Teaching Vibrato...?

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Teaching Vibrato...?

Post by FluterJenn » Tue Dec 06, 2005 5:56 pm

Hey everyone.

Recently I've began to help the flute players at my old middle school(I'm in 11 grade now). With the 8th graders, the band director wants me to teach them vibrato. Today while I was there I did the best to teach them using some of the hints my private lessons instructor gave me, but out of the 6 of them only 1 could do it by the end. I'm going to help them again tommorow, so I just need any ideas of how to explain it better. If you have any websites that really help that would be great too, mabye I can print something out for them to read so the can try to understand it better?

Thanks for any help.

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Post by Band_Geek » Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:16 pm

Could you help some of us on the boards here? The 9th graders that come back to my middle are evil and dont want to teach us vibrato.

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Post by SaturnCat » Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:59 pm

The quick :x way that I remember beeing tought is by doing waves start with slow waves and get faster to sixteenth notes. But I wish I got better instuctions on vibrato. But I don't know how to explain it better, it seems as this is the obvious thing. :?

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Post by Schof » Wed Dec 07, 2005 5:56 pm

Get some recordings that they could listen to where the vibrato is nice nd obvious. I got some sheets about it at band canp but I'm too lazy to look for them. In short they said to do what Saturncat said.

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teaching vibrato

Post by flute27 » Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:13 pm

in my experience in private teaching, it is best to start teaching vibrato by pulsing/accenting quarter notes with the beat. Then, move it to eighth notes, then to triplets, then to sixteenth notes. Have them start very slowly then speed up as they get better. Another technique I use is when they are playing a whole note, I will gently pulsate their abdomen with my hand so they understand what they have to do with their air flow to create vibrato. Hope this was helpful.

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Post by BlondeFlutist17 » Sun Jan 15, 2006 6:58 pm

well i personally learned from another student, even though she was my age :lol: (my chorus teacher also helped)

anyway i loved her teaching methods

well first since i was a begginer i had to learn to breathe using my diaphram. To me the easiest way to learn is laying on the floor on your back, thinking about filling your belly with air so it swells like a balloon. To test this she had me put a text book where your stomach expands to see it move up and down while i used my diaphram to breathe.

once i learned that i used the same method for vibrato
i set a metronome to about 60 and concentrated on pushing my diaphram with the beat of my metronome (increasing beats per second), i even used my flute while laying down

laying down while learning makes it simpler because you are more concious of how to controll your diaphramic push

after you master the vibrato lying down, you can do it standing or sitting although it will seem a bit harder at first

hope i helped

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Post by amhso » Mon Feb 20, 2006 12:44 pm

doing the waves works, but you have to have someone listening to you. if you don't make deep changes your vibrato won't come out good.

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Post by chalet » Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:32 pm

I know how to play using vibrato but I honestly don't remember how I was taught it....and I wouldn't know how to explain it..haha.

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Post by flutepicc06 » Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:34 pm

There are numerous ways to learn vibrato, but I'm going to here are two of my favorites out of all the possibilities. Now, before I explain how to do it, you need to know what it is. Vibrato is essentially a variation in pitch created through a combination of diaphragm and throat control (I can't tell you how much to use each, as it differs for every flutist). A good vibrato will vary equally in both directions (that is to say that it will go as flat as it goes sharp). Many flutists use vibrato as a way to hide poor intonation, but it should not be regarded in this way. It is a tool towards expressiveness, much as articulation, tone color or any other facet of the sound can be a tool toward expressiveness. Now, as for how to get started, first you must learn to vary the pitch. Go as sharp (and then as flat) as you can without either rolling the flute or losing tone quality. I'm going to use the term "circle" to mean that starting in tune, you then go sharp, then flat and return to pitch. Each time you return to pitch, you have done one complete circle. Your goal should be a round sound (thus the term "circles"), where the distance from in tune to either extreme of pitch is equal. Now set a metronome to m.m. 60. Try to do 2 circles per beat. Once you have that down, move the metronome up. Eventually you will be doing 2 circles at 126-132 bpm. At that point, bump the metronome back down to 60, and try to do 4 circles per beat. Try to work the tempo up to roughly 100 doing 4's. Most professionals use 4's at 94 bpm as the average speed for their vibrato, so that should be your goal in the long run. As the tempo gets faster, don't worry if the depth of the vibrato (how far it varies from in tune) changes, but be sure to retain the roundness of the vibrato. This will teach you a very nice, rounded vibrato that can be manipulated to different speeds and depths, but can create a very metronomic vibrato, so once you have mastered the basics, work to be sure that you are not simply beating out 8th notes or 16ths with your vibrato. Another way to go about it is to select a note (an easy one to start with is low g), and start tonguing, gradually accelerating the speed of the articulations to the point that the tongue stops actually separating the notes, and it is a breath articulation being used (once the tongue gives out, it's almost a "hoo-hoo" kind of feel). That breath articulation is the basic feel for a very slow vibrato. Once you've got a hang of it, you'll need to increase the speed, and this method quite often produces a vibrato that goes sharp more than it does flat, so you'll need to do some work to round the vibrato. As a general rule, you also need to know that vibrato is an addition to the sound, not the sound itself, so it should not disrupt an audience's listening, but rather enhance their enjoyment of the sound without being obvious. You will also need to be sure that you can still play senza vibrato (without vibrato), so don't allow vibrato to become so deeply ingrained in your sound that you can't control it. Vibrato, used appropriately can add a lot to a piece, but it should not be used constantly, so once you have control over it, experiment to see where it adds to a piece, and where it actually takes something away. If it hurts the musicality or interpretation of the piece, chances are you shouldn't use vibrato there. It will take a lot of work to master vibrato (as if you could ever really master it!), just as it does to master any other part of flute playing, so don't get discouraged. I personally suggest the first option, but the second will work just as well, however, it will mean more work to clean it up than the first way, and so in the long run, you may decide the first method is more beneficial.

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