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Old 02-24-2013, 11:30 AM   #1
Experei07
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How to vibrato?

I've been playing guitar for about 7 months and I'm into bands like Pantera and Megadeth. I've been trying to vibrato for a while now and I noticed I am doing it incorrectly (using my fingers). I usually get suggestions such as, "bend with your wrist, not your fingers..." which is the right technique, but I can never emulate this. I always watch these tutorial videos on youtube or read advice on forums, and they're all pretty mediocre. If someone could explain to me in full detail how to vibrato for complete beginners or give me a few links to some videos, that'd be great
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:42 AM   #2
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The idea is that you keep your fingers straight, lock them in place and turn your arm to get the motion you need. I have to say I'm not sure what exactly you don't understand about it
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:56 AM   #3
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I don't really understand how I can twist my arm with my hand around the neck. When I try and twist it, my hand is in the way, so I can't get any movement. Also, I don't know how "straight" I should keep my fingers... should I keep them exactly straight (because then I would have to put my thumb really far behind the neck) or just stiff. I just don't understand how it works or how the motion is supposed to look from behind the neck
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Experei07
I've been playing guitar for about 7 months and I'm into bands like Pantera and Megadeth. I've been trying to vibrato for a while now and I noticed I am doing it incorrectly (using my fingers). I usually get suggestions such as, "bend with your wrist, not your fingers..." which is the right technique, but I can never emulate this. I always watch these tutorial videos on youtube or read advice on forums, and they're all pretty mediocre. If someone could explain to me in full detail how to vibrato for complete beginners or give me a few links to some videos, that'd be great


The movement is basically like turning the doornob.I bet you know how to do this Now grab the guitar neck(thumb is above the neck grabbing it for leverage) pick a note you want to vibrato the hell out and turn the doornob.The movement is all wrist the fingers is just the place of contact.Try it both vibratoing upwards and downward and remember always to return to pitch or else it sound like a violated cat .
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:01 PM   #5
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Personally, i find vibrato is just one of those techniques you'll never be able to fully isolate and practice like alternate picking / sweep picking etc. I think vibrato is a technique that just always improves over time. Years ago my vibrato was AWFUL and i didn't even realize. Over the past couple years though it's just improved drastically. I didn't really do anything to improve it other than just play guitar. I'm sure others will have some way that they think works to isolate the vibrato technique in practice but i just think it's something you can't isolate and you should just play guitar and over the years it will come to you. This is probably the only technique i can think of that i'd apply this principal too though. Maybe pinch harmonics too, at least pinch harmonics were like that for me anyways.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:01 PM   #6
Experei07
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I'm trying this but it feels like there isn't enough room for me to do it. The space between my thumb and index finger is kind of blocking any sort of movement I can make, and I can't really get any leverage to make substantial bends or anything. For example, If I look at the back of my hand, is the right side of my index finger that's blocking the movement.

Last edited by Experei07 : 02-24-2013 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Experei07
I'm trying this but it feels like there isn't enough room for me to do it. The space between my thumb and index finger is kind of blocking any sort of movement I can make, and I can't really get any leverage to make substantial bends or anything.


Dude your thumb justs climbs at top of the neck and grabs it there....it doesnt surpass the low e string and moves further.You have all the room in the world.Its takes practise like everything else escpecially if you were accostomed to make it happen by fingers alone....watch malmsteen do it for example to realize what epic bending and vibrato is all about....he does it exactly like that as most of the players anyways...
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Experei07
I don't really understand how I can twist my arm with my hand around the neck. When I try and twist it, my hand is in the way, so I can't get any movement. Also, I don't know how "straight" I should keep my fingers... should I keep them exactly straight (because then I would have to put my thumb really far behind the neck) or just stiff. I just don't understand how it works or how the motion is supposed to look from behind the neck


Ok then.

The absolute basic mechanics of it are pretty simple: place your thumb over the top of the neck (you should be able to get the last knuckle of your thumb on the edge of the fretboard) and put the lower edge of the fretboard in the crease of your index finger knuckle where your index finger meets your palm. That's the basic placement of the neck. From there you should be able to rest your index finger diagonally across the strings to mute a little. The middle and ring fingers both go on the string you're vibrato-ing; they don't need to be straight, the important part is that they shoudn't really flex much at all while you're doing the whole thing. From there it's just a question of applying the motion with your forearm which, as has been said, should be the same as the one you use to turn a door knob.

