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Learning Vibrato

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John Cadd
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Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 884
Location: Hoylake

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2024 7:40 am    Post subject: Learning Vibrato Reply with quote

The hard part of learning vibrato is to understand how well the human brain can adapt to very complicated movements.
With vibrato the combination of moving positions involving many hand and arm joints is not a simple thing to think about . To cut short all the complications there is a simple trick to help your brain to absorb a mass of information .
The equipment needed is just a piece of wood as long as a violin. Wooden dowel about one inch thick is ideal. Then wrap Double Sided tape round the dowel about where 3rd position would be.
The exersise is to hold one end of the wood under your chin and put your fingers where the tape is .Put a chair next to the table and rest your elbow on the table so you can concentrate on the vibrato .
Watch a video of David Oistrakh with the sound off to watch the left hand movements . If you can slow the video down that is even better . Put the vibrato on repeat as well .
The sticky double sided tape will cling onto your fingertips. Just work on one finger at a time. Keep all the finger joints relaxed .The thumb is also a vital part of vibrato . Keep those thumb joints loose as well .
Now you can copy the slow hand vibrato easily without any distractions .
Try to count how many joints in your hand are involved with Vibrato . The Thumb has 3 joints down to the wrist. The first finger has 4 joints to the wrist.
Later on you can work out the joints down to the elbow for "arm vibrato".
But for now this is for Wrist vibrato. Arm vibrato can be seen with Leonid Kogan . These two kinds of vibrato need to be practised separately as the joints and muscle combinations are similar but different enough to cause confusion . Give your poor old brain a better chance to learn the difference .
It needs a few weeks practice to get accustomed to learning vibrato .
So you have the first finger to start with. The second finger uses different joints and also different muscle combinations. The brain will remember the tiny joint positions in each movement for each finger.
How many joint position combinations are there for first finger vibrato ? Finger plus thumb equals Seven .
Second finger plus thumb equals another Seven . Third finger--another seven. Fourth finger -another seven .
Tot all that up .It`s 28 joint positions. Add in the main wrist movements. Your brain will register the angle change in each joint position without you ever thinking about it . So what about all the muscles involved in all this . You would need to be a surgeon to know all that .They will also be trained by your brain .
But copy the slow vibrato movements on the screen and let your brain calculate the complications for you .
It will learn better if you practice the exercise 2 times per day .
The 2 times per day is a program timing recommended for patients in balance therapy to allow the brain to adapt to new problems . The brain is an amazingly adaptable thing .We have to give it the best chance for vibrato .
I learned this vibrato way when I was 35 years old .. That was 45 years ago .
It took me 2 weeks to have a good vibrato . Really. two Whole Weeks .(twice a day ) Each session about 15 minutes . Not a lot . Try it .Sticky tape and a piece of wood .
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John Cadd
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Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 884
Location: Hoylake

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2024 5:52 am    Post subject: vibrato Reply with quote

To clarify my mention of Balance Therapy .The therapy reduces the balance to basic elementary movements to discover what part of the balance system needs correction . This includes eye coordination as well as head movements and whether your neck muscles are too stiff. The feet joints and muscles plus the leg joints are all included in the therapy . The brain can be helped to organise the body`s positions and movements to achieve the Balance that medical science has discovered over the years .Inside the ear`s balance system if the right side has a fault from a benign tumour it will affect hearing and balance , but the opposite side will reduce it`s performance to achieve a working equilibrium between the two balance mechanisms .
What this shows is how adaptable the brain can be to orchestrate all the body`s parts for such an abstract thing as balance .
With the simple use of a piece of wood and some sticky tape you have a way to hold the fingertips (and thumb pad )still and keep the finger joints loose while you do the easy , obvious hand movements .
It saves us the chore of trying to prompt our brains when the brain can interpret the sticky fingertip information and work the rest out for itself . It`s a perfect feedback situation .
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