How do you strongly vibrato the high E string?


Depends on the space around the string but bending it slightly in (ie towards the player) before striking the note you can buy some real estate.

I often do a BB King vibrato...fret the note with the finger and wiggle the rest of the hand and wrist.


Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
No different than any other string, but on the high E you naturally have to bend/vibrate up.


Gold Supporting Member
I think I do it a little differently in that I use my whole arm rather than BB style wrist thing on the high E.


I think I do it a little differently in that I use my whole arm rather than BB style wrist thing on the high E.

Ya me too. I will pull it off the side if I don't. My vibrato tends to be wide. Often wider than i really want. A habit.


Rather than bending up and down for vibrato, use a more classical approach which is to firmly press the string and move forward and backward horizontally rather than vertically. Think in terms of how a slide player moves the slide for vibrato or maybe more accurately, a violin. Same idea except that you are firmly fretting the note and basically changing the length of the string. As you push the string forward, the pitch goes down. As you pull the string back away from the bridge, the pitch is going up.

Maybe this is a little long winded but it's a technique that I use sometimes.
I virtually never end phrases up there, which is the only time I might vibrato, but when I do, I move my hand back and forth along the neck, keeping my finger in position, to tighten an loosen the string. I everywhere else, it's a BB type thing.


It's a challenge for sure. What I've learned to do over the years, is to push the string slightly flat by pushing toward the bridge, the vibrate by pushing away from the edge of the fretboard. Works for me.

That said, I do avoid vibrating the high E whenever there's a choice. If I can play the same note on the B I'll do that rather than fight over keeping the E on the fretboard.


Platinum Supporting Member
May be worth watching a video of EVH to see what he does. He gets really really wide vibrato on the high E string.

The Captain

Cmon folks! You bend the note first, up to the target pitch, which moves you well away from the board edge, then you apply vibrato to taste.
Albert King style, you start the note a whole step under your chosen note.

I was hoping to say, "bend the **** out of it first"< but yeah, what he said.


In my opinion it benefits you, if you can learn to vibrato/bend both upwards and downwards on the G and B strings. It's like you are practicing to do it on the high E, even when doing it on the B, because the motion is similar. Sometimes the lick benefits when you bend it towards the low E, and other times to bend away from the low E. For the E strings, there is only one direction but for the other 4, there's the option of both ways. The B string especially can easily be bent both ways. Vibratoing or bending, it's the same thing. Especially for those bluesy 1/4 tone bends. Or semi tone bends.

Also, being able to vibrato and make it sound the same for all fingers, not just the first finger or third finger.

There's no real right way for guitar but there's many options, so learn them all. Same thing with chord fingerings. For example, being able to barre multiple notes with the pinky. Every now and then, there'll be a song or lick that really needs to be played that different way, and it'll be a bonus if you're already used to doing it. After a while it all becomes second nature and no thought is needed. All it is, is accuracy which comes from practice/repetition. There's no rush, just do it occasionally, don't stress over it too much and over time it'll become second nature.

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