Free your inner vibrato challenge
You might remember I participated in the violin exercise challenge before, organized by Heather Broadbent. Now, every month she organizes a 5 day challenge. This month it was about free your inner vibrato. I was very excited to get started with the challenge! Because of course, every violinist wants to have a good vibrato.
For every day, Heather Broadbent prepared an instructional video which you can check out on her channel.
The participants of the challenge discussed their progress and questions in her Facebook group. It’s very motivating to see everybody work hard to improve. Here are the things I wrote for each day and a short video showing what I did in day 1 and in day 5.
Free your inner vibrato challenge: day 1
The 4 oscillations felt a bit weird to me… maybe because it is so slow. But it’s a great exercise. I notice I have to focus more on the “Action – Reaction” part. Sometimes I forget or don’t feel that my vibrato comes from the wrist instead of from the finger. I will keep this in mind.
Then I did the 1 minute per finger on the A string. 1 minute is a long time LOL Then 2 minutes for 4th finger is extremely long!!! I will keep doing this exercise, I’m very curious to see how my vibrato will progress with it. Very excited for tomorrow’s challenge.
Free your inner vibrato challenge: day 2
I liked the 8 oscillations per bow more than the 4 from yesterday. Felt a bit more natural. I tried to focus on the relationship between the finger and the thumb and it felt pretty relaxed. I notice when I try with 4th finger that the inner part of my hand does touch the neck, i.e. I don’t have a free space as with my other fingers… I don’t know if that is OK…
Then I worked on slow vibrato with C Major scale in 2nd position, since I’ve been working on learning 2nd position for quite some time now. I do like the sound of the vibrato most on the G and D string. Seems like it resonates most there. On the E string I often have squeaks while doing vibrato, so that’s something to work on.
Oh and more thing, while working on the E string, I experimented a bit with arm vibrato too (it’s not in the video) because wrist vibrato with first finger feels weird. And it actually felt very good to play with arm vibrato. I tried all 4 fingers with arm vibrato on the E string and I liked it! But in the end I decided to stick with the wrist vibrato since I’ve been at it for a year or so and I think I should first get that one down before learning a different type. But it’s certainly fun to experiment!
Free your inner vibrato challenge: day 3
I did journal today for each finger on each string. Very interesting! The E string was most horrible for all 4 fingers… I liked G and D string the best, D string being the most comfortable.
I tried to constantly think of the action coming from the wrist, not from the fingers. It’s helping sooo much! I feel my fingers are much more relaxed. AND because of that I was able to have a faster vibrato than ever!! It’s still not very fast, but faster than I could do before and nicer, so I’m very very happy with that. Looking forward to keep working on my vibrato.
Free your inner vibrato challenge: day 4
Today was a disaster!!! I got into this negative spiral and nothing worked…
I did work on my vibrato for about 15 minutes but I didn’t feel the freedom I felt yesterday. Maybe because I’m tired and it’s so hot here today and with high humidity. Not the ideal circumstances to focus om my vibrato.
Free your inner vibrato challenge: day 5
Luckily today was a better than yesterday! Today I repeated the challenge for day 4. I also tried today’s challenge but it’s still too difficult to change the speed and wideness. So I mainly focused on yesterday’s challenge. My fastest vibrato is really not that fast yet LOL But it feels more free than before.
From this challenge I understand I will have to keep working on my vibrato for a long time and dedicate time to it every day (which I didn’t do before, sometimes I worked on it for a couple of weeks, then a couple of weeks not, resulting in not much progress…). I knew that before but somehow hoped there would be some kind of magical trick in the challenge to learn vibrato fast. But of course it’s impossible to fix a vibrato in 5 days!
I did learn from the challenge what I have to work on from now and that’s something good! It will take a lot of determination to keep working on it! I think it’s the hardest thing to learn on the violin (for me at least and at this point). Also today again at some point I did arm vibrato for my first finger and I had to force myself to stick to wrist vibrato. So maybe in the next weeks I should try and figure out if it wouldn’t be better to learn arm vibrato.
Well as you can see, lot’s of things to explore and to work on. The videos and exercises from the Free Your Inner Vibrato challenge will certainly keep me busy for a while