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Old 03-04-2013, 04:19 AM   #1
Mephaphil
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Vibrato & Bending.

Hello, friends.

After I had someone point out that my vibrato technique is the weakest part of my technique overall as I seem to do it from the fingers and not the wrist, I have been practicing the BB King like style and am on my way to making it natural. Yay!

My question is; Bending - From the fingers or the wrist? It seems completely natural for me to bend with the fingers pushing up, with a little wrist action depending on where I am on the fret board. At the 2nd fret I'd use the wrist more than if I were at the 12th where I can just push up.

I bend in pitch, can reach half, whole, 1 and a half steps and don't have any issues. I can do it with one finger and mute the string above, or 3.

There's conflicting information online as usual So, what is the correct technique for bending?

Here are a couple of videos where I'm bending and doing vibrato.





Then, I tried to correct it, there are a few unwanted ghost notes but I'm having to relearn the way I do it. It Is this better?



I was told it sounds and looks awkward, but I don't hear it. I'm open to criticism and just want some information and obviously I want to perform the technique in the best way. Thoughts?

Thanks! .
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:06 AM   #2
Dreamdancer11
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You friend was right.Your vibrato is barely noticable.If you want to get serious about bending and vibrato use the wrist and forearm-like turning the doornob- and your fingers totally still just serving as anchors.Watch guys like George Lynch,Malmsteen and John Sykes to understand what a serious vibrato is all about.It ll be the best thing you ll ever do for your playing believe me .

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Old 03-04-2013, 05:14 AM   #3
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Personally I don't see what the problem is with using your fingers to bend, it gets the job done, obviously vibrato is a different issue but if I can bend to all the points needed, and do it in pitch then why do I need to change it? Is it not a preference thing? Maybe bending with the wrist sets up vibrato better? Am I missing something?

I don't feel able to use my wrist only to bend 1.5 steps, my fingers need to move up, it's essentially the same thing.

I agree with the vibrato comment, the wrist is better.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mephaphil
Personally I don't see what the problem is with using your fingers to bend, it gets the job done, obviously vibrato is a different issue but if I can bend to all the points needed, and do it in pitch then why do I need to change it? Is it not a preference thing? Maybe bending with the wrist sets up vibrato better? I don't feel able to use my wrist only to bend 1.5 steps, my fingers need to move up, it's essentially the same thing.

I agree with the vibrato comment, the wrist is better.


Do a whole step bend with a vibrato on top,can you make it sound halpf as good as the guys i mentioned earlier?And try to do it using both directions(towards the floor and towards the ceiling).The biggest problem of not having a good vibrato is to not be able to tell....believe it or not thats one of the main reasons people sound amateurish when they play.Thats also the main reason someone can push you against the wall with a single wailing note.Dont take this lightly.....we have all been there-pushing fingers- but it simply doesnt cut it......
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mephaphil
Personally I don't see what the problem is with using your fingers to bend, it gets the job done


Yes, but it's much harder, it puts a lot of strain on your wrist which can cause injury and it's harder to do vibrarato when you're bending. There's just no reason to not learn it properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamdancer11
Do a whole step bend with a vibrato on top,can you make it sound halpf as good as the guys i mentioned earlier?And try to do it using both directions(towards the floor and towards the ceiling).The biggest problem of not having a good vibrato is to not be able to tell....believe it or not thats one of the main reasons people sound amateurish when they play.Thats also the main reason someone can push you against the wall with a single wailing note.Dont take this lightly.....we have all been there-pushing fingers- but it simply doesnt cut it......


I agree with all of this so much. It's the single most overlooked aspect of playing and also one of the most important... Yet hardly anyone bothers to get it right.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:50 PM   #6
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Yeah we helped another person with this a little while ago. I stopped and looked what i was doing and realized that its a combo of wrist and forearm (or fourth arm ) and doing the door knob technique. Just moving your finger randomly up and down or side to side will get very little vibrato or "mini vibrato"

Look at B.B King when he bends. He litteraly grabs and moves his entire lower arm. His Vibrato is unique and beautifull all at the same time. SRV and Slash have similar vibrato's as well. Watch them play and you will this in action.

