Vibrato is an expressive device.
The ability to play with a consistent vibrato is essential for the
string player. Learning vibrato is not difficult,
if the joints are flexible and free from tension. Learning to use vibrato
as an effective expressive device takes considerable practice and a developed
sense of musical judgement.
The Three Stages of Vibrato
1) The teacher should develop
an expectation in the student's ears by modeling for the students a
beautiful sound w/ vibrato. This should begin from Day 1.
2) Students learn the mechanics
3) The students learn how
to place vibrato into a musical context.
These are the prerequisite
skills for vibrato:
1) Endurance - students should be able to play for at least 2 minutes without getting tired or fatigued
2) Independence of hands - this can be demonstrated by the ability to play slurs, e.g., one octave scales in one bow, and the ability to play siren game - shifting hand around while bowing
3) Ear training is at intermediate
Vibrato that Create Flexibility in the Hand
for shifting were discussed in the section on Left
Hand Position, including
strumming and tapping exercises in low and high positions, and "chutes" for
cello and bass. As students' skills develop, you can present them
with more challenging activities
that encourage flexibility in the left hand and prepare them for vibrato.