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View Full Version : Vibratto ......first bending



szulc
11-14-2002, 04:01 AM
With your hand not your wang bar!

I want to open up a discussion on this topic, because I think it is often overlooked.
Ideally vibratto should be similar to the human vocal vibratto, going above and below the pitch. First lets talk about bending.
Bending is when you push or pull the string across the neck to raise the pitch. This is one of the cool things about guitar, you are free to break away from pure 12 tone music. I believe bends should be practiced in a way that the pitch you arrive at is pre-determined. First I would suggest bending from each finger up exactly 1 half step then fretting the note 1/2 step higher (while releasing so you only hear the pitch you are trying to hit) so you can compare how accurately you are hitting the desired pitch. Start slowly, then gradually speed up. After a while you will want to bend then release then hit the note you tried to bend to.
Repeat this process with whole step and 1.5 step bends. To compare when using your pinky you can tap the note with your right hand. Bending is mostly done with just the finger muscles.

szulc
11-14-2002, 04:09 AM
Now start bending to a beat so you bend, release, bend, release etc... with metronome clicks. Once again start with 1/2 steps then advance to whole steps and 1.5 steps. This a form of vibratto when done fast enough. Most good vibratto is not done with the finger muscle. The wrist and forearm motion is similar to turning a screwdriver,the fingers help but most of the work is done with the forearm. You can add circular motion to this which helps the effect by causing the note to go a little flat, when pulling away from the bridge. The same procedure should be used here, start slow 1/2 step then whole step and 1.5 step. Use the metrnome to do this to a beat.

szulc
11-14-2002, 04:14 AM
You can also bend accurately to distances less than a half step or more than a half step but less than a whole step. This called microtonal bending. Start with somthing simple like quarter step bends or 3/4 step bends learn the sound of a 1/4 step. 1/3 step bends are also useful (2/3's, 4/3's, 5/3's). Learn to make accurate bends to common mircotonal increments. Once again you can also use these for subtle vibratto, just use the metronome to get your bends/vibratto in time.

szulc
11-14-2002, 04:21 AM
Be careful when working on these kinds of exercises.
They can cause lactic acid to build up quickly in our forearms and hands. Play then stop and do somthing else, rest and do it again. If you overdo it you might have to wait for several days to recover. When doing wide fast vibratto the neck will go up and down and the whole guitar will oscillate. Slinging the mass around can cause injury to your tendons, build up to this slowly, and use good judgement on how long to go.

EricV
11-14-2002, 01:13 PM
Hi there,
some random thoughts on your posts...

1. Timing... I think itīs really helpful that you recommend to practise bendings with a metronome. A vibrato which is in time is so much more musical than one that is not. Many people donīt even pay attention to that.
Sure, many of us will do the vibrato in time with the beat anyway, but people who have problems with their timing might not...

2. Microtonal bendings... Jeff Beck is a master of that, I recommend to listen to some of his songs.

And the exercise in the first post reminds me of a bending exercise I was taught at the GIT:
Turn on a metronome to a slow beat.
All notes are played short, staccato
Now, on beat 1, play the start note ( i.e. A on the B-string, 10th fret ). On beat 2 play your target note, i.e. the B at the 12th fret.
On beat 3, play your start note ( A ) again.
Now, stop the string from ringing, bend up to the B and hit the string on beat No.4.
The goal is to bend up to your target note without adjusting with your ear... you bend up, then pick the string... after a while, youīll most likely be able to hit the exact right pitch.
You can alter the intervals ( 1/2 tone, wholetone, minor third ), the tempo of the metronome, the string youīre on etc. Helped me a lot.
Eric

Bongo Boy
12-07-2002, 04:52 AM
Can you guys discuss some aspects of the physical technique itself. I'm particularly curious about the technique Andreas advocates (at least what I think he advocates).

As I understand this, all parts of the left hand are relatively motionless during the vibratto--that is, the hand and fingers don't move much relative to one another. My interpretation is that the hand moves in a rotary motion relative to the neck, rotating aroung the point where the crook of the thumb wraps over the side of the neck.

He describes the hand's motion as being similar to the motion it would have if you were to reach out to turn a door knob--axis of rotation is parallel to an coincident with your forearm.

Am I making sense? Does that technique make sense? Do you guys use it, can it only be used occassionally? Do we know why we'd want to?

