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Thread: Vibrato tips

  1. #1
    Senior Member contiContiCONTI's Avatar
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    Default Vibrato tips

    Hi all!

    I've been playing for about 11 years and only recently have I started to notice the importance and power of a strong vibrato (I know, it's about time). With that, I came to notice how weak mine is!

    Does anyone have any tips or decent exercises for building a strong and uniform vibrato? This goes for both slow and wide ones and for the more butterfly type. Also for bending + vibrato which seems to be extremely hard for me although other players seem to do this effortlessly.

    Right now I'm literally just starting with a metronome and shaking the string really slowly and slowly building up my speed. It helps and it builds a good slow and wide vibrato, however my butterfly vibrato has not changed, still weak and inconsistent.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions, tips and replies in general!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    Sounds like you’re doing the right thing.

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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    Too many guitarists go into 'vibrato autopilot' and end up vibratoing every note that they sustain for more than a second. Pick and choose when to use your vibrato and it has a lot more emotional impact. Also, don't just start vibratoing right away when a note is played . . . let the note ring out for a bit and ramp up your vibrato at the end, this gives a much more vocal sound.

    Not that I'm particularly good at either, but these are things I've been trying to remind myself lately. :P
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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStv View Post
    Too many guitarists go into 'vibrato autopilot' and end up vibratoing every note that they sustain for more than a second. Pick and choose when to use your vibrato and it has a lot more emotional impact. Also, don't just start vibratoing right away when a note is played . . . let the note ring out for a bit and ramp up your vibrato at the end, this gives a much more vocal sound.

    Not that I'm particularly good at either, but these are things I've been trying to remind myself lately. :P
    I am totally guilty of this-guitar AND vox.

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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStv View Post
    Too many guitarists go into 'vibrato autopilot' and end up vibratoing every note that they sustain for more than a second. Pick and choose when to use your vibrato and it has a lot more emotional impact. Also, don't just start vibratoing right away when a note is played . . . let the note ring out for a bit and ramp up your vibrato at the end, this gives a much more vocal sound.

    Not that I'm particularly good at either, but these are things I've been trying to remind myself lately. :P
    This happens a lot. I'd listen to good singers, instead. Not Broadway or Stevie Nicks 'electric goat' singers, either.
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    Senior Member contiContiCONTI's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    Nice thanks for the useful tips!, will bear this in mind! But in terms of developing the muscle memory of a good vibrato in the first place, do you know any exercises or routines that can come in handy?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    DON’T do it like Zakk Wylde.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    First thing about vibrato is there are no rules. Different players do it different ways & the players who are known for having great vibrato (Yngwie, Blackmore, Marty Friedman, Angus Young, BB King etc..) always have a distinctive vibrato of their own (different from each other's) that's often a big part of what makes them sound like they do. It's there to accentuate what your'e playing...ie make it more musical & expressive and to hopefully give it a more personal stamp.

    I kinda find it hilarious when I hear of people trying to mentally count/time their vibrato like tap tempo of something. There's no better way to instantly sound wooden/clinical imo..but eh, to each their own. Unfortunately that's the sad state guitar playing has got to these days..you get everything else out a book..so why not vibrato? Well too bad, but it doesn't really work that way.

    The best thing to do is to genuinely feel what your'e playing. Develop one's ear so it's sensitive to pitch & the notes being played 'cause good players aren't thinking about their vibrato (as they play) at all..it just happens naturally...

    Don't know what styles you're into but jamming the blues is a great way to get your'e feel quotient up...vibrato, bends and all.
    Last edited by Phantasmagoria; 12-19-2019 at 05:03 AM.
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    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    Quote Originally Posted by formula73 View Post
    DON’T do it like Zakk Wylde.
    Unless of course you want to sound killer.

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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Demanic View Post
    Unless of course you want to sound killer.

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    To each his own. I think ZW is like the guitarist version of a professional wrestler.

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    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    Quote Originally Posted by formula73 View Post
    To each his own. I think ZW is like the guitarist version of a professional wrestler.
    And no one likes professional wrestling.

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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Demanic View Post
    And no one likes professional wrestling.

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    Lol point taken.

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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    This happens a lot. I'd listen to good singers, instead. Not Broadway or Stevie Nicks 'electric goat' singers, either.
    Or Michael Sweet.

  14. #14
    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Demanic View Post
    Unless of course you want to sound killer.

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    Agreed...I think his vibrato is awesome. Not for every single application mind you, but awesome nonetheless.
    When you hear it you automatically know who the player is.

  15. #15
    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    Zack seems to get a lot of crap online. But I like his sound, he's got good stage presence and he knows how to poke fun at himself.

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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    Really, with time and mileage, it’ll come. All kinds of vibrato have a place depending on the dynamics of the music.

    I do talk **** about ZW but he wrote some of my favorite solos. No More Tears and Road to Nowhere are 2 of his best, imho.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    I am not a Zakk fan, and his vibrato is irritating to me, but it takes all kinds. I am cool with him doing his own thing. Listening to the vibrato from horn/clarinet/oboe players is what I've always done, as it is a lot more subtle than most guitarists.
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  18. #18
    One of Jerry's Kids Securb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    An interesting vibrato technique I have never tried (live) but I have always thought was cool is Paul Gilbert's. He does not bend the sting up and down he moves his finger back and forth in the direction of the neck. I have played around with it but it would take a total rewiring of the brain for me to incorporate it.

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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Securb View Post
    An interesting vibrato technique I have never tried (live) but I have always thought was cool is Paul Gilbert's. He does not bend the sting up and down he moves his finger back and forth in the direction of the neck. I have played around with it but it would take a total rewiring of the brain for me to incorporate it.
    Like BB King? I actually had to train myself to stop doing this . . . when I started playing guitar I saw someone playing a cello doing vibrato like that and figured it was how you were supposed to do it on guitar too.
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

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    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  20. #20
    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vibrato tips

    Yep, that's the technique I remember being taught for cello. Although I find side to side easier on a fretted instrument.

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