Vibrato and Bow Hand Flexibility Practice + Wohlfahrt no 8

I uploaded a video of my technical practice session today~

I still need to work on bowing straight. Should really focus on that again because I’m not actively practicing that. Strangely when I play with my teacher she keeps telling me to pull the elbow more towards me to straighten the bow but when I record it often looks like I would have to put my arm more forward to straighten it and never the other way round. It’s frustrating. I have a tool to practice straight bows but I don’t like using it very much because the tone quality suffers. It helps a lot though so maybe I should do that at least for a few minutes before I start a session.

In the vibrato part I had my hand folded too much when I practiced on the first finger. I think I don’t always do that, because if I remember correctly in the other video I also recorded today I think I am not doing that but could be wrong. Too lazy to check now it took forever to record and render all this.xD I’ll post the other video when it’s uploaded.

And copy paste from youtube:
This video turned out longer than I planned, but for everyone who is interested in how I practice techniques this video is for you~
I’ve been playing the violin for almost 2 years now and this is my current progress concerning vibrato and a flexible bow hand.
Additionally I included a Wohlfahrt etude because that one has a lot of technical stuff even though it’s so short.
It will still take some time till it sounds nice, but I’ll get there!

00:00 Vibrato
07:32 Bow Hand Flexibility
13:07 Wohlfahrt op 45 no 8

3 thoughts on “Vibrato and Bow Hand Flexibility Practice + Wohlfahrt no 8

  1. Thanks for sharing your practice session!! I’m sure the etude will sound great with the vibrato once you get it all right. :-) I didn’t add vibrato because intonation and dynamics was hard enough already. But I’m sure you can manage to add the vibrato. Keep it up!

    I liked your vibrato practice session. It’s interesting to see how you use the metronome. I’m impressed that you keep practicing it slowly and then speed it up. I didn’t practice vibrato slowly anymore and it sounds worse than before. I guess that’s the reason. You’ve helped me to see that now. :-) Why is the 1st finger so hard?? I struggle with it too.
    One thing I was wondering about is the movement you use. You said you were practicing arm vibrato but your wrist seems to move too. I think it moves pretty much the same as my wrist. Maybe you’re doing a mix of the two? I read something interesting about this on the Fiddlerman Forum. He said it’s OK to use a combination of the two. Whatever feels the easiest for you and what sounds best. I don’t have much experience with it since I’m only doing wrist vibrato so far. And I first want to be able to do that really good before moving on to an other vibrato LOL

    Oh I can see your wrist movement has improved! And I can tell it sounds much better than when I do these exercises. You also manage to keep the bow pretty straight while doing the wrist motion. Mine goes everywhere. Even fell off the violin yesterday… :unsure: Really hard to bow straight while moving the wrist and the fingers. also my pinky seems to not be stable on top of the bow when I start moving my fingers. Lots of things to work on for me, but I can see that you’ve worked on this for a long time already! Thanks for sharing, it was inspirational for me to see. I’ll try to stick to these exercises too!

  2. That etude is still going to take a while. Not sure if I’ll keep working on it right now or get back to it later. I think I’ll occasionally practice it.

    For vibrato I think what’s even harder than wiggling is wiggling in a certain rhythm. The more control you have over your vibrato, the prettier it is :D
    I think my wrist might move too much right know because when I get up to the metronome speed that is my current goal my arm can’t keep up anymore. I am working on moving my hand a bit less though but I’ll see if I can.XD I talked about vibrato with my teacher on tuesday again and let me show her her vibrato. I think it’s definitely more visible that the impulse is coming from the arm and the hand moves less (I think it does move a bit too though). Like you said about the mix, I think a absolutely pure arm vibrato is either really hard or not even a thing? I don’t know.XDDD
    I personally think that I’d naturally favor wrist vibrato which makes this harder for me. But that’s just a feeling that I have I have no proof for that. I once read in a forum when I read about different vibratos that one teacher gave the student the task to wiggle and checked how they wanted to move and decided on wrist or arm vibrato based on that natural decision. I thought it was pretty interesting.

    I’m personally glad I’m learning arm vibrato though because it’s the one with wider amplitudes and if I remember correctly it’s also the slightly more controlled one but I might really remember that wrong… Wrist vibrato is faster though because you don’t have the whole arm to move. I am thinking that it’s probably hard once you can do one to learn the 2nd one as well but I have a feeling that it will be easier for me to learn wrist as 2nd than if I’d learn wrist first and then arm. I also got another exercise from my teacher where I just knock on the wall with my knuckles by only using arm movement. (without violin) to help my arm build up a rhythmic movement.

    Looking at my recording again I also need to pay more attention to having my arm and hand in one line. Not sure if perfectly straight is possible for all fingers so… It might not be, I’ll have to check.
    One additional thing that helps with the first finger is to cut your nails SUPER short by the way. I keep my fingernails pretty short but at one point they were already getting in the way of my first finger vibrato without me really noticing (because they were still short but not THAT short) so you might want to check.
    Like you I also want to get good at one kind of vibrato before moving to the next. Good luck with the practice you can do it!

    About the wrist movement. Thank you! Yes it’s soooo hard. But the more we work on it the more our wrist strength improves and the more the fingers are able to move. The sad thing is though, when I play pieces my bowing looks stiffer again XDDD I don’t see any movement of the wrist. But I think that will improve over time as well. Since in pieces as long as I have to think about other things I can’t concentrate much on wrist movement as well, but that’s ok, since that’s a really advanced bowing thing that I don’t really HAVE to be able to do yet in my opinion.

    Oh and I also got a double stop etude now I’m so excited to practice~ Want to practice more double stops again.xD

  3. That’s funny. I also found out when I started doing vibrato that my finger nails have to be very short! I don’t like it, I don’t think it’s very beautiful but well it’s a sacrifice I’m glad to make for my violin! :-)

    I can’t do the wrist movement in pieces either. It will come naturally over time. I think it’s like straight bowing. I can do a perfect straight bow when I play long bow strokes. But then as soon as I play a piece the bow doesn’t go straight anymore. Because there is so many things to focus on. It will get better with time I think as long as we keep focusing on it of course.

    Good luck with the double stops! That’s something that really is too hard for me at the moment. My intonation is completely off when I do double stops and I do press too much into the strings still…

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