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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Vibrato? in the General forums; As above, on horn I had a slight vibrato, and received many compliments, especcialy when playing in brass quintet. I ...
  1. #1
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    As above, on horn I had a slight vibrato, and received many compliments, especcialy when playing in brass quintet. I tend to tend towards vibrato (obviously) and wondered is a pure tone more correct or is vibrato OK, and if so, what type?

    Haven't been a trumpet player seriously since my freshman year of high school, when I switched to French horn. I just don't know enough about good trumpet playing.

  2. #2
    Forte User Al Innella's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    Re: Vibrato?

    It depends on the style of music and the ensemble you're playing with.Never use vibrato on unison passages. There are different types of vibrato, I prefer the hand vibrato, you could also use lip,jaw,or diaphragm vibrato like a flautist . You should be able to play using any of these, plus a plain straight tone with no wavering .

  3. #3
    Fortissimo User SteveRicks's Avatar
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    Aug 2009

    Re: Vibrato?

    It all depends on the music -some styles allow vibrato, others don't. I was playing 2nd chair for Brook Benton in a regional "pick up" band proabably 35 years ago. The lead guy kept using vibrato on everything, and after being corrected several times, I was suddenly moved to lead. Apparently Brook didn't want it.

    Stan Kenton was notorious for not wanting vibrato. He wanted a powerful, loud horn section and vibrato reduces that.

    In many bands the lead guy gets to use it -with others doing so vary sparingly. When the entire section is doing so abunantly, it has the "sweet" sound of the 40s.

    My advice would be to use it sparingly. Make people want to hear it -not tire of hearing it. We all can envision the Sunday morning church soprano that sounds like she is going to shake the church apart.

    Probably my top trumpet hero was Maynard -however, for the last 15 or so years, his vibrato reached the extreme to where, at least I, didn't enjoy it. It was almost like it was being used as a cover for not hitting notes head on (please no flames-you won't find a more devoted follower of Maynard than I).

    Also, there is narrow and wide vibrato, fast and slow. It all depends on the music and style. Maybe some others will give their take on it -this was just my opinion.

    In fact, my advice is go easy on it.
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    Mezzo Piano User lakerjazz's Avatar
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    Re: Vibrato?

    For earlier jazz music, you can do a vibrato on every note, but otherwise, just try to think where you as a listener would like to hear it. I don't see why the areas in which you would use vibrato on trumpet would differ at all from the areas in which you use it with french horn.

  5. #5
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    Re: Vibrato?

    On horn, VERY few people use vibrato. I was a solo/small group player mostly, so I could afford to use it sparingly. Most of my teachers said never, but a few really good players I've heard did, so I developed my own sound over about 10 years of playing.

    I'll have to do a fair amount of jazz band, so that's great advice. In fact, thanks to all of you, you've all given great advice.

  6. #6
    Mezzo Piano User lakerjazz's Avatar
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    Oct 2006

    Re: Vibrato?

    Oh okay. Well in that case, I'd say you could definitely use it more often on trumpet, as long as you're tasteful.

  7. #7
    Mezzo Forte User mchs3d's Avatar
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    Re: Vibrato?

    Listen to trumpet players. There are so many different kinds of vibrato. Start with classical players, and then listen to jazz players. You will notice the thousands of variants that people can play with. Vibrato at the right time and place is extremely tasteful.
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  8. #8
    Mezzo Piano User Darten's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    Re: Vibrato?

    I think the easiest way to use vibrato is not to use it at all, until you hit something and you simply do it naturally or intuitively, then with that experience you will use it more often in the right places. I try to stay as clean as possible my self, but then again I suck, and anyways how much vibrato do I really need in Mary had a little lamb?

  9. #9
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    Re: Vibrato?

    Playing solo is different from any other setting. To pick up a good vibrato style for solo, listen to good singers (all musical instruments in one way or another are meant to mimic the human voice). They will only use vibrato on a sustained note and even then they hit the note solidly at first, and then gradually add the vibrato, letting it build in amplitude but fading in frequency toward the end of the note. That is the best way to do it.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Vibrato?

    Vibrato is definately a solo thing. If you play with a group play with a pure, non-vibrato tone.

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