About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, February 26, 2018

#MusicMonday – Why is Vibrato so difficult?

I went to see some fantastic performances that inspire me and make me want to practice so that I can be as good as them someday. The groups I saw were the East Lansing Middle and High School orchestras and bands. They were performing their pre-Festival concerts. What is amazing about watching the groups in this type of venue is that you can see them progress from early years of learning to the most advanced levels. Many of the 7th graders have only been playing for a little over a year but they are already quite accomplished. And the High School level students could easily pass as professional.

One of the things I was paying particular attention to as they were playing was their use of vibrato. I have been learning my instruments for a little while now and vibrato is one of the techniques that has continued to cause me difficulty. Searches on the internet attest to the difficulty of incorporating this technique into a performance. On the saxophone, I can produce a vibrato, but it is not always consistent or as warm as I would like it to be, but I can feel it is getting better as I use it more. On the violin, I have been trying to develop vibrato for a couple of years and I am nowhere near where I can use it consistently while playing. The main problem for me with the violin is developing my coordination to move my left hand fingers and wrist to vibrate while using my right hand to move the bow. As an adult learner, I think it takes a little longer to develop the wiring in the brain to make the motions needed to get a good vibrato sound. That and my stiff joints have been inhibiting my ability to develop my vibrato. At least those are the excuses I use to justify my inability to develop a good vibrato while my son has just started to use vibrato over the last couple of months and already has a rich and warm sound. I think the kids also advance so quickly because they play in an orchestra and have their friends to share tips on technique. I am hoping that the MSU Community Music School will soon start an Adult Beginner Orchestra where other adults like me can share experiences using vibrato.

Related Articles:
Music Monday http:/music-monday.html
MSU Community Music School http:/msu-community-music-school.html
At one time, everyone was a beginner http://lansingwbu.blogspot.com/2018/01/music-monday-at-one-time-everyone-was.html
Am I too old to join a band? http://lansingwbu.blogspot.com/2018/01/am-i-too-old-to-join-band.html
The perfect saxophone sound. http://lansingwbu.blogspot.com/2018/01/musicmonday-perfect-saxophone-sound.html  

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