Difference Between Trill and Tremolo

Trill and tremolo are fluttering of fingers between at least two different musical notes. Both sound quite familiar, especially to inexperienced listeners. However, professionals can easily distinguish between the two because trill is between notes which are half or full-step apart while tremolo is between completely different notes.

Moreover, trill is denoted by TR. On the other hand, tremolo is denoted by a slash mark. In addition, trill can only be played with the left hand which makes it quite difficult to play as compared to tremolo which can be played with both hands.

You can play the trill and tremolo on different musical instruments. However, a piano is considered as the perfect musical instrument on which you can practice in a more profound manner and can distinguish between the two more easily.


  • 1


    It is fluttering of fingers between musical notes which are around half or full step apart. You can only distinguish it from the tremolo if you listen very closely and carefully. There are different types of trill which mainly include turn, mordant and trillo. If you understand these three types of trill, you can easily recognise it in music anywhere. The TR letters in the musical notes symbolises a trill. Even though, it is extremely difficult to play the trill with the left hand but you can master it through practice.

    - Image courtesy: dolmetsch.com

  • 2


    It is a fluttering of fingers between 2 notes which are completely different from each other. It is also known as trembling effect of the musical notes. It is denoted by the symbol of a slash and can make the music more pleasing by emphasising on the notes. Most musicians use tremolo to make the music more engaging.

    Many people believe that the tremolo is an unnecessary add-on in music. However, professional musicians think that it gives extra life and thrill to the sound. Besides, you must note that the tremolos can be played with both the hands. But, you still need considerable practice to achieve perfection in tremolo playing.

    - Image courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org

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