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Vibrato exercises


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Vibrato is one of those things that can be done many ways. To build it up you just have to practice - find a way you like to do it, or mimic a favorite guitar player's technique.

Start off practicing slower, and practice with all fingers. As you get it going slow, work up the speed at a decent pace.

That's all the real advice I can think of to give.

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Make sure you use your arm and not your fingers. What I mean is, instead of just pushing up and pulling down on a string with your fingers(like in string bends), twist your arm to do it. It's kind of hard to explain so I'd check youtube.com for some videos. There's one that Satch made that explained it very well. Good luck. :wink:

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There are also many different types of vibratos, I'd actually recommend you read up at www.vai.com , he got some good stuff on classical vibrato, round vibrato, rock vibrato, etc.

Some players have really sloow vibratos, while others have slightly nasal and swifter-sounding vibratos, like Clapton. :D Basically, play alot and it will come to you. It did to me, atleast.

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Ok....just taking this potential argument to clarify something that I always meant to find out, thanks for reminding me:

Tremolo is a musical term with several meanings:

* A regular and repetitive variation in amplitude for the duration of a single note. This is the most common meaning, but is often considered a misnomer.

* A regular and rapid repetition of a single note, which is scored as a single note, and particularly used on plectrum instruments such as the balalaika and the mandolin family. On these instruments it is more often called a trill, but on electronic organ stops imitating these instruments it is generally called tremolo.

* A regular and rapid alternation between two notes, which is scored as a trill.

* A roll on any tuned or untuned percussion instrument.

* A variation in pitch, slow or rapid, during the duration of a note. These techniques are more normally called portamento and vibrato.

Vibrato is a musical effect where the pitch or frequency of a note or sound is quickly and repeatedly raised and lowered over a small distance for the duration of that note or sound. Vibrato is naturally present in the human voice, and is used to add expression and vocal-like qualities to instrumental notes.

So I guess the term is interchangable, but tremolo is more general than vibrato.

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What does a violin have to do with this?

A stringed instrument where vibrato is used very often - the same technique used on guitars.

Fixed it for you.

Unless you're talking about the tremolo arm on a guitar, which is itself a misnomer, pretty much any musician will use it to refer to amplitude. The definition does technically cover any kind of pulsating, vibrating, etc effect you create, but since the pitch-related kind has its own word already... yeah.

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i dunno what the hell you guys are arguing about

it's called vibrato on both guitar and violin. guitar vibrato is actually "backwards" since moving your finger up will actually lower the pitch by reducing the string tension

tremolo is something different.. where you move the bow/pick the strings really fast. see this wiki entry

back on topic... don't know of any vibrato exercises. really, there's not much you can do other than to just practice it as much as you can. it also helps if your hand is relaxed and in a classical hand position (assuming you're trying to do classical vibrato)

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guitar vibrato is actually "backwards" since moving your finger up will actually lower the pitch by reducing the string tension

Moving it up in regards to nut -> bridge (lateral) that is (for those who might confused by what I meant by "up"). po!'s way is much more controllable though, as bending the strings up or down with the fret can get sloppy. If you're not accustomed to it, the amount of steps/cents you raise the pitch becomes inconsistent (unless that's what you're going for).

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yea up means up in the direction of a higher note. on a violin, moving the finger up will just create a higher pitch. whereas on guitar since there's a fret in the way, moving the finger upwards will just reduce the string tension

and here's an example of classical vibrato and hand position

hand is very relaxed

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Lucky we got a guit-box teacher in the house ;).

Vibrato is an extremely diverse technique on electric guitar, and can be done many ways. I'll list some different approaches. Watch your favourite players and see if you can spot them doing these things:

-(clapton)lifting the thumb off the neck, and using the forearm in an up-and-down motion

-(bb king)lift the thumb off, and rotate your left hand as if opening a door handle-----that's the way he describes his technique

-go to vai's site if you want to know how he does it (someone else posted the link, it's from his old martian love secrets column. it's a fantastic read, i used to do a lot of those exercises.) circular vibrato is interesting, combining classical and mainstream electric styles.

