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Thread: Vibrato

  1. #21
    Forum Contributor 2016-17 DavisConnArtist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vibrato

    I once heard an apparently well-known classical clarinetist who used (in the classical context) a vibrato and tone that I thought would cut concrete. I found it jarring. (Full disclosure: I started on clarinet and was taught NO vibrato.) More recently, I heard a concert band play "Victory at Sea" with a "jazzer" tenor player who swooped into every phrase and had a vibrato you could lose your car keys in. It really marred an otherwise solid performance. In other words, it's about using good taste and judgement for the context.

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    Default Re: Vibrato

    Quote Originally Posted by eclarinet View Post
    Hi,

    I'm a professional clarinet player, but picked up the sax fairly recently. My question is the about the use of vibrato. Are there any classical saxophonists who use very little vibrato?
    John Harle.
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    Default Re: Vibrato

    That really answers it.
    Quote Originally Posted by martinmclaren View Post
    Seeing how this was originally a classical sax question, from my experience it tends to be near immediate (although not on every eighth note) and at a constant speed, performed at a speed and width that should be dictated by the piece being performed.

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    Default Re: Vibrato

    Claude Delangle doesn't use much.

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    Default Re: Vibrato

    Quote Originally Posted by eclarinet View Post
    Thanks for the clarification. I think I just have a problem with mindless vibrato. Even flute players tend to have a better sense of when not to vibrate. In my experience, saxophone players use it so much that it starts sounding like goats (no offense).
    Can you provide an example of a player that you find jarring? I just wondering who you're hearing this with.

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    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vibrato

    Quote Originally Posted by eclarinet View Post
    In my experience, saxophone players use it so much that it starts sounding like goats (no offense).
    Yes, there is offense if you mean to stereotype saxophone players in general.
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    Default Re: Vibrato

    Just trying to be polite. If it makes you feel better, I think wide, fast vibrato on many instruments sounds like a goat.

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    Default Re: Vibrato

    Vibrato is like slurring or tonguing notes, bending notes or any of the other sound effects that can be made on a sax - at the right place in a song, usually in a ballad, vibrato makes a simple long note sound with more feeling. You can start the note as a straight note, add vibrato part way through, and vary the frequency and pitch as well, and finish with a straight note, so it doesn't have an undo warbling effect.
    Similarly, if you tongue every note it will lose its effectiveness and sound like a staccato series of chopped notes, and if you slur every note, the phrase will lack punch.
    Its a matter of judging the place in the music for using any of these techniques. That judgement comes from listening to the particular genre of music until the player has absorbed it as a second nature feeling and understanding.

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    Default Re: Vibrato

    Talking about where to use articulation and slurring in a tune, especially the standards. I think the lyricist and composer were very clever in the matching a lyric with a musical phrase. A lot of the time if you follow the lyrics while playing the notes it tells you how to articulate. Who was that well known player who when asked why he stopped playing in the middle of a tune, said. I forgot the words.
    A pic of how to achieve the perfect embouchure.

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    Default Re: Vibrato

    There are different "schools" of classical playing that have their own ideal vibrato...

    Mule used a wide, fast, consistent vibrato for most everything.
    Rascher had a much less pronounced one.
    The American school tended to have a wide vibrato, but would alter the speed depending on context.

    Nowadays...there's everything. Very little vibrato to wide vibrato...imo, older styles had wider vibrato. Contemporary styles have shallower, slower vibrato usually used in context with what is happening. Musical taste it where it's at. Don't get sucked int older recordings for vibrato usage unless you're trying to mimic is exactly.

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    Default Re: Vibrato

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonPowerSax View Post
    Musical taste it where it's at.

    Basically a summary of this entire conversation.

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    Default Re: Vibrato

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    Yes, there is offense if you mean to stereotype saxophone players in general.
    Yes, those weak clarinet players and egomaniacal trumpet players can't do anything to stereotype us!! That would be outrageous!
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    Default Re: Vibrato

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian1 View Post
    Yes, those weak clarinet players and egomaniacal trumpet players can't do anything to stereotype us!! That would be outrageous!
    Don't worry about Clarinet players. Some Clarinet players play the Sax better than some Sax players.l
    A pic of how to achieve the perfect embouchure.

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    Default Re: Vibrato

    Quote Originally Posted by eclarinet View Post
    Hi,

    I'm a professional clarinet player, but picked up the sax fairly recently. My question is the about the use of vibrato. Are there any classical saxophonists who use very little vibrato? Many of the recordings I hear seem to just blanket everything with it and it simply doesn't sound good to my clarinet ears.

    Also, how do most people do vibrato on saxophone? Is it embouchure, diaphragm, jaw?

    Thanks.
    I would be curious as to which recordings you're referring to. Perhaps you could give some examples?

    The modern French players (Claude Delangle, Jean-Yves Fourmeau, Vincent David, Quatuor Habanera, XASAX, etc.) use very subtle vibrato, though the vibrato itself is still fairly aggressive. Other styles of playing (American, Dutch, Japanese) usually use more vibrato than the French, but the vibrato itself is often smoother. This isn't me leveraging one style over another, just an observation.

    John Harle (British) uses almost NO vibrato when he plays, which works well when he plays more modern, jazz-inspired repertoire like Harrison Birtwistle's "Panic." When it comes to standard rep like Debussy and Glazunov, however, it's pretty inappropriate.

    Vibrato on saxophone is usually initiated by the jaw, with subtle undulations of four beats per quarter note. Once you've developed proper jaw and embouchure control, you can begin altering the speed and width of the vibrato to better suit the music.
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