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I can't do Vibrato - any ideas?

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fredramsey
(@fredramsey)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 128
Topic starter  

Really, I've read, I've watched, I've tried. Is it finger strength? Some magic spell I don't know of?

Any tips appreciated.

:?

Learning requires a willingness to be bad at something for awhile.


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

pretend your finger (the one on the string) is an eraser. then erase a tiny dot.
move from the whole arm (elbow to finger), keeping everything firm, but concentrate on erasing the dot.
you should then have a nice mellow vibrato of the note.
to be more clear, the finger does not move very far, if at all.
the finger tip is anchored on the string. by wiggling the forearm makes the finger wiggle on the string.
man, words make describing this simple thing difficult.
c'mon over to my house. I'll show ya.

once you get the vibrato down you can vary the technique.

sure hope this helps.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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Wes Inman
(@wes-inman)
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Vibrato is tough and takes lots of practice. I learned from watching BB King, he primarily uses his index finger for vibrato and pulls down on the string. Like Dogbite said, you plant your finger on the note and then swivel from the elbow, very similar to the motion you use when you turn a doorknob.

That is just one type of vibrato, there are many. You can push upward. You often do this at the end of a bend. This is more of a swivel from the wrist upward, with a little push from the fingers as well.

You can also get a vibrato by moving your finger quickly back and forth parallel to the string, this is the way violin or cello players get vibrato, works for guitar too.

Watch some great players known for vibrato and copy their style. In my opinion, the late Paul Kossoff of Free had the best vibrato bar none. Angus Young of AC/DC has great vibrato and I think he was heavily influenced by Paul. Check out Paul's unbelieveable vibrato in the solo to Alright Now about 2 minutes into this song. You can see he is quickly pulling down on the string. Awesome.

And here is a live recording of Mr. Big where Paul gets vibratro by both pulling down, and pushing up on the string. A few real nice closeups. This is how you do it.

I love this song and still think Paul had the best vibrato ever. :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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rparker
(@rparker)
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I was tubing the other nght and came across a video of BB King and someone else. (well known, but I forgot who right this second) BB laid into a vibrato in the most unusual manor. He spread his hands wide open. from the audience camera it looked as if he was showing us how big he could make the back of his hand look. Only the finger fretting the string was touching the neck. Then the fasted twitch.... it sounded like heaven.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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JimAtwell
(@jimatwell)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 19
 

+1 to rparker's reply - I'm still a beginner myself so take this for what it's worth - I recently read somewhere that when BB King does vibrato he just touches the string with a finger on his fretting hand and sort of shakes his wrist (no other part of the fretting hand is touching the neck). Odd at first but that worked for me.
I'm learning how to do the vibrato from watching SeaSick

Derekslide - I just discovered Seasick Steve from seeing a performance on TV and picked up his EP and a full-length album. He's pretty wild! Any idea if he ever tours in the states (seems like he spends most of his time in the UK)?


   
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fredramsey
(@fredramsey)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 128
Topic starter  

Well, guys and gals, the mystery has been solved.

My guitar teacher tonight looked at my vibrato attempt. Now, I had always read that to sound a good note, it is best to have your finger as close to the fret as possible.

Yeah. Unless you're trying to do vibrato.

He recommends fretting more towards the middle all the time.

Wow, much easier now...

:D

Learning requires a willingness to be bad at something for awhile.


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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good tip.
I have noticed beginners typically fret on top the wire; pushing really really hard.
I have told them to push down behind the fret. vibrato is what makes playing personal.
we all have the opportunity to put our input in that note.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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sparky1ma
(@sparky1ma)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 54
 

One of my guitar instructors told me(and remember you can hear anything) that Stevie Ray Vaughan used to practice vibrato by doing it on every string with each finger on every fret up and down the fret board. I tried this, it helps but you may need to get new finger tips at the end of the excersize. hahahaha :lol: No Pain, No Gain....right?

Where am I going....and why am I in this hand basket?


   
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Lee N
(@lee-n)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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I think where most beginners go wrong is they overlook the anchor points to pivot from. Rotating from the wrist / elbow while keeping the hand and fingers in an almost rigid position, requires part of the hand (usually between the underside of the first finger knuckle and the hooked over thumb) to act as pivot points. Without this, it's very difficult to maintain control and often leads to the fingers pushing and pulling on the strings.


   
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