How to Easily Do Vibrato on the Violin

Easily create a violin vibrato through a series of daily exercises routines designed to enhance your tone color and vibrato width. The optimal speed and character of a vibrato, like any other technique, must be learned in a structured, systematic manner. Several components must come together to reduce tension in your wrists, back, shoulders and neck if you want to have a high-quality sound. With practice, the vibrato will become an integral part of your technique.

Step 1 Stand up straight or sit at the edge of a chair with your feet planted shoulder width apart, your shoulders back and relaxed and your midsection firm.

Step 2 Hold the violin using the proper position. Your left hand should hold the neck with your finger depressing the note you would like to play with vibrato. Use a violin fingering chart if you are unsure of the correct fingering to know for a particular pitch. The bow should pivot between your right thumb and index finger while the rest of the fingers gently fold over the top of the bow.

Step 3 Ensure that your fingers are adequately warmed up and the room is not cold. Adequate heat between the fingers and the violin must be maintained to keep proper traction on the string. This can be achieved through playing several scales and conducting a proper warmup.

Step 4 Vibrate by rocking your left hand up and down towards the neck and bridge. Follow a circular motion that pivots with the main finger holding the string. Rock back and forth with your wrist turning subtly, approximately 1/2-inch. The finger should stay planted on the string while the hand rocks as quickly as possible. With time, you will increase the speed of the vibrato.

Step 5 Play three-octave scales in thirds with four notes per one complete bow stroke from the tip to the frog of the bow. Continue the vibrato and improve your ability to switch from one note to the next. For instance, a D major scale on the second string would start on D, move to F-sharp, down to E, up to G and so on through the entire three-octave range. This will help you to develop a strong vibrato by learning to move around the violin while using a vibrato.

Learning and improving your vibrato takes a significant amount of time. Ideally, you should practice vibrato exercises about one hour each day.


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