[Video] 5 Exercises to Learn Vibrato on the Violin or Viola
Would you like to learn vibrato on the violin?
Watch this video with 5 exercises that DO get you the beautiful vibrato you want on the violin.
Just trying to imitate other violinists or violists is NOT the way to learn vibrato.
Where to start learning vibrato?
Just imitating violinists is not the way to learn vibrato. Just wobbling around your finger without knowing what you should do, doesn’t give you a good vibrato. You need to do some preparatory exercises that teach you the motor skills for a good vibrato.
Violin Vibrato Exercise 1: Small Siren
Start doing this exercise with your third finger as it’s easiest, but practice the other fingers just as much after that. Pick a tone on a string. You keep your left thumb on the same spot on the neck of the violin and move your finger over the string while bowing.
The goal is not that this sounds good, but it’s an exercise that teaches you to move your wrist fluently in the direction of the string.
Vibrato has to move in the direction of the string.
If you move your finger from the left to the right, the movement itself can be good, but you won’t hear vibrato.
Do the small siren vibrato exercise with all fingers on all strings in different tempi. It’s important that you get control over the speed of this movement and that you can do it regularly and fluently.
Violin Vibrato Exercise 2: Clean the fingerboard
Put a dry cloth over your violin and clean your whole fingerboard in large movements. This teaches you the vibrato movement in large, making it easier for you to make a fluent motion and learn the movement.
Violin Vibrato Exercise 3: Big Siren
This is the same exercise as the small siren, but the movement is larger. You slide your thumb alongside the neck. You use your wrist, but also your lower arm to make the movement over the whole fingerboard.
If has to sound like fluent siren.
Violin Vibrato Exercise 4: Vibrato on the table
This one is very handy when you are on the road, in a boring meeting or at school.
Put your fingertip on a table, bend your finger and make a vibrato movement where you roll over the tip of your finger. The tip says in the same spot and you move around your fingertip. This is what you do in vibrato.
Do you want more vibrato exercise you can do anytime and anywhere without violin? Click here to watch my [Video] Silent Vibrato Exercises with or without Violin.
Violin Vibrato Exercise 5: From Siren to Vibrato
Repeat the small siren movement, make the movement smaller and smaller. At a certain moment you can put your finger tip on the same spot on the string and move your hand around your fingertip. Your fingertip rolls over the string back and forth, like in exercise 4 ‘vibrato on the table’.
Important is that you make a rhythmical and smooth movement. Practicing with a metronome in different rhythms and speeds will certainly help you getting this movement under control. You need to control the speed, as you won’t use the same vibrato in each piece of music. You need to be flexible in the color of your vibrato.
Take your time
Please keep in mind that it can take months of daily practice to learn to make gorgeous vibrato. These exercises will only help you if you apply them daily with attention.
What are your results from doing these exercises? Are they useful to you? Please let me know in the comments below!