Saturday, June 13, 2015

overthinking is what we do best.

Q: If wrist vibrato is a single, simple motion, a rocking of the hand on the wrist, then why is it harder to vibrate on some fingers and easier on others? After all, the finger's not doing anything.

A: the finger may not be doing anything, but something is being done to it - the rocking of the hand causes the finger to wobble about its spot on the string. If the finger isn't flexible, it will sound jerky as the hand rocks it.

Am I right?

In other news:

A cutback week for running, 42 miles. Next week I'm going back to 7-days-a-week running, for the first time in at least a year, almost a year, over a year, who knows, can't remember, but it's been a long time. It will help me increase mileage without having to get up even earlier on weekdays.

On Wednesday I go for a 6-month mammogram and chat with the surgeon's NP. I am only a little apprehensive, actually not at all. Hopefully everything will look fine and I won't have to go back for a year.

Speaking of vibrato: this week I've started bringing my mind along while doing the teacher's vibrato exercise, instead of daydreaming or looking at the computer. The exercise is the one where you glue (not literally) your wrist to the bout, set the metronome at 60, and wobble one, two, three, etc times per beat. At that tempo, anything above 6 or 7 wobbles/beat just sounds like regular vibrato, so the slower wobbles are meant to teach control and pulse and variation of amplitude and such. Today, for the first time ever (I am talking 2 1/2 years), I was able to get to 6 clearly articulated wobbles per beat with first finger. Whoohoo, small victories...

1 comment:

Lee said...

Another A: each finger is in a unique position relative to the other bones of the hand and wrist, and the whole assembly sits at an oblique angle to the neck of the instrument, making the objective even more exotic to the mechanics of the hand. So each finger has to develop its own unique solution to the challenge of regulated wobbling.

But thousands of other humans can do it and so can we.

I had a vibrato epiphany myself this weekend. I did something I thought would be totally nuts, and it made nice fat exaggerated vibrato, more than I would want to apply in most cases. It mainly involved relaxing the left hand and employing no pressure at all with the left thumb -- the neck just rested on it -- with minimal pressure from the fingers, so minimal it felt kind of sloppy.

If I can form the habit of ignoring my bowing deficiencies while practicing this along with Doree Huneven's YouTube vibrato exercises, I am greatly encouraged about the possibilities.

I was hoping you'd elaborate on the vibrato exercise you were taught and what part of it you recently corrected. Vibrato is a priority for me at present because the Grade 5 performance pieces that do not demand speed are going to be pretty unmusical without some good steady vibrato.