Bending/Vibrato

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Papa Van Smack, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. Papa Van Smack

    Papa Van Smack Member

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    As a player I never really had to learn bending or vibrato.....I'm sure they didn't sound good when I started but I got the concept and today they're probably my strongest points of my playing.

    However.......I see some guys(Gary Moore)......applying vibrato at the peak of bends. I've taken my stab at it.....and it's not really working for me.....yet....

    Does anyone have any tips on how to learn this?
     
  2. rspencer

    rspencer Member

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    Practice. Nothing more IMO.
    You have the ability to bend.
    You have the ability to apply vibrato.
    You just need to do both at the same time.

    The practice comes in as far as learning to center your vibrato around the target pitch you've bent up to. Just listen. Try a wide slow vibrato and you'll hear it more easily. And a fast narrow vibrato will keep you closer to the target pitch.
     
  3. paulg

    paulg Supporting Member

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    I've been trying to focus on getting the intonation just right. When you apply vibrato on a note, you bend it sharp and release to the original note. It's easy to bend it sharp as you apply vibrato. Try relaxing and focusing on the original note. sometimes it sounds good when you go sharp! Another thing to work on is adding vibrato to the bent note. Here you can go sharp and flat. That takes good ears and real skill.
     
  4. Sykes

    Sykes Member

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    Like others have already said, practice, practice, practice. Gary had an insane vibrato. Practice it slowly to get the feel for how the vibrato works, and then just slowly work it up to whatever speed you are seeking.
     
  5. chronowarp

    chronowarp Member

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    with bend vibrato, when you hit the apex of the bend just playing a release & return motion. You gotta find the sweet spot first though.
     
  6. Poppa Stoppa

    Poppa Stoppa Member

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    Getting a bent note vibrato took years for me to develop. Now I can do it - you gotta just keep trying.

    Couple of hints to help though:

    Try pulling the G string down (rather than pushing up), bend a whole tone, then apply the wobble. I found that I could do a decent vibrato this way, and it kinda kept my spirits up until I could push up (on the G, B or top E string) and apply vibrato.

    Try different movements of your wrist and arm. You may find one that makes the vibrato easier. Again that helps keep your spirits up!
     
  7. Papa Van Smack

    Papa Van Smack Member

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    Good advice here, thanks guys.
     
  8. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    Didn't we just have this same post about three days ago?

    I said to be sure you have other fingers supporting the finger doing the vibrato. Hold the string with you first second & third fingers, for support.
     
  9. Twitchey

    Twitchey Member

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    try different 'incorrect' techniques ... mainly involving moving your thumb away from the back of the neck so it is hanging in the air.
     
  10. dvuksanovich

    dvuksanovich Member

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    There are two components. First is the physical component, where you need enough dexterity to bend the string and then move it back and forth. Then there's the listening component, where you ear guides your muscles by telling you when you've reach the proper pitch.

    I recommend practicing them separately. Spend a bit of time just working on the physical piece. Then forget about the technique of it and just use your ear to get the pitch correct.
     
  11. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    Remember there are 1/2 step, whole step, minor 3rd and major 3rd bends available along with adding vibrato to these bends. Be aware of what note you want to bend to. It's not an aimless bend, it should be intentional and bent to a specific note.
    vibrato is best acheived by twisting your wrist to the left and or right. You should also be grabbing the neck like a bat, not with your thumb behind the neck .You have much more control that way. Learn it right the first time. The hardest job I have as a teacher of guitar is reteaching pro guitarists how to bend and play with vibrato properly so that it always sounds very musical. Their old habits are very hard to break when they have been playing sloppy bending and nervous sounding vibrato for 20 years.
     
  12. Twitchey

    Twitchey Member

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    I agree this is a good way of obtaining control when playing electric guitar. Unfortunately, this technique (and having your float off the neck) are often taught as incorrect (despite the fact that guys like Clapton use this all the time). It's nice to know that there are teachers who are applying common sense!
     
  13. flavaham

    flavaham Member

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    I didn't read every post but here's my two cents. First, consider how Gary Moore played. He was so "In the moment" and focused on what he was doing. He put everything he had into each note. Ask yourself, are you doing that too?

    When you get to a point on your instrument where nothing in the world can disconnect you from the music at hand, you will bend and get amazing vibrato every time, along with the rest of your phrasing falling in line.

    I don't know about you, but I am very easily distracted and at times I've felt like this is a huge obstacle that I need to overcome in my playing. You still need to practice this stuff, but really, if you are totally focused on it, it will come that much faster.
     
  14. Long2Play

    Long2Play Member

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    This is pretty spot on. I would add that your finger position with the finger that is doing the bend should be right against the fret. That creates a more solid control point between the string and fret. It makes it way easier to keep control of the bent/vibrato string. Landing in between the frets does not work nearly as well. You should also support the finger doing the bend/vibrato with the other available fingers. This gives strength to the the bend and allows a more balanced & controlled motion, with less overall tension in the hand.

    You need to be able to control targeted scale step bends, as well as those 1/4 tone blues bends with all fingers. Your ear needs to be able to hear those intervals. You can plug into a tuner to check your bending intonation as a helper at first but it needs to be heard and controlled.

    :)
     
  15. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Member

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    Vibrato is my favourite playing "element" as all my musical heroes excelled at it. I'm always trying to do it better and find it to be a "three steps forward - two steps back" thing sometimes. For some bizarre reason I find I do vibrato on a full step bent note best by using my index(!) finger alone. I find I often pooch it with my ring finger, even supported by the first two. Obviously it's limiting doing it the way I am but I keep slugging away at it. :)
     
  16. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    Great point Long2play!!! It's so much easier to show than to explain it verbally
     
  17. Twitchey

    Twitchey Member

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    Absolutely Jim ... The lone index can work a treat! There is no absolute 'correct' way, as well as trained muscle strength, we are bio mechanically different.
     
  18. Badfrog

    Badfrog Member

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    Simple as it is, I never really thought about this. This may be part of the reason why sometimes I can do a good vibrato on a bend and other times I don't. Obviously getting closer to the fret makes a lot of sense. Something to look forward to when I get home. I've been getting closer and closer to a good vibrato and this might just push me over the barrier.
     
  19. Long2Play

    Long2Play Member

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    True dat! It is WAY easier to show, than explain verbally.

    I hope so!! I find it to be crucial for getting the string under control.

    :)

    Thanks for the comments!
     

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