A Natural Approach to Vibrato

The notion of natural this or natural that is a modern day phenomenon attributed to everything from food to hair products.

rozanna photo1

Violist Rozanna Weinberger

When referring to viola or violin vibrato, there is a vague notion of somehow playing with less tension. But I would prefer to attribute naturalness to incorporation of motion studies utilizing intrinsic functionality of skeleton and muscles. How does this relate to vibrato one may ask.

Motion Study for Left Hand Vibrato:

1. Bend the elbow of the left hand and bring around the hand as if playing an imaginary viola or violin.

2. Begin to move hand forward and backwards from wrist. Do this for a few seconds then relax the left arm down to ones side side.

3. Elevate the arm as in step 1.

4. Begin moving forearm forwards and backwards from the elbow.

5. Allow hand and wrist to relax while step 4. is being followed. Notice what happens to the wrist and hand. They will begin to move in response to the momentum created in the elbow and forearm rather than being the source of the movement as in step 2.This cause and effect relationship is similar to the effect a pebble has  when thrown into a pond. There are ripple effects.

Which method of causing the wrist and hand to move was easier and comfortable? The answer to that question can also form the basis of a natural vibrato.

by Rozanna Weinberger

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