How to master your vibrato
Have you ever heard somebody claim they can recognize a particular guitar player
just by the way they apply vibrato?
This is because vibrato is one of the key elements of any guitarists phrasing and it truly can be a hallmark of a really great guitarist. So if you aspire to be one, and I assume you do, otherwise you would not be spending your time searching for lessons on the internet, you have to master you vibrato as well. This article will dig deep into how you can apply or improve your vibrato on guitar, giving you the opportunity to make it a hallmark of your own.
Vibrato is all about listening
It seem redundant to explain to guitarist that they have to listen to what they play on the guitar. Nevertheless this is the most crucial thing to actually mastering your vibrato. Vibrato can be applied in a big variety of ways and if you wanna learn the difference ways, you first have to be able to recognise them and this requires significant listening skills. So from now on I want you to really listen to the texture, pace and feel of the vibrato of all you favourite players.
Make your vibrato regular
If vibrato is not done correctly it can sound like your are playing a note that is out of tune. To avoid this we wanna be very clear on what note we are applying vibrato to. This note should be the center of our vibrato and our vibrato should be regular on both sides of said note. This makes the vibrato sound the way it should sound I. E. as embellishment of a particular note. The concept is explained in more detail in this video:
Movie 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUHE3cPSoNU
Muting when playing vibrato
It is very important to be able to mute the strings that you don’t play. This way your audience will only hear the note that you actually want them to hear, and your vibrato note will stand out much more. A common problem among guitarists when applying vibrato is the fact that we sometimes hit the other strings when doing the vibrato, making them ring out and cause the playing to be unclean. Your string muting should be done in a combination between your two hands. The fretting hand will be muting all the strings that are higher than the string to which you are applying vibrato and you pick/picking hand should be muting the strings below the one you are applying vibrato to. For a more in-depth explanation of this, watch the following movie:
Movie 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg5L7ODX5ko
Use your wrists
Vibrato should first and foremost be a motion coming from the wrists. You fingers are
simple not strong enough to be ably to do control the vibrato in the ways that you want to. Therefore you need to do two things. First of all you have to support you fretting finger with the fingers behind it. So if you are fretting the note with your ringfinger, you will be supporting that finger with you index and middlefinger. This is important to be able to apply the vibrato in a controlled way. Once you have learned to support the fretting finger, the vibrato motion should be coming from the forearm. Just like turning a key in a doorknob. For a deeper explanation about this, watch the video below.
Movie 3: https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=PUrFheivTho
Now you know the basics of how to master your vibrato. You job is to actually apply all the knowledge in this article into you own playing. If you do this you will be well on you way to master you vibrato.
About the author: Janus Buch is the founder of Bredballe Guitarskole, the place where ordinary people become killer guitar players. If you are frustrated with your current level of playing and you are looking for the best value for money Adults Guitar Lesson in Vejle, you should definitely seek you the help of the Guitar Academy.