It seems that due to pure geometry, this technique as I've described it, tends to make your fingertip move parallel to the surface of the fingerboard, but at about 45 deg to the string--rather than 90 to the string (parallel to the frets).

szulc
12-07-2002, 04:59 AM
Most good vibratto is not done with the finger muscle. The wrist and forearm motion is similar to turning a screwdriver,the fingers help but most of the work is done with the forearm. You can add circular motion to this which helps the effect by causing the note to go a little flat, when pulling away from the bridge.

Bongo Boy
06-14-2003, 08:27 PM
It would be very helpful if you guys would comment on the videos shown at this site:

http://www.cyberfret.com/techniques/vibrato/page2.php

Bongo Boy
06-14-2003, 09:11 PM
In the latest Guitar Player mag Ken Steiger has a feature article (Sonic Snapshot) featuring some of the ideas of Randy Rhoads. I've listened to the examples and will start practicing these now. But...at the end of each example we have the obligatory sustain note with...sure enough, a little vibrato added in.

If you guys wouldn't mind listening...I'm curious about this relatively subtle vibrato in these examples. Are these just simple single-finger bends done (most likely) with just the finger and very little wrist?

I'm also curious if met and knew Ken while GIT, Eric.

EricV
06-14-2003, 10:07 PM
Hey Bongo,

No, I havenīt met Ken at GIT, he started teaching in `97, and I graduated in `96... I think I saw him play live one night though.

Where can I listen to the soundfiles ? Is it on the GP-website, or is it that "Dial this number to hear the soundfile" type deal ?

Warm regards
Eric

Bongo Boy
06-15-2003, 01:07 AM
Sorry about that...follow this to the page, then see the "Sonic Snapshot" article (2nd one down I think).

http://www.guitarplayer.com/0603_Chops.htm

szulc
06-15-2003, 02:11 AM
Most of the cool vibratto on this clip was Wang Bar!

3a Example:
Slight Vibratto (Fast Finger Vibratto) Kind of Squirrelly sounding like Kirk Hammett!
3b Example:
Slight Vibratto (Fast Finger Vibratto)
3b Jam
Slight Vibratto (Fast Finger Vibratto)
4th Example:
Each of these ended with the Wang Bar
5th example:
chromatic downward ended with Wang Bar
7th example:
Jam Finger Vibratto

I suggest you listen to George Lynch, Yngwie or Blues Saraceno to Hear some real Fine Left Hand Vibratto.
All three of these guys have great Vibratto and they all sound completely different when they do it.

George likes to move his hand along the string for some of his vibratto. Blues wraps his thumb around the neck like an old Blues Player. Yngwie has scalloped frets and this causes his vibratto to be different as well. I feel these guys are some of the finest examples I can think of of great vibratto (Billy Gibbons, Eddie Van Halen, Michael Lee Firkins, Gary Moore, John Sykes, there are more but this should give plenty to listen to)

Bongo Boy
06-17-2003, 09:09 PM
Thanks James--I have a lot of listening to do. What do you mean by 'jam finger' vibrato?

szulc
06-17-2003, 11:11 PM
I was just differentiating the Jam part of the recording from the other parts.

Wizbit81
06-18-2003, 09:28 PM
Sorry but I have to comment on vibrato technique. The one Szulc is advocating is not a good idea if you don't want wrist problems. I understand exactly what he means and the motion for vibrato should not be like turning a screwdriver at all. This places strain on the wrist moving it in a plane where it has little strength. It is also largely uncoordinated, and finger movement should be absolutely null unless you are playing with Dave gilmour style violin vibrato, (where the finger is slid from left to right between the frets.) Andreas describes the right vibrato, ideally your third finger, with second finger and possibly 1st finger backing up, is used, and the pivot for the movement is a rotation of the wrist with the thumb round the neck grabbing the fingerboard for purchase, (it then moves back round the neck as you stop your vibrato). This is a very strong axis of movement for the wrist and allows a lot of control and accuracy with regards depth and speed of vibrato. It allows width of a tone and a half quite easily, and varied speeds. To do the correct wrist pivot imagine pouring a pitcher of beer, or as Andreas suggests, pressing down on a door handle. This will avoid all those frightened lamb vibratos out there, (you know who you are!), and give confidence to your playing. There's nothing that sounds more professional than a lick topped off with confident vibrato.

szulc
06-19-2003, 12:23 AM
I did say similar to turning a screwdriver, I guess it it really more like turning a door knob, or turning a socket wrench. I do not believe it is necessary or desirable to hook the thumb over the neck.