Watching Zakk Wylde also helps for the Super Bend Vibrato. Dear god that guy has some insane vibrato. Even if your not a fan of his work just watch him play some blues and you will again see this in action.


Oh one more thang! Beautifull Strat BTW! And your a great player keep it up!
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:24 PM   #7
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Thanks guys. I've been working on it all day really.

Sometimes I think that something just passes you by. I don't think it will take me long to make it natural
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:31 PM   #8
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You might want to take a look at your articulation alltogether. Youīre playing everything staccato, are you capable of making it more fluent? With the vibrato and bending you just lack control with your finger method. It takes years to gain decent control anyway so donīt be impatient.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mephaphil
Thanks guys. I've been working on it all day really.

Sometimes I think that something just passes you by. I don't think it will take me long to make it natural

Patience is key young Grasshoppah!!!! Dont forget to take breaks! Dont wear out the wrist like i did!
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:06 PM   #10
Mephaphil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Facecut
You might want to take a look at your articulation alltogether. Youīre playing everything staccato, are you capable of making it more fluent? With the vibrato and bending you just lack control with your finger method. It takes years to gain decent control anyway so donīt be impatient.


Of course I can. Look at the 3rd video.

I don't just play one lick at a time. I can connect shit all day long. I know the major and aeolian scale, all positions in any key, I know harmonic minor and major and minor pentatonics and blues scale in any key. Just to clarify that before I get all kinds of beginner advice.

I came here to ask for advice on a technique that my teacher didn't seem too bothered to correct me on.

Those videos were created for a lick library thread I created in the Guitar Techniques forum. I can play extended runs and licks and phrases all day long. I posted them because they were handy and showed the issue that was highlighted to me. I don't think it will take me too long, I already have been using the technique lower down the neck to bend for ages without realising it so it's just a matter of practice.

Add a lick if you can be bothered!


Quote:
Originally Posted by bburritt1
Patience is key young Grasshoppah!!!! Dont forget to take breaks! Dont wear out the wrist like i did!


Been playing 20 years and never had a problem with my wrist, I try and play with as little tension as possible. What did you do to your wrist, Grasshopper?
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:55 AM   #11
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The problem is that your vibrato is stressed. Think of the guitar vibrato as a vocal vibrato. Listen to David Gilmour(the intro solo for Shine on you crazy diamond, for example). THAT is how you do a vibrato. Your bending also sounds amateurish, you NEED to correct these things(check out the aforementioned song for tips on how to do it). I've been where you are now, and I'm very thankful for getting out of that place.


Try slowing down your vibrato to a fluid, slow fingering, you lack control over bending and vibrato, if you fix those things, your playing will sound 40% better, I promise! There's probably plenty of videos on youtube about this subject, and it's very important. In my opinion, the quality of bends, vibrato and phrasing is what separates the men from the boys in guitar playing.


edit; Also, I often use three fingers when bending and using the vibrato, that way you get more control, feel and power into the playing
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:32 AM   #12
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Ok thanks. My bending is in pitch, and in regards to the first video, that's just a riff from All along the watchtower. It's in time with the riff, including the bend. It's exactly the same as the riff.

The vibrato yea, it needs work, and yea I should use three fingers when bending, but that's an easy fix. I'm not sure what else I am doing wrong when bending. The bend is in time and in pitch with the original riff, what more can I do?
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mephaphil
Ok thanks. My bending is in pitch, and in regards to the first video, that's just a riff from All along the watchtower. It's in time with the riff, including the bend. It's exactly the same as the riff.

The vibrato yea, it needs work, and yea I should use three fingers when bending, but that's an easy fix. I'm not sure what else I am doing wrong when bending. The bend is in time and in pitch with the original riff, what more can I do?


Try to treat your vibratos and bending as the same thing:Vibrato is just a series of controlled bends.First you get your bending down to perfection with the correct technique and then vibrato is just repetitive bends.Always think though that with either of them you are hitting certain notes....and that you always have to return to pitch...always.

