Give Us A Call
1-800-779-0242

Store Hours
Mon - Fri 10-6, Sat 10-4

How to Practice Vibrato

Hello everyone,

Today's video is about how to practice vibrato. I won’t be talking a whole lot about the mechanics of vibrato because there are different types of vibrato and I don’t know what kind you use or what type you may learn with a teacher in the future. However, I have some practice techniques that will work very well for any type of vibrato.

Why is vibrato important?

—Vibrato will warm your sound
—Help you center your pitch
—Help you project your sound
—If you currently do not play with vibrato, vibrato will finally give you that mature sound that you’ve always wanted.

My vibrato exercise works in steps. It starts out very easy and gets progressively harder. All exercises MUST be done with the metronome. The metronome will give you an even and controlled vibrato and control is the #1 thing that you will learn with this exercise.

1. Put the metronome at 62 beats per minute (BPM). This beat will be your primary beat (quarter note).

—You will use 2 bows per finger and your finger pattern will be 1, 2, 3, 4 then back down 3, 2, 1.

—Vibrate your finger at 8th notes (2 per beat) for 4 beats on the DOWN bow.

—Vibrate your finger at 16th notes (4 per beat) for 4 beats on the up bow.

—Repeat this procedure for every finger and do this pattern on every string. I suggest starting on the A string, then D string, then G string then E string.

—Gradually build the speed until you get to about 130 BPM.

2. The second part of the exercise is more advanced. You will be shifting into 5th position to complete the Major scale of the previous pattern.

—The finger pattern looks like 1, 2, 3, 4 (Shift to 5th position) 1, 2, 3, 4 then back down the same way you came up.

—Repeat this procedure on every string. I suggest starting on the A string, then D string, then G string then E string.

—Gradually build the speed until you get to about 172 BPM.

*** Helpful hints

—Keep your vibrato as wide as possible; especially when it’s slow. It will get narrower and narrower the faster you go. You don’t want to sound like a buzzing bee by the time you end up at your target speed of 172 BPM.

—Keep the shape of your hand the whole time. Make sure your hand looks like a little tunnel that you can put a mouse in. Don’t crush the mouse!

—NEVER vibrato the 4th finger by itself. Always vibrato the 4th finger with the 3rd finger.

—When vibrating, the vibrato starts AT the intended pitch and vibrates ABOVE and back down to the intended pitch. Do NOT start the vibrato BELOW the pitch and vibrato up to the intended pitch.

After you have finished the vibrato exercise, you will be fully warmed up. I suggest playing your scale with long tones, 4 beats per note and using vibrato the entire time. Never stop moving your hand! You should be able to play your scales with and without vibrato.

Happy practicing!