-yngwie uses a really wild version of bb's technique, where his vibratos are much more wide. I believe he leaves his thumb on the fretboard. (going by memory, haven't watched him in a few years)

There you have it, the best of both worlds. In the blues idiom guitarists often leave their thumbs hanging over the fretboard (watch clapton or BB...hendrix...whoever) for more leverage on bends as well. Generally speaking, when people are having vibrato problems poor form when bending is an issue. I'd recommend surfing over to www.guitarprinciples.com ; signing up for their newletter (i've been on it for years, they don't give it out to spammers), buy their books, go to their forums. If you don't want to purchase their materials, just sign up for the news letter, study the free articles, and use the forums. It's very likely you'll learn tons and be more motivated to play than you ever have been!

Now that I've given you a very general idea on vibrato form (watching guitarists on video and locally will help more), here is a great way to practice vibrato.

-get a metronome (perhaps the most sacred of practice tools!)

-set it to a slow tempo

-choose an 'easy' note to do vibrato with (say 7th fret on the g-string)

-relax your forearm, and execute vibrato. each 'pulse' of the vibrato should occur either twice per beat (8th notes), three times per beat (triplets), or four times per beat (sixteenth notes). The reason for doing this is to garner some control, and reprogram your old vibrato habits.

One more quick note about vibrato: relaxation is the key. If you're tensing up it will never sound good! One common thing between blues greats and shredders alike is relaxation. A smooth, vocal-like vibrato can't be achieved if you're tensing you're arm.

Sorry that was unorganized, but it's almost 2 am, and it's been a year since I've been on these forums. I hope I wasn't a nuissance, and GOOD LUCK!

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guitar vibrato is actually "backwards" since moving your finger up will actually lower the pitch by reducing the string tension

maybe in bizarro world.

lol sho' nuff.

UNLESS you mean moving your finger 'up' towards the headstock. this is considered down, because direction is determined by change in pitch. so moving your finger down (towards the headstock) when executing classical vibrato will lower the pitch.

ps the tremolo argument is hilarious. tremolo on classical guitar is when one uses 3 (sometimes 4) fingers, as well as the thumb, to play notes in rapid succession. on electric guitar, tremolo occurs in the style of 'tremolo picking' wherein one uses the pick to quickly execute notes on one string. think miserlou by dick dale (pulp fiction theme).

so basically everyone was correct except one guy. lol.

cheers

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guitar vibrato is actually "backwards" since moving your finger up will actually lower the pitch by reducing the string tension

maybe in bizarro world.

lol sho' nuff.

UNLESS you mean moving your finger 'up' towards the headstock. this is considered down, because direction is determined by change in pitch. so moving your finger down (towards the headstock) when executing classical vibrato will lower the pitch.

dang... so much misinformation spewed on this simple little thread

just try this experiment:

1. fret a note with index finger (preferrably high up on the fret board)

2. using index finger, pull the string up towards the bridge while continuing to fret the same note

3. VIOLA! the string tension decreases and pitch decreases

MAGIC

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guitar vibrato is actually "backwards" since moving your finger up will actually lower the pitch by reducing the string tension

maybe in bizarro world.

lol sho' nuff.

UNLESS you mean moving your finger 'up' towards the headstock. this is considered down, because direction is determined by change in pitch. so moving your finger down (towards the headstock) when executing classical vibrato will lower the pitch.

dang... so much misinformation spewed on this simple little thread

just try this experiment:

1. fret a note with index finger (preferrably high up on the fret board)

2. using index finger, pull the string up towards the bridge while continuing to fret the same note

3. VIOLA! the string tension decreases and pitch decreases

MAGIC

ok, it seems we've misunderstood you...at least i wasn't the only one :). the joys of the internet. i just thought you were confused ;).

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