.customer sign in.
g9 Logo
shopping cart rss xml Vol. 19, No. 4: Dec.-Jan. 2014
Rate This Page Poor page rating Fair page rating Average page rating Good page rating Excellent page rating
 
pix Bending And Vibrato pix
pix
pix pix by Mike O'Malley  

Page added in August, 2010

About The Author

Mike O'Malley's instrumental power trio is called No Walls and their latest CD is entitled "World Abroad". He has been playing guitar for almost 30 years and graduated from Music Tech in Minneapolis in 1988.

cd


O'Malley currently has 45 guitar students that range in all ability levels and styles. Please visit his web site.

Send comments or questions to Mike O'Malley.

© Mike O`Malley

Sponsored Links





Print This Column

Click here for a printer-friendly version of "Bending And Vibrato".

  I think bending and vibrato are the most telling sign if a musician is good or great. How many times have you heard a guitar player in a cover band play a solo note for note, but it lacked emotion and feel? Chances are that player learned all the licks but never played it along with the CD.

One of the best ways to develop your vibrato is to listen to singers and horn players. They have a natural vibrato because they have to breath, while guitar players can noodle forever. Try singing the solo aloud or in your head while playing it and it will become a lot more natural. I think you really need to listen to what is coming out of the speaker and detach yourself from it.

If you think about guitar players with great vibrato, Jeff Beck, Steve Vai, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eddie Van Halen and Carlos Santana, they each have an individual style and their vibrato is very recognizable. I'm sure all of those guys spent a lot of time developing it. I know players that have a lot of technique, know their theory and so on but have never spent time developing their vibrato, and you can tell right away.

To start working on vibrato try developing a swing ala B.B. King with all four fingers and see how long you can make a note sustain by gently rolling your hand from side to side. After that becomes smooth, start bending strings. First play a note that you want to bend to then move down one fret and bend to that note (a tuner with a built in mic can really help). When you are comfortable with a one fret bend do a two fret bend and a three or even a four. Make sure to nail the pitch.

Take a solo that you already know and listen to every bend. Play along with it and match it. You cannot look at a squiggly line on paper and have any idea what it should sound like. Vibrato is one thing that defies notation and has to come from inside you. I hope this helps, now go make some noise!

Rate This Column

pix Additional Columns by Mike O'Malley pix
line
  • And 10 more in the Guest Columnists series, view the index
line


offer


Home | RSS | iTunes | T-shirts | Search
Blog | BCCM | HCCM | Contact Us | Content Index
Copyright © 1996-2013 Guitar Nine All Rights Reserved
Any redistribution of information found at this site is prohibited
Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the Guitar Nine Terms of Use. To read our Privacy Policy, click here.