The exact placement of your fingers and thumb needs to adjust slightly for the lower strings and you need to pull the string in the opposite direction so it doesn't fall off the edge of the fretboard. The most important parts are the placement of the neck in your index finger knuckle crease so you can use that part of your hand as a pivot point and the idea that your fingers don't flex much during the motion.

If you could post a video of you doing it that would be helpful, then we can give you very direct advice about what you should be doing but if you need anything clarified don't hesitate to ask back here!
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:33 PM   #9
Experei07
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I still don't really understand it. I usually learn things pretty easily but not when it comes to certain techniques. It's kind of like skateboarding- everyone who can do a tre flip kind of forgets how they learned how to do it and they give they same advice every time. I'll probably look back and think this was incredibly easy and I was being stupid, but who knows. I'll try making a video about it

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Old 02-24-2013, 12:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Experei07
I still don't really understand it. I usually learn things pretty easily but not when it comes to certain techniques. It's kind of like skateboarding- everyone who can do a tre flip kind of forgets how they learned how to do it and they give they same advice every time. I'll probably look back and think this was incredibly easy and I was being stupid, but who knows


Ok, I just told you the exact placement of the fretboard in relation to your hand and where each of your fingers should be. I'm really not sure what secret it is you think you're missing now...
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Ok, I just told you the exact placement of the fretboard in relation to your hand and where each of your fingers should be. I'm really not sure what secret it is you think you're missing now...


His main problem is that he thinks he should be able to do it right away.....that wont happen... only the moment he realizes that he ll start to improve.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:51 PM   #12
Experei07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamdancer11
His main problem is that he thinks he should be able to do it right away.....that wont happen... only the moment he realizes that he ll start to improve.


When I turn a door knob, my hand and forearm go completely around. When I do the hand placement he demonstrated I can't get any movement and it just doesn't seem possible without using my fingers. I don't really know how to explain it.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:07 PM   #13
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You just need to rotate your arm, obviously you can't spin your whole hand; there's a neck in the way. Pivot around where the neck is against your index finger knuckle; that's the centre point of the movement, i.e. that spot should be stationary and the rest of your hand rotates around that.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:54 AM   #14
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put down the guitar

put your arm hand and fingers completly straight


twist your arm left and right doesnt have to be too much.

this is the action you need to do

now pinch your finger and thumb together like you are playing a note and twist your wrist.

pick up the guitar
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:32 AM   #15
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bending vibrators like Megadeth type style is very hard to get down at first.

Actually a lot of guitar methods are very hard if you don't know what your doing.

Its like trying to put on window wiper blades.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:47 AM   #16
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I have to confess I've never really quite got the hang of wrist vibrato myself - I've got better at it over the years but I still tend to use finger motion for anything more than a slow shake. I can do the doorknob motion fine, I could just never do it anywhere fast enough for it to be useful. Possibly, and I might me making the very same excuses I pull people up for here , it might be down to having smaller hands so there's not really a lot of space around the neck to allow for much range of motion.

I wouldn't necessarily advocate it for anyone else but vibrato is one of the most personal, individual nuances of a guitarist's playing style. As long as you can get the sound you want and you aren't going to damage anything then arguably it doesn't matter so much how you get the end result and it's one of those situations where there maybe isn't a "best" way and you can pretty much just find what works for you.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:13 PM   #17
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It's like sliding but not leaving the fret your finger is on.

That's how I see it.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:00 PM   #18
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When I bend strings I use my entire hand. The fingers are just there to hold the note. The door knob idea is perfect example. When you turn a door knob you rotate your forearm and wrist all together. Same goes as to bending your string. Now your hand can dictate the speed you just hold on to the string for dear life.

Now the reason its so hard to get good advice on the subject is that everyone's technique is a little different. No one person does it exactly the same. You can be close to dead on but your vibrato is your vibrato it takes time and practice to devolop good vibrato technique.

I watched Zeppelin, SRV and old GNR Footage alot for technique's cause i wanted to be them when i first started playing. You might find good examples of what your looking for by watching your favorite artists.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:55 PM   #19
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Try without the thumb then for a start for better isolation of the idea. You will have to leave out the high strings but maybe its easier for you if you start pronating your hand around the knuckle of your index finger without the thumb which is only required for the supination.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:36 AM   #20
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In case you need some video showing you what all these people are explaining.



From 7:24 on, he is discussing your exact problem. And there is a part 2 if you want to know more.
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