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Vibrato Update

Posted by mudbug on Wednesday, April 4, 2012

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It's been two years since I began trying to work up a vibrato which I started working on after playing for a year.  A beautiful,  rich vibrato (think Aly Bain) was something that I really wanted to achieve,  which in my mind was as important as intonation and tone.  Since I hadn't settled on a "style"  and don't attend jams,  working up a large repertoire and playing fast wasn't a priority for me.

The first year,  I was working on just getting my hand to do the movement required,  all fingers on all strings.  It was forced and very nervous sounding,  but the movement got solidified.  This past year,  I've been working on controling the movement,  as far as width of movement and speed of the hand.   "speed"  meaning the parameters from slow to fast. 

I'm finally starting to get that gentle,  shimmering vibrato which was in my mind from the beginning.  Some fingers are still easier than others,  but I'm sure that will come in time.  So,  if anyone,  has the desire like I did for a wonderful vibrato,  please don't lose heart.  Keep at it.  Maybe it won't take you 2 years to start getting an inkling of what you're after,  like it did me,  but if you want it bad enough to work on it daily,  it will come. 

A word of caution.  This will cause you to want to play aires and waltzs that just sing.

8 comments on “Vibrato Update”

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 @10:00:51 AM

Good good, Steve. I've come up with my "VIBRATO NOW!!!!" method. In a nutshell...(shell we say in a nutty way) it's this. 1)Drink five cups o' thick coffee. 2)HOld out your left hand. Does it shake? If so, 3) Play your fiddle and enjoy the vibrato. If your left hand is not shaking, drink another five cups.

mudbug Says:
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 @11:42:43 AM

Now, you tell me, Curt! That would have saved me two years of work.

nancymae Says:
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 @2:27:10 PM

Excellent Mudbug!!! I've recently was blessed with a starting's in its infancy, but still there! It's a wonderful thing learning and mastering something at this stage life!! Enjoy!!!

Rene Says:
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 @7:02:50 PM

Your my kind of man Humbled....I've found that they just don't make coffee like they use to (must be adding cat litter as a filler) as it takes about 20 to give me that VS (vibrato shake)

martynspeck Says:
Thursday, April 5, 2012 @8:06:24 AM

Humbled, Are you drinking a brand of coffee that can make your left hand shake but not your right?

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Friday, April 6, 2012 @4:53:24 PM

The trick is to drink LEFTover coffee.

QueenBee Says:
Monday, April 30, 2012 @1:19:34 PM

Any instruction to a newbie Mudbug? Ive not got to this in my studies yet, but am just dyin' to learn it!

mudbug Says:
Tuesday, May 1, 2012 @3:20:13 AM

Hey, Queenie! What I did was watch all the vibrato tutoring vids many times. I found it easier with a shoulder rest, at first, although I've since ditched it. Third position is easier to start getting the movement down as your wrist is naturally kind of pancaked, butted up to the body of the fiddle. Just work on getting your wrist to make the movement. Don't worry about smoothness or speed at this point. Just force your wrist to wiggle. Work all the fingers on all the strings. 10 minutes a day. Gradually work in first position and eventually straightening out your wrist from pancaking and relaxing. If you want it bad enough, don't get frustrated, just keep at it. Some here, say that it just magically appeared for them at some point in their playing, but others have been playing for years without it appearing. I favor the pro-active approach over waiting on the "fiddle-fairy" to make her appearance. :-)

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