I've been practicing vibrato a lot lately... so far I've tried to do this insane Loomis/Malmsteen bends where they bend up a half or whole tone and then apply vibrato. Sometimes you just HAVE to use your pinky after a long scale run when soloing. I've noticed I can bend up to a full step on the highest string (around lets say fret 15 - 19), but applying vibrato feels almost impossible. In fact I feel like I'm actually hurting my pinky [joints].

I have proper wrist vibrato technique. I can do it on all my fingers, and I can do vibrato by itself with my pinky (maybe not a full step, I reserve that for my first three fingers). Therefore that shouldn't be an issue here since I do everything to minimize all stress on the joints and do it always from the wrist.

Even with my current technique, getting a fast half step vibrato on a whole tone bend is still a bitch and will probably require lots of more woodshedding.

Is this something I should work on? Or should I just use my first 3 fingers for the bend + vibrato?

BTW I see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8eDc0iE0A8
Is that a pinky bend and vibrato? If so then I've got some work to do and I'm doing something wrong.
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Last edited by AtomicBirdy at Oct 9, 2011,
You can use your pinky to do that but notice how Loomis used all 4 fingers to help push that string up into a full bend. That's what you should practice.
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Being able to do bends with your pinky can come in handy, but personally, I find it much more practical and easier to just shift your hand up a fret and bend with your ring finger. Loomis is a freakish guitar player - one of many it seems - who has ridiculous ability, but he's not exactly the most practical player.
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You should isolate the bend and practice slowly.

Put the metronome at 60 bpm for example

on one click you bend (half step, whole step what ever) and on the second click you vibrate the note.

It is not necessarily hard, you just have to isolate that technique and practice it.

That's the best approach with all things you struggle in my opinion.


Try to be time management productive, i see many guitar players practicing a whole song just to try to play perfect just a portion of it
Depending on the relative length of your fingers it might be tricky, but it should be doable.

MAB has said that he really worked on getting a solid rock vibrato on every finger, and it really shows - whether or not you like his playing his vibrato is consistent across every finger.

I think it's worth learning to do, tbh.

1:04 Hehe, I just can't help using this guy for all guitar related examples lol.

You already have proper technique cuz you can do it with all 3 fingers. So it's just a case of practicing it... and failing.

I found that I was able to eventually do it...ironically by not focussing on it that much, but just homing in on it casually every now and then when improvising and jamming. It'll come dude, just the same way that everything else has to you over the years.

He's just so fucking good. It doesn't matter how many times I hear him play. His face on the fade out, he's lost...totally lost.
Last edited by mdc at Oct 10, 2011,
I don't know if you're already doing this or not but:
When doing bends with vibrato, bend the note up to the desired pitch and then relax a little, allowing the string to push your fingers back away from the bend a little before you bend it back up to pitch again. This way, your fingers don't have to put in as much effort because you're allowing the natural inclination of the string do some of the work.
Also, make sure you get as many fingers behind that bend as possible to give extra strength.
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