Vibrato on the violin and viola

There is little practical literature or suggestions for learning and continuously developing vibrato on the violin and viola, almost nothing for the arm vibrato itself. More than 25 years of experimenting with one's own practice and with students and pupils have produced a series of practice ideas at Erdmute that develop far more than just the right "movement". They offer solutions to the three most common challenges:

  • How exactly does the arm vibrato move and how can I specifically learn it / teach it to someone? 

  • How can I overcome the dependency between vibrato speed and bow speed?

  • How can you not leave the vibrating through note to chance?

There is fortunately not just one answer to these and many other questions: The comprehensive collection offers multiple approaches and takes into account both self-learners and teachers. Many of the ideas can also be applied to other types of vibrato.

Among other things, it takes into account ...
  1. Seeing - Listening - Moving - Feeling - Breathing
  2. Health aspects and excellence in performance
  3. Conscious "guiding"
  4. The ability, consciously changing the tempo and character
  5. Activity of the whole body
  6. The slow progress towards independence between left and right
  7. All body parts that are involved
  8. The link to various playing techniques such as: legato, changing of hand position, double grip vibrato, vibrating through notes, finger pressure
  9. The constant further development at all performance levels

"More than 25 years ago, I got the experimentation bug and I haven’t stopped since. In this collection I would like to present at least a modest contribution in the form of practice ideas for arm vibrato. They are intended to be regarded as additional material to complement what has already been published. They aren’t based on any specific method, and they don’t represent a particular point of view of what is right or wrong. Rather they are intended as suggestions that everyone can take on board, adapt and develop further. They do, however, start at a certain point (Ivan Galamian). They do have one clear goal in mind (improving the independence of our right and left sides, while incorporating the whole body). And they are forced to deal with the dilemma of separating a small aspect (arm vibrato) from a large whole (instrumental technique on the high strings) in order to bring it into focus in some useful way." 

Erdmute Maria Hohage