Vibrato - good or bad?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Jack the Baritone King, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. Just wondering what you all think of vibrato. A lot of people don't like it and prefer bandspeople to play it straight, whereas others like to see the old jaw wobbling.

    Myself personally, I love to hear people playing with a bit of vibrato, it can turn a bad soloist good! Especially when the piece is a slow melodic one and you are trying to move it around, it just gives it that bit extra

    What do u think bandsmen and women of the world?
  2. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Key to good vibrato: having the ability to turn it off.
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I just wonder what a brass player's world would be like without vibrato? It adds control, warmth & shape to musical phrases and sometimes it has to be reduced or increased for effect in sections (in relation to other instrumental groups or tutti ensemble).
  4. Spot on there! When you haven't got full control over it then it can spoil you as a player but when you have it under control it's beautiful
  5. hicks

    hicks Member

    I like to hear vibrato as I think it adds warmth. However the only way I can do it is by using the slide.
  6. There are so many ways to add vibrato, have you tride the vibrations from your tounge? some players like to move their instrument whilst they play, but many trombonists move their slide, its whatever works for you!!

    It sure does add warmth and its nice to listen to
  7. hicks

    hicks Member

    The problem I have with tongue/jaw vib is that it seems to interrupt the air flow or affect my embouchure, which is a bad thing. And with slide vib it's not always possible, for instance in 1st position. I do envy those people who can sustain a nice consistent vibrato. Really adds a touch of class to the performance.
  8. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    There are plenty of places in music where it's appropriate, in a particular form (e.g. lip, slide, head, etc.).

    Still, people in bands all over the country at all levels manage repeatedly to put it in places where it isn't...

    I've gone on at length about this before, so I'll leave it at that. At least we aren't generally as tasteless about it as opera singers...
  9. I'm sure that there will be loads of people who you could go and see to try and achieve a stable vibrato, a personal tutor for instance. Some conductors dont wish to hear it played though, so think yourself lucky you dont have the constant problem.
  10. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    You can use 1st position for slide vib......just ask Jiggs whiggam, or Gordon Cambell, Bill Watrous etc....
  11. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Vibrato - in moderation and appropriately placed - has a role in the brass band. In recent years, there has been a trend toward more "straight" playing. However, especially in lyrical passages, this tends to make the sound a bit harsh for my taste.

    Orchestral brass players generally use much less vibrato than brass band players - but then, the brass in an orchestra has a much different role.
    That's not to say that no one in an orchestra uses vibrato - the strings do it all the time (that's what all of the waggling with the left hand is about - watch the violins in any orchestra).
  12. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    I learnt jaw vib by getting a metronome out and vibbing quavers then semis etc. at quicker and quicker tempo ( hope u get what i mean).
    At first it sounded daft and very mechanical - but eventually i was able to add it without thinking. The ability to turn it on and off is a great thing to have - interstingly I find that it helps sustain very quiet long notes on a contest stage also.
  13. alks

    alks Member

    I think using a little bit of vib at the tail end of a long note sounds just right. Just bring it in to conclude a phrase. Subtle use and works well.

  14. Shaggy

    Shaggy New Member

    Ah! Bill Watrous! I played with him a few years back when he appeared as a guest artist for Nottingham Jazz orchestra. Great bone player, but spoils it with tedious golfing anecdotes.
  15. Forest Gump

    Forest Gump Member

  16. flugel_fancy

    flugel_fancy Member

    Just what I was going to say it can add just that little bit extra to a long note and played well can pull the strings in just the right places.

    Without vib I think a player would be slightly constricted as to how to put their own feelings and emotions into their playing.
  17. Simon_Horn

    Simon_Horn Member

    I think natural vib which can be controlled (as opposed to controlled vib which isn't very natural!) is still trying to work it out! haha
  18. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - was he miked up? (he's quite a quiet player!) :confused:
  19. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    Most Jazz trombonists would use a mike, especially at the speed with which they play fast bebop......why make life hard for yourself!!
  20. floppymute

    floppymute Member

    Fact is, vibrato should simply be a tool in the locker for any musician worth their salt, brass players or otherwise. As such you should aim to develop the ability to use it or not, when appropriate and by choice. This is rarely a 'natural' talent and needs to be worked on just as any other technique. Interestingly, after 45 years in banding and 25 years as a profesional teacher I've witnessed a shifting trend. When I was young, every bandsman played with vibrato at all times. What a job I had learning to control it when I first went to college to study trumpet! In more recent times, the trend has been to initially learn 'straight' playing then to have to learn to apply virato later on.
    Sadly, although I firmly believe the general technical standard of our younger players has improved greatly, this trend of 'applied vibrato' has led to there being far fewer lyrical players around, even at the top levels.

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