#1
I've been working very very long on vibrato, it is that magic tool

Many months I spent practicing bending to the perfect pitch for 1/2 / full bend. I tried increasing the speed and now I can comfortably do it in most scenarios, but the more extreme vibrato that I want (Malmsteen, Loomis...etc) blows my mind. I feel like theres a plateau I've reached with wrist motion. I find I can do it 'unstablely' with finger only vibrato, but I don't like this because its unstable (I can't guarantee I will do it right each time) and it requires some tension in the fingers that I don't get with my wrist. I've seen Jeff Loomis though use the finger style vibrato and his comes out really good. Then again he did 30x the amount of practice in one day that most people do over a few weeks.
BTW: Are they doing really really quick 1/4 bends or 1/2 bends?


Is there a limit to what the wrist motion can provide? Is the finger vibrato a viable alternative? Can you do it? If so, how did you practice?
#2
Hey man, vibrato indeed is one of the most precious tools guitarist have. Is good that you practice to play in perfect pitch but I think the most important thing to having a great vibrato is to properly train you hand to do what you want or what you want to hear yourself like. "Hear yourself" is the main secret. Dont concentrate on exercise or techniques, find a way for it and play the sounds in your head.

As for malmsteen he usually 1/2 bends up and down the note of pitch. is like bendiing to an A but your vibrato should hit Ab-A-A# notes very fast. He uses scalloped neck which makes vibrato way easier.

You can use the weight of the guitar for some help on your vibrato or use the thumb over the neck SRV style.
#3
also, string tension plays an important role.

I beleive jeff uses 9's on a 26.5 scale, in 1/2 step down tuning. This gives his three high strings lower tension than, say, 10's or 11's, thus easier to bend.

I run my guitar in D standard and drop C on 10's, and they bend will alot less effort than .11's or .12's.

Althought, overtime, finger strength can be built up to use the heavier gauges, if that's your thing.
Guitars:
LTD Alexi-600 White & Black
LTD Alexi-200 Black(Death Adder pickup & Gold OFR)
Agile Interceptor Pro 727 7-string
Jackson JS30RR rhoads
Jackson DKMGT
Squire telecaster

amps:
Bugera 6262 212 loaded with WGS veteran 30's
#4
Almost all wide vibrato and most bends are done with wrist motion. Certainly Loomis does vibrato with his wrist. ( watch! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvfg0iLnzsw )

Finger vibrato is not an alternative to be honest. You may want to try what Greg Howe does - slide very quickly between the fret above and below your note.

Vibrato width is personal but you probably want to aim for at least a half step, a full step is really big and ballsy and a minor third sounds wild.
#5
Quote by Freepower
Almost all wide vibrato and most bends are done with wrist motion. Certainly Loomis does vibrato with his wrist. ( watch! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvfg0iLnzsw )

Finger vibrato is not an alternative to be honest. You may want to try what Greg Howe does - slide very quickly between the fret above and below your note.

Vibrato width is personal but you probably want to aim for at least a half step, a full step is really big and ballsy and a minor third sounds wild.


+1

Wrist every time! Finger vibrato isn't great and you can actually hurt yourself...
ALSO. Practice your vibrato TIMING to a metronome. Great way to practice (esp. Slow Vibrato - which is a very expressive playing technique)
#6
I use only my wrist during vibrato. But I also use ernie ball .8s and tune down a whole step, so my strings are floppy as hell so that makes things easier. Either way I have always used my wrist even when i tuned to standard and played with rusted ass acoustic strings way back in the day.

Using your wrist for vibrato is the same motion you would use to shake out your hand after you punch a wall because it hurt or something like that. haha. You move it side to side and it pivots on your thumb thats positioned under the neck. All wrist movement. I'm pretty sure paul gilbert talks about it somewhere on youtube. That should be helpful.
#7
If you want to build up strength, slap some .11s (or .12s if you are already using .11s) on your guitar, and practice! When I went back to .10s I found my wrist to be so much more powerful. However, I ended up hating thin strings and now I use .11 for standard tuning and .12s for everything else. Thicker gauges rule
Yeah
#8
learn a variety of vibratos, or ways of making your vibrato sound different.

I go to a top guitar institute and when we were doing blues jams with the tutor one of the things he was picking up on most was that every one was just doing identical vibratos every time, which was the vibrato they have in our muscle memory. Practice fast vibrato, slow vinrato, 1/4 bend vibrato, half bend vibrato and whole bend vibrato. Practice hesitating on a note before starting the vibrato, or getting gradually faster as the vibrato goes on. As well as thise you could try a slide vibrato (check out George Lynch), or if you have tremolo, tremolo arm vibratos (there is a lot you can do there, check out Jason Becker, Jeff Loomis, Kiko Loureiro).

We did 2 lessons on vibrato 2 weeks ago (one in rock and one in blues).
Last edited by jkielq91 at Apr 30, 2011,