Introduction to Vibrato Techniques

What’s vibrato, and how should we play them? Adding vibrato to chords and lead guitar makes your playing sound super pro! Learn here.


Vibrato is a technique that no matter how many times I do it I feel like somethings off. This video has been super helpful though! Standard vibrato is what I’ve used for 99% of my attempts with this technique.

9:21: Justin: “It’s not this (shows example of my attempt at doing vibrato). That’s like really bad technique.”

I had a go at this today. I tried Justin’s recommended technique of moving the strings up and down by pivoting from the wrist. I found my fingers tended to bang into the string above and below the one I was applying vibrato to, which created unwanted noise.

To date I’ve been using the classical guitar side-to-side method with a single finger on the string. It gives much more subtle vibrato, but without the unwanted string noises. I can also move my finger faster that way. I can’t get the movement fast enough with the wrist-pivot technique.

Has anyone else found this?

I also put the wammy bar on my strat and had a play with that. Man, is that thing sensitive!

Any thoughts on using the heel of your hand on the bridge without the hammy bar installed?

Yes, you definitely have to learn string muting as you learn vibrato.

This is a matter of practice probably. Vibrato is something that takes quite a long time to master. One of those things that you can practice 5 or 10 minutes here and there and after a year it sounds pretty good. That’s my experience anyway (except I haven’t quite reached the “sounding good” stage yet :wink:)

BTW, don’t settle for the classical vibrato, it has pretty limited usage as Justin explains in the video.

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I did see someone do that in a YouTube video. I haven’t tried it, bit I would think it takes a fair bit of force to overcome the string tension without the wammy bar installed.

I have a Fender Strat and it takes very little effort, however, you can only stretch the strings, not shorten like you can with the bar.

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Thanks Bill. I’ll give it a try, but my first impression is I prefer the sound the tremelo makes when lowering the pitch rather than raising it.

I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos on the wammy bar, and almost all of them were demonstrating how to make sounds I would never be interested in making, like ‘dive bombs’ and ‘dirt bikes’. Heavy metal stuff, which is interesting because I think the wammy bar has been around longer than heavy metal has. Does anyone know any blues players who use the wammy bar? I’d like to incorporate it into my playing, because it’s a LOT easier on the fingers than string bending. :slightly_smiling_face:

Well, not specifically a Blues player, but Jeff Beck is (was) a master at using the “whammy bar” in a subtle fashion.

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