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Vibrato

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 Development

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 of vibrato.

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 level

Exercises for Vibrato that Create Flexibility in the Hand

Several precursors 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.

 

 

POSTURE INSTRUMENT SIZINGINSTRUMENT POSITION

BOW HOLDBOW STROKE INTERMEDIATE RIGHT HAND SKILLSADVANCED RIGHT HAND SKILLS

LEFT HAND POSITIONSHIFTINGVIBRATOADVANCED LEFT HAND SKILLS

 

 
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