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Vibrato

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(@jimharsh)
Active Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5
Topic starter  

Does anyone have any practice techniques/tips for improving vibrato? From what I have read it is supposed to rely on wrist motion but for some reason I am struggling with getting a decent sound.

Jim

Jim


   
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(@dcarroll)
Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 216
 

Wrist Motion is the key, dont move your fingers. Its like turning a door knob. Mine is still kindof weak, and I've been practicing it for a year.

I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes.
- Jimi Hendrix


   
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 Mike
(@mike)
Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 2892
 

I tend to use my arm more than my wrist. One might think it's from the wrist, but the power comes from your arm, IMO.

From the elbow up, that's my experience anyway..........

Look at B.B. King's butterfly vibrato and tell me that's not generated from his arm.

Just an opinion..........


   
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(@paul-donnelly)
Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 1066
 

You're right about the arm motion. I think we tend to talk about wrist motion because it's the wrist that's turning most, even though, as any skeleton can tell you, there's a lot going on all throughout the forearm. Most of us just can't see it happen.


   
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(@hummerlein)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 168
 

Hold your arm out in front of you with the bottom of your arm/palm of your hand facing down. Twist your arm/hand so that the palm of your hand now faces to the right (if you are right handed, using left for fretting). If that made sense, then that's the motion for vibrato. It won't sound good right away. You have to practice vibrato on notes 1000s of times until it's not a tense and forced motion, but it just comes.


   
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(@simonhome-co-uk)
Prominent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 677
 

i use my finger half the time and my arm half the time depending on the situtation - u can get much more exaggrated vibrato using the finger or still only hav a little bit. I dont understand why everone insists its all in the arm and u hav to use it for correct technique and better results etc, yet i hav complete control and range with my vibrato from using both techniques.


   
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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

you can't get a really fast, tight vibrato from just your fingers.


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

I use more than one type of vibrato. I do use the famous BB King vibrato where you plant your index finger, and pivot off of it as hummerlein described. This is good for a very fast vibrato. This is pulling down on the string. I also use this technique with the other fingers as well.

But for a wide, slow vibrato I like to push up on the strings. With the index finger curved fretting a note I push straight up extending the index finger straight. And I also do this with the other fingers. I do this to get a very wide, but slow vibrato.

As others said, vibrato is something you never finish practicing. There are so many ways to play vibrato, how wide and how fast the vibrato you put on a note. So, you just have to practice it all the time.

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


   
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(@simonhome-co-uk)
Prominent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 677
 

ok to give an example of wat I mean:

----------------------
----------------------
----------------------
-----17---19~~~---
----------------------
----------------------

Here your on the 19th with your 3rd finger. You can get much more powerful vibrato just moving the first three fingers, pulling down on the string. But like I said only in certain situation like this one you would benefit from (or could) using the fingers, not the arm. In many situations however, as Jason said, u cant get particularly fast vibrato from the finger only


   
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 Gump
(@gump)
Trusted Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 32
 

Does anyone have any practice techniques/tips for improving vibrato? From what I have read it is supposed to rely on wrist motion but for some reason I am struggling with getting a decent sound.

Jim

I'm not a teacher and my vibrato is really crappy, but I can tell you what my teacher told me (the guy had excellent touch)

There are 3 ways to create vibrato. Transverse motion (normally downward, but upward if the note is bent) and longitudinal motion like classical players use, which gives a very weak effect on electric strings. ('Weak' means subtle, not bad.) And if you finger the note _just_ behind the fret and vary the pressure, that will also create an extremely weak vibrato effect.

Anyway according to him, the fingertip makes sort of an ellipse in 3 dimensions. I suspect that's more psychologcal than physical, but the ear has an amazing ability to pick up on minute details like that. Vibrato is millimeter work, it takes a long time to master. There was also something in there about wrist motion but I've forgotten.

Of course there are a lot of other teachers with other techniques too.

Oh yeah and you should practice varying rate and depth.


   
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(@alangreen)
Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5342
 

Classical vibrato - You rock the hand backwards and forwards in the direction of the neck. What it does is create tiny changes in the length and tension of the vibrating string. Rock vibrato tends to be more focussed on bending the string.

Best,

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
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