January 19, 2022
Tremolo is both a playing style and an electronically generated sound effect in music. When playing, tremolo may refer to the fast playback of a chord or a single sound. This is central to playing mandolin, balalaika, drum solos and spacers, and flamenco guitar, for example. As a sound effect, tremolo usually means a rapid periodic variation in the volume of the sound. The terms tremolo and vibrato are sometimes used in confusion, although they mean different things. In Tremolo, the volume varies periodically, but the pitch does not change. You can experiment with the effect by simply increasing and decreasing the volume back and forth quickly. Typically, the speed and depth of the effect change, i.e. the difference in intensity from the base sound, are adjustable. Tremolo is provided, for example, by an electronic effects device or may be built into a guitar amplifier. Tremolo played a key role in rock and roll music, for example, in the 1950s. A more recent example is "How Soon Is Now?" By The Smiths. an intro to a song where the theme you hear continues through the song. You can also create a kind of tremolo with a guitar by turning off the volume on a microphone. The position of the microphone selector is then alternated between a muted and a switched-on microphone, creating a tremolo-like effect. Ozzy Osbourne band guitarist Randy Rhoads rediscovered the tremolo with his used Gibson and other bespoke guitars equipped with two humbucker microphones. Using the volume control alone produces the same effect, but at the same time, due to the characteristics of the potentiometer, the sound is cut off and the tone changes.