What you need to know to get
started and how to work on
developing a good vibrato
Steps for developing a vibrato:
• Step 1 – You need to develop a good arm
vibrato – this is the more consistent way of doing
it in modern day music.
• Arm Vibrato – move your arm as if you were
erasing something off of a blackboard.
• Now – Violin and Violas – move your arm so the
palm of your left hand is towards you and move
your arm as if waving goodbye towards you.
• Now – Cellos and bass- move your arm with
your palm facing your body in a up and down
• Now take your instruments
• Start with the waving motion on the instrument
• You must keep your had loose to have the
• Polish your instrument – basically slide your
finger by moving your hand and arm up and
down while your instrument is in position. Try it
will all 4 fingers on your instrument.
• Violins and violas can eventually narrow it down
to a finger vibrato, while cello and bass use are
• Now get your bow – try using the bow and
having the motion of your vibrato take
• You must keep your left arm and hand
loose in order for the vibrato to take place
• Don’t get frustrated at first if you do not
succeed – keep trying, it eventually will
Some Helpful Hints:
• Vibrato always goes on pitch – begins on
pitch goes below pitch returns to pitch –
always try for an even sound.
• 4 cycles per second is acceptable for
beginners – think of 8th notes
• Set a metronome at 60 and try to get 2
cycles of movement per click – change the
metronome to a faster number as you get
better with your vibrato.
Other Tips for getting started:
• Week one – use arm movement sliding
the arm up and down the neck of your
instrument for 1 minute per practice.
• Place your first finger on the fingerboard
and bend the joint closest to your nail back
and forth as quickly as possible for 1
• These steps will help set up your body for
a good vibrato.
Video with Vibrato:
• You are going to watch and work with the
• The students and instructor in the video
will demonstrate different steps and
techniques for developing your vibrato.
• Pay close attention to the steps and try to
do the vibrato along with the video.
• There is a watch and learn section and a
participation section on the video also.
From today’s Session:
• Learned about motion of the body to
• Took your knowledge developed and
applied it to doing vibrato
• Watched and tried Vibrato in class and
along with the video.
• Homework – Practice the steps on a daily
basis and your vibrato will develop.
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