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Vibrato on Fretless= Expression or Crutch?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by armybass, Nov 2, 2002.


  1. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I have cought my self playing with way too much vibrato lately on my fretless and it has drawn my attention to the fact that I have been using it at times to cover up some out of tune notes:>( I think it became a habit that has gotten out of hand. I think it is time for a fretless practice regiment that is vibrato free to focus playing with good intonation first and adding the vibrato as a means of expression later once I am consistantly playing with good intonation.


    Does anyone else have this problem? What do you do about it?
    Scott
     
  2. snyderz

    snyderz

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Hi Scott,
    I only play unlined fretless basses, so I have to watch my intonation pretty carefully. I have recently started using more vibrato for expression, depending on the mood of the song. I haven't really had to use it to mask a bad note, but I'll keep it in mind! :) BTW, the tort guard you sent looks bitchen on the trans gold Ray. Thanks.
    Doc
     
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I tend to use vibrato (on fretless and upright) more like a singer. I noticed when I was doing a lot of recording that singers sound better when they hit the note, unwavering and in tune, and towards the end of long notes beging to vibrato it. For instance, say you played two whole notes tied in a ballad. Vibrato the last 2 or 3 beats, after you've established a strong center of pitch.

    Scott, remember that like the tubas in a concert band, you're the fundamental, the foundation. Work hard on establishing a solid, true pitch. Then use vibrato as an expressive device. REMEMBER, IF YOU DO SOMETHING ALL THE TIME, IT LOSES ITS EFFECTIVENESS. KIND OF LIKE TYPING IN ALL CAPS, SEE? IT MAKES IT HARD TO SEE WHERE I WANT THE EMPHASIS.

    Good luck.
     
  4. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    Hey Doc, glad you like the PG and that it got there safe and sound. I think that I like the unlined board on my SR5 much better than the lines because it makes me use my ear like when I am on upright. The lines can make me kinda lazy at times.

    Hey Jon, good point about the singer effect. I will keep that in mind. In concert band my vibrato is called trying to FIND the fundemental between the Tubas, Tymp and Bari Sux. LOL.
     
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Shoulda joined the Air Force. We never have that problem.:rolleyes: :D I understand.....