#2
1) pay close attention to muting/dampening the strings you are not playing. For example, if you are playing a vibrato on the B string, stop the high E string and the G string from playing/ringing with your right and left hands . If other strings ring out while you are doing a vibrato it will interfere with the sound and won't be clear. See Eric Johnson's tutorial on dampening online.

2) rhythm - it's absolutely crucial to have a vibrato that is " in the pocket" - if you're vibrato isn't in time with the music it will sound awkward and amateurish. This is the most common mistake younger players make - they vibrate the note irrespective of the beat. I recommend setting a metronome to 90bpm and practicing shaking your vibrato up and down to quarter notes, half notes, triplets, eight notes etc. The point of the exercise is to drill it in your head that vibratos are rhythmic and to practice some of the different rhythms possible. Vibratos are rarely perfectly uniform in time, but it's good to practice that exercise a little just to get a feel for them.

3) study players - blues is where it's at for vibratos and phrasing generally. The reason is that it is the focus for that style - where the guitar tries to imitate a soulful voice. Albert King 60's recordings, BB KIng and the more modern master - Stevie Ray Vaughan - study some of these players - listen closely to the rhythm of their vibratos in relation to the music and try to imitate them. I would recommend Satriani as a case study well - he's amazing at vibratos and places enormous amount of emphasis on them as his music is instrumental. Pay close attention to the rhythms that they are using.

4) tuning - a vibrato that is out of tune is terrible. Think of a vibrato like a quick series of bends. The more you bend, the more the pitch changes. A subtle vibrato has very little up and down movement whereas a crazy neo classical exaggerated 80's vibrato will be very wide. Regardless of the type of vibrato, you need to pay close attention to make sure you are in tune with the music. Pressing too hard on a string will cause you to go sharp - this is the most common mistake for young players - you need to learn to shake that string up and down without applying too much pressure - this just takes a lot of practice.
Last edited by reverb66 at Nov 9, 2015,
#3
Quote by reverb66
1) pay close attention to muting/dampening the strings you are not playing. For example, if you are playing a vibrato on the B string, stop the high E string and the G string from playing/ringing with your right and left hands . If other strings ring out while you are doing a vibrato it will interfere with the sound and won't be clear. See Eric Johnson's tutorial on dampening online.

2) rhythm - it's absolutely crucial to have a vibrato that is " in the pocket" - if you're vibrato isn't in time with the music it will sound awkward and amateurish. This is the most common mistake younger players make - they vibrate the note irrespective of the beat. I recommend setting a metronome to 90bpm and practicing shaking your vibrato up and down to quarter notes, half notes, triplets, eight notes etc. The point of the exercise is to drill it in your head that vibratos are rhythmic and to practice some of the different rhythms possible. Vibratos are rarely perfectly uniform in time, but it's good to practice that exercise a little just to get a feel for them.

3) study players - blues is where it's at for vibratos and phrasing generally. The reason is that it is the focus for that style - where the guitar tries to imitate a soulful voice. Albert King 60's recordings, BB KIng and the more modern master - Stevie Ray Vaughan - study some of these players - listen closely to the rhythm of their vibratos in relation to the music and try to imitate them. I would recommend Satriani as a case study well - he's amazing at vibratos and places enormous amount of emphasis on them as his music is instrumental. Pay close attention to the rhythms that they are using.

4) tuning - a vibrato that is out of tune is terrible. Think of a vibrato like a quick series of bends. The more you bend, the more the pitch changes. A subtle vibrato has very little up and down movement whereas a crazy neo classical exaggerated 80's vibrato will be very wide. Regardless of the type of vibrato, you need to pay close attention to make sure you are in tune with the music. Pressing too hard on a string will cause you to go sharp - this is the most common mistake for young players - you need to learn to shake that string up and down without applying too much pressure - this just takes a lot of practice.


Yeah, I been having quite some trouble with playing some strings. It can be challenging. But practice makes perfect. I recently been watching other people play and I'm sort of getting the hang of it now.
The video shall help me a lot. Thanks for the advice. I'll keep the focus and rhythm part in mind the most.
#4
I think reverb66 has answered pretty much everything. There are a few small point I would like to add or build upon.

Quote by reverb66
1) pay close attention to muting/dampening the strings you are not playing. For example, if you are playing a vibrato on the B string, stop the high E string and the G string from playing/ringing with your right and left hands . If other strings ring out while you are doing a vibrato it will interfere with the sound and won't be clear. See Eric Johnson's tutorial on dampening online.


This is of absolutely critical importance.

2) rhythm - it's absolutely crucial to have a vibrato that is " in the pocket" - if you're vibrato isn't in time with the music it will sound awkward and amateurish. This is the most common mistake younger players make - they vibrate the note irrespective of the beat. I recommend setting a metronome to 90bpm and practicing shaking your vibrato up and down to quarter notes, half notes, triplets, eight notes etc. The point of the exercise is to drill it in your head that vibratos are rhythmic and to practice some of the different rhythms possible. Vibratos are rarely perfectly uniform in time, but it's good to practice that exercise a little just to get a feel for them.[\QUOTE]

I think this is valuable advice and an excellent approach to developing control.

However, when I was working on my vibrato, I slowed down the recordings of players whose vibrato I wanted to emulate and found that the vibrato was rarely uniform. There is a human element to vibrato, sometimes we begin a little slower and speed up, etc.

Quote by reverb66
3) study players - blues is where it's at for vibratos and phrasing generally. The reason is that it is the focus for that style - where the guitar tries to imitate a soulful voice. Albert King 60's recordings, BB KIng and the more modern master - Stevie Ray Vaughan - study some of these players - listen closely to the rhythm of their vibratos in relation to the music and try to imitate them. I would recommend Satriani as a case study well - he's amazing at vibratos and places enormous amount of emphasis on them as his music is instrumental. Pay close attention to the rhythms that they are using.


Again, great advice. I think it's extremely valuable to study Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. Jeff Beck is particularly important to study if your guitar has a vibrato arm and you want to begin using it in a musical way rather than as a "special effect."

Yngwie Malmsteen also has excellent vibrato.

Quote by reverb66
4) tuning - a vibrato that is out of tune is terrible. Think of a vibrato like a quick series of bends. The more you bend, the more the pitch changes. A subtle vibrato has very little up and down movement whereas a crazy neo classical exaggerated 80's vibrato will be very wide. Regardless of the type of vibrato, you need to pay close attention to make sure you are in tune with the music. Pressing too hard on a string will cause you to go sharp - this is the most common mistake for young players - you need to learn to shake that string up and down without applying too much pressure - this just takes a lot of practice.


Again, this is critical. I'd like to mention however that being in tune is about making sure to return to the original pitch after each of these quick bends, rather than bending up a perfect semitone or wholetone each time. Instead, focus on bending up a consistent amount on each bend and releasing to the original, unbent note. This is nearly impossible if your fretting hand is tightening up to much. Relax and let the string pull itself back to the neutral position after each bend.

With the vibrato bar, where the pitch goes up and down from the original note, try to get the lowest and highest points equally far from the original pitch.

When it comes to vibrato width, again remember that there is a human element. Many players start narrow and widen out gradually (Ritchie Blackmore does this frequently).

It's great to develop the facility to bend perfect semitones or wholetones with a uniform rhythm. That degree of control will be invaluable to you. However, I feel that this has a very mechanical sound, like the vibrato is the result of a programmed function on a signal generator.

Developing vibrato is a two part process. We must develop the mechanical facility and a musical understanding of the human aspects regarding rhythm and width.

Also, I recommend switching to a light string guage while developing vibrato. You can start upping the string guage after you've developed the mechanics if you like.
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