Page 1 of 1

trigger: vibrato

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:53 am
by bloke
The use of vibrato seems to have been out of favor in (now, seemingly) most schools of brass playing for decades, now...

...yet strings, and woodwinds haven't even hinted at backing away from its use.

...and yes, I'm completely aware that SOME brass players (all euphonium players...many trumpet players) are still using it.

I understand ~not~ using it in block-sound symphonic playing...and not when sustaining foundational chords...and certainly avoiding it when playing chorale passages in symphonies...

...but there are many times - when performing solo lines - it would add a great deal.

- bad execution of vibrato...??
sure, there's bad execution of everything

- overuse of vibrato...??
sure, there's overuse of everything

When I listen to many pretty-good tuba players play tuba solos with piano accompaniment (admittedly, music to which .00000000000001% of all people ever purposely listen), the only "tool" that I hear in many of their musical expression toolkits (again: mostly, in current times) is the adding or taking away of decibels. With ~only~ this tool of musical expression being utilized, one can turn the sound down fairly low on such recordings, and many performed tuba solos begin to sound like animal calls, rather than musical phrases. It's already difficult enough to prevent a tuba from sounding like that, yes? It seems to me that more (rather than fewer) musical expression apparati should rule the day.

' your thoughts...

Re: trigger: vibrato

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 11:15 am
by bort
Whoa... your tuba has a vibrato trigger? :)

Re: trigger: vibrato

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 11:26 am
by kmorgancraw
I would say you are spot on. Tubas should almost never use vibrato in ensemble playing but should without question use it on solo rep. Almost nobody wants to listen to a tuba solo as it is, so using vibrato, musically and tastefully, is a good way to add some element of beauty. Vibrato should be musical, not on or off, one speed all the time. Speeding up and slowing down vibrato and pausing vibrato at certain musical moments should be done. When I hear a tuba solo with nothing but changes in decibels, I think "boorrriiinggg." Trumpets, trombones and euphoniums all use vibrato in solos, tubists that don't are being musically lazy.

Re: trigger: vibrato

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 12:25 pm
by hrender
When I took lessons (late '70's) I was told "no vibrato" so I never pursued learning how to do it. In the early '80's I played for a director who asked for it in a soli section, and I realized I had no appreciable ability to do it. Since I picked the horn back up I've worked on my own to do it well. I know earlier generations of players (Bell, Jacobs) used it and taught different approaches to it. For me it's mostly for personal use since I haven't had a request to do it in our community band. It makes solos and etudes much more musical IMO.

Re: trigger: vibrato

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 12:46 pm
by Steginkt
I was just having a conversation a few days ago with a rather prominent local trumpet player a few days ago on this very subject. He pointed out that in earlier days of (mostly east coast) american symphonies, block chord playing was expected to have vibrato, most of the players being from europe or the sons of european artists. I wonder at which point of our pedagogy this was phased out?

Re: trigger: vibrato

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 12:53 pm
by Tubaguyry
No vibrato = dead, rudimentary, non-musical tone. Soloists who play this way are automatically hacks to my ears.

I had wondered why so many of the supposedly "top" players coming out these days sound crappy like that. They're being TAUGHT not to play expressively? How sad. I've also noticed that WAY too many players just abruptly come off the end of their notes. There's no "flavor" or "finish" there...the sound just STOPS. Garbage playing. My very first thought when I hear that is that I'd like to instruct the offender to IMMEDIATELY purchase Floyd Cooley's "A Schumann Fantasy" and listen to the whole thing on repeat until he/she understands what a solo tuba is SUPPOSED to sound like.

Re: trigger: vibrato

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 2:12 pm
by bloke
I wonder if many teachers (a subject of another thread in another forum) are afraid to teach - or even suggest - it.

Re: trigger: vibrato

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 3:36 pm
by KyleRichter
For what it's worth, I was taught and encouraged to use vibrato in solo playing by all of my teachers. They each had different ideas on when, why, and how much to use, but never was "no vibrato ever" an option or idea.

