Lesson: Vibrato – The Soul of a Note

One of the single most defining elements of any guitar player is their vibrato. As a teacher I find it to be one of the most overlooked techniques, which is unfortunate as it is one of the most important. Vibrato does many things from simply extending the duration of a note by the friction of the string on the fret, to expressing deep emotion and personality. It is also a very personal thing, what I might like in a vibrato, another guitar player may not. But we can all agree that it is something you must work on with intent just like scales. Vibrato must be in tune and in time. Good vibrato takes years to develop as it requires a fair amount of hand strength and a good ear. I have put together a few clips of some of my favorite players in live situations so you can listen and see how they approach vibrato. That to me was a huge part of the equation, no one ever taught me how to vibrato properly, I just started going to gigs, asking questions, buying instructional VHS tapes, and hanging with other players. This was all pre-YouTube, but MTV actually showed rock music videos at the time and I got to SEE how Stevie Ray, Clapton, Eddie, Gilmour and Yngwie would vibrato a note.

 

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