Vibrato tips?

Posted: 5/6/2005 12:14:39 PM

Joined: 3/20/2005

I find vibrato the hardest part of Theremin playing to master. My vibrato always sounds clunky. Any tips on how to improve or practice vibrato out there?


Posted: 5/6/2005 12:24:38 PM

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

There was a great discussion about vibrato on LEVNET recently. I've been meaning to summarize it in a "how to" page for a while. But since you asked...

One thing to keep in mind when playing vibrato is to picture the notes of the theremin as concentric circles centered on the pitch antenna and extending outwards.

If you want to achieve deep vibrato, you can use the "chicken-peck" technique - wiggling your pitch hand forward/backward towards and away from the antenna.

For more subtle vibrato, rock your hand sideways and slightly back and forth. If you just go sideways, you'll essentially be traveling at a tangent to the note-circle, and you'll only hit the specific note and go slightly below it. True vibrato involves playing on both "sides" of the intended note. So by goign both sideways and back/forth (think of it as a diagonal motion), you can hit both sides of the note and still achieve a subtle vibrato.

I know that's a lousy description and pictures would help, of course... But I hope you get the general idea.

Anyone have other tips to share?
Posted: 5/6/2005 2:43:48 PM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

Watch video clips ad-infinitum!
Posted: 5/6/2005 7:23:57 PM

From: Los Angeles

Joined: 3/8/2005

Vibrato seems to be the easiest thing to do on the theremin, but the most difficult to do correctly.

My best tip is to practice "long tones" daily. Start the note with no vibrato, and slowly add it as the volume increases, and then decrease the vibrato while decreasing volume. You have to pay careful attention that the vibrato remains "even" - unfortunately, mine often sounds "seesaw-like", but occasionally I can make it sound very even. I am getting better with practice, and also by regularly listening to good singers/thereminists/violinist recordings to get the sound of a good vibrato ingrained in my head.

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