The Wiggling Violin

July 25, 2004 at 02:50 AM · So, I'm trying to put vibrato on my fourth finger in the cadenza for the first mvt. of the Beethoven (Kreisler), and the joint is so close to the end of my finger when it is stretched like that. Plus, arm vibrato is useless because all motion is stopped at the wrist(or hand or arm) where it touches the violin. My wrist is so stretched out (I have tiny hands) that I can't use wrist. And my finger doesn't move unless I tense it up...Oh I'm sidetracked. So I decided to use 3rd finger for the octaves instead, which opened everything up. My problem is that when I vibrate, my violin moves around with the vibrato. This, in turn, causes (?) the stick of my bow to connect with the string, perhaps because I play with such an angle on the bow hair. Suggestions?

Replies (6)

July 25, 2004 at 04:07 PM · Greetings ,

concerning the wiggly violin syndrome the criticism is more often levelled than accurately resolved .A little movement is surely allowable.The use of a far smaller (vertically practiced) finger vibrato is probably the way forward,but Auer's perodical omission of vibrato can also highlight that some hand positions ( Dont etude intro for number 24 triple stopping simply not designed for kind ofvibrato that may be said to be continious).On the other hand too little left thumb counterpressure can cause the fourth finger to vertically strain ,resulting in an apparent scroll wobble .Wrist or arm Vibrato on the unisone F is not obligatory ,as I'm sure you appreciate.It is more a question of left arm rotation than "stretch" .There are the ususal Ysaye forte finger replacement excercises beginning with 4th (say on g in third position ,A string ) ,then replacing with 3rd ,2nd ,lastly 1st ,trying to get the same tone projection on each .Often practiced with the scroll stationary ,rested on the music stand ,or against a wall.Tapping excerises in "Basics" are also very helpful.Does your scroll wobble on 8ve (chromatic) glissandi ascending or descending?Usually more pronounced on one or the other...trick is to equalize finger pressure and counter pressure . Tapping from base joints ,starting 6 a second ,up to 9 ,Rolland style in 4th to 7 th position can also help .

There is also the question of if the violin is created for the vibrato ,or the other way around ,but I'm sure you have looked at this.


July 26, 2004 at 03:03 AM · Thanks, Mark. I'll fool around with it and find that balance.


July 26, 2004 at 04:45 AM · Just a couple of ideas when practice vibrato:

1. Put your violin scroll against a wall (Put something in between for protection) and start doing vibrato with all your fingers one by one in different rhythms (4ters, 8ts, triplets...etc...) on the four strings, starting on third position, just by your arm motion. Start with first finger then second (do not remove the first) and so long. This should help with the joints of the fingers. Keep your arm relaxed when doing this. Only takes like 10 minutes each day.

2. Do some wrist exercises, as if you had your violin in your hand just move your wrist back and forward with different rhythms as well-

DonĀ“t get tired with this, only takes a few minutes of "silence practice". Results will come with time, be patient.

Also you may want to analyze a little you hand position in higher places. Maybe is not a question of how can you stretch your hand but about pulling your arm from the elbow up to help the entire hand position get were you want.


October 14, 2004 at 09:10 PM · I used to get that a lot-but yeah, that scroll against the wall exercise really helps in concentrating on the exact movement of your fingers, wrist and arm.

I also found that the wiggling died away when my fourth finger got stronger in doing vibrato. So, work on strengthening your fourth finger!I found an exercise which strengthened the last finger which really helped:you touch your fourth finger to your thumb so you get a circular space and then flatten and open the circular space by bending your finger and thumb.

You should feel after a few times in doing that warm your muscles at the bottom of your 4th finger, which means you have worked it.

Hope that helps!

October 15, 2004 at 03:11 AM · Also, make sure you are not grabbing your violin between your thumb and the side of your hand.

October 16, 2004 at 06:58 AM · It's okay imo if the violin moves a bit during vibrato.

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