If you have any comments or requests, please feel free to post them here! I will try to fulfill music requests to the best of my ability.

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52 thoughts on “COMMENTS

  • A very impressed English fan

    Hi Katy. First- please NEVER stop again- you are way too good! thank you for the brilliant materials especially your pdf arrangements which are way better than the usual short scripts . Second, like most English after a very short time I got very bored with English folk, which is very predictable, (mostly G, and D major.) I think this is probably true of most English players so like them I have turned to Irish/Scottish.(I would be happy to be proved wrong if you can make something of them) But just as a suggestion as an alternative you dont seem to have any Central European.gypsy/klezmer tunes which are way more interesting in my opinion than the English stuff. Be interested to see what you could make of them. By the by, dont suppose you have any plans any time to perform live? just wondering.
    But in any case thank you for the inspirational playing – so good. Looking forward to more.

  • Raymond Blacklock

    Hi…i love your playing. A tune I always wanted to learn was Jay Ungers MacPherson’s Strut from the Fiddle Fever cd. I would like to see you play that. The notes are easy enough but the bowing seemed a little tricky

  • Chris Bacchus

    You make a lovely chirpy sound when you play. I like it.

    I am a fiddle teacher in NZ and the various styles interest me. I pay a lot of Canadian music for example, but am familiar with Irish music… like “Lark in the morning” of “Jump at the Sun” which is an excellent modern in an Irish style, even tif the writer is English. I learnt it from an Australian Fiddle band that plays Scottish fiddle music.

    I have one question. You avoid saying WHERE you grew up. My belief is that you come from an English speaking country. But not Australia. Most likely England. Your video about visiting England would then be strange. Cheers Chris the Pipemaker. <>>

  • charles bowen

    Ms. Adelson,
    Thank you for your excellent efforts to create one of the most inspiring and useful websites to be found anywhere. Maintaining this must be a labor of love. I hope that you are rewarded with something more than just good reviews. Please keep up the good work.
    Best regards,
    C. Bowen

  • Andri B

    Just one word, amazing. I like your music, and now I’m learning violin, although it’s a bit late, because I’m 45 years old. And I tried hard. Your video helped me a lot. Thanks Katy. Greetings from Indonesia.☺

  • Dan Shea


    Just a quick note to say there is a 5 year old girl in Brooklyn who absolutely loves to listen to you play the Swallowtail Jig. Her dada too. She dances to it while brushing her teeth before bedtime.

    All best,

  • James

    Hi Katy,
    I just wanted to write to say thank you so much for the Star of Munster lesson. I have picked up the fiddle in my thirties and have been playing for 2 years. I play every week at my local folk session here in Yorkshire, England, and am always trying to pick up the tunes they play so that I can join in all the more! This was the last tune (and the most difficult) of a set I’m trying to learn so that I can play along with a friend there at the session, and your lesson has was so, so useful to help me finish it off. Your style of teaching is absolutely spot-on – really clear, perfectly paced and so well organised. I was all the more impressed to come to the website and find even more resources, and all available under CC licencing too! It looks like you really enjoyed recording the lesson so I hope that knowing what a great job you’re doing, you’ll keep doing more!
    All the best,

  • Judith Adcock

    You are fabulous and I love what you do. Thank you for the music, your inspiration and I just sent you an email before seeing this comments box!
    I am an older beginner and am loving my violin, you have really helped in so many ways and I can’t thank you enough.
    You are a star who shines brightly 🙂 all the way to the UK.


  • Morgan Nastav

    Thank you for your music and energy! I love your work and tutorials. Any chance a Halloween Reel tutorial will be in the works?

    Also, any words of encouragement for my fellow beginner violinists interested in Celtic music?


  • Robin Hood IV

    I owe you money. Where can I purchase your recordings ? I bought some Taylor Davis songs and songbook but then I stumbled into watching your youtube videos and I have learned more from your videos than I did from years of tuition. It of course helps that I can pause and rewind many times which was something my tutor got dizzy with. Your energy and enthusiasm for the songs is inspiring. Thank you and ps do Sea Shanties float your boat?

