How To Do Vibrato | Violin Lessons

How To Do Vibrato | Violin Lessons
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So now I’m going to talk about vibrato. First you need to set up your left hand position the right way. Now we spoke about how to set up your left hand in the first position but now we need to talk about the left hand positioning in the third position because that’s where I like to start learning vibrato. Your hand in third position is rested at the shoulder of the instrument. I like also doing the second finger on the A string to start because it’s the most centered finger, the strongest finger. My finger is on the tip of the fat of the finger, there’s a nice platform here and that’s how you start.

Then to vibrate what I usually do is, I put a little arrow on the finger going this way; that’s the direction the finger has to go in. Back and up. So back and forth, back and forth. And as you can see the knuckle is going down and then it’s going up. Going down and going up. So an exercise you can do is, that’s an E on the A string, third position and then collapse it, back, back. Then you can do a slur. That’s a two note slur. We can do four notes. Or you can do six. Then eight. And until you reach normal vibrato speed. You need to do that kind of vibrato for each one of your fingers.

When you vibrate also another issue that you have to think about is your arm position. Now we spoke about correct arm position is you’re flat as a pancake here, everything is straight, nothing’s sticking out. When you vibrate you do need your wrist; the most popular vibrato is wrist vibrato. So then you would do, this does come out when you flatten the finger a little bit. So the wrist is moving back and forth when you’re doing that finger-wrist vibrato. You need to do that with all of the fingers.

The only exception is the pinky. The pinky fourth finger does not use as much wrist just because of the physicalness of the actual finger. You’re still doing the same motion but it’s just a little bit smaller. It’s mainly the finger vibrato with just a little bit of wrist. That’s how you would start to learn vibrato. Start slow. That’s the vibrato.


  1. Question I have very long nail beds, where the nail bed pretty much goes all the way to the finger tip!! I trim all the way down and file down sometimes to the point where I draw blood and there is still nail touching the string…it sucks and makes playing a lot harder. I’ve been playing for 17 years and I haven’t had an instructor that’s given me good advice since they’ve all had nail beds that end halfway down their finger XD

  2. I bet all of you who can’t vibrate also make a lot of effort and get tired very quickly when playing… That’s because you think too much about everything. It’s not about the position of your fingers and how do you move them… If you think the vibrato with your HANDS you’ll never make it. You need to relax and leave your arm almost hanging from the neck of the violin, like if it was too heavy. Then move your wrist (your fingers only move because of the wrist movement, not by themselves) . It’s a natural movement ^-^.
    You play the violin with your WHOLE body so first of all relax and imagine everything comes from your shoulder blades. Check that every part of your body is part of it and NEVER focus on one thing… I don’t know if I explained myself… But good luck 😊

  3. The vibrato effect is the first effect to have been created electronically. It consists of taking the signal of the instrument and quickly varying its frequency. In other words, the pitch of th

  4. Is it weird that I can do this and I’ve only been practicing it for less than a month for my first year of learning the violin. I’m not trying to brag, but I’ve heard that even people who’ve been in honour orchestra can’t do it..

  5. Sending this to my very good students to ponder the sound of their vibrato. It never sounds GOOD when you first start. Many phases of violin playing are difficult, and must be approached with technical thinking without worrying about the sound you are getting. It’s just the work part of playing violin well. I thought this was very simplified and down the to nitty gritty of HOW the finger moves, how the WRIST moves, and most importantly, the first step is SETTING UP THE HAND properly. Students who continually hold their wrist improperly will never be good at vibrato. I tell them this practice will sound like a dying cat at first until the physical strengthening of the joints, cartilages surrounding them, and muscles in the fingers get strong and move more EVENLY to create good vibrato. This must be analyzed before expecting beautiful sounds to come from any note, any vibrato.

  6. Thank you so much! I just started playing violin and I love learning and expanding on my skill level, a friend who’s has 6+ years of experience teaches me in orchestra class but has refused to teach me bravado saying I will learn it later, but being myself (and being curious) I wanted to figure it out! Thanks howcast!

  7. I’m trying to learn vibrato even know I’m only in Elementary and my teacher says not to go ahead…

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