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> Vibrato, Up AND down or up OR down?
Kristian Hyvarin...
post Apr 14 2010, 02:39 PM
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Hi guys,

there's a hundred topics about this but I didn't get the answer. Is someone writing about vibrato in the Wiki?

A simple question: I know that vibrato consists of many mini-bends put together in a way that they mix with the root note smoothly, producing a soft sound.

But if I do those mini-bends downwards, should I do them upwards, too? Or the other way around, if I do the mini-bends upwards, should I do them downwards, too? This would result in a bigger movement, that's for sure, but I'm not sure if it would improve the vibrato sound. How should I do it?

-Krisu

This post has been edited by Kristian Hyvarinen: Apr 14 2010, 02:40 PM


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Artemus
post Apr 14 2010, 02:53 PM
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I assume by up/down you are referring to the direction in which you push or pull the string, i.e. towards yourself (up) or towards the floor (down). I think I'd be right in saying that you should execute your vibrato with both up and down bending; bend up - return to "root" - bend down - return - repeat.. The sound of the vibrato is affected by both the distance you choose to bend the note out of tune and the speed with which you vary this.
There are two other types of vibrato that I can think of as well. There's the "violin" type where you don't bend the string but instead push up towards the fret and then back towards the lower fret, i.e. sliding up towards the bridge then towards the neck, back and forth. This create a much subtler vibrato.
Then there's the type adopted by Steve Vai; circular vibrato, which combines both of those movements resulting in a circular motion with your finger.


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Kristian Hyvarin...
post Apr 14 2010, 02:58 PM
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Thanks mate, you understood me correctly. smile.gif

I don't really see the point in trying to produce "violin" type vibrato with the guitar, since I don't hear any kind of difference - a musician like Vai actually might. The only difference I hear is actually produced my me fretting the string harder, producing a twist in the pitch of the fretted note.


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relaxenjoy
post Apr 14 2010, 03:08 PM
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Hi Kris,

This is what Emir wrote in response to my REC Program submission, I hope it helps:

"Nice playing. You got all the notes with the nice feel. Your problem is the vibrato. You're vibrating like classical players (moving finger left-right). You have to vibrate either up or down - depending on which string you are on. And that also shouldn't be from the finger but from the wrist. Your bends could also be more precise and faster executed. Still a good attempt for a passing mark."

I think this answers exactly what you were asking.

I know that from my experience, I am much more comfortable doing vibrato while bending down, not so much bending up, though I am practicing it and definitely getting better.

Now for those darn whole step upward bends with vibrato at the top... that's another story, gah!

This post has been edited by relaxenjoy: Apr 14 2010, 03:10 PM


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kaznie_NL
post Apr 14 2010, 03:12 PM
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Hmm I don't agree wink.gif I think I got a decent vibrato, and I wondered the same thing Kristian! So I just watched myself doing a vibrato. I bend up, down to root and then up again. it does depend on the finger as well, same goes for the place of the note. With my index finger, and most of the notes on the E and A string, I bend down for vibrato.

I tried the motion going up, root, down, but that resulted in very unstable vibrato, which is a logical result. You want your vibrato even, and that's way easier using the same motion every time, with the same distance, then two motions with the same distance!

QUOTE (relaxenjoy @ Apr 14 2010, 04:08 PM) *
"Nice playing. You got all the notes with the nice feel. Your problem is the vibrato. You're vibrating like classical players (moving finger left-right). You have to vibrate either up or down - depending on which string you are on. And that also shouldn't be from the finger but from the wrist. Your bends could also be more precise and faster executed. Still a good attempt for a passing mark."

Definatly true, this 'violin' style vibrato works very nicely for classical acoustic guitar, but not for electric. We want much wider vibrato, while ont he nylon strings the violin vibrato works fine wink.gif


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Artemus
post Apr 14 2010, 03:49 PM
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Yes, Kaznie_NL made a valid point. You can't use up and down for strings at the edge of the neck, and similarly, a wide vibrato can't be applied with both up and down movements on strings adjacent to top and bottom strings. So, a good up or down movement is needed. That said, I was taught to use a steady wrist movement so ensure a smooth and even vibrato and to use up and down where possible - meaning that the wrist movement was minimised and the variation in sound (vibrato) was maximised.
For applying a vibrato to a bended note, I release the bend to a desired amount and then bend back up again; again, speed and amount governing the overall effect.
Personally, I'd recommend taking both movements and concentrating on control with the wrist. That way you're covered for whatever type of vibrato is required.


