The ultimate vibrato exercise

I used to be very frustrated about my vibrato because no one had told me how to practice it. I knew how to do it, I just couldn’t do it and remain in control at the same time. Then I came up with this simple exercise and the challenge literally disappeared over the following weeks.

Vibrato consists of two elements: Pith change and speed. So if you want to control your vibrato you must control how much the pitch changes and how fast or slow it oscillates.  You do this by using a metronome and practice it like any other thing. Watch me demonstrate the exercises in the video.

  1. Practice bending a semitone
  2. Use a metronome and increase tempo gradually
  3. Make sure you practice with each left hand finger
  4. Practice bending half a semitone
  5. Practice vibrating eighth notes, sixteenth notes and triplets.

The ultimate vibrato exercise

2 thoughts on “The ultimate vibrato exercise

  1. tensity1 says:

    Great advice, totally agree with the info you’ve presented.

    Vibrato is one of those techniques that can really make you sound professional and polished with a short amount of practice. Even with a few sessions, in less than a week I was sounding way better than I used to (not to say that I have my vibrato “dialed in” yet . . .).

    Looking up info on vibrato I remember reading somewhere that most vocalists do 5 to 7 pitch oscillations per second, so I started out with 6, to hit the median and because it was easier to set to a metronome. Afterward, I would then practice 5s and 7s without a metronome once I got a tempo steady, just counting out loud, because my metronome had no such divisions without fast, distracting beats every second.

    Anyway, I did those divisions because a lot of great guitarists would not only have a great steady vibrato, but many times would work into it, starting at about 4 or 5 cycles per second going up to 6 or 7, depending on the energy. It didn’t take long; it was almost imperceptible most times, but it was an “acceleration” into it many times.

    I try to incorporate more classical vibrato nowadays instead of “guitaristic” vibrato, because the motion used tends to give an even vibrato below and above the fretted pitch, whereas finger or wrist vibrato always goes sharp and returns to pitch (unless doing vibrato on a string bend). Classical string players usually start vibrato by pulling the hand back to the headstock, going flat first; thus, fretted guitarists using classical vibrato need to start toward the bridge first, to have the note dip flat. Of course, it is all up to one’s preferences and ears.

    Got to work on vibrato–after all, aren’t vibrations in music, particularly guitar, one of the things that we love most about our instrument?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pete says:

    Claus, I was very excited to see that someone was finally dealing with wrist problems in playing I cannot find the video can you please help thank you


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s