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Vibrato...how to do it??

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Postby pearl19 » February 18th, 2011, 7:07 pm

So which part of your hand is doing the "vibrating"? Fingers? Wrist? Is your wrist or arm supposed to feel tight? I've watched numerous videos but still haven't a clue...

thx :D :)
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Postby Alan Green » February 19th, 2011, 12:44 am

Neither - you can vibrate your hand without having a guitar in the room. I've seen a lot of guitarists on stage flailing their whole arms around. I don't know what they think they're doing, but it sure ain't making the remotest difference to their sound.

Musically, both - the whole hand moves the string. Sideways to do string bends which raise the pitch, or towards the body (by pushing the string) to drop the pitch.
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Postby jason brann » February 19th, 2011, 1:41 pm

it's basically bending and releasing a bend repeatedly. there are a few different methods, but you have to find what works best for you with a little trial and error and some effort.
i used to do a pulling vibrato with my fingers like clenching a fist, but now i do a pushing vibrato with my wrists, like turning a doorknob fast, but your hand's at a different angle, or a "comme ci, comme ca" motion. basically your wrist turns back and forth around its axis. even if it feels like it's coming from the fingers, the wrist is providing most of the power for it.
steve vai describes 3 styles of vibrato well on his site. i'm not a huge fan of his music, but no one can deny his technical ability. http://www.vai.com/LittleBlackDots/84/vibrato.html
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Postby Robbiek1013 » February 26th, 2011, 9:56 pm

jason brann wrote:it's basically bending and releasing a bend repeatedly. there are a few different methods, but you have to find what works best for you with a little trial and error and some effort.
i used to do a pulling vibrato with my fingers like clenching a fist, but now i do a pushing vibrato with my wrists, like turning a doorknob fast, but your hand's at a different angle, or a "comme ci, comme ca" motion. basically your wrist turns back and forth around its axis. even if it feels like it's coming from the fingers, the wrist is providing most of the power for it.
steve vai describes 3 styles of vibrato well on his site. i'm not a huge fan of his music, but no one can deny his technical ability. http://www.vai.com/LittleBlackDots/84/vibrato.html


Steve Vai is definitely a technician. The link you provided does a great job of describing each type of vibrato, but if none of those work, the OP can always try the B.B. King method and shake the entire wrist while doing a vibrato lol.
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Postby pearl19 » February 27th, 2011, 5:57 pm

Robbiek1013 wrote:Steve Vai is definitely a technician. The link you provided does a great job of describing each type of vibrato, but if none of those work, the OP can always try the B.B. King method and shake the entire wrist while doing a vibrato lol.


Sadly I can't get that link :cry: Sorry to sound like a chump but...does anyone else use the B.B. King method?
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Postby Robbiek1013 » February 27th, 2011, 9:01 pm

When you say you can't get the link, do you mean you can't access it, or you don't understand it?

Here's what the link said in case you couldn't access it for whatever reason:

"
Vibrato

(written in 1984)

For those who are beginners on the guitar, take into consideration the importance of using vibrato effectively. Practice it and don't limit yourself to one type of vibrato.

One thing to be careful about when you start using vibrato is your intonation. It's easy to put a note sharp when you vibrate it. This could be effective at certain times, but if it becomes overused, it will sound horrible.

There are three different types of finger vibrato that come to mind. They are:

1: ROCK VIBRATO

Vibrate a note by rocking it up and down “from the floor to the sky”, causing the pitch to go sharp only. This technique is the most popular among rock guitar players; e.g., Page, Hendrix and Clapton. Personally I find it limiting (but intend no disrespect).


2: CLASSICAL VIBRATO

You can see most string players using this style. In this technique, you push the string forward, then pull it back. While pushing forward, the string will go flat because you're causing it to get looser from the tail piece to the fret you're on. By the same principle, pulling the string will cause it to go sharp. This is an effective vibrato because it modulates between going sharp and flat and makes it easier to control the intonation of the note. The drawback is that it's hard to get too radical with it. One thing you can do is vibrate over the frets really fast. An example would be to play an E on the G string and slide up and down the neck in the span of a fret each way. Warren DiMartini of Ratt is well known for this technique.


3: CIRCULAR VIBRATO

This is my favorite, for it lends itself to the most mellifluous expression. In this technique, your finger moves in a circular motion on the string. Start by pushing the string forward, then pulling it down a bit. In the process, release the tension from pushing. Then pull the string back and follow by pushing it “towards the sky”. What you're doing is combining both types 1 and 2, creating a circular motion with the original fretted position being the center.

The reason I'm so fond of this vibrato is that it helps keep your intonation in perspective. The note will go both sharp and flat in the vibratory process. The width and the speed are easy to control.

When practicing these vibratos, start slowly and smoothly. Stay slow but get really wide. Then try fast but skinny vibrato, then fast and wide. Think about being as sensitive as you can. Then try it as harsh and fast as you can without having your finger fall off the guitar (actually, let it fall off if you like).

Now, take all these vibrato techniques and apply them to two-part, three-part, four-part, five-part, and six-part chords. Good luck!

Vibrato is one of the most creative expressions the guitar is capable of. Certain songs will call for a certain type of expression. Let your vibrato do the talking. "

If that doesn't work for you, have you tried watching any instructional videos on how to perform a vibrato?
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Postby Crow » February 28th, 2011, 3:20 pm

I use the classical vibrato exclusively, because I learned it as a violin student (and never learned the other methods). To clarify the article (thanx Robbie), classical vibrato is rapid motion toward the bridge, then toward the peghead.
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Postby jason brann » March 1st, 2011, 1:19 am

pearl19 wrote:
Robbiek1013 wrote:Steve Vai is definitely a technician. The link you provided does a great job of describing each type of vibrato, but if none of those work, the OP can always try the B.B. King method and shake the entire wrist while doing a vibrato lol.


Sadly I can't get that link :cry: Sorry to sound like a chump but...does anyone else use the B.B. King method?


i do, but i usually keep my thumb on the neck. he just keeps the one finger as the point of contact every time. leaving the thumb on is a little more restricting, but he's done it a lot more than me and i need the extra leverage and control. either way, it's like i was trying to describe, with the fast doorknob turning motion and your wrist turning about its axis like you're saying something's "eh, not so great" or the beauty queen/queen of england waving to the crowd motion, but sped up. it might feel like it's coming from your fingers when you do it, but if you watch yourself do it, your finger's actually pretty much still and it's all coming from the forearm. the finger pressure's actually just keeping it firm and letting the wrist motion transfer to the string.
i also do the "rock vibrato" vai mentions, and it's the only way i can do a vibrato if i'm putting vibrato on a bend, although it still mostly comes from the same wrist motion.
i'd worry less about emulating a technique, than about just plugging at it and seeing what works for you and what comes naturally to you as you work at it and get different sounds from it.
jason brann