Saxophone Forum


by duoheer
(15 posts)
10 years ago

vibrato help

i want know how come every time i try to do vibrato, it sounds broken and bad. thx

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  1. by John Coltrane
    (84 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: vibrato help

    well for one do you use ur air to try to do vibrato? if so your doing it wrong, its all about lowering your bottom jaw to a different pitch and raising it back up like a slow scoop but faster.

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    1. by karebear1012
      (395 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: vibrato help

      when i was learning vibrato, my teacher just told me to move my lip back and forth slightly yet quickly. even with that advice i still couldnt do vibrato, so i just started feeling and listening to the music more carefully. if you play a really slow and pretty song, you'll probably just naturally put in vibrato. that's waht happened with me. if you go by the books and follow the steps you vibrato may end up choppy. i never does if it's totally by feeling Good luck! Kara

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  2. by northernsaxman
    (5 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: vibrato help

    All right buddy, the best thing to do in this situation is to not get discouraged at all... start by playing a simple note like a mid G and then as ur moving air try to *say* the word whoa... what this will do it evenly move ur bottom jaw down and then back up in a uniform motion... if u have any questions, email me! Au Revoir!!!

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    1. by jazzdude482
      (38 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: vibrato help

      I was at this competition a while ago and i heard this other person playing the same song i had to play. So i was listening to her a while and well, i heard her put vibrato on sixteenth notes on a really fast song... how is that possible, i can barely move my jaw that fast but personally, i like to use my air instead of my jaw to make vibrato.

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      1. by northernsaxman
        (5 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: vibrato help

        using ur air will rob you of sound and control over your horn, the only way to get a well controlled and effective vibrato is to use your jaw. To get as fast as the person playing that song start out playing 16th notes, a series of 42 of them in a row, same pitch, but instead of tonguing them move ur jaw through a full vibrato, a whoa, for each note. Start at 80 bpm and work up to 180+ bpm over time, until u can play, under control the whole series of 8th notes perfectly. Work up slowly, each day and you will quickly get it, however if u dont do it a lot what ever u work up u will lose. anyother questions, feel free to email me kovacw08 at uwosh dot edu cheers!

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        1. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          I don't like jaw vibrato at all. I wouldn't recommend using it in most cases. Why? because it alters the pitch too much and makes the sax sound out of tune. If you learn to effectively use your diaphragm, the diaphragm vibrato technique like singers and flute players use sounds much better. It might be a little harder to learn, but you have more control over your pitch and intonation. MOST people are going to disagree with me on this one, and I do remember this sparked quite a lengthy debate once before! In my opinion vibrato is used far too often.

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        2. by northernsaxman
          (5 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          just for information, i am also a flute player i use jaw vibrato as a flute player, not only does it sound better, it is a better technique overall, allowing an EXPERIENCED player to have better control over sound. If a person finds that it makes their tone quality poor and or out of tune, then they are using the technique poorly and need to practice more before down playing said technique. As for it being used too often, do two things for me. One- research vibrato and see how long it has been used. Two- play a note for me, any note and see how long u can hold it, at exactly the pitch u started at, if you can do that, then vibrato is used to much, however until then i think i proved my point.

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        3. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          Northernsaxman, First of all, I am no kid or beginner, and if you had any idea what I have accomplished and some of the musicians whom I have played with, you would be choking on your tongue right now! I've played with some of the best musicians in the WORLD, including The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Huey Lewis & The News, Revern Right Time, Larry McCray, Gary Moore, The Dynamic Incredibles and others. You think I'm inexperienced? Bring it on!!! I'll blow you right off the God damn stage! Do I have an ego? Damn right I do! I've earned the right to have an ego! Besides, I am a saxophone historian and have an extensive collection of vintage saxophones; mostly Conn, King, and Buescher. As I said, most people will probably disagree with me here and that's fine! I don't even know your set up, or what you play, but I guarantee my sax sounds better; especially my tenor! When I do occasionally use diaphragm vibrato, my pitch is constant, and my sax sounds more like a tremelo. It's the sweetest sounding vibrato you could ever find!

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        4. by martysax
          (148 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          Jim's Right, for the love of G-D, Jim's Right! Consider your sax sound like a vocalist. When you're full throated, a resonant rich vibrato is the balls. It's the only way to keep up with the guitars and drums on a loud stage. Lip, or jaw, vibrato can be cheesy in the wrong situation (the only right situation is Guy Lombardo music) further weakened by loose jaw and thin throat. Just an old fart's two cents.

