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GMC Forum > Discussion Boards > VINTAGE GMC > Community Activities and Tutorials > Ask an Instructor > Denes Nagy
guitarman001
Denes, I joined to watch your Blues vibrato video. My index finger tends to get sore using this wide vibrato. Is this normal at first?

Ivan Milenkovic
I'll try to answer too if possible..

Yes, it's perfectly normal, and it's important to make regular pauses when practicing any type of vibrato, specially a wide one. Be careful, and first focus on doing vibratos in a vicinity of a 12th fret, since the tension is lowest there.
guitarman001
Oddly enough, I can do it much better closer to the nut. There is more grip down there. I can sometimes pull this off to sound like Denes, but man, my index finger hurts! This is what makes me think I may be going about this wrong.

Let me claify, I am a pro and I have an expressive vibrato in other styles, but this Hendrix/SRV wide vibrato with the index is painful for some reason.

QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Nov 24 2011, 10:21 AM) *
I'll try to answer too if possible..

Yes, it's perfectly normal, and it's important to make regular pauses when practicing any type of vibrato, specially a wide one. Be careful, and first focus on doing vibratos in a vicinity of a 12th fret, since the tension is lowest there.

Nihilist1
QUOTE (guitarman001 @ Dec 5 2011, 08:29 AM) *
Oddly enough, I can do it much better closer to the nut. There is more grip down there. I can sometimes pull this off to sound like Denes, but man, my index finger hurts! This is what makes me think I may be going about this wrong.

Let me claify, I am a pro and I have an expressive vibrato in other styles, but this Hendrix/SRV wide vibrato with the index is painful for some reason.


Most likely because your index finger isn't used to that type of abuse. Think of it this way, before you had built up any calluses, your fingers hurt from practicing after awhile. Same concept. Just rest, and then do it again when you feel up to it.

EDIT: Punctuation.
guitarman001
This is what I do, I give it a rest and then come back. I would love to hear from Denes. He has a very controlled and expressive wide vibrato that I don't hear many players have, even experienced.

Denes video is the main reason why I joined. I was hoping he would give a 10 minute, detailed video focusing entirely on his wide index vibrato, the notes are easy.


QUOTE (Nihilist1 @ Dec 5 2011, 08:37 AM) *
Most likely because your index finger isn't used to that type of abuse. Think of it this way, before you had built up any calluses your fingers hurt from practicing after awhile. Same concept. Just rest, and then do it again when you feel up to it.

Nihilist1
QUOTE (guitarman001 @ Dec 5 2011, 08:44 AM) *
This is what I do, I give it a rest and then come back. I would love to hear from Denes. He has a very controlled and expressive wide vibrato that I don't hear many players have, even experienced.

Denes video is the main reason why I joined. I was hoping he would give a 10 minute, detailed video focusing entirely on his wide index vibrato, the notes are easy.


Well, do as you wish, but when it comes to the blues, Ivan is the man! cool.gif
guitarman001
I'm not taking anything away from Ivan ( I haven't heard/seen his vibrato ), it's just that Denes video is the one I saw that made me interested.

There also seems to be a lot of confusion on how this wide index vibrato is done. Some people say it's in the wrist, some say it's in the forearm, some people say it's in the elbow. Which is it?

Do you know who has this vibrato down? Philip Sayce, I love his vibrato.



QUOTE (Nihilist1 @ Dec 5 2011, 08:47 AM) *
Well, do as you wish, but when it comes to the blues, Ivan is the man! cool.gif

Nihilist1
QUOTE (guitarman001 @ Dec 5 2011, 08:53 AM) *
I'm not taking anything away from Ivan ( I haven't heard/seen his vibrato ), it's just that Denes video is the one I saw that made me interested.

There also seems to be a lot of confusion on how this wide index vibrato is done. Some people say it's in the wrist, some say it's in the forearm, some people say it's in the elbow. Which is it?

Do you know who has this vibrato down? Philip Sayce, I love his vibrato.


I vibrato the way a cellist does, so all that is in the finger/wrist for me.

However, with SRV, I think it is a combination of all three.
Ben Higgins
Hey there, Denes isn't active at GMC anymore so not sure if he sees the forum updates but I'll try and help if I can.

For the wide, sideways vibrato you use a combination of your entire forearm from the elbow to the wrist, the wrist itself and your hand. The finger is just the point of contact to the string, but the vibrato motion itself comes from anchoring your thumb onto the neck and using it as a fulcrum to pivot your wrist back and forth in a sideways motion. If we look even closer it's not really a sideways motion but a semi circular motion. If you took your thumb off the neck and tried it, it would feel alien as there's no control. The thumb anchoring onto the neck allows you to drive power through the guitar neck and pivot your hand.

