Page 1 of 2
#1
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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBjj2CXsV0A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UA1KNBHVgZ4

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?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZtDJb_qMoc

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! .
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Last edited by Mephaphil at Mar 4, 2013,
#2
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 .
Last edited by Dreamdancer11 at Mar 4, 2013,
#3
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.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Last edited by Mephaphil at Mar 4, 2013,
#4
Quote 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......
#5
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!
The Rig of Joy:
Stiff Amplification Dirthead 20w
Bugera 2x12 Cab
Fender Partscaster Korean Made
Epiphone Prophecy
Washburn Southern Cross 34 of 100
Ibanez TS9,AD9,GCB95, Multi Chorus and TU2
Last edited by bburritt1 at Mar 4, 2013,
#6
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
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


#7
You might want to take a look at your articulation alltogether. You´re 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 don´t be impatient.
#8
Quote 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!
The Rig of Joy:
Stiff Amplification Dirthead 20w
Bugera 2x12 Cab
Fender Partscaster Korean Made
Epiphone Prophecy
Washburn Southern Cross 34 of 100
Ibanez TS9,AD9,GCB95, Multi Chorus and TU2
#9
Quote by Facecut
You might want to take a look at your articulation alltogether. You´re 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 don´t 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 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?
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Last edited by Mephaphil at Mar 4, 2013,
#10
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
Gear:
2011 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2012 Tanglewood TW170

Marshall MG 250DFX
Line 6 HD500
Last edited by wyldelife at Mar 5, 2013,
#11
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?
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


#12
Quote 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.
#13
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.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Last edited by Mephaphil at Mar 5, 2013,
#14
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!
#15
Quote 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. Don´t argue so much and stop defending your playing. Listen to the feedback and try to gain awareness.
#16
Quote 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?
Gear:
2011 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2012 Tanglewood TW170

Marshall MG 250DFX
Line 6 HD500
#17
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.
#18
Quote 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. It´s worth it to dedicate much time into this as its the key stylistic tool for rock and metal.
Last edited by Facecut at Mar 5, 2013,
#19
Quote 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.
The Rig of Joy:
Stiff Amplification Dirthead 20w
Bugera 2x12 Cab
Fender Partscaster Korean Made
Epiphone Prophecy
Washburn Southern Cross 34 of 100
Ibanez TS9,AD9,GCB95, Multi Chorus and TU2
#20
i was listening to One Big Rush by Satch and i remembered this thread....here is a good example of a tune where without the proper technique in bending and vibrato it ll never sound right.Those vocal like screaming notes cant be produced by just wiggling your fingers....
#21
Satch has a very sweet style of vibrato. He will either just his hands (duh) the good ol fashioned way. Or my fav which is using his hands in conjunction with the bar. That man has a lot of little tricks that have to be slowed down and watched to be noticed. Vai has adapted alot of his moves as well.
The Rig of Joy:
Stiff Amplification Dirthead 20w
Bugera 2x12 Cab
Fender Partscaster Korean Made
Epiphone Prophecy
Washburn Southern Cross 34 of 100
Ibanez TS9,AD9,GCB95, Multi Chorus and TU2
#22
Quote by Facecut
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. It´s worth it to dedicate much time into this as its the key stylistic tool for rock and metal.


Thanks for the suggestions.
#23
When I played violin it was more of a fluent, wrist movement...try holding a note and moving your wrist like violin players do (plenty of videos out there)
#24
Quote by Facecut
Guess again. Don´t argue so much and stop defending your playing. Listen to the feedback and try to gain awareness.


I'm not arguing, I was just giving my opinion.

If anything I've been very accepting that I need to look at many areas of my playing. I came here for a critique, after all.

Thanks for the help everyone.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


#25
You should be able to hear the difference between your vibrato in the video and and a more professional sounding one. Try to close the gap and really listen to what a good vibrato is. You'll develop it eventually.


It's not necessarily the same vibrato sound for every song either. Some songs suit a nice and wide sounding vibrato, other songs not so much. It's a little hard for me to put it into words because I don't think about my vibrato when I play, but that's basically it.
Quote by Axelfox
my mom and i went to a furry con and on the second day she said she didn't come and pay money to go see dumb shit.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#26
Quote by zaccda01
When I played violin it was more of a fluent, wrist movement...try holding a note and moving your wrist like violin players do (plenty of videos out there)


Horizontal vibrato doesn´t cut it on an electric though. The pitiful results you get from that attempt are all over youtube.
#27
And violins are fretless so the slightest motions of your wrist and fingers will change the pitch of the note being played.
The Rig of Joy:
Stiff Amplification Dirthead 20w
Bugera 2x12 Cab
Fender Partscaster Korean Made
Epiphone Prophecy
Washburn Southern Cross 34 of 100
Ibanez TS9,AD9,GCB95, Multi Chorus and TU2
#28
Yea I can hear the difference between the vibrato, I wasn't sure what was wrong with my bending. It seems in pitch and when I test it with a tuner it is in pitch, but the correct technique is to use the wrist a lot more than I am so I'll do that.

It will make everything more controlled and it'll sound better.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Last edited by Mephaphil at Mar 5, 2013,
#29
Quote by Facecut
Horizontal vibrato doesn´t cut it on an electric though. The pitiful results you get from that attempt are all over youtube.

