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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by dvnbrennan, Jan 6, 2011.
What technique can one utilize to build a vibrato?
One avoids it like the plague until one reaches a level where one knows how and when to use it.
You know, I never really thought about how and when to use vibrato, except with singing, and eventually that started to come naturally.
To me it's a natural part of expression while playing. There are times when to use it and times when you shouldn't - just pay attention and you'll figure it out.
There are 2 ways I use; one with the right hand with slow movements of the hand forward and backwards (looks cool in a solo), and then by using the lips (more supple and less obvious. They both sound the same, but the hand vibrato can be used quite more vigourously than the lips. When to use: When written into the score, or as you require for the feel. Too much vibrato, too often can be annoying. Use it wisely, and practice both techniques.
Think of vibrato like a spice in cooking: too much will ruin the effect. I prefer the jaw vibrato over the hand vibrato because it affects the amplitude rather than the frequency of the pitch (at least when I do it).
As for learning vibrato, sax players have this weird tradition where they will play long tones and add a slow vibrato, speeding it up and slowing back down. It works for trumpet too, but we have the advantage of sounding way cooler than sax with or without vibrato.
I use two different types, hand and lip. One of the best ways to get an idea of how quick or slow the occilations should be is to listen to good singers from Broadway.
To see how hand vibrato is used, watch Doc Severensen.
To see how lip vibrato is used, watch Wynton Marsalis.
Nothing is worse than someone who sings with excessive vibrato, all the time. All vibrato, all the time.
So, with the trumpet, I think the best approach is subtlety. But I certainly wouldn't wait to use (like some suggest here). If you're thinking about it, you're ready to use it. Absolutely vibratoless trumpet playing, all the time, sounds lifeless IMO. But it needs to be used with taste.
Hand, lip or jaw vibrato - there are pros and cons to each. Some are more appropriate in certain situations than others. Regardless of the method, the trick is to know how to turn it off.
Often vibrato is used to warm the sound; to make it more expressive. More often vibrato is used to cover up some sort of fundamental flaw in your sound.
A little makeup makes a pretty girl beautiful. But all the makeup in the world can't fix ugly.
But all the makeup in the world can't fix ugly.
True, but a lot of beer and closing time can buffer that.