Is vibrato used by changing pitch or wavering the amount of air used?
I m an oboists and I can already use vibrato but I d like to better understand it. If seen videos where the person says to raise and then lower the pitch quickly to create vibrato. I, however, learned vibrato by going "ho-ho-ho" with my air. Are they really the same thing or does it just depend on what works for the musician?
- MamiankaLv 78 months agoFavorite Answer
I am a flutIst. We wind players use vibrato controlled by fluctuations in our air supply - so your ho ho ho is it. Singers do this similarly. There are sax players who were taught to do this with the jaw (!) - you can see the stress in their facial muscles! Many clarinetists use none - many flutists use too much (one flute colleague referred to that as "Granny's perfume" - can no longer tell it is way too overpowering!
String players will create vibrato by pitch change - rocking that finger to higher and lower pitch placements on the fingerboard. I have worked with opera singers who only are in tune when the top of THEIR vibrato touches the goal pitch - yikes! - but that is their mannerism. Keep up the curiosity about your instrument - you will go much further, than people who "just play".
- pianomanLv 78 months ago
- Me2Lv 78 months ago
Vibrato is small, cyclical pitch modulation. The best example comes from the bowed strings, where the fingertip rocks, without actually slipping along the string, minutely changing the point of contact and thus the pitch. Oboists don't actually produce vibrato but rather produce tremolo, a modulation in volume. There can be an incidental but virtually imperceptible pitch change.
Note that common bowed tremolo† is fundamentally different, in that the initial attack repeats; as with plucked string instruments as well. Because this doesn't occur with oboe, the term vibrato is used, regardless that it's technically incorrect.
( † A less common bowed tremolo is similar to oboe. The bow maintains its direction while the speed is modulated with hand motion. Though I've read of it and seen a demonstration, I don't know how it's notated or of any examples in the literature.)
A flutist can generate string-like tremolo with flutter-tonguing, oboe-like tremolo with breath control, and true vibrato (accompanied, I think, by subtle tone color changes).