Arm Vibrato and First Position
I'm learning some more traditional American folk songs that are played entirely in the first position. My trouble is I'm also relatively new to the arm vibrato. I can do it in higher positions, but when I get to the first position, I don't have the stability to quickly find notes with only my thumb and finger tip(s) on the fingerboard providing support. Is this a problem for others and do you/should I switch to a finger/wrist vibrato or just practice, practice, practice?
Edit: I noticed Jay Ungar, the composer of Ashokan Farewell, uses what only appears to be a finger vibrato. Interesting.
Thank you all
Jay Ungar tends to bend his wrist or pancake the neck of the fiddle. This will probably restrict the use of arm or wrist vibrato. If you are doing the same, that could be your problem. A straight wrist should give you better results and enable you to shift to upper positions easier, too.
How long have you been playing?
And do you have a teacher?
I have a teacher but he teaches me fiddle rather than violin. With vibrato not being much of a fiddle technique, it's been self taught with the help of youtube. I live in a relatively low population area and I can't find any volin teachers. I first started messing around with the fiddle about 6 months ago by myself. Been having lessons for about half that.
Vibrato is usually first learned in third position.
What do you mean when you say you can't find notes quickly with only the thumb and finger tips on the board?
The statement "I don't have the stability to quickly find notes with only my thumb and finger tip(s) on the fingerboard providing support" suggests the problem is not vibrato, but more likely hand and arm position. Playing in 1st position on finger tips is the normal starting activity and the most common thing in violin playing. If you don't have stability to do this, your problem is hand and arm position.
For me, choice of vibrato is not so much a matter of position as finger. I find arm vibrato easier with my third finger than my first finger; conversely, first finger is easier for wrist vibrato. This is true regardless of position.