  • Antonio Carlos

    I loved yours records. Please do not stop, do not give up playing and recording. Now in brasilian portuguese: Eu fiquei apaixonado pelos seus vídeos e músicas ao violino. Não pare gravar e de postar.

  • David G

    Thank you so much for putting these excellent tutorials together! They are well thought out, well produced and very helpful.
    I’m working on Star of Munster today, and looking forward to getting into the other tunes in the future. I play a fair amount w/ loud bar bands, however I’m lost in a trad session, so these tuts will be very helpful in changing that.
    Take Care!!!!

  • Bill

    Katy, It’s been fun discovering your website and the YouTube videos. You are a great musician, as well as a great performer. Your love of music definitely comes through in your playing, your smile, and your interaction with the camera and your viewers. I find myself smiling and enjoying your videos very much. It would be fun sitting in on a jam session with you playing. And I’m amazed at how well you have developed the cello in a short time. If you ever happen to be in a group to play and tour with, please head on up to the Pacific Northwest, and stop in Seattle. We’d love to see you!

  • Reza

    Dear Katy,
    Thank you for the websites and these lovely performances.
    Please add the song : the last of mohicans to your website and the music sheet as well.
    I am playing the Iranian violin however, theses songs are very interesting to me and I play them as well.
    Best of luck

  • Dale Peace

    Katy, I love your videos and you have a wonderful and precious personality. I’m a 60 year old arm chair musician. I try to play fiddle, but not very well. I used to have a beagle who would howl in key with whatever note I was playing. Eventually, she would start to whimper and run to the back door. My wife would also whimper and run out the front door. So I haven’t quit my day job. I look forward to learning more about the fiddle from your tutorials. Thank you for sharing your gifts. 🙂

  • schnwky

    So good to hear you again !
    I had a little deserted YT. I was offered a recorder for Christmas, and the best recorder teacher I have found is your fiddle… I will be the first flutist to play with a bow.
    Happy new year, ears delighter!
    I go back to my recorder. Neighbours, please, knock the walls in rythm, this is a jig!

  • Michael Morgan

    Katy, WHAT a discovery you are! Thanks so much for your wonderfully inspiring Facebook channel and website.
    A little about myself, if I may…
    I’m a 65 year-old (!) violin learner who plays the piano but whose first love has always been the violin… such a beautifully lyrical instrument. I’ve had a few violin lessons to get me on my way with regard to the ‘basics’ – bow hold etc., but now I’m self-teaching. Any guidance you can offer in this regard would, incidentally, be very much appreciated. I’m determined to get that all important tremolo going!
    I first came across your YT channel whilst searching for something to learn in the Celtic style of playing (my favourite) and was instantly captivated by the Tam Lin (love hearing you play it!). I wasn’t familiar with this piece but decided immediately that I had to try and learn it! Way too ambitious you may say, but that’s me, and in any case I don’t have a lifetime ahead of me for more ‘measured’ progress!

    As I say, any help and/or guidance you can offer me would be greatly appreciated. I’m self-teaching here in the U.K. (Cornwall) using the ‘Fiddle Time’ series of tutors and currently working through the second book (‘Fiddle Time Runners’)

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read this, Katy… it would be lovely to hear from you!

  • Rossignol

    I am Sandra, I am french, and a real adult beginner in music. I start with the violin… beacause I am fond of the sound of this instrument. I want to say thank you beacause of your tutorials, I learn music that I love, and freely. So, thank you so much !

  • Emma

    Would you consider learning and doing a video on “The Broken Pledge”? It’s a lovely traditional Irish tune and one of my favorites! 🙂

  • Otterwoman

    Thank you for your site and for sharing your music! You are wonderful and an inspiration.
    Your video “Liberty” was the first video of yours I saw. I had to play it a couple times until I realized you weren’t playing with your twin sister!
    Keep smiling!

  • Zan

    Hi Katy,
    I was wondering when are you going to add the sheet music for Morrison jig, St. Ann’s reel+ Sally gardens and the banks of Spey?

    Have a good day!

