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Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMusic · 1 decade ago

Musicians - what exactly is "vamping", and why is it called that?

This typically refers to guitar solos, I guess. But I've always wondered what exactly it means, and where the name "vamping" comes from. Anyone?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    it can refer to any repeated short section of music, where there is no set number of times to repeat. someone can solo over it, or it can be used as a time filler, or a closing section. I've always seen it used when someone is talking to introduce the band or a player, they will just take a couple bars and "vamp" it because they dont know for sure how long the intro will be.

    I have no idea why its called that, though.

    Source(s): former music major
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  • 1 decade ago

    I've seen it in musical theatre pit orchestra. When you see it written in the music, you keep playing that phrase or set of measures, etc until the actors are ready to move on. Sometimes the actors are trying to make it through a page or so of lines, so you would repeat the music where it says vamp until they are finished and ready to move on with the show. So basically it means repeat indefinitely until ready to move forward.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Vamping is improvising.

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