How to do Vibrato on the Violin | Violin Lounge TV #302
This short video is filled with exercises to learn a beautiful vibrato on the violin. Enjoy!
Vibrato is one of the most important tools of expression on the violin
What is vibrato and what is it NOT?
You don’t want to slide, pinch or shake. Vibrato is rolling over your finger tip, so you change the pitch up and down by lengthening and shortening the vibrating string. Sounds and looks easy, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately it takes quite some effort to develop a good vibrato. The good news is that with the right exercises you can learn it too!
How long does it take to learn vibrato on the violin?
It takes certainly 10 weeks of daily practice to develop a basic vibrato. The consistency of your practice is key, even if it’s just a couple of minutes a day. It takes one to two years to perfect your vibrato and be able to adjust it to the music you make.
Exercises to learn vibrato on the violin
1) Big Siren
In the big siren you slide your finger over de whole string, like I demonstrate in the video above. Fluent round movements with relaxed arm, wrist and fingers are key here. Do this with every combination of string and finger.
2) Small Siren
Make the big siren movement smaller and smaller until you can keep your thumb in the same place. This is the small siren. Only proceed to this exercise when the movement is really fluent and regular. When you perform the small siren in the fourth or fifth position, it can be a bit easier as you have support from the violin.
If you notice tension, go back to the big siren. Don’t rush it. Go back and forth until you really get it right.
3) Work towards a real vibrato
Make the small siren movement smaller and smaller until you can leave your finger tip in the same spot and roll over your finger tip. Now you can have a vibrato sound. Maybe the tempo is still to low or it’s not regular, but you can work on that later.
You can practice the vibrato movement with the violin or your lap. Also you can train your finger by placing it on the soundboard. You can also do this on the table, so you can practice vibrato anywhere you want.
4) Practice vibrato with a metronome
Start with 4 vibrato movements a beat at 60 beats per minute. Only speed it up if you have a good quality vibrato. Once you are at 100 beats per minute, you have full control over your vibrato.
I’d love to teach you more!
Share in the comments below how your vibrato is developing!