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I'm a violin player for about 10 years. Since I was a kid all my fingers are double jointed (hypermobility) and makes it hard to play violin :) Now I'm trying to learn arm and hand vibrato and wanted to know if anyone had the same problem in fingers like me and if so what did you do to overcome this problem and learn vibrato?

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  • Do you mean that your fingers collapse when playing because of the double joints? Or is there another problem?
    – Tama
    Nov 26, 2017 at 20:17
  • @Tama yes they collapse and I can't vibrate properly
    – Mina Fa
    Nov 26, 2017 at 20:20
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    I can't believe nobody's brought up Paganini yet. It's fully possible that he had hyper-mobile joints due to Marfan syndrome, and yet he is considered to be the greatest virtuoso of all time. He allegedly took advantage of his flexibility to play wacky intervals across two strings with ease. None of this, of course, has to do with vibrato, but it follows that if he was really so virtuosic, he was a boss at vibrato as well! Just a little anecdote for some fun... ;-) Dec 12, 2017 at 15:05

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This is advice I give all musicians but it should come especially in handy for your particular problem. You must attempt to play with as little tension in your fingers as possible. Let gravity and mechanics do its job rather than your hand squeezing the string.

I want you to pick up your violin and go into playing stance. Play an A on your G string like you normally do, then observe how your hand is positioned and the tension you use on it. Play long tones like this.

Next you'll want to release tension very slowly until the note sounds only as a whisper. Once you're there, lift your thumb off while moving your fingers over the top of the string. Your wrist should be straight and your fingers should come almost straight down on top of the strings. If your fingers are flat they're more likely to collapse. A nice C shape is what you want for your hand, not a < shape. Feel gravity pulling your hand down on top of the string with your body adding only just enough extra tension to let the note speak properly. Not only does a straight wrist and arm prevent injury but it also lets your tendons work as efficiently as they can.

For vibrato there are 3 main ways you can do so; sliding up and down the string, rocking your wrist back and forth, and rocking with the arm. It depends how wide you want the vibrato, but wrist rocking is considered the normal way, where your finger tip rolls up and down the string. Practice slowly with a metronome to be sure you're not adding any unnecessary tension.

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  • You are quite welcome, and good luck in your playing!
    – Tama
    Nov 27, 2017 at 1:44

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