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  • #14722 Reply


    I’m an adult violinist in my 30’s and I just started learning the violin since February 2016. Here is my attempt at the wrist vibrato, it’s rather narrow at the moment. Any feedback greatly appreciated on how I can improve it.

    Thanks and Happy Easter!

    #14728 Reply

    Dianne Adkins

    Hello Shiroi98,

    This is an excellent start to wrist vibrato! Your left hand is doing ALL the right things! And you have a nice shape to both fingers and hand. Now you must become ‘unstuck’ to the neck of the violin at the base of the index finger. A shortcut to this ‘action’ is to eliminate the fingertips touching strings and just practice ‘rubbing’ the violin neck with the spot where your palm/finger touches the violin neck during vibrato. Let this part of the hand move toward you and away from you during a vibrato movement. It will move perhaps between B natural and C sharp as you do this. If this is easy, you’ve got it made~! All you have to do now is add back the fingertips, keep this index base ‘rubbing’ action loose and free. Try it on 3rd finger since this is the loosest and weakest finger. Other fingers present unique challenges to vibrato, but 3rd finger is easiest.

    If you had problems, let’s talk again! I’d like to see another video with the base of the index ‘unstuck’ if you can provide it. Good luck!

    #14733 Reply


    Hi Dianne,
    Thanks for the valuable feedback and encouragement! My second attempt is to unstuck the base of the index but my right hand coordination seems off, thus the jerky sounding note. Perhaps I am too tense.
    When doing the vibrato, should my fingers rock backwards and bending my knuckle? I think I don’t do that, causing the width of the vibrato to be narrow. What do you think?

    Here’s a video with the second attempt:

    Any feedback greatly appreciated!

    #14747 Reply

    Dianne Adkins

    Hi again, Shiroi98, my friend! What a very good improvement in this second video! Please focus on 2nd, and 3rd finger only, at first. You have the exact right motion, but 1st finger is a tight, close finger to wiggle. And 4th finger is… just… hard. LOL! OK so now that your index finger base is not stuck, we can focus on the vibrato action. First, you understand, the vibrato ‘wave’ goes away from your nose, and toward your nose. Also, we should keep in mind, the motion goes under the pitch and TO the pitch, never above. You’re doing this. I just want your brain to think on these things. Also remember, you may touch the violin neck at the base of your finger, but don’t allow yourself to ‘stick’ there.

    The vibrato motion itself right now is uneven and narrow. So to fix unevenness, practice in a rhythmic fashion. On A3, play the vibrato in 8th note pulses about 120 bpm, 4 pulses per bow, DOWN and UP, several times. Very slow, wide and measured! The knuckle closest to the fingertip should be very loose as the finger rolls back and forth.

    Online Metronome Here

    Naturally, the hands want to do the same thing. It’s a big challenge in playing violin! So while you are wiggling the left hand, the bow is stuttering, wanting to make a similar motion. It is important to steady the bow, using full, relaxed bows. Press your scroll against a wall to keep the violin from moving. Now move the bow a few strokes to set up a tonal base ‘feeling’ before you add the difficult left hand motion.

    Once you have a steady, wide, 8th note vibrato on 2nd and 3rd finger, try it on 1st and 4th, knowing those fingers have built in weaknesses and limits. But you will overcome them!

    Next, double the speed of the pulses, but maintain the wideness of the motion. So now, at 120 bpm you will get a full roll back and return, 4 of this motion per bow. Once that is easy, double it again. By now, you have a workable vibrato, and you don’t even have to count rolls. Just keep it wide open and steady while the bow is full and heavy.

    Here is a great vibrato tutorial that shows the vibrato motion in slow motion and up close!

    #14761 Reply


    That’s a great video about vibrato!! Thanks so much for including this link here Dianne. This is going to help me a lot too!!

    And good luck to you Shiroi98 with your violin! 🙂

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