I can get a full quarter tone of difference in either direction with horizontal vibrato. On its own, that's not a whole lot, but added to vertical vibrato, it adds a lot of room for additional expression and control.

Bad vibrato is bad vibrato, regardless of what technique you use.
#32
Like i said.....Zakk.....the Viking.......in the darkness he waits................
The Rig of Joy:
Stiff Amplification Dirthead 20w
Bugera 2x12 Cab
Fender Partscaster Korean Made
Epiphone Prophecy
Washburn Southern Cross 34 of 100
Ibanez TS9,AD9,GCB95, Multi Chorus and TU2
#33
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.


It's good to be able to do it both ways! For the classic "rock vibrato", especially on the first finger, you need to get the hang of the wrist movement, but you should check out what you can do with enough finger strength -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qua_N3O03CI

(still not exactly just from the fingers)

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.


It's actually a requirement from grade 3 to be able to do horizontal, vertical and "wrist" vibrato competently for the lead playing section. It's hardly the most important section of the exam but it's in there.

I'm a RGT member too, they're a great system. ^^

Quote by Facecut
Horizontal vibrato doesn´t cut it on an electric though. The pitiful results you get from that attempt are all over youtube.


It "cuts it" when you want a narrower, more "in tune" vibrato. Most rock players don't bother to develop their horizontal vibrato but it can sound brilliant. Check out how Allan uses vertical vibrato for certain notes and horizontal for other ones.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5rzC9t6WcY
#34
Horizontal vibrato is 99.9% useless if you play blues,rock,hard rock,metal,country,popetc etc etc.Its used mostly in classical guitar or in jazz where they basically dont like vibrato in the first place and they want something so subtle that is barely audible.Horizontal vibrato is useful in unfretted instruments like violin but on electric guitar is almost useless.You can learn it if you want but 99.9 percent of the time you ll use the vertical one .....
#35
Quote by Freepower

It "cuts it" when you want a narrower, more "in tune" vibrato.


Why would I want that
(kidding)

With cutting it I had the ability of making a strong statement in the sense of a rock scenario in mind.
#37
So I've been watching this video. It's the one that seemed to explain it in a way that best suited me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGl0urYSuug

I'll post a video tomorrow because I think I'm making improvements, and if you (anyone) has the time perhaps they'd be nice enough to look at it and tell me if I'm on the right path when compared to the old video.

Thanks,
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


#38
Quote by Mephaphil
So I've been watching this video. It's the one that seemed to explain it in a way that best suited me.

I'll post a video tomorrow because I think I'm making improvements, and if you (anyone) has the time perhaps they'd be nice enough to look at it and tell me if I'm on the right path when compared to the old video.

Thanks,


Dude those things dont happen overnight....throw your ego out of the window(critique your playing harshly instead of constantly trying to defend it) visit the internet less and go into the woodshed and practise....great vibrato isnt conquered in a week or a month...takes maturity that comes only through time and correct practise.....post a video after a few months of practise...
#39
Mephaphil, there's nothing wrong with using your fingers (knuckles) for vibrato. It's a bonified technique, albeit unorthodox, called the "squeeze" method. I use it quite a bit, mainly using it for fifth and octave shapes, where it's quite difficult to do vibrato using the wrist method, due to the thumb being placed behind in the middle of neck (classical technique). It also comes in handy when playing near the nut, where wrist vibrato is poor at overcoming the increased string resistance; and you can use it with the low E string - it cancels out the risk of riding the string over the edge of the fretboard if you choose to get wild. Wrist vibrato is the best method for most single note and double stop playing, but there will be times when the squeeze method would be better and easier to use, so don't abandon it, just know when to use it.

I also found this page - check it out.
http://www.stratoblogster.com/2008/10/basics-of-vibrato-technique-for-guitar_24.html
Last edited by J-E-M at Mar 6, 2013,
#40
Quote by Dreamdancer11
Dude those things dont happen overnight....throw your ego out of the window(critique your playing harshly instead of constantly trying to defend it) visit the internet less and go into the woodshed and practise....great vibrato isnt conquered in a week or a month...takes maturity that comes only through time and correct practise.....post a video after a few months of practise...


Look, I've said that I will try everything everyone's said, please stop attacking me. You don't need to ... After every sentence. One is enough.

As I have no one to tell me if I've made the change from wrong to still shitty but on the right track I have to go on my own judgement. It's confusing but I feel like I understand what I need to change, and it would just be nice for someone to be able to look at a video and go.

'Okay, you did it like that before, that was wrong' 'you need to have your thumb here, or there to get more of a pivot' or 'Yea, you've changed it, keep on doing that and you'll get it.'

That's called a critique. I feel like I've made the change that has put me on the right track. But of course I need practice, am I not allowed to ask for a critique? Isn't that what this thread is about? People tell me what to change and then I try and change it, and then get clarification if I'm doing it better? If you don't want to help me, don't.

What if I come back in a 2 months and it's completely wrong? This isn't about ego it's about wanting to do it right. If you just want to give advice and not bother to spend another 20 seconds watching a video to make sure someone's on the right track then don't give advice in the first place.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Last edited by Mephaphil at Mar 6, 2013,
Page 1 of 2