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> Vibrato With A Classical Hand Position
Ben Higgins
post Feb 1 2015, 10:10 AM
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Y'all know what I mean by the classical hand position, right ? I'm talking about this:

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How do we go about effectively performing vibrato whilst using this hand position ? I've always taught people how to do it with an angled hand position: Pivoting the forearm and wrist by using the back of the neck as an anchor point, just as if you were performing a downward string bend. This way you've got a lot of strength behind the technique which is helpful in gaining control over your bending and vibrato movements.

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But if you're a player who predominantly uses the classical position then you don't have to do it that way. You can just keep the same hand position, parallel to the neck and just use your fingers to bend down and back up again. Try it. Bend a note by a semitone and then let it return back to pitch before bending it again. Then try a whole tone. Semitones are easier than whole tones, of course, and any other finger apart from the index finger is going to find it easier for wider vibrato. So experiment with all 4 fingers, remembering that you can combine the strength of more than one finger if the fretting finger is above the index. For example, if you're playing a note with your 3rd finger then your 1st and 2nd fingers can also be on the string to add power to the technique.

(Btw, I'm not talking about classical vibrato, which is the name I give to the sideways vibrato you saw in Bens Vibrato Odyssey 1. That is definitely something you can use with the classical hand position but it's not the vibrato technique that I'm talking about here.)

I always used to advise against using just 'finger power' for vibrato and bending but my opinions have changed through personal experience of using it myself. I end up using the classical hand position a lot anyway and I just started adding vibrato at the end of some legato runs and noticed that it was just as manageable as 'angled' vibrato. So I've adopted it into my playing now and you'll probably notice it a lot more in my future videos. Vibrato is just pulling a note in and out of pitch to produce a wobbly effect. Both vibrato techniques discussed do the same thing but with different physical movements.

In this Steve Vai style lesson I did a while back, you can see that I use perform vibrato with both and angled and a classical position. Check out the opening phrase and you'll see both.

You can also apply the famous 'circular' vibrato quite easily when using the classical hand position. Go on, give it a go. You know you want to.

One other thing I've noticed is that use of the classical position in general puts less of a strain on your forearm muscles. It does put more work onto your wrist, though, so do be cautious of over playing as always.

So if you are a classical hand position kind of player, there's no need to alter your hand position for vibrato or bending, unless you want to. Finger power works.

Check out Doug Aldrich and Chris Poland who both play exclusively with the classical hand position.

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Feb 1 2015, 10:11 AM


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Caelumamittendum
post Feb 6 2015, 06:43 PM
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I must say that I prefer the angled hand vibrato. It just feels like I'm more in control!


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Ben Higgins
post Feb 6 2015, 07:06 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Feb 6 2015, 05:43 PM) *
I must say that I prefer the angled hand vibrato. It just feels like I'm more in control!


That's totally cool. I would say that most guitar players who are non classical players tend to favour the angled position.


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Caelumamittendum
post Feb 6 2015, 07:11 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Feb 6 2015, 08:06 PM) *
That's totally cool. I would say that most guitar players who are non classical players tend to favour the angled position.


It's weird though, cause I tend to play a bit varied when I play, depending on the position on the neck I'll change my hand angle. Sometimes it's more classical, sometimes it's more angled.


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Ben Higgins
post Feb 7 2015, 10:16 AM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Feb 6 2015, 06:11 PM) *
It's weird though, cause I tend to play a bit varied when I play, depending on the position on the neck I'll change my hand angle. Sometimes it's more classical, sometimes it's more angled.


Yeah that's completely normal, I've always done that too. If you watch someone like Joe Satriani, he'll switch effortlessly from one to the other when he needs it. It's just tools to get jobs done. You don't have to declare allegiance to one or the other. You can perfectly use just one but you can also use both smile.gif


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