There are different schools of thought on the subject of when to introduce the technique to a beginning violinist, but the school of thought I’m paying for via my violin lessons is suggesting I start thinking about vibrato sooner than later.
Vibrato, I’ve learned in the last three months since taking up the violin is (a) an essential technique for adding depth and richness to a musical piece by slightly flexing the finger laterally along the string to produce a subtle variation in pitch, and (b) freaking difficult.
It’s like, and the best example I can think of, is trying to pat your head, rub your belly, while trying to read music, hit the proper notes, and grip an expensive instrument with the side of your face.
Apparently it eventually just clicks, works, and your brain rewires to figure out the motion, but at 40 training the fingers, wrist, and muscles of one arm to work in a subtle and melodious way while my other hand, fingers and arm moves in a completely different way… well, the only thing that’s clicking (and creaking, squawking and squeaking, to be honest) is the unintended noises emerging from my violin in the process.
My fingers have developed semi-permanent groves from the effort…. which will continue, at least until the clicking is appropriately allocated.