Written by The Weekend Vote
Published: June 12, 2015 at 8:55 PM [UTC]
In an article this week about a left-hand technique class taught by Kurt Sassmannshaus at the Starling-Delay symposium, the subject of arm vs. hand vibrato came up. Sassmannshaus was saying that, if a student develops a good arm vibrato, it can be hard to convince that student to also develop a wrist vibrato.
That made me curious! What percentage of people do exclusively either wrist or arm vibrato? And among those who do both, which kind of vibrato is most dominant? And just to describe them: In a wrist vibrato, the hand moves back and forth from the wrist. In an arm vibrato, the forearm moves from the elbow, and the wrist is not moving.
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I said mostly wrist since my teacher really does not want me to use much arm yet.
Edit: I see from the other blog post that Sassmannshaus does teach wrist vibrato first as well. I watched his little video on a starting vibrato exercise, that is exactly how my teacher trains his students.
Is arm vibrato associated with louder, bigger sound (and perhaps increasing intensity)? Is wrist associated with a specific sort of musical expression? Or are the two vibrati differentiated perhaps by position on the instrument more than by musical application?
I was taught that in spite of (because of?) the use of the larger muscles, arm vibrato can give you a sharp, intense "pulse" of vibrato on a shorter note, for example, in a sforzando situation. What do y'all pros/teachers think of that idea?
It's a long, slow process, but at least I feel like I'm getting somewhere now.
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