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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000508.txt from 2003/06

From: "Brash, Alexander" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Vibrato on the Clarinet
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 16:51:08 -0400

Using just diaphragm or just lip is, I think, not such a great idea. The lip
component of your vibrato should be so small that you can't see your jaw
moving in the mirror when you do it (unless you're trying to play with a
wide jaw vibrato for some particular reason). Otherwise, you're likely to be
changing the core of your sound, and make the pitch fluctuate rapidly. The
point of vibrato is not to try to hide intonation problems, or to be so wide
that the tone has no core.

Just diaphragm will not produce as rich a sound as diaphragm and throat
combined. But it's a good idea to practice them separately.

Anyone who's still against all vibrato in "legit" playing...pick any of
Charlie Neidich's or Jonathan Cohler's recordings. Listen to them, and then
tell me with a straight face that they sound heinous and that the vibrato is
horrible and is destroying the performance. Dismissing something out of
hand, without experimenting yourself, is silly. If you have a teacher that
says not to do it, challenge them on it, make them explain why it isn't
good, then (and they'll inevitably fail) experiment yourself anyway and
decide if YOU like it.

Another sound to consider: a very slight vibrato that "sweetens" the sound,
but is difficult to tell whether or not you're using it. I use this sound
with loser conductors who are against vibrato altogether, they can never
tell I'm using it, they just think it sounds good. I think someone discussed
this in a recent article of the Clarinet.

Alexander Michael Brash
Education Dept, New York Philharmonic
10 Lincoln Center Plaza, 5th Floor

phone (212) 875 - 5735
cell (646) 284 - 0439

-----Original Message-----
From: Livingood LCdr Randel []
Subject: RE: [kl] Vibrato on the Clarinet


My instructor just introduced me to vibrato so I will offer you a novice's
perspective. He told me I could use jaw movement to create the vibrato or
diaphragm. I found the diaphragm to be more pleasing to me, but both

Best Regards,

Fr Randel

-----Original Message-----
From: Jason Spradlin []
Subject: [kl] Vibrato on the Clarinet

At the risk of sounding silly, I have a simple question to ask. I hear
songs all the time where a clarinet is holding a note vibrato. But, I've
always been taught to try my darnedest to hold a note steady. So my basic
question is, is playing vibrato accomplished through the embouchure or the
diaphragm? I asked my aunt the same question (she has been playing for
about 20 years or so) and she hadn't a clue, never tried, she said. And,
I've been having trouble accomplishing it myself.

Jason Spradlin

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