Most good vibratto is not done with the finger muscle. The wrist and forearm motion is similar to turning a screwdriver,the fingers help but most of the work is done with the forearm. You can add circular motion to this which helps the effect by causing the note to go a little flat, when pulling away from the bridge.

Bongo Boy
06-19-2003, 06:00 AM
This may be the part where a nice video clip comes in handy. I don't think Jamey described it as "pressing down on a door handle". I'm certain he said something more like "turning a door knob". Obviously the distinction is important--maybe it's more like turning a corkscrew :D

I do know that, some time back (in this thread, actually), when I described what I thought I'd read Jamey describing to James, he agreed and repeated the description--basically the same as yours.

Again, it may be that the only way to get this is to see it and experience it--rather than describe it. That's why I thought I had specifically asked for comments regarding the video clips at cyberfret--they're the only ones I know of.

hol0point
06-19-2003, 04:49 PM
I know I should be posting Strictly in the beginner section :) but I saw mention of Gilmour's bend method. A good example is main riff from In The Flesh? which I'm sure everyone is familiar with.
Wizbit wrote "where the finger is slid from left to right between the frets". Can anyone dig deeper into that for me so I can finally attempt to play that song correctly. Thanks.



hol0

Bongo Boy
06-20-2003, 05:41 AM
Originally posted by hol0point
Wizbit wrote "where the finger is slid from left to right between the frets". Can anyone dig deeper into that Turn your left hand face down, and place just one finger tip on the top of a table--no other fingers touching the table top. Now, without moving that fingertip, without sliding it on the table top, move the rest of your hand back and forth--left to right. Now imagine that stationary finger tip is fretting a string. The mass of your hand oscillating back and forth changes where your fretting finger exerts pressure on the string--even if the finger doesn't slide along the string--because the bone in that finger is still moving a bit relative to the fret. The string is not moved at all relative to the other strings.

This is only what I've observed--not what anyone has taught me. I have no training and could be full of crap. It's much like what you may have seen done by violinists and contrabass (double bass, upright bass) players. Kind of a classical thing. I don't believe the finger actually slides on the string at all with this technique.

Bongo Boy
06-20-2003, 06:04 AM
Here's a picture that may help. Imagine looking into the end of the fretting fingertip. The big circle is the finger cross-section, the inner circle represents the finger bone. To the right is the fret, and under the finger is the string.

hol0point
06-20-2003, 01:11 PM
Thanks Bongo. I think I understand what your saying but wouldnt that be considered a type of vibrato and not a bend? I have had no lessons and pretty much taught myself everything so I might be doing vibratos and bends incorrectly. The way I do a vibrato is just how you explained the gilmour bend(i think). I place my finger on the fret hit the note and I wiggle my hand back and forth with the fretted finger staying still. When doing bends, I bend the string either up or down depending on which string.. The 3 thickest(e,a,d) I bend the string down to desired note. The 3 thinnest(g,b,e) I bend them upward to the desired note.



hol0

Wizbit81
06-20-2003, 09:55 PM
I believe hooking the thumb over the neck momentarily, (only for the bend and vibrato), gives extra leverage, therefore power, and stability. Your an engineer Szulc, ;) . Also u try doing tone or tone and a half vibrato without it. (don't hurt urself though!!!):p

szulc
06-20-2003, 10:12 PM
BB king uses his thumb like a counter weight not even touching the neck when he does vibratto.

Bongo Boy
06-21-2003, 12:25 AM
Originally posted by hol0point
I think I understand what your saying but wouldnt that be considered a type of vibrato and not a bend? Yes, that was the topic (Gilmour's 'violin style' vibrato).


BB king uses his thumb like a counter weight not even touching the neck when he does vibratto...and that's the only way I've seen this particular technique done--very much like an upright bass player--maybe with a bit less pinky extended :)

Just to refresh everyone: I am absolutely not advocating any technique at all and not trying to say I know anything about vibrato or bends. I was trying to explain someone elses description of the 'classical' style vibrato as I've seen it done.