Question regarding vibrato

May 25, 2021, 2:52 PM · Hi,
So I have been playing the violin for two years and and I just started learned vibrato. I have a list of exercises. However, I am confused regarding one thing. When doing wrist vibrato, do you move your wrists back and fourth and just keep that first joint of the fingers loose and let it move passively along the wrist's movement. Or do you move both the wrist and the first joint actively simultaneously. I might be overthinking it, but I hope I can get something to clear this confusion.
Thank you :)

Replies (4)

May 25, 2021, 3:02 PM · I believe it is the action of the wrist/arm. The joints in the finger and wrist should be loose and relaxed
May 25, 2021, 3:40 PM · Check out NATHAN COLE online here:

Toward the end of the video he demonstrates 4 exercises from Simon Fischer's book "Warming up" - these exercises can be done without using the bow just to loosen up your left hand and arm. Cole says he does these warmups before playing - and I tried it starting the other day and (by gosh) I had a vibrato as soon as I started to make noise (i.e., used my bow) instad of having to wait for it to develop.

Whether you eventually develop an arm vibrato or a hand/finger vibrato, hand and finger flexibility will be critical.

May 25, 2021, 4:03 PM · The motion is the same as knocking on a door (quietly, not banging with your whole arm.) It is best to do the beginning hand vibrato in 3rd or 4th position with the wrist contacting the upper bout of the violin. The motion is also similar to waving goodby (but not the way the Queen of England does it.)
Edited: May 25, 2021, 9:19 PM · greetings,
part of the problem, which is not your fault, is a psychological/physiological misunderstanding. Noticed that in his post, Dr Berg called it a hand vibrato. This is absolutely correct of course and these days, thankfully, More and more teachers are calling it hand vibrato. It is not a wrist vibrato, it is the hand waving. Concomitant with this waving the finger collapses and stands up again at the first joint near the fingernail. That is why it is essential to make sure that these joints are very relaxed. This is such an important point that even many professionals make a habit of checking these joints regularly during practice. As mentioned above, the Nathan Cole demonstration of Simon Fischer’s work should make it all extremely clear.

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