Vertical vibrato

Okay, my vibrato sucks :roll_eyes:
I don’t practice it (hardly ever play lead) but watched Justin’s lesson and understand what and why he teaches it thus.
As a lazy, low-hanging-fruit enthusiast, I discovered that I get a far superior vibrato sound by simply pressing harder on the string (down and up towards the fretboard) rather that back and forth horizontally along the plane of the fret.
Anyone else do this?
Is this one of those ‘if it sounds good it is good’ thingies, or is there a good reason to avoid? :thinking:

I had to reward that a few times to try and work it out, back and forth horizontally along the plain of the fret blow me away :joy: I assume you mean vertically along the fret.

Vertically along the fret is the way to go, much more variation in sound and wobble :grinning:

Horizontally back and forth along the string is much more subtle and i believe more of a classical nylon string technique.

Each to their own I guess but I never had you in the subtle category.

The above only applies if I’ve understood your horizontal wording correctly :rofl:

Oh dear, I don’t think I explained what I meant clearly :thinking:
Justin teaches to slide the string gently back and forth along the fret, in the same plane as (what I meant by horizontally to) the fretboard- The correct way as you describe :smiley:
By vertically, I meant pressing the string down towards the fretboard, causing the pitch to increase and release again. Repeating this causes vibrato.
(Fretless instruments like violin create their vibrato by moving their finger back and forth along the line of the string, i.e. towards the bridge and nut. Fretted instruments don’t allow this)

Oh, how I am cut to the quick! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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I’m no expert but perhaps pressing harder on the strings will over time cause more fret wear due to the frets becoming dented.
BTW I’m with Greg. Your definitions of horizontal and vertical are something else! :joy:

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I did/do this also.
No one taught me how to do vibrato so I had to learn something as to how to get that vibrato. Your method, like a violin player is where I landed at. And it does work. Though it I think it is a subtle vibrato.

After seeing Justin’s method in his teachings. I’ve been trying to use his method.
I’ve been aware of his method for a while now and most times I want to use vibrato, the pivot the hand is what I try to do.
After much practice, I’m still not real good at it, but every time I use it, I feel perhaps I am getting better at it.

I don’t suppose avoiding our violin method is nessecary. But I think perhaps the pivot method Justin teaches is perhaps more versitle.
Versitile in that you can do a bend and then add vibrato onto it after the bend. Which I see many players do. His method of vibrato also seems to be pretty much the same method as you do a bend. Pivot. This seems logical to me.
Putting vibrato at the end of a bend useing the violin method is not something I can do and is two different ways and seems like it’d be near impossible to do and hold the bend.

I’m getting better at the pivot bend, but it is slow coming for sure.

Just my 2 cent.

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Interesting thought re fret-wear, but with so many of us pressing too hard anyway, I’m not sure that’s a big worry :rofl: My stainless steel fret will take a lot of wear & tear…
vertical v horizontal depends purely whether you take the fretboard or the floor (whilst playing) as your reference point, but I hope my subsequent clarification indicates what I’m on about. :smiley:

No you have me wrong, Jim.
Violin-style vibrato does not work on guitar, but pressing the string down toward the fretboard does. (On a violin the string is already on the fretboard)

@brianlarsen Brian I’d suggest you just eat the low hanging fruit and play vibrato vertically, referenced to the floor for clarity :+1:

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Burp*… I give up! :roll_eyes::rofl:

Well you did ask if there was a good reason to avoid the low hanging fruit :crazy_face:

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Just a fun fact. I watched Will McNicol holding a chord and vibrating just one note in the middle… Imaging this kind of control!



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So you are just varying how hard you push down the string to get the vibrato? I have never tried this and don’t have a guitar handy, but I can’t imagine you can get anything but a quite weak vibrato with this method. It may be just right in certain situations, of course.

Another consideration is adding vibrato to a bent string (a more advanced technique, but very common in blues and rock) – I don’t think your method would work on a bent string.

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Well,it works better than expected :roll_eyes:, but it doesn’t go completely well… and when it sounds just as good or even better than when you take the lessons options … Than PRACTICE MORE :laughing:

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Pretty poor video.
But perhaps it gets my idea across.

Looking at my what I think is proper vibrato. I do it pretty poorly.
In that video you can see when I’m thinking I’m proper, ya can see I’m using my finger muscles to do the bend(vibrato). Sometimes in the video I think maybe I’m closer to proper. Where I’m pivoting at my index finger and pushing the string via that lever pivot point of my index finger.

When I’m doing it wrong, I don’t think I’m pressing the string down, then pressing down harder to get the vibrato. Actually, I’m not sure what I’m doing when I use my old way. Guess I just thought it was closer to how a violinist would do it. But I get it. It’s a ‘fretted’ note, how could I possibly be changing pitch. Maybe I’m stretching the string? I don’t know.
What I think I do know is my old way is not what I think is proper. When I’m doing the vibrato poorly in the video is closer to what I think is correct.
I think I need more practice.

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Try it. You might be surprised.
Even if it’s inefficient as a vibrato technique, it’s a great demonstration of how pressing too hard puts you out of tune. :smiley:

Nope, that is an excellent video of what I’m talking about and you saved me doing one myself :smiley:
Your self-taught vibrato sounds legit to me and better than when you do it the ‘Justin way’, although I have no doubt that in the long run, learning the Justin way is better and more versatile.
The only thing I would note is that the ‘left to right’ wiggle of your finger in the first example is not contributing nearly as much vibrato as the extra force pushing down on the fret to raise the pitch :smiley:

For someone who complains about things being repeated too often :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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Ah yes, the world of vibrato. I think there are three vibratos for guitar. The pivot type that Justin teaches, the violin vibrato that guitar purists frown upon (I think it at least adds some sustain to the note), and the Clapton vibrato (which I like a lot). For me it has been a work in progress using all three techniques for a long time now. I keep at it though.

Here’s a guy that explains the Clapton technique fairly well:


Here he explains that side to side is also possible

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Justin has a Clapton style vibrato lesson as well. Worth seeking out as well (of course). LOL

This guy might have some valuable perspective on the pros and cons of different vibrato techniques.
Vibrato on Guitar | 6 Techniques & Mechanics - YouTube

That makes sense in physical terms.
If you place your finger on one point of the string you can change (incresase) the pitch by stretching it. Spatially there are 3 axes: x, y & z (aligned with the neck, aligned with the fret, and up/down toward the fretboard). The pivot and Clapton methods are variations of y, what I was suggesting is z.
The violin method (x) doesn’t really work on fretted instruments, as you would have to press it down to the fret first in order to get enough grip to increase/decrease tension on the string.

I enjoyed the Clapton method video with guitar in hand and laughed at the part where he said all students shake their whole arm… watching my whole arm shake :rofl:

Another related question:
Are people able to discern the difference between vibrato on a guitar where pitch is raised and reduces to normal
violin, where pitch presumably oscillates between above and below pitch? :thinking: