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Hi,

dexter gordon's solo on "watermelon man" was the one of the first solo I tried to play. There was two major difficulties for me : the altissimo G (which I can now play easily) and the huge vibrato on the Bb.

How can I play this vibrato ? Is it a "standard" vibrato or some kind of wobble with weird fingering?
 

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What you describe is the 'Bb wobble.' Basically it is a 'wobble with weird fingering.' Finger an Eb without the top key (lift the left hand index finger) and blow hard with an exaggerated vibrato. A great effect!

Pete Thomas explains it here:

https://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-wobble
I knew this article (and all the great information on Pete site) but I wasn't sure that was it, but the more I compare the two (dexter and tenor wobble on pete's site) the more I think you're right, it's a wobble ! I *just* need to make it work on my horn!
 

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What you describe is the 'Bb wobble.' Basically it is a 'wobble with weird fingering.' Finger an Eb without the top key (lift the left hand index finger) and blow hard with an exaggerated vibrato. A great effect!

Pete Thomas explains it here:

https://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-wobble
Not to be pedantic, but I think you raise the LH ring finger (3rd finger) for this. FWIW that's what is shown on Pete's site.

And yes, that is what Dexter does in this solo :)
 

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Not to be pedantic, but I think you raise the LH ring finger (3rd finger) for this. FWIW that's what is shown on Pete's site.
Absolutely correct, skeller. Not pedantic at all. I realized my mistake a few minutes ago when I was playing my horn and came back on here to correct it, but you had already done so! (I'll fix it in my earlier post to avoid any more confusion).

Thanks!
 

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I use that note a lot for a long time, I learned it watching Arnett Cobb live from very close years ago. But I always thought it was an A (tenor) shake, not Bb. Also never saw the article of Pete before, who calls it a Bb wobble. Works best for me when played with a loose embouchure, strong air stream and a big vibrato. I guess you can use it as Bb or A shake because of the big vibrato.
 

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mrpeebee, while it's not exactly the same effect, for the note A, I use an A 'shake' by playing an alternate fingering with the normal fingering, back and forth. The alternate fingering being the addition of the 3 lower RH keys to the normal A fingering: XXO/XXX. The wobble is created by lowering and raising those 3 RH keys.

I'm sure you're familiar with it and of course it's not a vibrato, but still a kind of 'wobble' effect.
 

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So, not a vibrato, but rather a lip slur.
I'd say the technically it's more of a tremolo, however it is created by using the action of a a wide (jaw) vibrato, except the special is what makes it oscillate in a wobbly way between two notes.
 

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mrpeebee, while it's not exactly the same effect, for the note A, I use an A 'shake' by playing an alternate fingering with the normal fingering, back and forth. The alternate fingering being the addition of the 3 lower RH keys to the normal A fingering: XXO/XXX. The wobble is created by lowering and raising those 3 RH keys.

I'm sure you're familiar with it and of course it's not a vibrato, but still a kind of 'wobble' effect.
Thanks JL. I actually play both effects regularly, without even knowing how to name them (just found those things by watching and experimenting). :|
 

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Thanks JL. I actually play both effects regularly, without even knowing how to name them (just found those things by watching and experimenting). :|
+1. And, as is evident from my mistake regarding fingering for the Bb wobble, I don't always know what my fingers are doing either! :) For some things, like alternate and altissimo fingering, I have to actually pick up the horn and play them before describing what they are. Strange....
 
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