Hello. This is sort of a 2 part question.
Firstly, I struggle to vibrate on the C string on my viola and I'm unsure what it is. Anyone have any suggestions? Its something I've only noticed recently. On the violin G string its fine.
Secondly what type of vibrato do you have? In my opinion, there seems to be a divide between which countries teach what.
Please bear in mind the second one is for my own curiosity
My guess is that on the viola your left elbow is not far enough to the right due to the extra scale length.
Gordon's suggestion is good, make sure your left elbow is far enough round. Mine always right through the other side of the viola when using the C string, a bit hard to describe. Try watching some videos of other viola players and note where their elbow is placed when using the C string.
I agree with Gordon Shumway. Your hand position needs to make your C string vibrato possible.
"I let my entire left arm from elbow to finger tips be one relaxed elastic painless system."
Difficult subject these days, even with the best video. You really have to be there to assess and help the student.
Scott, I agree about squeezing. However there was a video I found on Youtube which gave a sort of test thing to find out if you're squeezing the neck, and I wasn't, so I don't think its that
If you can tilt your viola down a little more to the right it might be easier to get your fingers to the C string in a more comfortable position.
It has raised an interesting question for me. Although my teacher says I could could manage a 16" viola easily, I imagined that only meant concerning length. That I must also consider arm extension combined with reaching around for the C string is something I hadn't thought about, but I know you'll say my teacher must have thought about it.
I think it’s helpful to learn a wrist and arm vibrato. If I were playing with a cellist, a duet perhaps, it might be nice to mirror their style of vibrato a bit. It doesn’t have to be the same it might be helpful to have some convention in place. Not conformity per se but a shared vision.
I find wrist vibrato easier with my first finger, while arm vibrato is easier with my third finger. Second finger is up for grabs.
Jeewon wrote, "I prefer to tilt the instrument rather than crank the elbow to the right."
Regarding wrist and arm vibrato: what I've noticed is that people with long arms and large hands tend to prefer arm vibrato, while people with short arms and small hands tend to prefer wrist vibrato.
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