Vibrato on the Flute?

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cheer_annie_08
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Vibrato on the Flute?

Post by cheer_annie_08 » Tue Mar 15, 2005 7:43 pm

Okay so does anybody know anything about how to do vibrato on the flute? I've heard about it but never knew exactly how to do it. Can someone tell me what is to be done to acheive this? Thanks!! *annie*
If you ever thought you wanted to be a band teacher, just come to a 6th grade brass class.. It will make you want to work at the 7-11 gas station.

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embum79
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Post by embum79 » Wed Mar 16, 2005 8:54 pm

Vibrato is one of those things that can be difficult to explain. Some people just pick it up naturally and some people have to learn it from scratch.

Vibrato is "simply" a variation in the pitch of the note. If you imagine a note as a long, straight line, vibrato would be a line with the same start and end place, but with smooth waves in the middle.

One way to learn this is to take a note that is comfortable for you (probably in the middle register).. set your metronome at a low number.. and play this note thinking either quarter notes or eighth notes (whichever is more comfortable for you.. may be easier to start with quarter notes).. at each beat, add a little "pulse" to the note. This will involve pushing a little more air out of your mouth, so that you get little pulses. Or you can think of them as waves. Keep increasing the metronome.. this will make sure you are being steady and even with the vibrato. Eventually you will be able to do this a lot faster, and this is essentially vibrato. Once you get good at it you can experiment with varying speeds and widths (of the pitch).

Hope this helps.. it will get you started anyway.
Cheers,
Emily

bladibla
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Post by bladibla » Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:39 am

There are some arguments about how the vibrato comes to be, whther directly from your body or from the throat. Personally, i think its a combination of both.

To learn vibrato:

1). Remember that mastering it will take long, so you have to be patient. Actually, I'll go as far as to say noone has truly mastered it, but are constantly trying.

2). Listen to professionals playing, whether it be live or CD. I particularly recommend CDs of Irish flautist James Galway. This guy plays the vibrato in a very, very beutiful fashion. Make that your goal, and you will start to get better on your vibrato.

ick27
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Post by ick27 » Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:15 pm

Yes, it's important to listen to the vibrato of others as you work on your own. Galway's vibrato is great, but it's also an extreme example. You wouldn't want to play like that unless you were a soloist.. John Wion put together a great webpage about vibrato a little while back, I highly recommend checking it out:
http://members.aol.com/johnwion/vibrato.html
He has samples from professional players with a variety of different vibratos. Also, he has slowed down some of the sound samples so you can really hear what is going on with the pitch. I am particularly captivated by Tom Nyfenger's playing, and you can hear a good sample of his vibrato from "the Flutistry of Thomas Nyfenger" on John's web page.

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embum79
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Post by embum79 » Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:38 pm

I love to listen to Gary Schocker's vibrato. It's never the same.. and I mean that in a good way. He's excellent at varying his vibrato to fit the mood, length, color, etc. of the music.
Cheers,
Emily

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BrightFlute
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Post by BrightFlute » Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:05 pm

Emily's basic approach to learning vibrato is correct. My college professor actually wrote a book called "Flute fundamentals". In it, she mentions a study that was done on vibrato. It was discovered that the larynx actually vibrates when a correct, relaxed vibrato is produced. I won't go into details as to HOW they did the study, but it was pretty cool. One of the main keys to a good vibrato is to stay relaxed. Do not FORCE the air. To prevent forcing air or a nanny goat sound that is also common, I tell the students to try to feel the air kicks at their stomachs at first. We do the thing with the pulses as Emily described. I tell my kids that as the pulses become faster, it will feel more like a vibration through their body instead of kicks from the stomach. The main thing is to NOT tighten the throat. I actually get kids producing vibrato pretty easily. The trick is to first make sure they have a strong grasp of proper breathing, aperture shape, dynamics, etc. Then, vibrato is easier taught because the student is in "control" of all aspects of their flute. Altering breath kicks and such makes more sense to them then. With beginners, I do not rush them to learn dynamics or vibrato until I'm absolutely their aperture and breathing skills are set. Anyway, that's my 2 cents. - Terri

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cheer_annie_08
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Post by cheer_annie_08 » Wed Mar 30, 2005 7:02 am

Thanks so much for all of your help! I can now do the 'kicking' thing :D. I just finally came out like it was totally natural! Again, thank you for all of your time and you all are excellent teachers!:D *annie*
If you ever thought you wanted to be a band teacher, just come to a 6th grade brass class.. It will make you want to work at the 7-11 gas station.

auletes83
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Post by auletes83 » Wed May 04, 2005 11:07 pm

This is what Jeffrey Khaner, the principal flutist of the Philadephia Orchestra, says about practicing vibrato; it worked for me really well:

Vibrato must be practiced the same way one practices all aspects of technique: starting slowly and with a metronome. Start with 2 air pulses per beat at around 50 on the metronome, gradually increasing to 4 pulses per beat at 88. (This may take several weeks, even months!) Do this on every note chromatically from high G to low B(C), 2 beats per note, 4 notes per breath (increasing the number of notes as you increase the speed). This will give you the ability to vibrate at various speeds and intensities, in turn allowing you to create many tonal colours and atmospheres.

Courtesy of http://www.iflute.com
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Symphony
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Post by Symphony » Sat May 28, 2005 9:44 am

BrightFlute wrote:I tell the students to try to feel the air kicks at their stomachs at first.
That's exactly how to tell people to learn vibrato. I've seen kids trying to play with it, but using just their throats to make some odd shaky noise. The way i was taught, adn the way I pass onto students, is to play a note repeatedly in slowwwww time, crotchets / minims, and to push your stomach out 'violently' each time, or, as you phrased it, to kick out your stomach. And then build this up and up until you can do semiquavers, and not so obviously using your stomach, but the intense vibrato is happening inside you ...

Im not very good at writing it down :shock:
-slinks out-

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