How To Practice Vibrato On Violin
03 februari 2022 
in How To

How To Practice Vibrato On Violin

Practicing vibrato, when to start?

Practicing vibrato is a common question I get from many beginners.
My first advise is not to start too soon.

Many methods, the Creative Violin Method too, start with "grips".
Those are the finger positions in the first position on violin.
These are the 1st and 2nd grip:


Basically these grips deal with all different combinations of fingerings, all set in the first position.
This is to let you get familiar with the feel of the first position, your left hand needs to be "set" for the violin.
The term "muscle-memory" is used, as we need to use our fingers as references points.

If you would start with vibrato too soon, then you will have more difficulty ย with the correct placement of the fingers.
The same goes for position-playing.
The higher the position, the closer the fingers should be placed towards one another, the references are different in the positions.
This is the reason to be patient and get through the first position correctly first, and yes, this will take time.
It is a process if you want to do it right, be patient.

That been said, master the 1st position first if you are a beginner, then it is time to start wobbling that left hand (and start with position playing).

How to start

The most important mindset is: be relaxed, no tension at all! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป
The more tension you put in your left hand, the more you will block the natural movement of the wrist, so loosen up everything and then start with the first exercises.
When you feel tension coming up (or even a little pain), stop, loosen up again and continue.
At first don't practice this more that 5 minutes.
You can do more in a day, but be sure to pauze after 5 minutes to ensure you keep the tension out. ๐Ÿ•–

Vibrato on violin

There are 2 kinds of vibrato:
1- Wrist vibrato
2- Arm vibrato

The arm vibrato is usually done by viola players, it is a bigger instrument, a 5th lower, so a slightly slower, wider vibrato is used.
The wrist vibrato is commonly used by violin players, higher pitches, faster vibrato.
That might sound like "old-school", and yes, that's correct.
More and more violin players have an arm vibrato.
This is a matter of taste, preference, you will choose the type that suits you best.

The video

How to study vibrato is a bit difficult to explain in writing, so I recorded this video for you in which I explain the best way to get the vibrato movement regular and correct.


About the author
My name is Xander Nichting, violinist (Classical / Modern), composer, arranger and teacher. I am author of the new violin method Creative Violin, from which I am teaching for about 4 years at this time.I am absolutely thrilled to see teachers all over the world starting to teach from this method because of its versatility. With this method and my online community I inspire students of all ages, 6-80+, to follow their dream and getting much joy from playing violin.Get creative, change your life is my motto. Playing violin does just that!
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