Instantly Make Your Solos Better With These Vibrato Tips

It’s not about speed. It’s about the quality of the notes you choose to play.

Ultimate Guitar

When asked what the most important part of playing a good guitar solo is, you might say something like “its all about how fast you can play”. The truth is, it’s not about speed. It’s about the quality of the notes you do choose to play.

A while ago I created an experiment to see just how a good/bad vibrato can affect a solo. I recorded myself playing a simple line, making sure to add a nice vibrato in the right places. I then took that exact same solo but edited in some vibrato in the less ideal places.

I then handed these solos over to some friends of mine (including a couple who were guitar players) and asked them to give it a listen.

Surprisingly, they did not notice that they were identical solos apart from the vibrato edits. In fact, they found the edited solo to sound out of time, out of tune, and overall much less professional sounding than the solo with well-placed vibrato.

On top of that (this is when it started to get freaky), they said that the licks played in the unedited solo sounded way tighter compared to the edited solo. Even though as you know, these solos were no different in any way other than the vibrato.

This is how I explain it. A well-played vibrato has whats known as a halo effect on the solo. This means that the influence the out of place vibrato is enough to change the way people will interpret the solo on a whole.

Sounds a little unfair, but it’s unavoidable.

You have probably had similar thoughts many times yourself. Ever heard a guitar solo and thought there was something special about it? Take a moment

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to go back to that solo and really listen for the vibrato. You may not have noticed before, but often times the vibrato is what makes the solo stand out.

What is it that makes a solo “good” exactly? Watch this video to find out what you can do to make your solos stand out from the rest.

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As you can see, vibrato is an attainable and highly useful skill that can actually be quite easy to learn. Once you start using it in your own playing you will surely hear the vast difference that it will make in your sound. Have fun with it!

About the Author

Tommaso Zillio is a prog rock guitarist and teacher with a passion for Music Theory applied to Guitar. To know more do not forget to subscribe to his youtube channel.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Whenever thinking about Vibrato, I just follow what Paul Gilbert says: "It's a natural feeling when I make a sound Take a regular note and move it all around You can take up fast or take it nice and slow Keep it or just listening to my vibrato"