Cello vibrato

If you want to use the vibrato consciously you can also pay special attention to two important criteria for the cello vibrato.

  1. Prerequisites for finger pressure: flexibility and stability at the same time.
  2. Prerequisites for the speed of the vibrating/the use in general: independence between right and left.

The ideal finger pressure is constantly adjusted by the player. He/she must do this in order to reduce "skidding" or to prevent the finger from leaving its position on the fingerboard. This balancing takes place between good stability and simultaneous flexibility. For the use of the vibrato, when, how fast, with which finger pressure etc., it helps a lot to increasingly improve the independence between right and left. When practising and teaching, you can also use the fingerboard attachment which quickly gives you a feeling of balance that you can always fall back on later.

Independence is also a prerequisite for being able to vibrate through a bow change, a change of position or a change of tone, for example, or for decoupling the speed of the vibration from the bow stroke. If independence does not exist, for example, a faster bow stroke automatically causes a faster vibrato movement (and vice versa).

Practicing ideas

Flexibility in connection with stability can be practised particularly well with the fingerboard attachment. This sets in motion a chain of relaxation that also affects the arms and wrists. The opportunities that come with it:

  • We achieve relaxation while performing a movement that we normally don't relax (so easily).
  • We reduce the finger pressure to what is necessary.

The shape and construction of the noduls then provides the balance between stability and mobility. To do this, attach the fingerboard attachment in the preferred place, e.g. at the height of the 4th/5th playing position. The following steps can be taken first.

  1. First, without a bow: place a finger of your choice on a nub of your choice and (very!) slowly begin to try out the mobility of the nubs for yourself by simply performing the vibrato movement in slow motion. You can close your eyes or watch the vibrating finger.
  2. As soon as you feel comfortable, you can slowly start to experiment with the speed of the vibrato movements. We recommend that you mentally crawl into the movement and feel exactly how it feels. Often this is the moment when the fingerboard attachment detaches from the fingerboard. Unless there are other reasons for this [see also [Bad Fingerboard Day], the reason is often that there is too much "slinging" or the movement is not really "guided". The effort can therefore be directed towards ensuring that the fingerboard attachment moves as little as possible in the process. In short, a non-spinning vibrato contributes to the stability of the fingerboard attachment.
  3. The next phase of practice should be to add the bow. Here we still refer to the publication "Arm vibrato" (for violin and viola!) or the explanations on the subject of "independence" contained therein, as we do not yet have an independent adaptation for cello. Not everything can be transferred, but the publication shows ways of practising independence in vibrato. These practice ideas can be transferred to cello vibrato and can provide inspiration to develop ideas of your own.