MacDonald, Paul - Hard vibrato explained | Bowing Down Home
PM – Paul MacDonald
KP – Curator Ken Perlman
PM: But the most common one used is vibrato in Scottish music. That's the most common.
PM: That's just the classical term for wobbly fingers. (laughs)
Demonstrates vibrato technique
PM: Now, in slow stuff, you see, I use it quite often. But it's used an awful lot in jigs and reels. And most people say "How do you do that?" It’s just - I's not done the same way. And what it is, is it's to give a punch. And your vibrato is like – If you had it on one of those little graphs, it'd be like that and then it'd die off at the end.
KP: Would you show us a bit, cause there've been some sounds I've been hearing in the tape that...
PM: OK, so if I was ginng to playa tune it's called West Mabou Reel. It's going to be...
Plays First Turn of West Mabou Reel
PM See, I'm just on that note, it's a long note, what I'm doing is – I'm just (demonstrates). I'm giving it that little bit of a punch at the start [with the noting finger] while also applying more pressure to the bow at the start. And both die off: your bow pressure and the speed of your vibrato.
KP: That's very interesting.
PM: OK, Now that's ...
KP: Could you play through that tune?
PM: Oh there's lots of them, yep. Let me think, I'm trying to think of the best example. I don't know what this is called, but anyway.
Plays Dublin Porter
KP: That's beautiful.
PM: Now, it happens an awful lot more in the first turn.