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Mountain Ocarinas Forum => What are your ocarina challenges? => Topic started by: GregSchneider on November 14, 2008, 11:40:00 pm



Title: Vibrato
Post by: GregSchneider on November 14, 2008, 11:40:00 pm
As a sax player, I use my embouchure and jaw motion to achieve vibrato, as a violin player the rocking motion of my hand and finger achieve it, but on the ocarina I understand that I achieve vibrato by oscillation of the diaphragm. Can you recommend some exercises that will help me, a newbie on this instrument, to develop beautiful vibrato like Karl's?


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Cliff on November 14, 2008, 11:51:16 pm
Hi Greg.

Thanks for dropping by.

Here's something Karl wrote a number of years ago regarding diaphragmatic vibrato:

How to play diaphragmatic vibrato. While there are different ways of producing vibrato, the method that I employ is diaphragmatic vibrato. The diaphragm is a muscle that is used for breathing and that separates the thoracic cavity, where the heart and lungs (etc.) are located, from the abdominal cavity, where the stomach and intestines (etc.) are located. When your diaphragm contracts, it flattens downwards, thereby increasing the volume of your chest cavity and causing your lungs to take in air to fill the resulting vacuum. When your diaphragm relaxes, it moves up, forcing air out of your lungs.

While it frequently functions with no conscious input from you (such as when you sleep), here are some steps you can take to gain control over your diaphragm to produce a nice vibrato. First, place your hand on your stomach and try laughing, "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha," in a whisper, i.e., without using your vocal cords.

Can you feel your stomach pulsing?

That was your diaphragm propelling air out of your lungs. Now, play a long G note on your ocarina while expelling air in slow rhythmic pulsations with your diaphragm as you did when laughing. After practicing this for a time, eventually begin speeding up your vibrato by tightening your stomach muscles slightly.

Dont expect spectacular results the first or second time you try this. Learning to produce a pleasing, controlled vibrato is not complicated, but it usually requires small amounts of practice over an extended period of time.


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Karl B on November 15, 2008, 05:31:27 am
Thanks Greg for the topic.  This is one area I'm going to be working on as well! 

Karl B


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Spatolo on November 15, 2008, 01:58:32 pm
For me vibrato is an advanced area; I still want to focus about using breath control to get clean, in tune, tones. Nevertheless I'd love to read your progresses, discoveries, and the like. Thank you!


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Cliff on November 15, 2008, 06:50:36 pm
Greg,

I just got off the phone with Karl a little bit ago, and he will be making a short video to offer some help.


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: GregSchneider on November 18, 2008, 01:27:12 am
I'll look forward to Karl's video. His vibrato is pretty wonderful.


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: ubizmo on November 18, 2008, 01:48:45 am
I'll look forward to Karl's video. His vibrato is pretty wonderful.

His vibrato is amazing.  I find that vibrato is a pretty individualized thing.  Once you start to practice it, it quickly becomes automatic, but the beat rate and intensity seems to vary from person to person.  You can control it to some extent but there's a tendency to return to whatver is natural for you. 

Something to think about when learning vibrato is this: Try to keep the "contractions" low in your abdomen, rather than resorting to a kind of throat constriction.  Otherwise you can end up making a kind of unpleasant coughing sound without being fully aware of it.  Try to feel it in your belly and you'll do fine.

It's a little harder on higher notes where you need faster air flow, but it'll come.

ubi


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: ken on November 22, 2008, 12:49:02 am
There is one other way to produce a vibrato for some notes. Take a note, play a trill on it. Keeping the trilling motion going but with the trilling finger coming close to covering only part of the hole. If done right it will cause a wavering in pitch. With experimentation it is possible to produce a really good sounding vibrato on long notes in this manner. It is easier to show someone how it is done then trying to describe it.


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Cliff on November 22, 2008, 09:03:24 am
Just wanted to update you on the status of the video that I mentioned above. Karl has been working on this, and Karl realized  it needed a more detailed treatment than the quick one I had in mind. That being said, it should be done soon. Thanks for your patience.


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Cliff on December 07, 2008, 08:23:02 am
I just posted a video that Karl put together on vibrato. It's in the "quick thoughts" board... but this thought is not so quick  ;)

http://www.ocarinaboard.com/bb/index.php?topic=203.0


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Spatolo on December 08, 2008, 08:48:28 pm
Today I was playing on the bed (not a great idea for breathing, I know) with a leg outside of it and a foot on the floor. I accidentally started to move the leg up and down and that poduced vibrato! Of course the movement of the leg affected my abdomen area and that affected how air flowed out of my mouth. That was very interesting!

If anybody is going to try I'd love to know your opinion and if that worked for you too (I bet it will  ;) )

Ciao!


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Secretagentdan on December 08, 2008, 09:49:05 pm
Spatolo, you should try and sit on the washing machine and playing, I bet that would produce some serious vibrato! :)


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Spatolo on December 08, 2008, 10:38:26 pm
Spatolo, you should try and sit on the washing machine and playing, I bet that would produce some serious vibrato! :)


And you can even save on the costs of a metronome! Just listen to the washing cycles.

 >:( >:( >:(


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Secretagentdan on December 08, 2008, 11:09:38 pm
That's a valid point! Hey Spatolo, I think we've had a breathrough! :)


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Karl on December 11, 2008, 03:02:00 am
I was going to include "leg twitching" and "washer sitting" in my Vibrato video, but I didn't want to overwhelm beginners with too many advanced techniques.:)


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Spatolo on December 11, 2008, 01:34:59 pm
I was going to include "leg twitching" and "washer sitting" in my Vibrato video, but I didn't want to overwhelm beginners with too many advanced techniques.:)

The truth is, that you're too lame for us skilled ocarina masters.
Anyhow.
Why to stress your abdomen if you have a washing machine anyhow?

