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Vibrato on guitars discussion

posted on #1
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Posts: 1319
Joined: 27.09.14
I have been thinking about this subject lately and tried to think what it is that I am actually doing subconsciously on my electric guitar. So I found out that I use 4 types of different vibratos:

1)"Standard" vibrato, basically, the finger moves the string up and down. I noticed that if I want to make it fast on the first finger, I do a little bit of the BB King butterfly, but just a bit :D . On long tones, I actually remove the thumb from the neck and almost move the string with the whole arm.

2) "Classic" - the first string instrument I learned as a wee boy was the violin. The vibrato there is done with the finger vibrating sideways. The string is not tensed and released a lot like in the "standard", but you can get a high-frequency vibrato nevertheless. I tend to use it on more quiet stuff, maybe jazzy direction. I used to use it more when playing acoustic guitar, but on the electric not a lot.

3) My "fake slide" vibrato: I use the whammy bar on my strat quite a lot, I have bent and modified it a bit and made it sticky so it stays in position where I can easily reach it. I use it either with very gentle movements to provide a nice vibrato, but also can give it a bit more movement which makes the note sound a little bit like a slide vibrato. As the string is tensed and released it gives a very different sounding vibrato than the "standard". I definitely don't use the Richy Blackmore style frantic whammy bar vibrato, that is a bit too much for me. Nice and gentle. While my guitar gently weeps sort of feel.

4) The bending string vibrato: This is the most difficult one (at least for me) as you have to first bend the string, and then apply vibrato. I tend to use while pushing the string up, but on some of the lower strings I started lately to also push them down and then wiggle it for the vibrato. This one I am currently giving it some more time to get it better, as it still does not feel "natural" to me as I used the whammy bar on it before.

Every player has a different vibrato, for me, I tend to keep it sort of slow, going for the "similar to human voice vibrtato" freuency, although sometimes I wish I could go frantic like Paul Kossoff on his Les Paul :)

So tell me your thoughts on this subject, love to hear about your techniques.
posted on #2
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Posts: 50
Joined: 09.06.14
This was very interesting to read. I had thought about doing a post about favorite guitar picks and of course tips and tricks. I also use many of the vibrato techniques you and most others use. A few tend to be on the strange and or over the top type. lol Your one of the only people I know besides me who likes the trem bar to be in a fixed fast access position. No dangling limp trem for me!Anyway like your post.;)
posted on #3
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Posts: 167
Joined: 16.07.15
A fixed trem for me as well.
posted on #4
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Posts: 168
Joined: 14.12.14
I use a lot the bend notes
I feel free with a Floyd rose trémolo system but not confident with the simple Stratocaster one.
But when I see (for real) how TeeGee use it, I must dig a bit to set up it like he did :)
posted on #5
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Posts: 139
Joined: 28.11.13
Interesting topic Tee. Most sax players use a faster vibrato ( I know..I know..this is for guitars) Personally I like a vibrato that fits the music. We sax players use our lower lip for that. Was never a fan of the faster vibrato..sounds too regimented for me..but I suck anyway..lol:P
posted on #6
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Posts: 119
Joined: 14.09.16
I like your ability to do Jimmy Hendrix style tremolo. Hard core 60’s psychedelic it’s beyond ability so you’re my go to guy for this. All the way thru on #90001 best example on #158790 is outtro solo especially dive bomb at the end. :D

I use my pointer and ring fingers with a back and forth twisting motion kind of like BB. I have a Strat and Floyd equipped Kramer. But manly use it for hi gain Harmonic Dive Bombs and pull up screams. :W
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