I’m working on vibrato. It’s challenging, and I’ve developed some questions that I need to consult with Teacher on, which is to be expected whenever I try new things on the violin.
One of my main questions is when I should turn it on and off. Eventually it will be on all the time, on virtually every note of any duration. Advanced players play notes without vibrato only for effect or when there’s no time. But as I wrote in my vibrato lesson blog post, Teacher says to try to start to add it in on long notes. So maybe I need to forget about vibrato if I’m not doing exercises devoted to it, and just add it in on particularly long notes for now.
One problem is that I seem unable to forget about vibrato. Teacher talked about practicing for too long with it as if it might be a stamina issue, but I have found myself fixated on practicing the technique. When I try to play without thinking about vibrato I keep returning to it like a boomerang. On some level I know that the more I practice the sooner it will come!
I’ve had some hand/wrist movement exercises for a long time to work on prepping for vibrato, but in isolation they were not very meaningful. I’m finding them to be much more meaningful now that I’m trying to actually do the movement while fingering – I’m better able to understand what the exercises are getting at. I find I keep going back to the exercises as I play to try to refine/understand the movement, alternating between the exercises then trying to play some notes.
I’m not without moments where I can glimpse what success might sound like, so I should count those moments as small victories for now. This will take time.
Thanks for reading.