October 31st, 2008, 11:17 AM
How many of you consciously work on your vibrato?
I've been playing since the mid-sixties, but only recently have I started really paying attention to my vibrato, which, I have to admit, is sloppy and, frankly, awful. I'm taking lessons again (mainly rhythm and fine points of technique) again, and I've spent the past month striving for a soulful, confident vibrato.
I'm struggling to reach a point where I automatically use my wrist to control the speed and depth of my vibrato -- but it really is a struggle, improvement comes slowly, and my left hand is sore.
If I don't monitor myself carefully, I revert to finger vibrato or -- even worse -- that classical violin/psychedelic quiver.
October 31st, 2008, 09:20 PM
I don't tape it so I don't really know what I sound like, but I have been doing a little work with it.
October 31st, 2008, 11:14 PM
I worked on it real hard when I was first learning to play the blues. I listened to the vibrato of folks like B.B. King, Albert King, Mike Bloomfield, Jeff Beck, etc., etc. Plus over the years I've gotten vibrato stylings from sax and trumpet players as well. To me, having a good, controlled vibrato -- and knowing when and when not to use it -- has always been one of the marks of an accomplished player. Just FWIW. -- CS
P.S. I don't think it's a bad idea to learn the classical (i.e., violin) style as well. Sometimes that's what's needed.
November 2nd, 2008, 07:06 PM
I copied mine from BB.
Took me years to perfect that shake from the wrist.
Then I heard it on tape and it sounded like *****.
I think my little hand just gets moving faster than BB's big ol' beefsteak, and mine sounded like The Jefferson Airplane.
Now I go for a wide slow one that comes from the elbow.
November 3rd, 2008, 12:22 PM
I have always been very vain about my vibrato. I use it conjunction with a bend, but will also do a silent bend just to create a little room to move. I also use the sideways vibrato that uses the fret as a violin bow. This technique was beautifully described by Mike Bloomfield in a GP interview.
My friends and I used to imitate BB's vibrato, along with the big squeezed look on the face. I still can't do a sting vibrato without thinking of that.
I have to work on my bends still. Getting the pitch just right in different rhythmic situations is still a problem with me, especially if I am not warmed up.
November 4th, 2008, 12:05 AM
I know this will sound far fetched, but its where I learned my vibrato, and around here (Iowa), I've got one that's top of the heap.
There is a Cream DVD, their farewell concert from the late 60's I think, and there is about a 5 - 10 minute piece with this guy interviewing a very young (high) Eric Clapton. Clapton demonstrates his great vibrato, over and over again, fast and slow.
I watched that segment over and over again, and developed my slow - medium vibrato. I also listened to lots of early Billy Gibbons, SRV and Freddy King. For faster vibrato, I listened to Paul Kossoff, Angus Young and BB King.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a rocker, I'm pretty well straight up traditional blues, and my vibrato is a huge part of who I am as a player.
November 4th, 2008, 03:55 AM
I have recently started working on it, as I can hardly stand my vibrato anymore. However, I should spend a lot more time working on it, just as I should spend a lot more time working on... Eh, all aspects of my playing!
November 4th, 2008, 08:57 AM
I've been working on it for a while now and it's improving (slowly). I posted a thread about this some time ago and got a few good responses: