Ben's Vibrato Odyssey 5

by Ben Higgins

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  • It's vibrato time again!

    I've already covered classical vibrato, circular vibrato and vibrato and bending. I thought that regular up/down vibrato was already a subject that was covered which is why I didn't do it but I've since realised that there is a great demand to break this technique down and get people started on the most common form of vibrato.

    First, let's look at an official description of vibrato :

    Vibrato is a musical effect consisting of a regular, pulsating change of pitch. It is used to add expression to vocal and instrumental music. Vibrato is typically characterised in terms of two factors: the amount of pitch variation ("extent of vibrato") and the speed with which the pitch is varied ("rate of vibrato") - Wikipedia

    Vibrato requires that we change the pitch of a string, just like bending. In fact, it uses the same motion that we use when we bend strings. The only difference is, vibrato is a constant motion without pauses. If we use the same approach as string bending when we practice vibrato then we can train ourselves to have more control over this technique. Pick an interval like a semitone or a whole tone and bend it to the desired pitch then release it back to the starting pitch. Try it again. Then try putting 2 together. Then 3 and so on...

    This is the approach I've used in this lesson. The notes and the chords are not important but the technique is. For this lesson I ask you to concentrate on bending to the same notes as I do to make sure you're learning how to do both narrow and wide vibrato. However, when the technique becomes more natural you won't think about it so much, you'll just go with your own feel.

    1 very important thing to remember when performing vibrato: Always allow the note to bend back to the original pitch or you risk the vibrato sounding out of tune !

    So, dive in and discover how this strange but crucial technique is performed!


    Tempo: 85bpm
    Key: A minor
    Gear: Marshall JVM 410H, OD1 channel (Red setting) Bass - 1 Mid - 9 Treb - 6 Gain - 3

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