#1
Hi,

Ive been Practicing my vibrato everyday for a couple of months now. It's definitely improved but still has a way to go.
General the people with the good vibrato are a bit older and been playing for a long time.
Is vibrato something that improves naturally with years of playing?  
When you watch younger players they may be able to play complex stuff but there vibrato sucks.

Thanks
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#2
Guitar137335

I consider vibrato the hardest technique to "master". It's very difficult and tedious to isolate and practice the technique so for that reason it often gets neglected. As you said yourself it does improve naturally over time. It is far too common to see incredibly technical / fast players with awful vibrato. I've seen it countless times and it's a real shame honestly. To me personally it's potentially the single most important technique. Nothing makes a lick / riff sound worse than poor / flat bending and vibrato, and i consider bending / vibrato to be complementary techniques. You don't have one without the other.
I would try to not worry about your bending/vibrato too much for now, but at the same time don't neglect it like many people do. It WILL improve over time if you're conscious about the technique and if you want to improve, so don't forget how important it is.
As you said yourself, the people with good vibrato generally are older for the very reason that it takes a long long time to "master". I don't think I've ever seen anyone under like 25-30 or so with incredible vibrato.
I'll add this short little video to give an example of what I consider to be as close to perfect vibrato etc as possible:

Such amazing demonstration of vibrato from both the wrist and the fingers. And yes he is in fact in his 30s
The Loner is also probably one of the single best songs to learn if you want to try and isolate and practice the technique.

Last edited by vayne92 at Jul 9, 2017,
#3
I don't know if it's an age thing ... certainly not a physical thing due to to age.  May be a shift in focus towards wanting to sound more musical / emotional away from pure shredding?  I do know that for me, with wide vibrato, I involve the larger muscles (wrist, forearm), lock fingers to catch the string, and pivot against the neck, for leverage, using forearm rotation.  But for something like the bluses shake form of vibrato, even though I just use one finger on the neck, the movement and energy is still coming from the bigger muscles ... I never literally use just the fingers for vibrato, it just sounds way to feeble like that.  Obviously differs from person to person.

Don't know what happened to above video link, but this is a very good explainer for vibrato and bending, from an amazing guitarist.

#4
I dunno if it's anything to do with age. Some people can do it well and some can't. Van Halen was recorded in late 1977 when EVH was 22, for example, and his vibrato is absolutely killer. malmsteen released black star when he was 21 (and presumably it was recorded earlier than that) and again ditto on the vibrato front.

Vibrato actually clicked with me very early on, at least on the higher-pitched strings (the lower strings were more of a struggle and I had to work at them more).

It may well be that those who are older and who have good vibrato and who are still playing had good vibrato when they were younger too, and being good players made them stick at it. A bit like the way that a lot of the products (or even music) which still exist from earlier generations have had the crap weeded out.

It also may well be that younger players aren't spending enough time on vibrato and are practising other things- lead guitar was very uncool there for a while.

Don't get me wrong- playing for longer will likely improve your vibrato (along with the rest of your playing), of course it will, but that doesn't mean you can't have a good vibrato pretty early on, too. And be very wary of anyone who tells you you can't practice it. Odds are (a) they can't do it themselves or (b) they can and don't want any competition from you.
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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.

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#5
Vibrato is one of those things you start getting right when you actually listen to your playing as music. As you become a more attentive listener all around, you hear vibrato on other instruments and it just become part of what music sounds like. 
#6
Vibrato from what I understand, is just bending the string repeatedly on a fret. It's easier on the higher frets and harder on the lower frets.

Imo, Vibrato is like tapping. kind of difficult at first, but after a bit of practice, you get the hang of it. Or your fingers get stronger and you have more strength to move the string.
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- Strandberg OS 7
- A cheap fender strat knock-off not worth naming
- Garageband
- Boss GT-1
- Potato
#8
To improve vibrato I would highly recommend trying out some fretless instruments. They really help with getting the right notes when bending, and vibrato is basically that really fast back and forth between two notes. Try to keep calm when doing vibrato, I know that helps me out a lot. I used to play cello, (which is fretless) and my vibrato is pretty good, and I know that Yngwie Malmsteen as you mentioned also played violin for a long time (which is also fretless,) so I think there's a correlation. I would also try just picking a note and just playing that one note for a while and just trying to make that one note sound as interesting as possible to try to get some vibrato.
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#9
Saw a Steve Vai tutorial on vibrato earlier, he says to use wrist strength and push upwards. Now that I think about it, it is easier than trying to vibrato with fingers..
Gear:
- ESP LTD MH-50
- Strandberg OS 7
- A cheap fender strat knock-off not worth naming
- Garageband
- Boss GT-1
- Potato
#10
Vibrato is a big part of blues music, which I think used to have a bigger influence on youth guitarists than it does today. Take a listen to early Clapton, Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green), Allman Brothers and learn some of their solos. A lot of that guitar playing isn't very "hard" technically, but it requires the right touch for it to sound good at all. There is a lot to vibrato. . . A lot of it is knowing what a "good" vibrato sounds like in the first place. To me, a good vibrato is actually in time with the tempo (not too fast, not too slow, and in time with the beat. . . I usually feel my vibrato with a triplet feel) and the vibrato has the right distance between the top and bottom of it.

Regarding if vibrato coming naturally or not, I don't think it does. It takes a very conscious effort to feel the subtle parts of music and understand what concepts -such as vibrato, but also things like slides, bends (big and small), pauses, accents, etc. . . are all about. It is true that it takes time to really understand these subtleties and appreciate them and learn them, but it takes work and appreciation to acquire these things.

My advice would be to find a vibrato you think is killer, and really listen to it. Study it. How fast is it? How wide is it? When in the note's life does the vibrato happen? Get your guitar out while you listen and try to replicate the vibrato along with the music
#11
Quote by Guitar137335
Hi,

Ive been Practicing my vibrato everyday for a couple of months now. It's definitely improved but still has a way to go.
General the people with the good vibrato are a bit older and been playing for a long time.
Is vibrato something that improves naturally with years of playing?  
When you watch younger players they may be able to play complex stuff but there vibrato sucks.

Thanks


First, vibratos are really one of the most complex and difficult techniques to master . It takes years. The one dead giveaway of inexperience is the vibrato. You'll notice 10 year olds blazing all over the fretboard by the dozen, but they almost always have a terrible vibrato.

Second, vibrato is a very personal preference. BB king, SRV, Satriani and Malmsteen all have great but wildly different vibratos.

Third, a lot of people forget that a vibrato is rhythmic - practice doing it slowly and with different rythms. The main issue with beginners is a vibrato that is both too fast and also out of pitch due to pressing too hard. Pay close attention to that.
Last edited by reverb66 at Jul 27, 2017,
#12
Quote by reverb66
The one dead giveaway of inexperience is the vibrato.


So so true
#13
Quote by shorter_rocker
Vibrato is a big part of blues music, which I think used to have a bigger influence on youth guitarists than it does today. Take a listen to early Clapton, Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green), Allman Brothers and learn some of their solos. A lot of that guitar playing isn't very "hard" technically, but it requires the right touch for it to sound good at all. There is a lot to vibrato. . . A lot of it is knowing what a "good" vibrato sounds like in the first place. To me, a good vibrato is actually in time with the tempo (not too fast, not too slow, and in time with the beat. . . I usually feel my vibrato with a triplet feel) and the vibrato has the right distance between the top and bottom of it.

Regarding if vibrato coming naturally or not, I don't think it does. It takes a very conscious effort to feel the subtle parts of music and understand what concepts -such as vibrato, but also things like slides, bends (big and small), pauses, accents, etc. . . are all about. It is true that it takes time to really understand these subtleties and appreciate them and learn them, but it takes work and appreciation to acquire these things.

My advice would be to find a vibrato you think is killer, and really listen to it. Study it. How fast is it? How wide is it? When in the note's life does the vibrato happen? Get your guitar out while you listen and try to replicate the vibrato along with the music


pretty much.

however, i would say that once you get really used to it, it pretty much is natural. unconscious competence versus conscious competence. but yeah other than that, agreed.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#14
I bought an ebow to sustain the note as long as i want, I sat watching tv with the guitar not plugged in, (still louder than you'd think on a good solid body guitar)on the g string, doing vib until i found the exact technique that worked for me (thumb over neck, turning the door handle type feel) till it was easy with all fingers. Did wide and narrow, fast and slow, upward, downward, up past the tone, then down past the tone to cover every type (even side to side on the string like violin) I now work on bending up 1, 2 or 3 frets and adding vib, bit harder but gets alot easier. Ebows are super good tools for this and other things (like working melodies on 1 string)

I do this pretty much every day, it takes no thinking or effort.
Last edited by Tempoe at Jul 28, 2017,