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Mendy Smith

Another Vibrato Breakthrough

January 9, 2009 at 5:01 AM

Ahhh, one of my 2009 goals is starting to shape up - thanks to some of the recent discussions on vibrato.  While I had accomplished a moment of vibrato a month ago with my first finger on the Ging, it promptly disappeared and didn't come back again.  My 1st finger Cing vibrato still had no hope of happening it seemed.

Last night I tried out the hand position that Emily shared with us via photos on how to accomplish vibrato without a SR (I even tried sans rest to get this going, but I'm back with the rest now).  This was the magical moment - moving my thumb more under the neck and raising the viola just a little higher.  My first finger on the lower strings were finally freed from tension - though still having a slight contact with the neck - and I was able to get the correct hand/finger movements going, albeit slowly.  I must confess that I sat in front of my computer for at least an hour, holding my viola, and looking at those pictures, making those preliminary vibrato movements and going through the exercises that my teacher taught me to do.

Tonight, I tried it again.  Again, I started with that same hand position and my exercises.  After an hour or so (with a few breaks), a miracle happened.  I could do a first finger vibrato on the Ging, not just once, but repeatedly time and time again.  I then inched my finger over so I was doing a double-stop with the C and G string, and it was still vibrating nicely.  However, once completely on the Cing it became very tentative - BUT I could finally make those SLOW vibrato movements on the C string .  My hand was no longer locked into an unmoving position.

I'm so excited!  This is how the rest of my vibrato started happening over a year ago.  I feel a major break-through happening with some focused effort and studying.

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