Home > Video Tutorials > Left Hand > Vibrato
How to find the best hand motions, speeds, and amplitudes for the unique mood and character of each phrase.

The vibrato is an expressive tool to project the character or mood of a note or a phrase.

Practice both arm and wrist vibrato.

Choose which speed and which amplitude projects the character of the music best.


Place left wrist at the rib of the violin.

Place first finger on top of the violin.

Place your thumb on the left side of the violin neck.

Use a wrist motion to roll your finger tip up and down.

MM = 60


Put hand in 1st position.

Place an orange between your wrist and violin.

With metronome at 60, repeat Vibrato Exercise - Beginner 1.


Vibrato is always below pitch.

The highest point of the vibrato motion is the correct pitch.

Practice an amplitude of an entire half step.

Practice an amplitude of a quarter step or less.

MM = 60


Use an arm motion for wrist vibrato in high positions.

Since the physical distance of intervals becomes very small in high positions, your arm vibrato motion has to be narrow.


Master Classes
Use the metronome number notated in the score.

Practice 3, 4 and 5 vibrations per beat.

Remember which speed you like best for the character you want.

Use that speed in performance.


Start a slow vibrato and speed it up gradually.

Determine the speed which appeals to you.

Maintaining that speed, try different amplitudes and choose one you like.

Change the speed and/or amplitude when you want to change the character of the sound.


Practice this speed pattern within each vibrato motion:

Move down from the pitch slowly.

Roll your finger up to the pitch with a fast motion.

Listen for a small vibrato accent every time you reach the correct pitch.


Violin, Stephanie Zyzak

Piano, Ina Ham

Violin, Tessa Lark

Piano, Ina Ham

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