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coffeeman
post Apr 14 2010, 05:45 PM
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I would like to add to what Kaz and Artemus said , that it is also very important the string in wich you're adding the vibrato. For example I normally add an UP/vibrato in the high E and b strings , and a down/vibrato on the low E and A string. on the other strings it depends on which part of the neck you are. You have to find your most comfortable way to add vibrato. Hear and watch you're favorite players and try to imitate them.


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 14 2010, 11:47 PM
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As long as you find a method that works for you, you can perform the vibrato in any way that feels comfortable. I usually bend in one direction then back to root for vibrato. But you could certainly go up and down if that felt better smile.gif The main thing is to remain in control of bend and be able to determine speed and amount of bend. Depending on how much you bend the string during the vibrato, the sound will be very different. A very exaggerated vibrato can be achieved by bending a note further, while bending it just a little will give a more subtle vibrato.

Practice!
Todd


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sted
post Apr 15 2010, 10:11 AM
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vibrato is just bends, you cant go up and down as you would only be going around the centre of the string, good vibrato should be in time and in pitch, ie half a tone each time. In fact forget the term vibrato and just envisage a series of small half tone bends in time with the beat, thats the correct way of doing vibrato. The violin method is for violinists, a good wide vibrato bending up OR down is miles better.
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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Apr 15 2010, 12:09 PM
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It all depends on what is the next note you will play, is it on higher string or on the lower? To some extent that matters, but once you get nice left hand technique, it doesn't matter that much, you can do it both ways!


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Damir Puh
post Apr 15 2010, 01:24 PM
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You bend in only one direction, and you release the string to the normal position. Vibrating a note by bending in both directions would result in a "seasick" vibrato. smile.gif Bending up or down can make quite a difference in the tone and the articulation, that's for sure.


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Muris Varajic
post Apr 16 2010, 04:51 AM
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QUOTE (Artemus @ Apr 14 2010, 04:49 PM) *
For applying a vibrato to a bended note, I release the bend to a desired amount and then bend back up again; again, speed and amount governing the overall effect.


Bended note, very interesting.
Actually, that is yet another "new" vibrato style,
that way you go lower than the original note which gives totally different flavor.
Let's stick to some not so wide vibratos for a sec, maybe semi tone bends in vibrato.
Imagine we're in a key of C and we play note E, semi tone up is F
and vibrato doing semitone up would work just fine.
But what if we play note C?
Semitone up is C#, not so great in a key of C.
Prebend works great in that situation, you prebend semitone (from B to C)
and doing vibrato from C down to B, back to C etc etc.

Try that playing any ordinary lick or melody, try with whole tone vibrato and prebends as well,
really cool and refreshing. smile.gif


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Santiago Diaz Ga...
post Apr 16 2010, 08:25 AM
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When doing Vibrato, be sure to relax all your arm and let the wrist do its job. Don't force it, it must be a natural movement


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Apr 19 2010, 03:02 PM
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When doing vibrato it's all about not forcing things. Just have to practice and play it, and don't worry, the technique will come in time, and they way you do it will become your own personal style.
In order to really nail the technique down you can cover all kinds of movements. Every fret, every string, every finger, downwards, upwards, whole step, half step, whole+half step, in tempo.. all this should be rehearsed. After that you can polish it up through playing no need to practice it any more.


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Zsolt Galambos
post Apr 20 2010, 10:19 AM
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I also practice vibrato whenever I end a practice run, so in time it became natural. I also "bend" the notes down on the first 3 strings and "up" on the last 3, but when you have everything down, you can experiment around. I agree with Muris, you have to know in what scale you are and not to do a vibrato that sounds out of tune. Remember, it has to be even as well, and not to jump around like a wounded mosquito biggrin.gif


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maharzan
post Apr 20 2010, 10:30 AM
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just shake it wild man.. biggrin.gif

Overall I think the wrist is the main part.. And it definitely comes with practice as your left hand becomes more stronger and vibrato more effective as well. I have been practicing lessons for long and I feel its finally coming to me.

Check Marcus Lavendell for vibrato stuff.. he is just awesome!


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Keilnoth
post Apr 20 2010, 12:12 PM
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I like those two lessons by Kris Dahl as well :





I found out that practicing your vibrato with a metronome is pretty good as well to strength up your fingers. But don't do that as a warm up. tongue.gif


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Kristian Hyvarin...
post Apr 22 2010, 01:02 PM
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Wow, hadn't seen that one by Kris yet. Thanks. smile.gif

But now at least one thing has been confirmed and it's not about vibrato; Kris really lost his marbles somewhere along the way of becoming a guitar master. laugh.gif


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