When the Guitar Cries

by Krisztian Lovrek

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  • Hello GMC-ers and welcome to my 3rd lesson!
    What we will take a look at today, is in my opinion, the most important part of playing the guitar.
    It is none other than the vibrato. For me, the vibrato lends the soul to guitar playing.
    This is the technique which enables us to fill the notes with emotions, and give it life.
    No matter how fast you play, if your vibrato is bad or you have no vibrato, the whole thing will be empty and soulless, in other words, bad.
    So what is a bad vibrato?
    To define this, I have come up with an expression: “mosquito-vibrato”! What exactly does this cover?

    I’m sure everyone is familiar with this scene- at night, lying in bed, a mosquito is making rounds above your head. The sound can drive you insane!
    For me, the mosquito vibrato is the same. But more importantly I have named it that because it sounds like a mosquito flying around.
    To be even more precise, it is an annoying sound as if someone was hit by electricity.

    I have come to recognize 2 kinds of mosquito vibratos with people:
    -one that is too fast and nervous from start to finish
    -one where there is none at the start, the note is a straight, then the vibrato speeds up and suddenly stops and goes back to a straight note.

    This can be awful in music.
    I didn’t pay attention to this for years, and sometimes did some awful vibratos myself!

    I started paying attention to this when I started working on my first videos, and started analyzing them.
    I think I can safely say that for the past 2,5 years, I haven’t had a bad vibrato. The right technique became instinctual. That’s why this is the first thing I teach my students because I believe a good guitarist is not one who can play a million notes per minute, but rather the one that can play even just one so right that sends a shiver.

    Unfortunately there are numerous bad examples in the music scene, even among my childhood heroes, who don’t have the right technique. Since I started paying attention to this, listening to them has not been too pleasant since.

    Of course, some musicians are such geniuses I just have to turn a blind eye… ?
    But since this really is the essence of guitar playing, I will show examples for its systematic practice.
    Until then, we have our lesson for now: When the guitar cries.
    With this piece written especially for you, I would like to show that something can be equally powerful even if there are no fast parts in it.
    Therefore, there isn’t any terrific technical elements in it, only a few basic ones, which in turn can be just as difficult at first try, as a coarse sweep picking technique.
    I have seen how my students experience great difficulty with a precise bending, or making a vibrato without any unwanted sounds in a bended note. I will prepare a lesson on this in the future.

    Going back to our lesson: although at first glance nothing extra is happening, this emotional play has its technical elements.
    This too can be analyzed, broken down to various techniques such as slide, (wide) vibrato, bending, tremolo use and dynamics!

    For the end result to be right, these types of solos should be examined on how it is built up. How the player makes use of the give amount of time, the pauses, the phonetic differences provided by the variety of pickup switching.

    To reach optimum effect, we need to select the right sound and effects, e.g. in the case of the delay. (in this solo, I used tempo delay adjusting to the pace of the song)
    I hope this lesson helps you see the difference between a good and a bad vibrato from now on and I was able to show the power that lies in just a few notes.

    Happy practicing, and should you have any questions, please let me know through the forum or in private.

    Note: I always work with Power Tab which is works much much better for me than Guitar Pro. Unfortunately during importing some mistakes occur which I can’t avoid. If you need the perfect version in ptb format, pls let me know via P.M.

    Used Gear: Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci Signature (Elixir Strings), Diezel VH-4 amp with Diezel 4x12 cab. Recorded with ShureSM57. Drums: Roland TD-3.

    Have Fun


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