Vibrato - Special playing styles - Philipp Dangas


Description of playing technique vibrato

The vibrato is always used for targeted sound manipulation and never as a makeshift solution. Actually a normal part of the game. To underline the musical design.

Musical design in relation to the vibrato means that an attempt is made to achieve musical focal points. So „important notes“ to be underlined with vibrato support. Working out a crescendo or a diminuendo through manipulation. The vibrato makes it possible. In addition, it was developed and modified in the 20th century for a special effect.

The vibrato in the context of „symphonic world music“

The use of vibrato means the ability to imitate rock guitar. Even if this is to be assessed as rather low.

Key data on the special type of vibrato

The finger holding the note is moved back and forth slightly on the fretboard.
Slight change in pitch, usually less than a semitone from the base note.
Because it is a normal part of playing technique, its use is not usually specified. However, the following changes may be required of the vibrato:
molto vibrato:
lots of vibrato
un poco vibrato:
little vibrato
non vibrato oder senza v.:
without vibrato
ord. (modo ordinario)
restores the starting point

Variants of Vibrato in 20th Century Music

Variants used and their notation:
1st variant: Slow vibrato
Notation of slow vibrato
2nd variant: Fast vibrato
Fast vibrato notation
3rd variant: Vibrato with "built-in" dynamics
Notation of vibrato with dynamics
4th variant: Combinations of variants 1 to 3
Combinations 1 to 3

Learn more about vibrato

Short note values do not use vibrato because there is not enough time for it. For longer values, quarter or longer notes in the moderato, vibrato can be applied to fingered notes.

There is no vibrato on open strings, and this can reduce musical expression. For this reason, open strings are avoided as far as possible in places where the use of vibrato is important. Except for the lowest string, all open string pitches can be played as fretted notes on at least one other string.

If, for some reason, an open string does need to be used, the missing vibrato can be made up to some extent as follows. The left hand can vibrate an octave higher at the same pitch. For example, if the g on the violin is played as an open string, vibrato is created at the g1 position on the D string. If one of the top three (or on a five-string double bass one of the top four) strings is played open, the same pitch can be played on the neighboring string and vibrated - this is how you play the A string on the D string for the A string played open with vibrato.