How should I vibrate the sound of my soprano recorder?

Note: I'm not sure to use the correct term. By vibration I mean producing the sound similar to vibrating your hand on a Violin during playing a long note (a whole note for example).

  • 2
    That's technically correct, actually; the name of the technique is vibrato.
    – NReilingh
    Jul 17, 2011 at 10:46

1 Answer 1


Since the recorder is a type of flute that doesn't have an embouchure which affects pitch, all you have control over is the speed of the airstream. As a result, recorder vibrato is executed by adding pulses to the airstream at a regular interval. Since the airstream should be driven by the diaphragm, we call this diaphragmatic vibrato.

Locate your diaphragmatic support muscle by laughing, coughing, or by saying the word "Ha!" in rapid repetition. Then, try adding pulses of this muscle to a steady and smooth airstream. Start with a very slow interval between pulses, and gradually increase the speed of the pulses at regular rhythmic intervals, with the aid of a metronome for control.

  • This explanation was really great @NReilingh, but also too technical to imitate :). Could you provide a link to a training tutorial (preferably a video) which shows this technique? Jul 17, 2011 at 11:07
  • Heh, if that's true then I didn't do the job properly! The second part is just a detailed explanation of how to develop the technique properly from scratch; if you just want to experiment, it doesn't get any simpler than "pulse the airstream."
    – NReilingh
    Jul 17, 2011 at 11:51
  • To help locate your diaphragm, when you breath in, your tummy should go in, not out and you'll then be holding the air in the right place to do the vibrato. The effect is sort of like "fluttering your stomach muscles"
    – niggles
    Jul 26, 2011 at 7:41
  • 3
    @niggles That is the opposite of correct diaphragmatic breathing. When you breathe in, your diaphragm is lowering, and should be pushing your tummy out as a result.
    – NReilingh
    Jul 26, 2011 at 9:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.