The finger does have to have a degree of strength to maintain contact onto the string.. this is where the little finger muscles and callouses come in.. but the actual strength of motion includes the entire forearm and wrist. A bit like a screwdriver.. the metal point isn't where the motion comes from.. it's just the point of contact.. the energy is coming from twisting the handle.

I hope that all makes some sense smile.gif
guitarman001
That was very introspective and detailed Ben. This is the kind of explanation I needed. Let me digest this for a while, lol.

The thing is: I use the part of my hand between my index and thumb as the fulcrum point and pull my thumb off the back to do wide vibrato, much like Philip Sayce does, but not as wide as his. Using my thumb as the pivot point is a new one, but I have observed these two approaches when it comes to wide vibrato.



QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Dec 5 2011, 09:39 AM) *
Hey there, Denes isn't active at GMC anymore so not sure if he sees the forum updates but I'll try and help if I can.

For the wide, sideways vibrato you use a combination of your entire forearm from the elbow to the wrist, the wrist itself and your hand. The finger is just the point of contact to the string, but the vibrato motion itself comes from anchoring your thumb onto the neck and using it as a fulcrum to pivot your wrist back and forth in a sideways motion. If we look even closer it's not really a sideways motion but a semi circular motion. If you took your thumb off the neck and tried it, it would feel alien as there's no control. The thumb anchoring onto the neck allows you to drive power through the guitar neck and pivot your hand.

The finger does have to have a degree of strength to maintain contact onto the string.. this is where the little finger muscles and callouses come in.. but the actual strength of motion includes the entire forearm and wrist. A bit like a screwdriver.. the metal point isn't where the motion comes from.. it's just the point of contact.. the energy is coming from twisting the handle.

I hope that all makes some sense smile.gif

Ben Higgins
QUOTE (guitarman001 @ Dec 5 2011, 09:54 AM) *
That was very introspective and detailed Ben. This is the kind of explanation I needed. Let me digest this for a while, lol.

The thing is: I use the part of my hand between my index and thumb as the fulcrum point and pull my thumb off the back to do wide vibrato, much like Philip Sayce does, but not as wide as his. Using my thumb as the pivot point is a new one, but I have observed these two approaches when it comes to wide vibrato.


I actually had to go get my guitar and check this ! biggrin.gif You're right in that it is the part between the thumb and index finger that moves against the back of the neck. I tried with with my thumb off the neck and that works too. The thumb is touching the top edge of the neck which allows you to put plenty of pressure through your arm and wrist but yes, it is the semi circle are between thumb and finger that moves against the back of the neck smile.gif
guitarman001
Just so you know where I'm at as a player, I added a link to an mp3 of me playing.

Stevie jam with vintage TS808







Another question: Is the pressure on the tip of the index finger or right below closer to the padded part of the index?

Another important question: Should I be using the downward force of my wrist or my forearm?
guitarman001
Ok...here is where I'm most frustrated: I can perform this vibrato, but the majority of the time my vibrato only goes up a half step. I would like to get it up to a whole step wide. Any pointers on how to acheive this?
Ben Higgins
QUOTE (guitarman001 @ Dec 5 2011, 11:21 AM) *
Just so you know where I'm at as a player, I added a link to an mp3 of me playing.

Stevie jam with vintage TS808







Another question: Is the pressure on the tip of the index finger or right below closer to the padded part of the index?

Another important question: Should I be using the downward force of my wrist or my forearm?


Wow, thats some sexy playing. You certainly know your way around the blues !! cool.gif

Ok, don't use the very tip of your index finger or you will find that you arch your knuckle joint up higher and then you have almost no power over the string at all. For me, it's the side of the finger. Where we angle our hand sideways, our finger should touch the string with the inside edge closest to the 2nd finger. It may seem weird but that is how people get the wide vibrato wink.gif

For the strength and motion, imagine that your forearm and wrsit is being pulled down and away from you. As you're looking down at your arm and hand, imagine that the outer edge (pinky side) of your fretting hand is moving down (as you pull on the string) and outwards towards the headstock.

The great thing about working on vibrato is you can treat it as a series of bends (which is all it is, really.. a series of bends, sped up) so practice bending the string up to a whole tone. It will hurt your finger at first. After a while, practice bending up a whole tone, then release back down to the original pitch then repeat. So what you're doing is slowly perfroming the exact motion that you would be doing when you're performing vibrato. Eventually try doing it with whole tone and a half bends.. however these are generally only workable as you climb higher up the neck and the string tension becomes less.
guitarman001
This is very well detailed, I appreciate your time Ben. I'm going to consider all you have pointed out. Maybe a future wide vibrato video in detai like thisl would be a nice addition to your website.


QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Dec 5 2011, 01:28 PM) *
Wow, thats some sexy playing. You certainly know your way around the blues !! cool.gif

Ok, don't use the very tip of your index finger or you will find that you arch your knuckle joint up higher and then you have almost no power over the string at all. For me, it's the side of the finger. Where we angle our hand sideways, our finger should touch the string with the inside edge closest to the 2nd finger. It may seem weird but that is how people get the wide vibrato wink.gif

For the strength and motion, imagine that your forearm and wrsit is being pulled down and away from you. As you're looking down at your arm and hand, imagine that the outer edge (pinky side) of your fretting hand is moving down (as you pull on the string) and outwards towards the headstock.

The great thing about working on vibrato is you can treat it as a series of bends (which is all it is, really.. a series of bends, sped up) so practice bending the string up to a whole tone. It will hurt your finger at first. After a while, practice bending up a whole tone, then release back down to the original pitch then repeat. So what you're doing is slowly perfroming the exact motion that you would be doing when you're performing vibrato. Eventually try doing it with whole tone and a half bends.. however these are generally only workable as you climb higher up the neck and the string tension becomes less.



I think this particular wide vibrato with the index finger started from Hendrix. He would also use 9 guage strings and sometimes he was tuned down a half or even whole step, so it was mush easier. How Stevie performed this with 13 gauge strings or heavier is beyond me, lol.

It's possible that he was taking the BB King Butterfly vibrato and using it on the lower strings. What's your opinion on this?


QUOTE (guitarman001 @ Dec 5 2011, 10:10 PM) *
This is very well detailed, I appreciate your time Ben. I'm going to consider all you have pointed out. Maybe a future wide vibrato video in detai like thisl would be a nice addition to your website.

guitarman001
Clarification: It's possible that "Jimi Hendrix" was taking the BB King butterfly vibrato approach and using it on the G string. What's your opinion on this?

QUOTE (guitarman001 @ Dec 5 2011, 10:24 PM) *
This is very well detailed, I appreciate your time Ben. I'm going to consider all you have pointed out. Maybe a future wide vibrato video in detai like thisl would be a nice addition to your website.





I think this particular wide vibrato with the index finger started from Hendrix. He would also use 9 guage strings and sometimes he was tuned down a half or even whole step, so it was mush easier. How Stevie performed this with 13 gauge strings or heavier is beyond me, lol.

It's possible that he was taking the BB King Butterfly vibrato and using it on the lower strings. What's your opinion on this?

Ivan Milenkovic
The thing with this vibrato is: it's a technique like any else, it requires practicing with the metronome, and time to get it polished up. Try to work on very slow metronome tempos those consecutive bends, and it will be OK. Once you get the movement down like this, it's time to polish it up in playing. Don't worry and be patient, it will come in time.
Ben Higgins
QUOTE (guitarman001 @ Dec 6 2011, 02:02 AM) *
Clarification: It's possible that "Jimi Hendrix" was taking the BB King butterfly vibrato approach and using it on the G string. What's your opinion on this?


I would definitely agree and say that it's a very Hendrix type vibrato... quite possibly he was influenced by the BB King finger motion but made it wider and heavier smile.gif
guitarman001
agreed.

QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Dec 6 2011, 11:05 AM) *
I would definitely agree and say that it's a very Hendrix type vibrato... quite possibly he was influenced by the BB King finger motion but made it wider and heavier smile.gif

guitarman001
Observation made tonight: Using the Pentatonic without your pinky. The angle of your left hand when your using your middle and ring for the bends makes it much easier to use this kind of wide vibrato. I'm thinking this may play a big role. What do you guys think??




QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Dec 6 2011, 11:05 AM) *
I would definitely agree and say that it's a very Hendrix type vibrato... quite possibly he was influenced by the BB King finger motion but made it wider and heavier smile.gif

Ben Higgins
QUOTE (guitarman001 @ Dec 7 2011, 12:28 PM) *
Observation made tonight: Using the Pentatonic without your pinky. The angle of your left hand when your using your middle and ring for the bends makes it much easier to use this kind of wide vibrato. I'm thinking this may play a big role. What do you guys think??


Yes, you definitely need a left hand angle in order get that type of vibrato, otherwise the tendency is to just use the strength of the finger. I still use my pinky a lot for any scales, including pentatonic, but I make sure I can go from whatever I'm playing to a nice, offset angle smile.gif
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