Arm or Wrist Vibrato? | Herriman Violin Lessons

Arm or Wrist Vibrato? | Herriman Violin Lessons



Are you wondering whether you should learn arm or wrist vibrato? When it comes to vibrato, there are many qualified opinions on which type of vibrato you should learn. Today, I’m sharing my personal opinion on the subject based on over a decade of teaching young violinists vibrato.


Wrist Vibrato

This is the preferred style of vibrato for the Suzuki violin method. As a child, I used boxes of Tic Tacs to practice the motion of letting the wrist fall back and rise up. Wrist vibrato can be helpful in achieving a quicker vibrato, which can add beautiful color to pieces. It is also, in my opinion, more difficult to learn than arm vibrato.


Arm Vibrato

I prefer to teach my students arm vibrato first. I believe it is naturally easier to learn gross motor skills before working on fine motor skills. Think about how a child learns to write; they start with a fist grip and then gradually learn the proper writing grip. This idea applies to learning vibrato as well. Learning the larger arm vibrato motion can be easier to start with, and then you can move to the smaller wrist vibrato motion.


Use Both!

Although every teacher has their own vibrato preferences, it really is beneficial to eventually master both arm and wrist vibrato. Each one can be used in different ways to create the mood and colors you want in your music. You can even try learning finger vibrato to add a whole new dimension to your playing!


Looking for more vibrato tips? Read about how to start learning vibrato here!




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