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        5. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          Legit players like to use jaw vibrato a lot; too much in my opinion. I had a band back in highschool when i was about 15, and I played guitar. I played a Fender Stratocaster through a Fender Vibrolux amp. I used the amp's vibrato, for a cool John Fogerty kind of sound. We were doing a lot of cheesy classic rock stuff like Louie Louie, and some CCR, Bob Segar, you get the idea; cheesie but cool. Whenever I would listen to my guitar on practice tapes we recorded, it would sound out of tune! My dad said it was the amp's vibrato making the guitar sound out of tune. I turned off the vibrato, and the guitar sounded much better with just a little reverb and occasionally a touch of distortion or chorus. The reason for this is that the amp's vibrato changes the pitch of the sound just like you do by relaxing your embouchre with the jaw technique. It might not sound so bad as you're playing, but record it and play it back!

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        6. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          Conn_sequently, my father knew this because he used the same Fender vibrolux amp with an accordian and a Fender Rhodes electric piano.

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        7. by definition
          (963 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          "Conn_sequently"? OK Jim, you officially have Conn on the brain to where its not healthy! Step away from the horns now! And send half of them too me! lol

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        8. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          Jaw vibrato is no good because it modifies the pitch? I suppose every professional opera singer is doing vibrato all wrong, then. I think the appeal of saxophone is it's vocal-type sound qualities. Pitch bends are a very natural part of musical expression for just about every instrument except piano.

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        9. by jazzdude482
          (38 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          hmm...I've been practicing my vibrato with my jaw recently and i know id have to work on it a little more to make it better though, but i do have to admit it has more conrol than using my air but it also does a little something to my pitch as well. So I tried using my air and jaw at the same time for vibrato because it did have control and the pitch really didnt change as much... I dont know maybe its just me but I'll keep praticing both at the same time and see if it works for me but vibrato, I think really depends on which one works better for ourselves... I mean, you dont see a left handed guy throw with his right hand because a right-handed person told him it was easier and better than throwing with your left hand.

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        10. by FredCDobbs
          (77 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          My instructor likes to use diaphragm vibrato and then finish the phrase with his jaw, bending the last couple of notes at the end. It has a nice affect. However, he's made it clear to me that diaphragm is THE jazz vibrato. I learned basic jaw vibrato fairly quickly, but the diaphragm modulation is a whole 'nother animal. Sometimes I can kind of do it, and other times I can't. It's going to take me a long time. Maybe jaw is more popular because it can be learned more quickly. But, if I were able to choose which I could do better right off, I'd take the diaphragm (I'm thinking of Ben Webster's wonderfull pulsations at the ends of his phrases).

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        11. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          Well, first of all, I can't stand opera! partly for the same reason! As Fred said, there are times when you'll want to bend a certain note. The reason why so many people are quick to criticize the diaphragm method is because they don't do it properly. It's like circular breathing in the sense that it is a skill that takes time to develope and perfect; much like a singer developing his or her voice. It's not simply changing how hard you blow into the horn. You use your throat muscles to control your airstream, while your embouchre stays consistant. Your power comes from your diaphragm. Your best singers use this method, and I don't give a flying F@*K about opera singers! The diaphragm is the preferred method for jazz and was the preffered method of many great saxophonist/

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        12. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          Many of you think the jaw method is the method to use because that is what you have been taught by your band director. Well here's a news flash for you; most band directors don't know the first thing about jazz! Again, I said most, not all! Most of them are trained in legit, or classical or chamber music! Back in 1492, everyone thought the earth was flat, and if you sailed too far you would sail right off the earth! Well a guy named Chris challenged that theory and discovered a new Conn-tenant! (Is the Conn humor getting to be too much?) Think of the Conn-sequences if he had just agreed with everyone else! We wouldn't have a USA, an Elkhart, Indiana, or a state named Conn-eticut! Are you seeing the Conn-ection here? (Ok, that's enough!) So, try the diaphragm method. Work with it a little. Try recording yourself using both methods and see which one really sounds better.

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        13. by martysax
          (148 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          Stop being so CONN-descending! By the way, a diaphragm is most effective when used in conjunction with other prophylaxis and should never be considered an effective detterent to communicable diseases.

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        14. by martysax
          (148 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          I use the rhythm method, whenever I have a bass and drum available.

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        15. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          I tried playing my sax through a Leslie once! That was pretty cool, actually! Now there's a cool vibrato!

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        16. by martysax
          (148 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          It's the difference between a sax and a lawnmower.

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        17. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          Haha....that's kinda what it sounds like too! On slow speed it sounds kinda like a train or something

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        18. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: vibrato help

          The difference between a saxophone and a lawnmower is: Your neighbor gets mad if you don't return the lawnmower.

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