Guitar Vibrato Lesson - Another Important Guitar Skill

So let's have a guitar vibrato lesson. Vibrato is another guitar skill that can give any slower legato guitar tune a lesson in refinement and class.

Most guitarists utilize vibrato because it simply isn't difficult to learn. And how to make vibrato work the best is by combining it with other guitar skills you have had lessons in like hammer ons, pull offs, and etc.

What IS guitar vibrato?

Guitar vibrato is a wavering of the vibrating pitch caused by your guitar strings. It's similar to how an opera or classical vocalist rings out a note and you can hear "ripples" in their voice. You can also think of it as a very tasteful and fast action of bending and re-bending the guitar strings in a tune.

How do you DO guitar vibrato?

Place your index finger on the third string of the third fret and your ring finger on the 5th fret of the same string. Now, pick the third string and as the note rings, bend the string up above the pitch and then down below the pitch at a steady speed. That's a quick lesson in guitar vibrato.

What muscles do the work?

There's some controversy among instructors giving guitar lessons on vibrato about what muscles should be working. Most experts will tell you to use your entire wrist, hand, and finger to do the rapid bending, while others will tell you to just use your finger. The goal to vibrato is just to create a rapid bend above and below the pitch of the note and I recommend for you to use what's more comfortable.

Find out what speed suits you.

There's no lessons carved in stone about how quickly or slowly guitar vibrato should be performed. It actually depends on the style of the guitar tune.

If you're learning how to play a guitar tune that's more legato and flowing, keep your guitar vibrato very loose with longer spaces between each bend in the note. The opposite goes for more rigid and high-tempo guitar tunes.

You'll have more control with more fingers resting on the fret board at one time.

Playing guitar vibrato with just one finger on the fret board actually lacks a little control. You'll find that if you have other fingers (not necessarily contributing to the note) resting on the guitar, you'll realize how much easier it is to execute vibrato in a guitar tune.

So, WHERE is vibrato used?

Guitar vibrato is normally used in guitar solos or riffs played by a lead guitarist. Anywhere in a guitar tune where long strings of single notes are being played, that's a fine place to have a tasteful amount of guitar vibrato.

There's no lesson about guitar vibrato that says how fast, and how often it can be used, but from experience, guitar vibrato can really saturate a tune and turn it into something corny if used to much.

However, add this skill to your repertoire, and wow your friends and family the next time you play a cool guitar solo or riff. :]


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