Playing Tremolo

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings

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Fox
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Playing Tremolo

Post by Fox » Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:30 pm

When playing a piece for violin how would you play tremolo? Would that be vibrato?

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:10 pm

I don't know. Ask a violinist. :wink:

But in all seriousness, tremolo can mean two things for a violinist (if I am thinking of the correct terminology). A tremolo is a trill between two intervals larger than a 2nd. The notes are written out and it is indicated to trill. For violin, there is the tremolo technique in addition to the tremolo trill. This technique is essentially a combination of short strokes with the bow to create a trembling effect. It has a very jittery feeling. Think: Alfred Hitchcock.

Neither of these are vibrato. Vibrato is made with the fingers and is a downward fluctuation in pitch.

I believe this information is correct in a very broad/general sense. If I am incorrect... well... I'm a flutist. I'm just stating what I have observed in orchestra rehearsals.

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Fox
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Post by Fox » Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:09 am

fluteguy18 - I don't talk to string players! They all think they're better than the wind players.

I also asked in another forum and they mentioned that it wouldn't be vibrato; it would be flutter-tonguing.

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Post by fluteguy18 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:11 pm

Is that humor? (flutter tonguing?). I mean, if a violinist were to start flutter tonguing while they played I would fear that they would insult their audience. Blowing raspberries is rude!

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Post by Fox » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:48 pm

No no. The violinist isn't flutter tonguing. The flute player would use flutter tonguing when playing what violinist would play as Tremolo.

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Post by zummerzet_lou » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:44 pm

Apparently I play with tremolo (not intentionally) and my teacher is trying to stop me doing it!

How? It's all in the throat, and a bit like vibrato but opening and closing the airpipe. God knows how you learn it ... or how I un-learn it!

wkzh
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Post by wkzh » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:09 am

Try learning to keep your air output constant. If that fails... some major correction is in good order!
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Bo
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Re: Playing Tremolo

Post by Bo » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:15 pm

There is a chart for tremolo fingerings here:
http://www.wfg.woodwind.org/flute/fl_tr3_1.html

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Re: Playing Tremolo

Post by concertmaster3 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:34 pm

As an arranger who also plays violin, It would be flutter tonguing...Old thread, but if anyone else is wondering.
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Re: Playing Tremolo

Post by wkzh » Fri Oct 22, 2010 5:15 am

It's not fluttertonguing, I can testify to that... because nobody would fluttertongue with absolutely no intention to. I think it'd be more of "flutter-throating".
The flute family: probing the lower limit of human hearing and the upper limit of human tolerance.

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Re: Playing Tremolo

Post by concertmaster3 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:37 pm

that was in response to the original question. The effect that a flutist would use to imitate string tremolo would be flutter tonguing.
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Re: Playing Tremolo

Post by wkzh » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:46 am

Ahhh I see. But admittedly, I think what most flautists use as "fluttertonguing" is not a suitable substitute for violin tremolos: doesn't achieve anything like it.

However, do note that there are TWO types of fluttertonguing: one's an "alveolar trill" (using the tongue) and is what we're most familiar with; the other's an "uvular trill", which uses that thing hanging down at the opening of the throat. Usually, flautists who are unable to execute a alveolar trill will have no choice but to learn how to do a controlled uvular trill.The alveolar trill has very abrupt stops and very marked re-entries, whereas the uvular trill is "smoother" because the mouth acts as a "buffer". If you're going to transcribe a tremolo, I suggest indicating a uvular flutter, although it's a rarer skill. Doesn't work at louder dynamics though.
The flute family: probing the lower limit of human hearing and the upper limit of human tolerance.

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Re: Playing Tremolo

Post by concertmaster3 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:58 am

Most flutists I know use the "uvular" trill. Control usually isn't an issue regarding violin tremolo. All of the violinists in a section are going to be playing at different speeds, usually at their fastest, comfortable speed when it's mf or below. For the forte tremolo, it's more of a matter of sound production than the tremolo effect. Most composers I've played pieces by have used it to make a louder sound in the string section. It's a lot easier to play repeated notes loud than hold out whole notes throughout a piece. In those cases, playing them as the total note value is usually what's done, non-tremolo.

That probably sounds confusing...lol. It works in my mind...lol
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etc-etc
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Re: Playing Tremolo

Post by etc-etc » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:39 pm

Careful with the uvular trill - if done involuntarily while sleeping, it is called snoring.

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Re: Playing Tremolo

Post by concertmaster3 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:10 pm

haha. Maybe that's my problem! lol
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http://www.RonFordMusic.com

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