Printer-friendly version
Mendy Smith

First Finger Vibrato - A Breakthrough

January 24, 2008 at 4:49 AM

So here I am, on duty to "babysit" a huge database transfer from China to the US tonight (yes, we have one of those long mind-numbing nights ahead of us again). I'm sitting in my home office (the "wall" behind the computer is a large mirror) watching this thing chug along at a snails pace while doing my scales and Yost exercises with vibrato, doing my best to keep Bolero out of my head. I have HOURS to practice excercises tonight that I've memorized (I got to keep an eye on the computer, so no Hummel practice tonight).

I started watching my hand in the mirror and noticed how my first finger vibrates nicely in 3rd posistion. So I slowed it down to the same rate as this file trasfer (easy to do in this mental state) and started noticing the smallest details. Aha! I think I figured it out!!!! So I start inching my hand down to first position. Guess what!!!! I figured it out!!!!!! WHOOOHOOOO!!! Sped it up.... still works!! Move down to the Ding... still works! Move to the G.... ok, gotta work on that one. But, I know how to tackle the lower strings now, so this will come in time after I get more confidence on the A and D string.

OK, here was the trick.... when I play with my 1st finger in most positions my finger is is sort of flattened a bit naturally (not perched up like my other fingers). I just had to "flatten" it just a little bit more (like collapsing when you are tired, and I'm TIRED right now), with my thumb a bit more towards the scroll, more towards the base of the scroll BEHIND my first finger by about the same distance as it is when vibrating on my 2nd finger. The only fingers that have been vibrating up to this point were those that where up the fingerboard from my thumb....

So there we have it! A first finger vibrato in first position - FINALLY!!!! The experiements with my teacher yesterday on thumb position got me to looking at thumb to finger relationships. "Scientific Observation" comes through again.

Back to file transfer babysitting and vibrato scales & shifts.... ::::sigh::::::
From sharelle taylor
Posted on January 25, 2008 at 9:01 PM
Mendy, thanks. timely post. I had noticed myself a couple of weeks ago about the thumb position - I could only get a movement going on third finger, then when I slid my thumb up to the between 2nd and 3rd f, I could vibrate 2nd f. But first is just so...
I'm going to disect it more, in light of what you have found.

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Violin Finder
Yamaha Violin Finder

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases


Vsound: Electric Violin Pedal

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Potter Violins

Pro-Am Strings

Violin Lab

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop