Lora Staples - beginning violin and fiddle expert

How to play vibrato on the violin

Learn the easy way to vibrato

In this video, Lora approaches vibrato with clear and useful tips that are sure to be helpful whether or not you already know vibrato. Lora gives you advice to improve your vibrato, and how to avoid long-term problems if the vibrato is performed the wrong way.

Released on July 3, 2013

Share this page!
Post a Comment   |   Video problems? Contact Us!
DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.
Post a comment, question or special request:
You may: Login  or  
Otherwise, fill the form below to post your comment:
Add your name below:

Add your email below: (to receive replies, will not be displayed or shared)

For verification purposes, please enter the word MUSIC in the field below

Comments, Questions, Requests:

Eileen Sephton * VSM MEMBER * on March 7, 2016 @1:49 am PST
Very helpful, thank you.
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on December 1, 2016 @9:31 am PST
Thanks, Eileen!
Cheryl * VSM MEMBER * on November 5, 2014 @10:16 am PST
one question, how to continue vibrato from one note to another (during a passage), and how to continue vibrato through shifting.
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on November 9, 2014 @1:27 pm PST
I like to teach vibrato between 2 fingers only.....1.....2......1.....2...., when that is good, then I teach 2......3......2.......3......until eventually, you can pass the vibrato seemlessly between all 4 fingers. Vibrato on a shift.....wow, I never thought of that.....do you have any tricks for that?
Cheryl * VSM MEMBER * on November 9, 2014 @7:09 pm PST
If we have followed your advice to learn shifts with glissando, then perhaps the hand with be relaxed and allow vibrato...?
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on December 1, 2016 @9:31 am PST
Hi Cheryl,
I'm sitting here thinking....this is difficult to answer this question. In my mind's eye, as I feel myself shifting in a vibrato, I actually believe that I momentarily stop the vibrato, but as soon as my finger LANDS on the new note, it "reinvigorates" the vibrato, giving it a little more energy to really excite the new note. After practicing today, if this is any different, I will let you know! Thanks for a great, thoughtful question!
Cheryl * VSM MEMBER * on November 5, 2014 @10:12 am PST
Love the last bit, about violin shaking around, lots of players happen to do that!
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on November 9, 2014 @1:25 pm PST
Yes, it's a common problem, and not easy to fix...sometimes, it's just a matter of getting them to relax thee thumb.
Val Lennie * VSM MEMBER * on July 9, 2014 @7:43 am PST
Your video lessons are very valuable Lora . Thank you for the great presentations and sharing them so well.
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on July 10, 2014 @9:49 am PST
Thanks for the kind words, and thanks for watching!
Patricia on March 23, 2014 @2:00 pm PST
March 23, 2014

Lora, in reference to the Mastering Vibrato Video Course, Is the $40.00 the only payment for the entire course for members of Virtual Sheet Music?

Thank you.

Lora * VSM MEMBER * on March 24, 2014 @2:55 pm PST
Yes, Patricia, it is a one time fee.
Maryam on March 16, 2014 @12:18 pm PST
your awesome and a gifted teacher
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on March 17, 2014 @2:44 pm PST
Thanks, Maryam! I appreciate that! Thanks for watching!
Eugenie van Zyl * VSM MEMBER * on March 8, 2014 @2:30 am PST
Lora, I just love Virtual Sheet Music and then of course, my Reddessertviolin.com lessons. Thank you for once again another Vibrato lessons - I am going to try the cellotape technique! My vibrato is just not coming on yet - I will not quit though!
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on March 10, 2014 @8:20 am PST
Hi Eugenie!
Keep in mind that it is normal to wait 3 years before even THINKING about vibrato, so be patient. You have to allow your body to adapt to the violin, learn perfect relaxation, good posture, intonation, tone, and finger dexterity before it is wise to even ATTEMPT vibrato.

Maybe you should step back from vibrato and check your posture, relaxation, dexterity, all those things for few months...?
arun johnson on February 22, 2014 @11:12 pm PST
how to play violin by ear only
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on March 2, 2014 @7:41 pm PST
Hi Arun
I'm sorry for my delayed response....I have been traveling!
I love your question....in fact, I will make a video to answer your question. But here's a nutshell:
To play by ear, you need these skills:
1) Be able to sing the tune you are trying to learn (within reason)
2) learn to MATCH PITCHES you sing on the violin
3) be able to guess whether a string of notes are moving STEPWISE, or if they are moving in SKIPS....then be able to copy it.

Great question. If I were you, I would pick a nice, easy tune, sing it, and try to pluck it out on the violin.

Picking a good starting note is important. If you start plucking out the tune and your fingers have to go into crazy places, or it doesn't feel comfortable, try starting on a different note. (unless you are learning from a recording, and then it is VERY important that you identify their starting note....so that you will learn it in the same key)

Like I said, that's a good question, and I'll do a video about that topic as soon as I can!
Eileen Sephton * VSM MEMBER * on October 13, 2013 @4:05 am PST
Thank you - that was a lot of help
Lora - host, on October 13, 2013 @4:37 pm PST
You are very welcome, Eileen! Keep up your pursuit of music!
Sharon on July 11, 2013 @9:41 am PST
Hi Lora. Thank you for your reply. I should have mentioned I am taking violin lessons. This is my second year. I am 47 and am nearly finished Suzuki Book 2. I really enjoy your videos of you playing the Suzuki pieces. I don't use enough bow when playing and have difficulty with dynamics - getting espression or feeling into my playing. Does that come with time or practice? Also how long should vibrato be practiced each day? Thanks. Sharon
Lora - host, on July 13, 2013 @12:44 pm PST
Hi Sharon
You are very astute to recognize that you don't use enough bow, and to have the desire to have more expressive sound! It's the people who seek these things that end up finding them! So keep it up!

Yes, you will get better and better at expressive playing with time and practice. It is not something that a teacher tells you in one lesson and suddenly you can play expressively. It is an accumulation of tons of little nuances and details that result in expressive playing.

Vibrato: If you are actively focused and learning vibrato, then you will benefit from 15-20 minutes per day on it. (if you can handle that) If, after 5 minutes of vibrato practice, your muscles are spastic and nothing is working right, then 5 minutes is your limit and you have to work up to it. But 15-20 minutes is ideal in my opinion.

Good luck to you!
Lora - host, on July 13, 2013 @12:46 pm PST
I forgot to add the most important thing: LISTEN TO THE MASTERS!!! By listening, you internalize GOOD sounds and great playing....and you will emulate that sound. NOt only that, but you learn to model after their expressions....until you come up with your own.
Questions? Problems? Contact Us.
Norton Shopping Guarantee Seal