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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Vibrato in the General forums; For those who don't know me, I've been playing trumpet for 8 years. I consider myself to be pretty adapt ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User
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    Mar 2012


    For those who don't know me, I've been playing trumpet for 8 years.
    I consider myself to be pretty adapt and versatile.
    Despite being admitted into several trumpet studios in my state, I decided to go into music education as a bassoonist.

    Never the less, I still lust to become a better trumpetist and I regret not pursuing trumpet on a collegiate level.
    There are few trumpet issues that I have not been able to solve for myself. So why am I here?

    I feel my vibrato is not being executed correctly. I am very used to woodwind vibrato but somehow it is not expressively enough for brass playing.
    I suppose my real question of help is "How should I be doing vibrato on trumpet?"

  2. #2
    Forte User DaTrump's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    Huntsville, Texas

    Re: Vibrato

    Find one or several trumpet players that have, what you consider, great vibrato, and try to emulate it.

    I personally don't like to use vibrato, but being in a studio, I don't get to choose what I do and don't like.
    "There are two sides to a trumpeter's personality: there is the one that lives only to lay waste to the woodwinds and strings, leaving them lying blue and lifeless along the swath of destruction that is a trumpeter's fury; then there's the dark side...." --Michael Stewart

  3. #3
    Utimate User gmonady's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
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    Re: Vibrato

    As opposed to when the mouthpiece is placed inside the mouth as with woodwinds, to when lips are placed on the mouthpiece, dynamic differences to airflow are obvious. To get a vibrato, you will get many opinions as there are several ways you can make this tonal variation happen. I prefer just relaxing the tongue as much as possible to optimize airflow (lower resistance) and then let my embouchure control be vibrato by simple muscle action of tighten and relaxing lip muscle. Others will recommend moving the mouthpiece on the embouchure. This will work, but I believe risks producing trauma to the lips. Also with an open embouchure, by dropping the jaw (again relaxing) you can relax and tighten the jaw muscle as well.

    I am also in the DaTrump camp, as I only like to use vibrato sparingly, when just the right amount of seasoning is needed for the phrase I am producing. I only use a heaping amount of vibrato when I play Dixieland as that is a dish best served spicy... etwa
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  4. #4
    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
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    Re: Vibrato

    The "woodwind vibrato" starts from the source and results in a "billy-goat" sounding mess on the brass instruments. With the jaw, both intensity and speed are easily controlled. The hand vibrato, stolen from string players, is also in common use, although there exists a strong argument in that the vibrato will change depending on fingering. At times, to impart a "shimmer," the tongue is used, but most players use a jaw vibrato because that is the way most of us have puzzled it out.
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  5. #5
    Fortissimo User bumblebee's Avatar
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    Re: Vibrato

    Quote Originally Posted by Vulgano Brother View Post
    ... but most players use a jaw vibrato because that is the way most of us have puzzled it out.
    That's what I do.


  6. #6
    Mezzo Piano User
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    Jul 2012
    San Rafael, CA

    Re: Vibrato

    Is a chainsaw considered inspiration for vibrato?
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  7. #7
    Pianissimo User keigoh's Avatar
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    Oct 2012

    Re: Vibrato

    I have a question.
    How often shoud the wevering of pitch in a vibrato be?
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    I like playing my instrument!
    Trumpets are great.

  8. #8
    Piano User
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    May 2010

    Re: Vibrato

    Quote Originally Posted by keigoh View Post
    I have a question.
    How often shoud the wevering of pitch in a vibrato be?
    The speed and width of the vibrato is dictated by the style of music you are playing. A classical solo is going to have different vibrato than a jazz piece.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2008

    Re: Vibrato

    I should think the frequency and the width of the vibrato depends primarily on the style of music. A relaxed blues vibrato, a singing vibrato, and an intense bravura vibrato. Doc Severinsen's vibrato is decidedly different than, say , Maurice Andre's due largely to the style of music.

    There is also room to put a personal stamp on the vibrato as Phil Smith's, Haken Hardenberger's, Wynton Marsalis's differ on pieces that they have all recorded (Intrada--Honeggar for example).

  10. #10
    Forte User sounds7's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    New Orleans

    Re: Vibrato

    Miles didnt use vibrato because his mentor Charlie Parker maybe? said he would just get old and shake any way.
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