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Tremolo help!

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(@melody4mind)
Active Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

I am absolutely no good at tremolo.
Any ideas on how to learn?
It seems to be a great tool to fill the sound of a lone note.

Thanks!


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

Hi melody4mind and Welcome to GuitarNoise.

I am not sure I understand your question. Are you talking about tremelo picking? If so, try this one-string exercise.


e—15-0-0-0--12-0-0-0-—10-0-0-0—7-0-0-0—-5-0-0-0—-
b-----------------------------------------------
g-----------------------------------------------
d-----------------------------------------------
a-----------------------------------------------
e-----------------------------------------------

If you have a metronome, start at a fairly slow speed around 70 BPM. Once you can play this exercise without mistake, speed up maybe 4 BPM and try it again. Proceed until you can play this at 120 BPM.

Also try this exercise on your other strings. Once you can play this cleanly on all strings try switching from one string to another.

Try to move your pick as little as possible. Distance equals time.

This is just a simple exercise. Make up your own exercises.

Hope this helps.

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


   
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(@blackzerogsh)
Prominent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 759
 

Wes, I think he means vibrato

Tremolo is what you use when you're using a stratocaster's TREMOLO bar. Vibrato is the sound made by your fingers. Understand the difference?

People have different types of vibrato, and they are sometime sused for different types of music. For example classical music vibrato is when you move finger back and forth, while staying on the same fret, with your finger haking paralle to the string.

Blues vibrato, not always, is done in the style msot shown by Eric Clapton. He uses 1 finger and he moves the stirng up and down, perpendicular to the string, to get his vibrato sound. If you wathc any of his playing, you'll see what I'm talking about.

Hope that helps


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Actually, the tremolo bridge produces vibrato, and a tremolo effect gives tremolo. Leo misnames his bridge.


   
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(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

Yep - vibrato is the alteration of a pitch up/down; tremolo is the repeating of a single pitch rapidly.

To do tremolo picking, stay relaxed (that's actually the hardest part!). Work it up to speed slowly, as Wes suggested - and your pick shouldn't move much at all. When I'm doing something like the tremolo in 'La Bamba', I'll bet the tip of the pick doesn't move more than 1/8" or so.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@blackzerogsh)
Prominent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 759
 

Actually, the tremolo bridge produces vibrato, and a tremolo effect gives tremolo. Leo misnames his bridge.

really? I never knew that

but, i hope the info on vibrato I gave is correct then?


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Mostly correct. The second vibrato style (which Clapton uses) most often requires more then one finger. The fingers behind the finger doing the bend support that finger. A bend with you ring finger, for example, would use three fingers.


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

potato potatoe.

what does the poster mean.
vibrato is such an essential technique.
when you hear that tone is in the fingers
vibrato is the tone maker.

I ring the heck out of my notes. I use vibrato alot.
usually my ring finger.
I push into that string and and massage. not wiggle, not bend, but massage.
huge overtones come out when plugged into a Tubescreamer.
sustain lives there too.

tremelo picking sounds pretty fast.
Im not good at that.

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


   
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(@melody4mind)
Active Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

Yes I did mean vibrato.
So now that I know the difference, are there any exercises that you know of to help?

I've been playing for a while and this seems to be one thing I just have a hard time getting.


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

thanks for the clarification.
vibrato isnt that hard. dont over think it.

when I want to extend a note I use vibrato.

I always use my ring finger. it's strong.it's handy. it is out of the way of my other fingers.

vibrato is for fretted notes. I hit a note and apply pressure with my ring finger. be sure to be just behind the fet and not on top of it.

pretend your finger is an eraser. think of trying to erase a dot over an i.
it is concentrated pressure. not wiggling all over the place.

my movement is back and forth. (towards the headstock and towards the bridge).
if you move the string up and down across the neck the note can sound unnatural.
true vibrato is a micro flatting and sharping of a note.
it sounds more natural to the ear.

violinists rely on vibrato to add character to the note. and since a violin is not fretted hitting the note exactly is difficult.
therefore the flatting and sharping of the note sounds better and normal.

so my best advice is to use the eraser analogy.

and keep in mind. the finger isnt moving very much. not at all really.
it's kneading with pressure that note.
the finger rocking .
you'll hear neat things when amplified.

with an acoustic guitar vibrato is very differnt.

I hope this rambling message helps.

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


   
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(@melody4mind)
Active Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

That definately helps!
Thanks so much!


   
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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348

   
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(@slothrob)
Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 472
 

I would suggest learning that technique, which is more of a subtle jazz vibrato, and one where you move your finger parallel to the frets, which will give you a more bluesy vibrato, like hill country and delta blues. You'll need this to get the really deep vibrato achieved by moving the string a good distance. This is an important skill to master.

The trick is to start with small movements, master that then move on to broader motions. The movements need to be smooth and even and in time to the rhythm, so control is key. Don't just move your finger by flexing the nuckle, instead, fingering the note with your ring finger, relax the hand, anchor the hand on the neck at the joint where your index finger meets the hand, now pivot the entire hand at the wrist like a door opening and closing around that anchorred finger joint.

It took me weeks of just sitting and moving my hand on the guitar neck a few minutes a few times a day to get this started, hopefully it will be a more natural motion for you. Learn to do this with the ring finger first, this is the easiest and most important finger for vibrato. Then, learn the index and middle finger variations. The index finger will probably require you to place your finger against the string slightly to the side of the nai. lRemember, it is important to learn to do this with even and smooth motion in each direction.


   
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