#1
I have no problem doing insane vibrato when bending downwards towards the ground (like on the E/A/D/G strings), but when it comes to the thinner B/E strings, doing the other vibrato towards you is for some reason a hell of a lot harder.

I've looked at all my favorite guitarists, and I noticed some of them can get ridiculous vibrato without using the thumb as a pivot. It's like doing a thumbs up to someone and just using the 4 fingers on their own.

I have tried it myself on the 22nd or so thinnest string, and when I use all 4 fingers without the thumb as a pivot, there are times where I get a ridiculously beautiful and powerful vibrato (high speed), but this seems to be more luck than actual skill. I don't like how I can't do it on demand all the time, because that means I can't.

I cannot seem to attain this vibrato when using my thumb as a pivot (as I do for downward vibrato).

What's frustrating is that I've practiced both styles of vibrato (or should I say, both directions), and the one that needs to be done on the higher strings is taking significantly longer than the other one.

Furthermore, that kind of vibrato kills the finger tips. You'd think after 10 years of playing almost every day for multiple hours would have given me hard enough callouses on my finger tips. It's confusing because it's not a problem for the bottom 4 strings (doing insane bends) or pinch harmonic + bends on the lower octaves of the string. I can do those for a long time, but vibrato towards you on the higher strings will toast my fingers in a short period of time. I hate waking up the next morning (like now) and my fingertips rebel when trying to type. However this might be due to doing 6 hours of guitar with vibrato in there, so I guess they didn't get a break.

In addition, I feel like I cannot do any bends on the thinnest string unless I'm at the 12th fret or higher, whereas I can do the downward vibrato on any string at any fret.


What have you done to ensure your vibrato is potent and powerful (like Malmsteen, Loomis, Friedman...etc) on the thinnest string?
#2
The thumb helps a lot but I think it's overrated. More important as a pivot, if you want to do it that way, is the base joint of your index finger touching the neck.

There are way more ways to control vibrato, such as using mostly fingers ore the whole arm, both ways don't require the thumb over the neck. Look at this guys videos, he does all sorts of them really well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXMJnltcTzQ

Try using lighter gauge if you keep having trouble.
#3
maybe you're using way too much effort to fret the string. when i switched to a guitar with a much thicker neck (7 string), i was having trouble with vibrato because i no longer had a good feel for just how lightly you need to press downward. i was wasting a ton of energy fretting, holding the neck with a death grip, etc. because i was too worried that i wasn't pressing hard enough.

then again, having fingertips of steel help immensely, and if your fingertips feel raw, it just means your fingers are still getting used to how you're trying to play. it doesn't help that the callouses seem to disappear incredibly quickly if you stop with the daily fingertip punishment (at least mine do...).
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#5
very little, since i had the opposite problem I had to work on vibrato towards the floor on the thicker strings.

I think the thumb helps a lot. You can do it without the thumb but it's a lot more work, and I'm not sure I'd aim for that way if you're having trouble. It's a bit like telling someone who can't ride a bike yet that some people can ride with no hands so you should start learning without holding onto the handlebars...
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#6
Quote by Dave_Mc
very little, since i had the opposite problem I had to work on vibrato towards the floor on the thicker strings.

I think the thumb helps a lot. You can do it without the thumb but it's a lot more work, and I'm not sure I'd aim for that way if you're having trouble. It's a bit like telling someone who can't ride a bike yet that some people can ride with no hands so you should start learning without holding onto the handlebars...

+1 to all of this.

I'm having a tough time analysing my technique as such, but I think what I tend to do on the high E is more or less the same action as the "pulling" vibrato on the other strings, just with a constant slight upward pressure so that the range of movement remains above the string's normal position. I started practising vibrato in that direction in bends, and only really got the hang of "just" vibrato of any kind once I had vibrato'd bends down.
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#7
I just do it a bit like I do (upward, towards the ceiling) bends, except with more wrist action and a less deliberate approach (if that makes sense).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#8
I think my approach is wrist action towards the floor and finger action towards the ceiling... I just do what works best for me.
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#9
funny i never gave my vibrato much though as it was one fo the few things playing wise that just seemed to come naturally.

i have found that with the skinny strings that having your finger closer to the fret rather than in the middle helps (me at least.) the other thing which is kinda hard to teach is that you need to keep the vibrato going by a very subtle finger movement as you come out of each note. this heps with the skinnier strings and makes it sound stronger.
#10
oh yeah i generally fret everything as close as possible to the fret.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#11
Quote by Dave_Mc
very little, since i had the opposite problem I had to work on vibrato towards the floor on the thicker strings.

I think the thumb helps a lot. You can do it without the thumb but it's a lot more work, and I'm not sure I'd aim for that way if you're having trouble. It's a bit like telling someone who can't ride a bike yet that some people can ride with no hands so you should start learning without holding onto the handlebars...


More like telling someone who is already a veteran biker and tries to do some stunts why sometimes they work for him.
#12
how so?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?