I thought the same things you do until i payed close attention to recordings of me playing and i realized that what i though i was doing wasnt actually caught on tape.I have rarely used a metronome even for blinding fast scalar work but for vibrato i realized that i needed it...bad.You think you have precision until you actually HAVE precision if you know what i mean .Practise those things and you ll sound two times better just by doing that.....ah and if your teacher thought this technique is ok send him home.....seriously.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:02 AM   #14
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Ok. I'll pay close attention to it. Thanks. Freepower, our teacher guru here, seems to think that iit's fine to use the fingers to bend but it's a second best, and because I do want the best technique I can possibly have I'll look to change it for the best possible one.

Honestly, this teacher is very good, he has a very high percentage of students pass their guitar exams. We have these in the UK, RGT. I don't know why he didn't pick up on it. When I go back to him I'll talk to him about it.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:43 AM   #15
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I'd say the biggest aspect of getting a good bending and vibrato sound is having a good ear for tuning. Try tuning your guitar by ear, and do lots of ear training exercises. Also, try doing double bends as a way of practicing your tuning accuracy with bends - stop bending when both notes sound in tune.

I realise that this isn't exactly what you asked about, but I thought it might be useful!
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:18 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mephaphil
Ok thanks. My bending is in pitch, and in regards to the first video, that's just a riff from All along the watchtower. It's in time with the riff, including the bend. It's exactly the same as the riff.


Guess again. Donīt argue so much and stop defending your playing. Listen to the feedback and try to gain awareness.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:26 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mephaphil
Ok thanks. My bending is in pitch, and in regards to the first video, that's just a riff from All along the watchtower. It's in time with the riff, including the bend. It's exactly the same as the riff.

The vibrato yea, it needs work, and yea I should use three fingers when bending, but that's an easy fix. I'm not sure what else I am doing wrong when bending. The bend is in time and in pitch with the original riff, what more can I do?



What you sound like, is what 90% of the youtube "guitar heroes" sounds like. I don't need to be mean, but you need to stop and smell the roses. Slow down your practicing, focus on your technique and accuracy, and do as you say, speak to your teacher. Ask him to be as critical as possible to your playing(by being constructive, of course). Many guitar teachers have different strong points, one may be a killer at finger playing, and a douche at killer guitar solos, and the other way around. Are you certain he can help you evolve as a player?
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:30 AM   #18
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Does anyone have any tips on vibrato at the top of a bend? The last solo I attempted to learn(Jacob's Ladder by Rush) has a few whole step bends with Vibrato that I'm just having a hard time pulling off.

Here is a link of me trying the solo last week.Jacob's Ladder

Don't mind the vocals, I use it for timing.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CragDweller
Does anyone have any tips on vibrato at the top of a bend? The last solo I attempted to learn(Jacob's Ladder by Rush) has a few whole step bends with Vibrato that I'm just having a hard time pulling off.

Here is a link of me trying the solo last week.Jacob's Ladder

Don't mind the vocals, I use it for timing.


There is not really a secret to it, just bending with release or further bend periodically on top. The required control however only comes with good ear and grinding those bends.
The video shows that your simple vibrato needs some work still. Slow the frequency down and enhance the amplitude. I also suggest copying zakk wylde or yngwie for some time, from there you can reduce the amplitude of vibrato to your taste if it is too much for you, but you sure have the mechanics down after that. Itīs worth it to dedicate much time into this as its the key stylistic tool for rock and metal.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mephaphil
Of course I can. Look at the 3rd video.

I don't just play one lick at a time. I can connect shit all day long. I know the major and aeolian scale, all positions in any key, I know harmonic minor and major and minor pentatonics and blues scale in any key. Just to clarify that before I get all kinds of beginner advice.

I came here to ask for advice on a technique that my teacher didn't seem too bothered to correct me on.

Those videos were created for a lick library thread I created in the Guitar Techniques forum. I can play extended runs and licks and phrases all day long. I posted them because they were handy and showed the issue that was highlighted to me. I don't think it will take me too long, I already have been using the technique lower down the neck to bend for ages without realising it so it's just a matter of practice.

Add a lick if you can be bothered!




Been playing 20 years and never had a problem with my wrist, I try and play with as little tension as possible. What did you do to your wrist, Grasshopper?

Accelerated early onset artritus. Both hands technically but Left hand is more apparent.
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