Can Trumpets Play Vibrato? (All Techniques You Should Know)

can trumpets play vibrato
Written by Corey Morgan

Can trumpets play vibrato? Yes trumpets can play vibrato.

The idea of a trumpet playing the vibrato is not even an exaggeration neither is it a question that requires long and unnecessary speculations.

This is because the trumpet which is a brass instrument has the ability to play the vibrato well and plays it in many different ways, more than you can imagine especially if you are a beginner.

Now we know that trumpets can play vibrato let’s take a look at the meaning of a vibrato and how to create a vibrato using the trumpet.

What is a vibrato?

A vibrato is a little but fast change in the pitch of an instrument or in a vocalist which results in a richer and stronger tone. There are so many wrong information about the vibrato, for instance it is said that the vibrato is used to the pitch of a note higher or lower.

This is assertion may seem to be true, but when properly examined for what it implies, it really is not the case. The truth about a vibrato is that the intensity and you may notice a fluctuation as you go on however the pitch does not change through it all. So except you desire to change the pitch, the vibrato will not do that for you.

Types of trumpet vibrato

There are two main types of the trumpet vibrato:

  1. The jaw vibrato
  2. The hand vibrato

Can trumpets play the vibrato fact#1: The Jaw Vibrato:

The jaw vibrato is also called the lip vibrato and is very common among must trumpet players. The jaw vibrato or lip vibrato is achieved by slightly moving the lips up and down. It is important to note that the movements are mild because if they are too fast, the sound may become too intense and not very soothing or melodious to the ear.

Albeit, most people who play the trumpet finds it easier to play the trumpet vibrato using the jaw vibrato because it does not involve too many things apart from the up and down movement of the jaw. This type of vibrator is good, although it can affect the breathing or the air, as well as the embouchure.

Can trumpets play the vibrato fact#2: The Hand Vibrato:

There are a few controversies that surrounds the hand vibrato, especially because it is considered by both modern and contemporary trumpet players as an outdated type of vibrato. I will not even be in a hurry to debunk some of the clauses attributed to the hand vibrato which is part of the controversy. Instead, in the following sections I will share with you why you should give the hand vibrator a try.

  • The hand vibrato is such that does not for any reason at all affect the main sound of any note that is being played.
  • Contrary to the popular opinion, the hand vibrator can be easily controlled.
  • Again, it is easier to begin the hand vibrato or even end it as the case may be.

While the vibrato may not generally be the best method of vibrato for a whole lot of brass instruments, it really is very suitable for the trumpet.

The following sections will also share how to create a hand vibrato for the trumpet, perhaps that will also help you decide if the hand vibrato is as old fashioned as they say it is.

How to create the hand vibrato?

Before starting to play any instrument at all or even sing, the first and very essential thing to do is to be comfortable, settle in well and be comfortable in the posture or position that you have taken. Get the sheet for the basics of the trumpet vibrato before you also know that the exercise will require a metronome.

Once this is done, follow the next steps below to create a trumpet vibrato with your hand.

  • First pinch the thumb and the first finger of your right hand together on the lead pipe for the initial valve casting.
  • Make sure to have a firm grip on the instrument of brass (trumpet).
  • The metronome should be set to eighty beats per minute within a common time.
  • Support your horn with the usual position of the left hand.
  • With all of these intact, the G on the second line from the sheet before
  • However make sure to play on the different level of an MP.
  • Notice the indicated markings on various notes that are within the third measure and the second measures too.
  • For any place you see the marking, gently bring trumpet to your lips, and then apply pressure there.
  • Reduce the pressure for places that have no indicated markings.
  • Consider maintaining a steady flow of air as the pressure on the lips decrease or increase.
  • Avoid getting your face smashed, and ensure that the pressure increase is quite slight.
  • Observe a change that should happen as you get the trumpet closer to your lips. If this change in sound does not happen as you take the trumpet in and out of your lips, it could be that the pressure exerted on the mouthpiece from the beginning is quite much. Form an embouchure that is pucker by extending your lips closer while playing each of the notes.
  • If there is still no change in the sound of the instrument, pinch the thumb of your right hand and its first finger firmly together. Also check to be sure that your right hand is not very loose.
  • Do not let the wrist flex otherwise the action of the trumpet will be lost.

How do you get good vibrato on trumpet

The aim of this task is to slightly move the trumpet into your lips while the hand moves it in and out of your lips. Having set the metronome at about eighty mm, play the first line of the sheet and observe the dynamics as well. Again play this first line for about three to four times, then observe the relaxation that follows from the four measure on its line.

Do well to notice the effect of the hand on the sound of each of the note. As soon as you feel the motion of the trumpet near your lips, jump to note c, its line and notice how the need for a metronome speed arises and then increase to one hundred and twelve.

Various notes will need a variance in speed so you will have to practice a variety of notes on different tempo. As the C feels more natural to you, move on to the note that follows while you also take the rests on the sheet into consideration. This is because rests and pauses taken on that sheet avails you time to rest while you examine your performance.

Remember to review the methods if you still do not get it right. If you are comfortable with how you control the vibrato, then you can proceed from here. If the movement of the trumpet’s horn and you are not under control yet, then you may just have to keep practicing till you master the process.

To examine your level of development, try doing vibrato with no metronome, also change the tempo of notes that vary. Begin gradually and accelerate one at a time with the consciousness of when to decline a bit. If at this point you can change the speed and still maintain the hold of your hand, as well as the other hand, allowing a constant air flow, then move on to the level that follows. Start all over again from eighty mm, consider the series that have long notes tied.

Endeavour to utilize the motion of the hand and the horn until you get the best sound for the note. Do not be in a hurry to drop that note and the motion of your hand and the horn. Meanwhile your lips will stay steady as the mouthpiece continues the inward and outward movement slightly.

Continue until you can maintain control and consider the exercise a part of you then start with another note, and do these for all the notes. Accept the various pitches as a part of a long note that continues but has pulsations that increase quickly.

Then introduce a pulse and accelerate the pulses as you approach the middle of the note, then gradually begin to decrease the speed of the pulse until there are no more pulses. Also note that the speed of the vibrato is dependent on the altitude of the note, if the note is high the speed will be fast, and if low the speed will be slow. You can make mistakes, as long as you are willing to pick up.

Just keep practicing. If you are sure that have gained control over your pulsations (the pulses), get ready to use the horn in a way that is more practical. Remember the position of right hand, then take the right back to the usual position it takes while playing the trumpet. The thumb will then be below your lead pipe as well as between the packs of the first valve and second valve. Then within the position the player (you) can still create the kind of effect you had initially from the sheets.

Keep practicing till you achieve the same effect you had in the beginning. If you are not able to get the same effect, then check that your thumb is rightly placed and continue practicing.