Ask Harry WimmerQ & A#4
Can Vibrato be taught?
|Q. When I was a student, I was told,
"just shake your hand and vibrate!"
There must be a better way!?
A. My teacher, a famous performer with a lovely tone, also told me
pityingly that Vibrato could not be taught.
I realized much later that he was trying to say that the EMOTION in Vibrato (that which expresses intensity, passion, accent , nuance, excitement) was too personal to be teachable.
What can be taught is the mechanical MOTION of Vibrato, and that can cover control of speed, width, evenness, continuity and relaxation of the motion etc. etc..
The type of Vibrato that gives you the greatest speed and control is the Hand Vibrato (Hand-Arm Rotation) Here is a basic exercise that might be of help:
Step 1:Try the motion in the air
Using the Thumb as pivot, (touching Middle Finger),
ROLL THE COMPLETE LOWER ARM UNIT TOWARD YOU (Fig 1).
NOW ROLL IT AWAY FROM YOU, returning to original position.
Step 2:Play slow whole bows
* 2nd Finger pitch goes about 1/4 note below (flat) and returns to Eb
NOTE: Play on fleshy finger pad.
Roll with a relaxed motion but don't let up on contact.
IMAGE: Cat meowing, siren sounds, gooey, "sticky" like molasses.
Repeat on G - D - A Strings
NOTE: Thumb remains where comfortable for pivoting, does not squeeze.
NOTE: 3rd Finger stays on string for support, other fingers close.
Step 3:Once the relaxed, even vibrato motion has been achieved, it can be speeded up by playing four groups of on a Whole Bow, then 's, 's etc.
There is much more to this, but beyond the scope of this Q & A.
The important thing to remember: the Vibrato motion CAN be taught!
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