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Michael Johnson >> Guitar Techniques I >>


Teacher: Welcome class to the lesson about important guitar techniques. This lesson will focus on vibrato. Developing a strong vibrato technique is very important to guitarists. Vibrato is important in developing your own sound.

irene: B.B king does it great

Teacher: You bet Irene, can any of you think of other guitarists who have a unique vibrato style.

phillip: steve vai

wil: jimi hendrix

Teacher: Yes, Vai, Hendrix and BB King are great examples. Let's go through the basic vibrato variations first and then we will cover exercises and riffs later. Here's the basic technique.

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato Down 1

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato Down 1

Teacher: This is a basic vibrato where you bend downward. You can also bend upward as well.

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato Up 1

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato Up 1

Teacher: I usually vibrato downward, except on the 1st and 2nd strings. On the first string you will often slide off the fretboard. Here's the other basic technique using the 3rd finger.

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato 2

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato Down 1

Teacher: You can vibrato upward as well. Here's bending upward.

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato Up 2

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato Up 2

Teacher: You can also vibrato intervals and chords as well, here's a few examples.

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato - Double-Stop

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato - Double-Stop

Teacher: In this example you vibrato downward using a double-stop. Here's the same technique using a triple-stop.

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato - Triple-Stop

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato - Triple-Stop

Teacher: You can also vibrato on chords as well.

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato - Chords

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato - Chords

Teacher: You can also vibrato on barre chords.

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato - Barre Chords

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato - Barre Chords

Teacher: Some players vibrato playing sideways, like a violin player.

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato Side 3

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato Side 3

wil: Like Stevie Ray Vaughan

Teacher: Yes will, George Lynch uses this technique as well. One very important technique to develop is the speed of the vibrato. Here is 3 different variations.

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato - Speed

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato - Speed

Teacher: A player like Eddie Van Halen will switch between slow and medium vibrato speeds. B.B. King uses a very fast vibrato. You can also vibrato by bending the string past the nut. This video will show an example.

Part 1 - Basic Vibrato - Nut

Teacher: Players like Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck use this technique. This technique will not work if you have a locking nut with a tremolo bar system. Here are some vibrato exercises.

Part 2 - Vibrato Exercise 1

Part 2 - Vibrato Exercise 1

Teacher: In this exercise you work on playing a vibrato on each finger.  Notice the you use 2 fingers when you vibrato using the 3rd and 4th fingers. The extra finger gives you more support. Especially with the 4th finger. Here's another exercise.

Part 2 - Vibrato Exercise 2

Part 2 - Vibrato Exercise 2

Teacher: In this example you ascend the string switching between the 1st and 3rd fingerings playing a slow vibrato downward. You can also alter the speeds in this exercise playing a medium and fast vibrato as well. Try all speeds. You can also practice bending upwards as well.

Part 2 - Vibrato Exercise 3

Part 2 - Vibrato Exercise 3

Teacher: In this example I start with a slow vibrato, and then switch to a fast vibrato. This can make a solo sound more interesting. Next you will vibrato using scales, here's the first exercise.

Part 3 - Scale Vibrato 1

Part 3 - Scale Vibrato 1

Teacher: In this exercise you ascend using the E Major scale, notice how the fingering alters as you move up the fretboard. You can also use one finger as well. This next exercise uses the A Minor Pentatonic scale.

Part 3 - Scale Vibrato - A Min Pent 1

Part 3 - Scale Vibrato - A Minor Pent 1

Teacher: You can also practice using the A Minor scale.

Part 3 - Scale Vibrato - A Minor

Part 3 - Scale Vibrato - A Minor

Teacher: The 3rd and 4th fingers use an additional finger to support the vibrato. Now let's study a few riffs that feature vibrato.

Part 4 - Vibrato Riff 1

Part 4 - Vibrato Riff 1

Teacher: In this Hendrix style lick notice how the vibrato is used in specific places of the phrase. In the first phrase you hammer, and then the vibrato helps sustain the note. This technique is used at the end of the phrase as well. Here's the next example.

Part 4 - Vibrato Riff 2

Part 4 - Vibrato Riff 2

Teacher: Notice how the vibrato accents the higher notes of the 1st bar. The vibrato is used the sustain these notes as well.

Part 4 - Vibrato Riff 3

Part 4 - Vibrato Riff 3

Teacher: This ZZ Top style riff uses the same technique as example 1, but in this case you use a double-stop over the hammer and vibrato. In the next example you will vibrato using chords.

Part 4 - Vibrato Riff 4

Part 4 - Vibrato Riff 4

Teacher: In this Whitesnake style riff notice the slow vibrato using the F#5 chord. Vibrato can help to sustain chords as well. In this next example you will vibrato using double-stops.

Part 4 - Vibrato Riff 5

Part 4 - Vibrato Riff 5

Teacher: This is a very cool riff, notice how the vibrato makes the double-stops help sustain the notes and stand out more. This riff might take some time to develop, you actually vibrato downward. Using 2 fingers help from sliding off the fretboard. Here's another example.

Part 4 - Vibrato Riff 6

Part 4 - Vibrato Riff 6

Teacher: In this Page example you save the vibrato for the very last note. This helps sustain the lick for the next chord and lick. Here's the last example.

Part 4 - Vibrato Riff 7

Part 4 - Vibrato Riff 7

Teacher: This B.B. King style lick uses a fast vibrato. Notice in the video how my hand swings out and away from the neck. Well this concludes the lesson. I hope you have a better understanding on how to develop you vibrato style.

Mike: Thank you very much!

dh: I enjoyed it thanks

Teacher: Keep practicing and see you next lesson!

wil: gracias

Teacher: Thank you!

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