para. I suspect that arm vibrato is more important on the viola. But try it with a loose wrist, not with a rigid one.

Andrew

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Elwin
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Gordon Shumway said
As far as I am aware, water is very bad for your instrument, so keep your hands dry..

I'm sorry, but I am a finger-vibrato cynic. Ask yourself about the angle your little finger would have to make to a string for those pictures to make any sense. Most of the time your little finger is perpendicular to the string.

Is it possible that the OP vibrates from the elbow with a rigid wrist and thus over-exaggerates the motion? Id suggest keeping the whole arm loose/supple and focusing on the wrist, extending to the fingers or the elbow later for special purposes.

  

I do not drench my hands, and I make sure that my finger board is wiped down every time. When my hands are dry, they tend to shrivel and that's a part of what gave me vibrato problems. When my hands sweat a little, or warm up/moisturize, that's when they return to normal, and my vibrato problems pretty much disappear. 

That video talking about the finger joints was not advocating finger vibrato. It is just explaining how to loosen the finger joints, which is necessary for a good vibrato, regardless if you use arm, wrist or finger. I am also someone who does not use finger vibrato. My viola teacher is a finger-vibrato advocate, which was kind of weird. My string major friends all recommend arm vibrato, because it is the most natural. I have met some wrist-vibrato people as well. 

Yes, I use arm vibrato, but I keep my arm loose. Usually, I feel movement from my trapezius when I'm using vibrato. I have tried wrist, but it doesn't change the pitch enough. This video helped me with Arm Vibrato: https://www.youtube.com/watch?.....lpA9YuczpU

I use wrist vibrato in the upper positions when my hand is over the body of the instrument, just because my viola is a little big for me, and using arm vibrato is nearly impossible.

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Gordon Shumway
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April 7, 2021 - 6:04 am
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4th-finger.pngImage Enlarger 

I was talking about these pictures. How are they going to help?

Andrew

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Yes, it sort of makes sense for the other fingers, but not so much for the pinky (good thing too - there's hope left for me !) The violin lab video cleared things up a bit, thank you @stringy . I'll just keep practicing and relaxing.

And sorry @Elwin, your original question was different, I didn't mean to deviate.

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Fiddlerman
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April 8, 2021 - 3:11 pm
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I definitely understand your issue Elwin. Dry fingers are not great for playing vibrato. A non fatty hand moisturizer is advisable. I don't remember which ones are the good ones but they make a huge difference.
I used them occasionally when playing full time professionally. Especially when I lived in Sweden where it was extra dry in the winter.

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Jim Dunleavy
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April 9, 2021 - 10:39 am
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Fiddlerman said
I definitely understand your issue Elwin. Dry fingers are not great for playing vibrato. A non fatty hand moisturizer is advisable. I don't remember which ones are the good ones but they make a huge difference.

I used them occasionally when playing full time professionally. Especially when I lived in Sweden where it was extra dry in the winter.

  

That's interesting Pierre. I have a problem with my thumb slipping on the neck when my hands are dry; as soon as I start vibrating the neck tends to drop into the bottom of the 'v' between my thumb and first finger. It causes my left hand to really tense up, but it never happens on hot, sticky days.

I was worried if I used hand cream it might soak into the violin neck and damage it, but obviously not (if you use the right stuff that is).

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