Here's my problem.
When i play the diddlies (what my guitar teacher calls it when someone is playing notes in the scales or arpeggios etc.) in a solo, i can hit all the notes clean and quick. However, i can't bend them, because i hold the neck with my wrist perpendicular, rather than diagonally. This makes it almost impossable to bend and vibrato, because i cant play as well with my wrist diagonally.
Should i learn how to hold the guitar with my wrist diagonal, or learn to switch between to two depending on what im doing? i feel the second way would be better, but i want other guitarists oppinions.
I've been playing a lil' over a year, know all my pentatonics and major scales up and down the neck, and can hit the notes with proper muting and clean. but i can't vibrato! it really doesn't sound as good without a nice vibrato...
Finger strength man, thats all you need for some good vibrato. But I would practice playing with your wrist diagonally too, that has made playing some stuff way easier for me
Keep listening to the type of vibrato (slow, fast, wide alteration of pitch versus narrow - things your teacher can explain) and you'll get it. Listening is the key. Listen, listen and then again listen to the player you are trying to emulate until it becomes a part of you, guitar-wise and just musically. Once you have the feel/sound/soul of the player in you its all up to the technical side of things.

I agree with the finger strength part of it, along with the increased flexibility of the material around the fretting hand knuckles, which is only attained through more practice. Tommy Emmanuel, Pablo Casals (a classical cello example of beautiful vibrato), Charlie Parker (jazz), Bill Frisell (a wicked guitarist), Alex Skolnick and countless blues and rock players present themselves as a final product. What you don't see is how much they chopped wood out back in the woodshed to get where they're at, so keep working at it diagonally, perpendicular, a bit between the two and when you have the sound (keep listening!) you'll know it.


Last edited by sjwguitarr at Sep 14, 2011,
Hmm. When I bend or do vibrato, my wrist does nothing; it's all in my fingers. Perhaps work on that?
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Sounds to me you need adjust your strap and/or raise your guitar up a little further and pick at just below chest height. Similar to holding the guitar classical style while sitting with it resting between your knees or middle lap with one knee up, foot on a footrest. You'll gain a tendency to do both diagonal and parallel grip whenever needed.
Do it from your fingers only rarely, or else you'll **** your wrist up because it forces muscles that shouldn't be taking excess load to take it and then you strain them.

Only use it when you've got a good/great vibrato and you're using it for intense short 1/2 step Yngwie styled vibratos.
It's spelled wiener.
I've used the wrist method for over 20 years and I had been doing it wrong for over 20 years. Atomic Birdy is correct, it will cause wrist problems at some point in the future. I had wrist surgery 8 years ago when it got to the point where I couldn't play without the guitar riding ridiculously high and chord extentions were out of the question.

It you really want a sweet vibrato learn to use your forearm, it will seem ackward and hard to control at first but will but will enough practice it will become second nature and sound fantastic.
If you wanna see some good smooth vibrato look to Zakk Wylde or Stevie Ray Vaughn. They use their wrist/forearm and they have very good vibratos. At the same time Dimebag does his quick bends and vibratos in solos with his fingers. If it sounds right then it's hard to say you're doing wrong. Plus you've only been playing for a year. Dimebag had been playing for like 6 years before they came out with C.F.H. Just keep on it bro, i'm sure you'll get it.
Edit: lol i had no guitar on me when i was imagining how i vibrato,

I'd say do whatever is comfortable for you. I'm sure there are great and equal number of players who use their fingers for vibrato and their wrist/arm for vibrato.
Personally, trying it just now - for smaller steps i find it easier to mimick a string bend action using my fingers, and for Wider/fast vibrato i'll use more of my arm to take the strain.
Always waiting for that bit of inspiration.
Last edited by W4T3V3R at Sep 17, 2011,