Playing vibrato on the fiddle

Fidde class, Edinburgh

 Playing vibrato on the fiddle

Tonight we tried playing vibrato again. We started off holding our fiddles supported on our lap (a bit like a guitar). We used our right arm and hand to hold the fiddle steady, and tried out the vibrato action with our left hand on the neck of the fiddle. It’s easier to keep your right hand and arm really relaxed in this position, as there’s no sense that it needs to support the fiddle in any way.

For wrist vibrato, the forearm is kept fairly still, and the movement in the hand comes from bending at the wrist. Here’s a separate page with details of the steps to playing ‘wrist’ style vibrato.

We played through the parts of the slow reel we learnt last week. The written music is now up on the music page.

We spent some time working on tone, and varying the sounds we make when playing a long note. We tried out playing long down bows on an open D. Then we tried playing the D loudly for 4 beats, followed by a 4 beat gap, then playing it very quietly for 4 beats. After this, we added in playing with scrunch. Then we moved on to playing up and down a D scale, first loudly, then quietly, then scrunchily.

We finished off the class by playing a few tunes together. We played through Vals, then a set of reels: The High Drive, High Road to Linton, Spootiskerry and Ramnee Ceilidh.

Learn to play the fiddle in Edinburgh