Since Dan's hint, I always go around with a washing machine and a power supply. Now Mountain Ocarinas are become a little less practical for me to carry around, but you can't even imagine how many people I attract now.


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Secretagentdan on December 11, 2008, 04:06:55 pm
I knew that washing machine idea would pay off! 400 posts man!! that's just rubbing it in my face! :)


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: RW_eagle on December 14, 2008, 05:44:40 pm
I knew that washing machine idea would pay off! 400 posts man!! that's just rubbing it in my face! :)

Will Cliff ever catch up now that Spatolo has passed him?


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Secretagentdan on December 14, 2008, 05:45:23 pm
I'm trying to just hit 400 man!


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: RW_eagle on December 14, 2008, 05:48:55 pm
This post is 100 for me.


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Secretagentdan on December 14, 2008, 11:24:00 pm
my keyboard is melting! Help!! :) must type faster...!


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: lapislazuli on July 16, 2009, 12:49:34 pm
I must be a necromancer, this is my second post on this forum and the second thread I'm resurrecting!  Hope it's not bothering anyone.

There is one other way to produce a vibrato for some notes. Take a note, play a trill on it. Keeping the trilling motion going but with the trilling finger coming close to covering only part of the hole. If done right it will cause a wavering in pitch. With experimentation it is possible to produce a really good sounding vibrato on long notes in this manner. It is easier to show someone how it is done then trying to describe it.

Just wanted to say that if you're ever playing baroque music or baroque-sounding music on your MO, this is a very appropriate way to produce vibrato (this is how you produced vibrato if you were at least slightly upper-class in the 16th century -- vibrato with the breath was what the commoners did  :)).


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Crow on August 17, 2009, 10:56:02 pm
 Hi. My name's Cory, and I live in North East PA. I have yet to get my first Ocarina, but I will be getting one very soon. As I was looking over this thread, it reminded me very much of singing. I'm a vocalist, and have been singing for nearly five years now. If ocarina vibrato is anything like singing ( and from what I've seen in here with diaphragm's and such, it is) one thing you have to remember is that you can't force vibrato. Eventually, vibrato will develop on it's own if you breathe correctly. The most important thing to remember, though, is that you can't lock the diaphragm (IE: Putting too much unnatural pressure on it) or you'll limit your breathing severely. Rule #1 for singing, and any activity: You just have to remember to find what works for you.


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Karl on September 22, 2009, 03:12:46 pm
Good input, Cory.

Your comment made me think of adding one of my own.

Vibrato is easier and less forced when we breathe in deeply “through our stomach.”  To do this, we may have to sit up straight on the front of our chair or in some other breathing-friendly position. Obviously, we fill our lungs, not our stomach, but if we breathe properly, our stomach will move out first before our chest cavity.

It’s a natural tendency for adults to want to keep a flat stomach, so –unlike little children— we often develop the habit of expanding mainly our chest cavity while keeping our stomach tucked in.  However, to take really deep, healthy, controllable breaths, we have to let our stomach move out a good bit before our chest cavity, the way we breathe when we sleep. As our diaphragm moves down, it naturally pushes out our stomach.  With our diaphragm in this downward position and with a comfortably deep breath on board, we’ll have a lot easier time producing and controlling vibrato… eventually, with enough practice. 

As an added benefit, the practice of deep, slow breathing tends to reduce stress and improve health.


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: ralyn43 on November 15, 2011, 02:08:49 am
As a sax player, I use my embouchure and jaw motion to achieve vibrato, as a violin player the rocking motion of my hand and finger achieve it, but on the ocarina I understand that I achieve vibrato by oscillation of the diaphragm. Can you recommend some exercises that will help me, a newbie on this instrument, to develop beautiful vibrato like Karl's?

I often feel that the vibrato is overrated. In some fast passages, there is no need for vibrato at all. I also play the flute and piccolo. I purposely try to hold the vibrato down because it is often overdone on these two instruments. The MO gets a beautiful sound without any ornamentation, so be careful when adding the vibrato.


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: bakfot on November 15, 2011, 06:56:46 am
I agree. There is enough vibrato in the world without my adding to it.


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: 4efs on November 16, 2011, 03:54:11 am

Hey, hey...Hey now, there are those of us who have a hard time holding back that really um... wide, wavy...   um... quality.


Be nice now or  I'll need to use my basso profundo Brothers' youthful comeback (when he was teased about his operatic vibrato): 
..."Vibrato is the natural by-product of resonance."   :D


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Harp Player on November 16, 2011, 05:52:52 am
Vibrato is not one of the things I was ever very good at.  I can do a hand wah on the harmonica, and a few dozen other things, but I just can't get a good sounding vibrato.


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: bakfot on November 16, 2011, 07:30:23 am
Vibrato is not one of the things I was ever very good at. 

Me neither, that's why I'm trying to make a virtue out of my shortcomings  ;D


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: 4efs on November 17, 2011, 05:32:03 am

 It seems vibrato's are kinda like curly hair: If you don't have it you want it, if you've got it you'd often rather not.


Title: Re: Vibrato
Post by: Harp Player on November 17, 2011, 06:14:41 am
It is just another tool to have.   Sometimes you need a tool to do a job and sometimes you don't.  But vibrato is kinda like reverb, a little in the right places sounds good, too much and I hate it.