Dreaming Up Movement

I’ve been busy.  Very busy.  But though I’ve been away from the blog for almost ten days (perhaps a sad record), I’ve definitely been playing my new Gavotte and trying to work up vibrato.  The Becker Gavotte is coming along much better than the vibrato – I’m not making very rapid progress at all there.  I expected vibrato would not come naturally, but it’s becoming one of those things I have to force myself to practice.  I’m still holding out hope that there might be a click moment, when the technique just falls into place like I’ve been doing it forever.

I had one of those click moments in my past in a formal learning pursuit. When I was a child, I studied Spanish from the third grade all the way into college.  During those first few years I could never roll/trill/flap my Rs.  Of course in Spanish, the trill is quite important.  Very little marks a poor – or at least non-native – speaker of Spanish like being unable to do it.  I was self-conscious about my inability, and try as I might my tongue would just not flap like that.

I can no longer remember precisely when, but I think it might have been in the seventh grade, after I transitioned to junior high school.  One day I literally woke up with the ability to produce the sounds, having never been able before.  The rolling Rs may have come to me in a dream, but I do not remember the dream. I know it’s possible because this dream-learning did happen for me with another life skill much later – in my early 30s -letting go of the handlebars on a bike!  Whether it was a dream-seminar I promptly forgot upon waking or just a brain that finally processed something, I woke up that day and started rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-ing like a champ as I rolled out of bed.

There is a strong connection between the body’s production of vibrato and trilling Rs – both are rapidly alternating movement.  If I can trill with the tongue, I think I can get vibrato with the fingers.  It will just take time.  And perhaps a dream.

Thanks for reading.



  1. Man, I wish I could dream learn lots of things!!

  2. […] control I have.  I still tense up and bounce the bow from time to time (not at all the kind of vibrato I’m after!), but these days mostly I can keep it from happening by focusing on […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: