American cellist Paul Katz on right-hand vibrato

The American cellist and New England Conservatory professor shares a technical tip from his former teacher, the great János Starker

paul katz

‘János Starker used to teach us something called right-hand vibrato,’ remembers cellist Paul Katz. ‘He said the premise is that if something is tight, move it: that’s a good way release tension.

‘A shaky bow comes from being too tight, and you start to tremble, so Starker would say, ‘Do right-arm vibrato.’ I actually used to do that, because I did have a shaky bow problem when I was in my 20s, and it did help.

‘Just moving the right hand releases the bow grip and can do a lot in terms of solving a shaky bow.’

Watch: Cellist János Starker on vibrato

Paul Katz writes about vibrato in The Strad’s forthcoming July 2017 issue, available to buy on 21 June 2017.