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Drew Lecher

“GPS” –– 2.2c Shifting plus Vib tip

December 23, 2007 at 6:17 AM

From Mendy Smith
Posted from on December 23, 2007 at 1:09 AM (GMT)
Drew - I adjusted my shoulder-rest so that my viola was a bit more parallel to the floor, and viola! I see what you mean now! The first time I shifted from 1st to 6th, I overshot the note by a mile (I think I launched into 8th position instead :) BUT my hand stayed in the right position and I wasn't struggling around Hilda's shoulders. :)
Thanks for the advise!! [EDIT]


Hilda will be happier and reward you with sweeter tones just in time for Christmas. That and the smooth zippier shifts should help your Christmas wish list :-)

ARM & FINGER VIBRATO via the wrist & finger joints: (Another Christmas wish:-)
I will get to the vibrato thing more again later, but meanwhile pretend you are holding your viola and just shake your fist, held loosely and without the hand wildly flopping back and forth — keep the action in the form of a slide on your now level strings (shift-like). Only allow a minimum of wrist reaction and speed up the vibrato action by shortening the distance or range of motion. Hand should be mouth/nose high; the complete arm will be used.

Vibrato is like short little slide-less shifts, its sibling, rolling the fingertips with the arm’s action — downward first with finger rolling and slight elongation and then return to the start. Initially do a slow, even move and then some little repeated series — slowly 1, 2, 3 per bow stopping vibrato before the end of stroke — continue playing the straight pitch after the slow vib — and with the change to a new bow suddenly burst the movement into high speed for the next bow. Stop the high-speed vibrato at the end of the stroke — flow into the next change and repeat the recipe until taste is exactly what you wish — test with ear and add frosting as needed:-) Eventually do 2 bows and more with high speed shifts and no modification of vibrato during the bow change.

This works easiest if you begin in the 5th or 3rd position. Under no circumstances can you rest your hand on the shoulder of the instrument during the cooking — it will flop. The arm and the fingers will be in danger of undoing each other as they enter the territory of opposing motion.

Also, take a glance at my earlier blog VIVA VIBRATO!!!

Have a blessed Christmas —

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