Re: trigger: vibrato

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 4:06 pm
by Rick F
My teacher/mentor for euphonium was the late Fred Dart. He said then that we euphonium players should use vibrato almost all the time. That may have been correct many years ago, but now I feel we shouldn't use vibrato in ensemble playing - except if we're playing a solo in the group. And then the type vibrato that lends itself to the music. For ballads I like to copy the human voice... adding a little vibrato to the end or back third of the held note. Jazzier pieces, a faster vibrato during solos.

Re: trigger: vibrato

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 4:48 pm
by lost
Maybe someone can give examples in some recordings where a solo line was vibrato-less. I wasn't aware vibrato in solo playing was a trigger amongst brass players or had fallen out of favor.

Re: trigger: vibrato

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 4:48 pm
by Jay Bertolet
Bottom line is this:

If you weren't taught how and when to use vibrato, your musical education is incomplete. I am primarily an orchestral player (I can't remember the last time I actually played a solo piece in front of people) and I use vibrato all the time. This notion of only using vibrato in solo pieces is bunk. Strings and winds don't use it in such a limited way, what makes anyone think brass players should?

Re: trigger: vibrato

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 7:11 pm
by bloke
Jay Bertolet wrote:Bottom line is this:

If you weren't taught how and when to use vibrato, your musical education is incomplete. I am primarily an orchestral player (I can't remember the last time I actually played a solo piece in front of people) and I use vibrato all the time. This notion of only using vibrato in solo pieces is bunk. Strings and winds don't use it in such a limited way, what makes anyone think brass players should?


Image

Bass players use it constantly, but they play a heckuva a lot more (and - let's face it - a heckuva lot more complete musical phrases) than we do...many phrases which reinforce and/or double the celli ("the baritone horns of the orchestra"). :lol:

Further, bass players' resonance is never "in your face" (as, occasionally, composers wish for ours to be).

I believe there are many more times that it can be used by (more) tuba players in orchestras than it currently is used, but (and no offense meant) the "old school" style of vibrato (no names named) is not something that I would care to bring back.

Re: trigger: vibrato

PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 8:57 pm
by pjv
Bottom line; is the use of a vibrato at any given moment functional or not.

Changes per situation. That's the great thing about music; personal choice.

Even in solo situations I may not use vibrato. It all comes down to how I want to "say" something. Sometimes I'll put a tad of vibrato only on one note out of an entire series of phrases just because the music says, "do it here" to me. (less is more, etc)

Since in "our" register the notes are doing already quite a bit of audible vibrations on their own, I find it preferable to prudent with vibrato.

Re: trigger: vibrato

PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 3:49 pm
by Dan Tuba
I think that developing vibrato and learning how to use vibrato is time well spent. I think that it adds another tool in your toolbox for shaping "musical" phrases. Of course, using the right tool for the job at hand is crucial for success and for maintaing good relationships with your colleagues. I think that spending time listening to how vocalists, string players, woodwind players, and even other brass players use vibrato across varying genres of music is also very beneficial.

Re: trigger: vibrato

PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 4:43 pm
by bloke
Dan Tuba wrote:I think that developing vibrato and learning how to use vibrato is time well spent. I that it adds another tool in your toolbox for shaping "musical" phrases. Of course, using the right tool for the job at hand is crucial for success and for maintaing good relationships with your colleagues. I think that spending time listening to how vocalists, string players, woodwind players, and even other brass players use vibrato across varying genres of music is also very beneficial.


well worth a re-post :roll: :wink:

Re: trigger: vibrato

PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 7:14 am
by pjv
My observation has been that vibrato is less of a given and more of a technique outside many of the non-classical styles; avant-garde/modern/experimental, pop, jazz. This also holds true for many singers, sting players and woodwind players (inclu saxophones).