Which form of vibrato should I practice as a Beginner? (can play both arm and hand)
I've been playing violin for 14 months.
I practice for atleast 2 hours everyday.
My teacher is an incredible cello player, who can also play violin but cannot play vibrato on it.
I was able to develop Arm vibrato after some effort (and have been practicing it for 5-6 months). For some inexplicable reason, I find hand (or wrist) vibrato more natural (perhaps because of shorter vibrato frequencies involved). After hours of painful efforts, I could finally play the hand vibrato too.
As a newbie violinist, which vibrato, in your opinion, should I develop. The arm or the hand?
I do acknowledge that a violinist should be able to play both forms of vibrato (and the choice of vibrato might depend upon the sort of music that is being played), but take into account the fact that I have been playing violin for only 14 months. On the other hand, I can do both forms of vibrato, and therefore, can swing either way as far as 'form of vibrato' is concerned.
In my practice sessions, I practice both forms of vibrato (same piece (usually Handel's Largo), with different vibrato each time) But I have no clue whether its the right way to go about practicing vibrato as a beginner. I therefore, require suggestions.
Adyita, there is a related question, to which I do not have a definite answer: is arm vibrato a relatively recent innovation?
My teacher stresses learning wrist vibrato first. Not sure why, but I've heard other teachers say that the problem with learning arm vibrato first is that it becomes a crutch because the motion is less nuanced, and that makes learning wrist vibrato more difficult later on. I'm an amateur so I don't really know. Maybe some of the pros and teachers will weigh in.
I agree with both previous writers - however, over the long haul (i.e., the rest of your life) ability for hand/wrist/finger vibrato will serve you better toward the end. Finger vibrato works very well in the higher positions(i.e., 5th and higher).
@Trevor, He's perhaps the only qualified western classical music teacher in my city (or perhaps in the entire country). I belong to a very remote place, where nobody has come across any of the western classical instruments. (A person asked me to open violin-case and upon seeing the violin, he exclaimed "Oh it's guitar with a stick")
In the end, I would use a vibrato that is effective and suits you and the music. You can also do a combo vibrato (involving both arm and hand).
Adiya, I wasn't aware of the problems you have in finding a teacher where you live, and am sorry to hear about that situation, but fortunately there is good help available on the internet.
You can search for threads on "online lessons" to get more insight on online instruction.
To me it seems that the main reason for beginners to get stuck with the learning of vibrato is the lack of flexibility and strength in the left hand fingers. It doesn't matter so much, if you move your wrist in a good matter, or do a good arm movement, as long as the fingers can't really translate the movement into the string. Usually the problem is, that the fingers fall too vertically on the string and the last finger joint is locked that way.
It is normal that one form of vibrato comes more naturally to you than the other. That is the case with most people. I have found it best when teaching vibrato to concentrate on the one that comes naturally to the student first and to develope that. Then, later, it is a lot easyer to develope the other one because many aspects are similar.
I like your approach, Vivien. Every violinist's vibrato style is different for a multitude of reasons.
Whatever type of vibrato (hand, finger, wrist, arm, or any combination thereof) allows you to flatten and then retune your note multiple times per second - without disrupting your frame and the flow of your music - is the best vibrato to learn first. In this way, you can learn to use vibrato effectively and beautifully without giving up the more important things, like bow control, tempo, rhythm, and base intonation. Later on you can add more muscle movements to your vibrato to make it more "wristy" or "army" or whatever.
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