Violin Pinky Vibrato Tips to Sound Great | Violin Lounge TV #481

by | Jun 27, 2022 | Learn Vibrato | 2 comments

Train your pinky and get a beautiful lush fourth finger vibrato on the violin

These tips and exercises are helpful for all pinky problems:

Video content:

  • 01:11 prepare the pinky
  • 01:39 what Hilary Hahn teaches
  • 02:42 stretch exercise for adult beginners
  • 04:56 pinky strength exercise
  • 06:37 straight or arched pinky?
  • 09:50 Mendelssohn violin concerto pinky analysis
  • 10:56 pinky vibrato in high positions
  • 13:24 lift the other fingers
  • 14:39 match the sound exercise

Violin pinky problems

A beautiful vibrato with the fourth finger on the violin is only possible if that pinky functions well.

What Hilary Hahn teaches a lot in her masterclasses is to have a strong and arched pinky. To achieve this the left hand should be balanced in the direction of the pinky. Read more in this article about Hilary Hahn’s pinky.

In violin technique exercises, like scales and Schradieck, lots of times the emphasis is on the stronger part of the hand, while we should train the weaker part. Left hand pizzicato is great for that. Learn more exercises in this video about my espresso practice routine for when I have little time.

Most pinky problems can be solved by changing your left arm and hand posture, so your knuckles are more in line with the neck of the violin and your finger tips come from above. In that way your pinky doesn’t have to cross such a distance.

Hi! I'm Zlata

Classical violinist helping you overcome technical struggles and play with feeling by improving your bow technique.

Violin vibrato with the fourth finger

An arched pinky is great for efficient left hand technique in fast passages. For vibrato on longer notes in cantilena passages however, you need more of the pad of the pinky, so you can create a wider vibrato.

To allow vibrato with the pad of the pinky, the pinky could be placed straight or almost straight.

Lifting the other fingers can help a lot with fourth finger violin vibrato.

Violin pinky vibrato in high positions

Especially in high positions, the posture of your left arm and hand is very important. Embrace the violin with your arm. If you shift up, make sure that you don’t only shift in the direction of your nose, but that you move your elbow to the right and up. In this way your fingers can be arched, falling on the fingerboard from the top and your knuckles are in line with the fingerboard.

Let me know in the comments which tip was most helpful for you!


  1. JD

    Pinky vibrato is hardly the main thing I am jealous about of Hilary Hahn’s playing 🙂

    • Zlata

      Haha, aren’t we all?


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