How To Play Guitar Vibrato Technique Like A Pro In 10 Steps
By Tom Hess
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No doubt about it:
Learning how to play guitar vibrato technique that rocks is the #1 way to make your playing sound better.
Because notes without excellent guitar vibrato technique applied to them sound boring, lifeless & dull.
I learned this the hard way years ago, when I started to build my speed.
I quickly realized - although I could play fast, something was still missing.
My playing lacked feeling, fire & passion.
How did I finally fix it? I did 2 things:
I took guitar lessons with a great teacher.
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This helped me create 10 simple steps anyone can use to master vibrato quickly.
What are these steps? Check out this video to learn them today:
Now that you know the basics, here is how to take your vibrato to the next level:
How To Play Guitar Vibrato Tip #1: Use Several Vibrato Styles In Your Guitar Licks & Solos
Want to know the fastest way to improve any guitar solo?
Mix up the way you use your guitar vibrato technique.
Use instant guitar vibrato.
Delayed guitar vibrato.
Delayed guitar vibrato with re-articulation.
Wide & slow guitar vibrato.
Guitar vibrato with Rubato.
And combinations of all of them...
It’s simple to do.
Watch this video to see how this tip improved the sound of one of my students’ guitar solos:
How To Play Guitar Vibrato Tip #2: Study Great Singers.
This helped my vibrato more than anything else.
What you do is:
Transcribe your favorite vocal parts and do your best to mimic the sound of the singer’s vibrato on your guitar.
Don't worry about technique or hand positions when you do this. Focus on the one thing that matters: the SOUND of your vibrato.
(Let your ears guide your hands to the correct motions.)
Want to see an example?
My all-time favorite singer is Fabio Lione.
Watch this video as Fabio and I improvise melodies together (and notice how I match my guitar vibrato technique to his vocal vibrato):
How To Play Guitar Vibrato Tip #3: Master Bent-Note Vibrato.
Bent note vibrato is much harder than vibrato on an unbent note. But when you get it right… it’s the single most beautiful sound you can play on guitar.
The biggest challenge about bent-note vibrato? It's keeping the bent note as the target pitch.
Plus, you have 3 options for bent note guitar vibrato technique:
1. Raising the pitch above the bent note.
2. Lowering the pitch below the bent note (you need a guitar with a floating bridge for this).
3. Swirl the guitar vibrato above AND below the bent note.
The 3rd type of vibrato is by far the hardest (and in my opinion – the best-sounding).Watch this video to see what I mean:
Want to see even more bent-note vibrato tips? Check out this guitar vibrato technique video by one of my top students Mike Philippov.
How To Play Guitar Vibrato Tip #4: Do Vibrato On Chords.
It’s no secret that many people prefer playing lead guitar over rhythm guitar.
Truth is: most people struggle to be expressive when they play chords.
This is one reason why playing lead guitar is generally considered “cooler” than rhythm guitar.
But what if you could apply a lead guitar technique (vibrato) to chords? Is that even possible?
Yes it is.
Check out this video demonstration to learn how to play guitar vibrato technique on chords and sound great when you do it.
Bonus tip: you can do guitar vibrato technique on double stops too. (For best results, it helps if you have a floating bridge.)
Check out this video to see great examples of how to play guitar vibrato technique with double stops:
Now that you know how to play guitar vibrato technique combined with other techniques, the next step is to troubleshoot the rest of your guitar playing & fix your hardest challenges.
How do you do that?Download this free guitar technique cheat sheet and take all guesswork out of your practice.
About Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He teaches rock guitar lessons online to students from all over the world and conducts instructional live guitar training events attended by musicians from over 50 countries.Done learning how to play guitar vibrato better? Read this page about online guitar lessons.