  • María Jesús

    I discovered you in YouTube few time ago and I think you play awesome!
    I am learning to play violin, I´m going to start my 5th year, and I want to tell you one thing: thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, for sharing your sheets music!!!!
    Kisses from Spain

  • Eddie O'Brien

    Hi Katy

    I was searching for how Tam Lin goes and found your rendition. I like your style and sound. You do a great job with fiddle, bow and videos.

    As We say in Glasgow “Gie it Laldy” always.

  • John Tierney

    Great fun to watch and listen to you play!

    So you took 5 years off then came roaring back…

    I played viola through high school. Then stopped. for 45 yrs. I took it up again a few months ago in large part because I want to learn celtic fiddle music – which I love listening to.

    I’m trying to figure out how to play both melody and harmony parts of the pieces I’m learning. I haven’t got too far with that but its a day at a time thing.

    Watching you play and reading about your story is inspirational.

  • Gregory Mathers

    Great just fantastic , fabulous even. Very nice… Charming amazing. Hi, My name is Gregory Mathers I live in Australia Queensland near Rockhampton. I, have only ever heard in my 64 years one other viollinist that plays as well as Katy . Thanks for the great tutorials thats amazing . totally awesome. I really like the cliffs of mohar video and the excellent sound quality of all the videos , I don,t know how you do it but all the best for the future thanks for sharing those with us .. Thanks Gregory..

  • asa

    Stumbled over your yt videos as I was researching fiddle tunes to play at a midsummer get together.
    The videos and sheet music is exactly what I have been looking for – thank you so much for your enthusiasm and inspiration!
    Like you I played a lot as younger and then stopped and have now picked up the violin again 15 years later 😉 Love love love what you do!

  • Roger McIntosh

    Great site and fantastic music. I would like to echo the other comments about producing a professional album – I would buy it! I especially like Tam Lin and would like to hear more Celtic and Scottish music, along with traditional Bluegrass tunes.
    To Mark, who asked about slower versions, I have been using an Android app called Audipo (free) to slow MP3’s for easier learning. There a lots of such “speed changers” for both Android and iOS.
    Anyway, thanks for the great resources! You should provide some means on you website of allowing small financial contributions to the cause!

  • Raymond Pauls

    Great fiddling! Looks like your doing everything right with videos, backgrounds, and tunes of choice. Looks like your profession will bloom greatly. I like the online tutorials very well. I have played violin for many years but depended on sheet music mostly until last few years. Have played a little of everything but recently been practicing with Celtic group. Some of your tutorials cover a few of the tunes. I always love a tune book which includes the cd so I can tell what they really should sound like. I’m a subscriber and a fan! Go Katy!!!!

  • Aloísio Leoni Schmid

    Hey Katy

    Your videos are inspiring!
    I have been playing violin for almost 30 years before discovering popular music. It has much fun I never suspected.
    Your expression playing is something which can change one’s serious conditioning – which can be the result of
    teachers, of a musical environment, and simply of a personal belief that it has to be so.
    Let us play with a lighter attitude!


  • Mark Littecrown

    Hey Katy,

    Your videos and other stuff have been an indispensable inspiration for me as I have started to play the mandolin. I love being able to adapt the fiddle tunes. It is endless fun. I don’t think anyone can thank you enough for what you do. It is a joy to watch your performance videos, and your tutorials are some of the best out there.

    I was wondering one thing: the play along/backing tracks can be a bit fast for a beginner, or for the learning stages of a new tune. Have you considered uploading versions at lower BPMs? I think it would be awesome to have them slowed down for learning purposes.

    • Katy Post author

      Hi Mark!

      Thank you for your nice comment! =) I have been thinking about the speed of the backing tracks… They are quite fast for beginners, and it shouldn’t be too hard for me to slow them down and reexport them at different speeds. I’ll try to start working on creating slower versions that sometime soon! Thank you for your idea!!


  • craig baker

    Hi Katy:
    I am shopping for a bow. What would you recommend? You have a great tone, would you mind a rundown on your whole setup? Fiddle? Bow? Strings (brand and size)? Love your videos!

    • Katy Post author

      Hi Craig,

      Bow shopping is fun, but also can get quite overwhelming! Bows can really transform how your instrument sounds. I think it’s important to take your time when shopping for a bow. The bow seller should allow you to take home a few bows to try out for a week or two before you buy (or not buy) anything. When I was bow shopping, I put together a few music excerpts that use different bow styles, and I even brought out a few excerpts that I had found difficult to play with my original bow. Many times, a better bow will make passages that used to seem impossible magically become much more playable.

      The main thing I looked for in a bow was how “stiff” it felt, and how light it felt. The lighter and stiffer the bow felt, the better I thought the bow was (usually). By “stiff,” I mean that I could add a lot of my arm weight into the bow, and the stick of the bow would not fall flat against the strings with the pressure from my arm. This pressure is different than “pressing down” because most bows will fall flat with pressing downward. I wanted a bow that I could add a lot of my arm weight into to create a powerful sound. I think I might make a video about that’s sort of hard to explain in words.. =/

      There are also two different shapes of bows – there are bows where the stick is smooth and circular in shape, and bows where the stick is octagonal in shape. I noticed that octagonal bows tended to have a more blunt and bright sound, whereas circular bows tended to be a little more dark and mellow. I found lots of bows that contradicted this, too, but it was an overall observation that I made.. One of my favorite bows was a dark-sounding octagonal bow, so maybe I shouldn’t even mention this!

      I think he type of bow (“bright” bow vs. “dark” bow) you pick depends quite a lot on the current instrument you have. A bright bow with a bright-sounding violin might make the higher registers of the violin sound too “shrill,” and a dark bow with a dark-sounding instrument might make the notes sound too “muddied.” However, a dark bow on a bright-sounding instrument might mellow out some of the instrument’s higher notes, and a bright bow on a dark-sounding instrument might add some clarity to the instrument’s lower notes.

      I think my violin leans more towards the bright/shrill side of the violin spectrum, and I also think I have a bright-sounding bow. I have a tendency to play more “shrill” or piercing high notes, and it is something that I’m always trying to be careful of. When I was bow-shopping, I fell in love with a really old wooden German bow – it added a fantastic “dark” effect to my violin that accompanied its brighter squeaky-side so well!! But..I didn’t think it was stiff enough.. I ended up buying a stiffer bow because projecting my sound was the most important thing for me at the time.

      There are also wooden bows and carbon fiber bows. Carbon fiber bows are relatively new to the violin world, and I think they have gotten quite a lot better from even just a decade ago. I use a carbon fiber bow (more about which one below..). I’ve heard that the best wood for a bow is supposed to be “Pernambuco,” but I’ve never had a wooden bow to really say much about wooden bows. I know wood bows require more upkeep and can warp more easily, but many have said they think the wood adds something to the violin’s sound that carbon fiber cannot.

      I also wouldn’t let lower price tags indicate a “bad bow.” Many bows have an added antique price tag, which really doesn’t add too much to the playability of the bow. If you find a fantastic cheaper bow, then I think that’s great! The type of bow you purchase is ultimately based on your preferences! =)

      I will list my fiddle setup below:

      I have a 4/4 violin that says “1899 Ernst Kreusler ‘Copy of Antonius Stradivarius’ made in Germany” on the inside tag. It’s supposed to be a full-sized violin, but I think it feels slightly more petite than a regular 4/4 violin. It used to have an extremely low bridge, which I’ve only recently had replaced with a more “normal” sized bridge (I replaced it with a “LR Baggs violin pickup bridge” — electrified! Woo!). I haven’t made a new video using my new bridge, aside from the Morrison’s tutorial that I posted the other week, so all of my other videos were with my old, lower bridge. I noticed that a lower bridge creates a more daintier sound, but I think it makes it slightly easier to play double-stops — especially in higher positions.

      I use a Luma Codabow – I tried all of their bows, and I thought that the Luma was the most comfortable for me. I picked it by playing classical excerpts rather than fiddle tunes, but after I bought it, I found out that it’s considered a “fiddler bow.” I thought that was kind of neat. I was also very curious about the “low end” Arcus bows… They were really nice bows — light as a feather and stiff as a board — but I thought they were getting a bit too expensive for a!

      For strings, I usually use “Pirastro Evah Pirazzi violin strings, Size “Stark” (Heavy).” I have a “ball E” instead of a “loop E,” although that only depends on what kind of fine-tuner you are using on your e string. I used to use a loop e fine-tuner, and although I think it sounded a little better, the string would often break at the loop. I’ve recently started to use Helicore strings because they are quite a bit cheaper than the Eva Pirazzi strings. I usually have to replace my my A, E or D string every 2-3 months due to the strings unraveling.

      I use a “Viva” shoulder rest. I’m not sure if you wanted to know what shoulder rest I I love how adjustable it is. ^_^

      Rosin is also important – I feel as though $10.00 – $20.00 rosin is about the best type of rosin for the money spent. Rosins can get crazy expensive (and crazy cheap), but I personally don’t think there is any more exponential playing gains spending more than $10-$20-ish on a rosin. I currently use “William Salchow, New York, New York” light-colored rosin (I paid about $16.00 from a local store), although I’ve used cheaper $5-7.00-ish dark rosin’s for some of my earlier videos.

      I hope that might give you some bow ideas!!

      Happy bow shopping! =)

    • Katy Post author

      Hi Fiona! Thank you! 🙂 I’m hoping that I’ll be able to make a CD someday, but I’m currently still trying to figure out how to produce the music. I’ve learned that it’s difficult trying to squeeze sound into a small little file and still have it sound nice. I’m tempted to go to a professional for some guidance, but by golly, they are expensive! =/ I’m hoping to figure out how to do it all on my own, but I think I need to practice making music a little more before I publish some tunes on a CD! =)


    • Katy Post author

      Hi Kevin!

      I’m hoping to make a CD someday! I definitely have an idea mapped out of what I’d want a Celtic CD to have on it and what it would sound like. : D I’m still having difficulty of making my imagination of the tunes come to life, so I think I first need to practice producing music a little more. I’m going to start setting aside extra time to try to work on some of my CD tune ideas. =)


  • Jeff Schultz.

    Hi again Katy:)
    I finally am managing you a message.
    It’s difficult to get free time on the web these days :(. As an 18 wheeler I spend more time practicing then anything. My wife and I are team truckers.Soooo I am able to play several hours at a time.
    Wifey says I’m good,family always wants to hear me as well. Like I tell people.I don’t quite follow classical orchestrated music. BORING. Snore.
    I love fiddle most folks don’t want up down bow with measures. Nope
    They want fiddle bowing chopping away like it was lumber. LOL. But I keep looking at new tunes all the time.
    Right now I’m still reading the tablature on The Banks of Spey. Man you really got me going on this tune
    Thanks kiddo

    • Katy Post author

      Hi Jeff!
      It’s awesome that you get to practice so much! =) Several times I wish I could just take a break from work and practice a bit. For a while there, I had to work quite late and I brought my violin to work. LOL! I’d go out into the lobby and play – it’s so refreshing and clears my mind. Music is nice in that no matter what crazy sky-falling problems are happening, they all melt away for a brief moment when playing music. ^_^

      I started in the folk-music setting, and then started to go into the classical world for a bit, and now I’ve gone back to folk tunes! : D I think a lot of Classical Music can be very pretty, but it requires so much accuracy!! : o ..I never could be a very precise and accurate player in the Classical Music genre. =/ I’ve always been one to not count too well, and I tend to bend measures and make up bowings on the fly. It would drive my teachers a bit crazy, and I felt bad when I saw their frustration.. =( I still learned a lot from them, and I don’t think I would be able to play the way I do without their guidance. =)

      I love how friendly and welcoming folk tunes are for everyone. ^_^ Everyone can join in regardless of their playing level, or where they are from – and I really like that! =) Folk music is about being social, whereas classical music is more about performance. I like the social music aspect of folk tunes a lot more. =)

      The banks of Spey!! I’ve been going on a Banks of Spey rant, too. It’s such a neat tune! : D There’s another tune that I’ve been playing a lot, but I have no idea what its title is. =( I wish I could google notes pitches. =/

      I hope you have fun practicing, and Happy 2016!! =)

  • Sam M.

    Hi Katy!

    I just came across your YouTube videos yesterday and I am so glad that I did! I just started learning the violin about 3 months ago and I’m absolutely in love with the sound of it when playing. It truly is something else. I cannot wait to get better at it! Anyway I love your video tutorials as well as some of the tunes that you play. Your tutorials are a BIG help and I am so glad you actually have the sheet music and backing tracks available on your website! There are so many violin tutorials online but yours is one of the few that I really gain inspiration and help when learning how to play better. I hope you continue to do what you are doing because I truly believe you have a gift of playing the violin but also the gift of being able to teach others to do so as well! Thanks again for what you are doing!

    • Katy Post author

      Hi Sam,

      Thank you for you nice comment! Congratulations with learning the fiddle! : D It’s a great instrument to learn. ^_^ I’m happy to hear that my tutorials and sheet music are helping. =) I was really apprehensive about posting tutorials on the internet — I never really thought of myself as someone who could teach fiddle tunes, but so far everyone has been so positive! It’s been a lot of fun to make the tutorials, and I’m glad that they are helping viewers learn the tunes. I have a lengthy list of tutorial’s lined up to make, I just need to rehearse them a little more. =)

  • Alex

    I just want to say thank you for being such an inspiration. It is so easy to see the joy you have for playing. And after reading your little bio here on this site, I have to say that I can relate to your story in many ways.

    I started playing violin when I was 7 and was practicing to be a professional by the time I hit high school. My last violin teacher pretty much killed my love of music by focusing no the competition rather than the love for playing. So my life took a very different path. By the time I hit my mid-twenties, I was hardly playing as I was trying to establish my career in post-production television. By the time I got into university at 28 (yeah… I kind of did things backwards), I didn’t have time to practice and my fiddle lay dormant for over a decade. Finished my education ten years later… an accomplishment that cost me my marriage.

    In the midst of being all depressed while trying to re-piece my life back together, I heard your YouTube videos as well as some from other fiddlers. Watching you play brought back a lot of memories of when I used to busk throughout my teens. Eventually, I went to the music store to get some new strings and picked up the old fiddle again. I couldn’t believe it… after over 15 years, my fingers still remembered! Though I must admit that I’m way out of practice. It will be some time before I even consider attempting YouTube.

    I just want to thank you so much for being an inspiration for me to pick up my fiddle again. I have even attempted to play Tam Lin like you do, but I don’t think I have the timing yet to throw in all those turns and grace notes like you do. Also, I must be playing it wrong because it sounds all whispy (like the flowing of wind) when I play it whereas it sounds more like a joyful dance when you play it. Could be because I’m playing only by ear and without a clue. Anyways, I just wanted to send out a heartfelt “Thanks” for being an inspiration.

    PS…love the bit with the hamster!

    • Katy Post author

      Hi Alex,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment! I’m sorry for the late reply — I’ve been getting so many spam comments that I turned on a spam blocker… for some reason, your comment was in the spam folder. I’m glad I checked through it before clicking delete! Yikes! I’m not sure how your comment ended up in there…I need to check my spam settings! =S

      Thank you for sharing your story — I’m sorry to hear how things have gone, but I’m glad that you have picked up the violin again!!! : D I remember it felt like I “found” a part of myself that I had left to gather dust on a shelf. Playing brought back so many happy memories, especially when I found a jam to play fiddle tunes with. ^-^ It’s so nice to be able to play for fun, instead of always practicing for a recital or orchestra concert. I’ve realized that some of the most beautiful and enjoyable music is also the simplest, and although complex classical music is nice, simple tunes can be just as nice, too.

      I’ve had a similar wispy-sound issue, too…. It has usually been because I either had too much or too little rosin on my bow, or I accidentally wiped the rosin off after I set the bow down briefly. It also sometimes happens when I’m in a really humid environment. It might also be just how the violin sounds under your ear — I always thought I sounded a certain way until I recorded myself. My violin sounds completely different from 6 feet away!

      The hamster! I love that little guy! ^-^ I want to write a tune about his squeaking running wheel that he runs in all night long. haha! I think I’ll start to work on it this winter.

      Thank you for your comment, and I hope you have fun playing the fiddle again! ^_^

  • Joe

    Hi Katy, Thanks for this website I now have it saved in my favorites. I agree with Marie’s comments on it was a lot of work for you to do this. This will be a great help to a new learner like me. So much stuff here I dont know where to start, but it will be fun trying to learn some of these songs. I do have one question for now, is there an easy way to learn vibrato (hope thats what its called anyway) on the fiddle? Any tricks to practice?

    • Katy Post author

      Thank you, Joe! I hope the website helps! =) Vibrato is a tricky thing to learn. I taught myself an “arm vibrato” when I was a teenager, which is usually considered less-than-ideal in the violin world. =/ I’ve been trying to learn to have more of a “wrist vibrato,” which I think has more control and stylistic options than an arm vibrato. Now I do a weird mixture of both vibratos, with an arm vibrato still as my main driving vibrato. I’m not sure if I’m the best person to talk about how to do vibrato, but I found this video to be really helpful:

      A wrist vibrato is a rocking forward-and-backwards of the finger, and your hand sort of “waves hello” to yourself (I’m not sure if that makes!). When it’s hot outside, you can kind of “fan” yourself with just moving your hand up-and-down and without moving your arm — the pivoting wrist motion is similar to the wrist-motion that happens with a wrist vibrato, except the wrist motion for vibrato is much much less exaggerated. When I was trying to remember how to do a wrist vibrato, I would literally wave my left hand at myself before I tried to wiggle my finger on the string — it sounds a little silly, but it really helped me get started! It’s best to start the wiggle-rocking motion of the finger forward and backwards very slowly to get the feel (it will sound sort of like an emergency siren, but that’s okay!), and slowly increase the rocking speed over time. With practice, different vibrato “rocking-motion sizes” (I usually call it “wobble sizes” ..) and “finger wiggle speeds” can create different musical emotions with the notes. If your wrist feels sore or tired from practicing vibrato, it’s best to give it a rest and not try to push things too much — there’s no such thing as “no pain no gain” with the fiddle, and pain will only cause damage! =S

      An arm vibrato is kind of like “shifting up and down” with your whole hand/arm — similar to shifting up and down different positions, except they are very tiny shifts that turn it more into a spazzy-arm-finger-wiggle. It is easier to tense up in the left shoulder and have a “nervous-sounding” vibrato when using an arm vibrato, but it can also sound nice with some practice. I learned an arm vibrato by shifting up and down from 1st position to 3rd position, and then slowly decreasing the shifting distance until my finger was moving forward and backwards with just a wiggle. This kind of vibrato relies on moving the entire left arm (pivoting more at the elbow than just the wrist), to create the vibrato sound. If I could do it all over again, I would have tried to learn a wrist vibrato first — but I think arm vibratos are okay, too. ^_^

      I’m not really sure if this helps very much….Vibrato takes a lot of time to learn, but with practice, it will eventually come! =) I’m still learning a wrist vibrato! : D

      • Joe

        thank you so much for the reply. I wasnt expecting so much info. I will try out some of what your telling me on the vibrato an see if I can get better with it. One thing to ask is when I try the vibrato it seems I must be holding on to the neck of the violin to much. I guess I need a more loose grip on it to free up my finger or wrist movement. Does any of this make sense?

  • Marie

    Hi Katy,

    A HUGE BIG THANK YOU TO YOU!!!!! What a marvellous site! This has taken a lot of work and I’m sure all the effort you’ve put into making it available to us is really appreciated. It lovely to learn a bit about you. I wondered how old you were, waffling between 16 and a possible 30-ish.

    • Katy Post author

      Thank you Marie! =) It was a big project, but I’m glad that it’s finally up and running! : D Hopefully now I can keep my music files a little more organized, too! I get a lot of questions about my age…a few years ago the passport photographer lady thought I was 13! Oh my! =S It’s kind of tough to still look like a teenager when you’re trying to make a go at it in the “adult career world.” I think I’m starting to catch up with my age — I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but I’m happy to start looking like I’m in my twenties! ^_^