Taking Flight With Vibrato

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by SlapChop, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. SlapChop

    SlapChop Senior Member

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    I have gained a natural ability to use vibrato in my time playing guitar as a self taught player. It sounds ok, but I really want to make my guitar sing like Paul Kossoff!

    Check out the solo at around 2:15. I can't listen to this without getting chills.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FhCilozomo[/ame]

    Here's where I'm at:

    SoundClick artist: Tangled up in Tweed - page with MP3 music downloads

    Can anyone recomend any excercises, tecniques, books, DVD's, acupuncturists, hypnotists, or anything to help take it to the next level? :)
     
  2. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    I can see where you are trying to get although personally I'm not a great fan of Koss's vibrato as for me it's too hectic too quickly, but then everyone to his or own taste.
    What he basically does is apply a very fast vibrato as soon as the note is struck, unlike say myself say who introduces the vibrato more like a vocalist.

    To appreciate this you really need to listen to vocalists. Some vocalists have what I call a nanny goat vibrato which they introduce very quickly into a note whereas others introduce it and get wider as the note progresses.
    In fact I was only talking about vibrato in the 'tone' thread this afternoon.

    Check out the video in this thread to see what I mean. Ok I know it's classical, but music is music and vibrato is vibrato.. It'll simply give you an insight into it and how it can be applied.

    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/guitar-lessons/100927-tone-3.html#post2039087

    Getting back to the Koss vib, yes it's simply very wide and fast and introduced right at the begining of a note rather than introduced on a clean note, then applied.
    Anyway listen to the vid and you'll see what I mean. That way you can develop your own style.
    Off course again, it all depends on how long the note lasts. If it's not very long then you obviously will have to introduce vibrato earlier.. Listen to a trained opera singer to see how they do it, because in the final analysis that's all we are doing on many solos. Mimicking the human voice.
     
  3. SlapChop

    SlapChop Senior Member

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    Thank you very much, Phil! I'll have a look at the Tone? thread too. But your explanation of how Kossoff begins his rapid vibrato when he strikes the note as opposed to letting it ring out a bit first is a big help; because I had no idea. I'm in the camp that lets my notes ring, at least for a little bit, before I apply vibrato.

    A perfect example why it would be awesome to have a thank you button for replies to posts and not just the OP.

    I need to do a lot of excercises to get my hand to do what he does... Cause' it ain't able to right now!
     
  4. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    My pleasure SlapChop. If you can imagine scratching the fingerboard quickly, It'll give you some idea.
    Some people do an upward vibrato and some a down. Off course the only problem with going down is that it wont work on the top E string as your finger will fall off the edge. :laugh2:
    Personally I use both up and down vib to suit whatever I might be playing and over the years have developed the abilty play both up and down equally accuratley .
     
  5. Gyroman

    Gyroman Senior Member

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    I get where you're coming from with regards letting the note ring out before applying vibrato, Phil, but sometimes the exception proves the rule; and I think Kossoff was one of those cases. His use of vibrato is a massive part of his signature as a guitarist and is a defining element of his style. I'm sure Angus Young would agree with me on this.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's the individual way we choose to use the elements of our playing, whether consciously or not, that stops us all sounding the same.:)
     
  6. SlapChop

    SlapChop Senior Member

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    That's how I get a good ammount of my vibrato now, but it seems I'm using only my finger muscles compared to my whole hand or arm. When I see a lot of other players who have strong vibrato skills do it, they're shaking their whole damn guitar.

    Check out Dan Auerbach (another huge inspiration to me) in this vid. He gets some great vibrato at the begining and end of this one.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-nvCYdVHz8[/ame]

    Amazing little jam too! :dude:
     
  7. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    I quite agree Gyro. As I said in my initial post, it's all a matter of personal taste and there is no right and wrong.
    My analogy was merely pointing out the different approaches one can take in developing your vibrato.
    Many will choose to apply vibrato right from the begining of a note. Some prefer to introduce it. Some people play wide vibrato, some shallow, some ( Like myself, introducing it with increasing intensity ) . It's really all depends what you prefer and also what you are playing as to what style to use.
    Same with singers, so it's best to practise all techniques, coz you never know when you may need it. :laugh2:
     
  8. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    Yeah he's introducing vib more or less straight away too, but what he's also doing on some notes that you may or may not have noticed is introducing vibrato to a note that is bent up. That's not quite so easy and is probably one of the most difficult things most students find in vibrato technique.
    To put it simply, he's say bending a note up one whole tone then releasing it half a tone, pushing back up to the bent note, releasing it, pushing it back up etc etc etc, but all very quickly. Now the hardest thing with that is that you have to have a good enough ear to tell you how far to bend the note up each time without dropping in pitch and sounding like a cat with a poker up it's arse.:laugh2: It's merely practise and you just have to keep going over and over the same thing, which is where many players fall short. They do it once then get fed up and start moonlighting around the pentatonic scale.
    The secret is just to keep bending that same note ( Preferably say on the 3rd string to start with ) over and over and over again, untill you can keep the pitch change accurate every time.
     
  9. SlapChop

    SlapChop Senior Member

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    Great observation, Phil. I can only add vibrato on a bent note when I'm bending down. I need to build the muscle memory to do it when bending up. For the life of me, I can't do it the slightest at this point... And even when bending down I need a lot of work to maintin the correct pitch.

    I'll never be a fast player blazing through my scales and wanking all over the place, so I have to rely on making the most out of each note and phrase.
     
  10. Gyroman

    Gyroman Senior Member

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    Slap, I had the same problem re. not being able to add vibrato on a note bent up. It'll take about 2-3 weeks of practice then you'll start noticing a big improvement. You basically need to build muscle strength, and as you say, muscle memory. Once you've got that, work on your accuracy. Just don't be half-hearted about it: it will come.

    Edit to say: Practice it whilst you're watching tv. Just go over and over it and soon it will click into place.
     
  11. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    Don't worry about all that crap. There are a million and one people out there blazing away at a million miles an hour with about as much melodic feel as a dead Cod on a marble slab who couldn't hold down a gig if it bit them up them arse.:laugh2: In other words they know their party pieces and that's about it.
    On the pro gig scene in general ( Unless you join a heavy metal band of course ) people are looking for good all round melodic players who can adapt for the majority of the work.
    You sound as if you are on the right track.:dude:
    With regard to the vib.. Try putting three fingers together in a line on the same string, with the note you want bent being held down by the third finger.
    In other words, say you want to bend the 3rd string at say the 7th fret.

    Put your first finger on the 5th fret, your second on the 6th fret and your third on the 7th fret. Now push up with all three fingers whilst hooking you thumb over the 6th string.. This way you'll have the strength in the bend and also you'll find that your first and second finger are clearing a path for your third finger by pushing the fourth string out of the way. In other words they are clearing a path for your third finger to bend the note up. ( Bend up towards the thicker strings )

    Phil.

    P.S.. Here is a classic case of 'nanny goat ' vibrato in a singer.:laugh2:
    Old Roger Chapman from the band 'Family'.
    Personally I couldn't stand his voice and it irritated me no end, but I suppose many loved it.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e7c3uRoyqw[/ame]
     
  12. SlapChop

    SlapChop Senior Member

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    Wow, that guy really does sound like a goat!

    Thanks again, Phil. I'll give the tecnique you mentioned a whirl.

    Man, that video is still playing above as I reply in the quick-box below and calling them obscure would be a bit of an understatement...
     
  13. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    That was from the days of Prog -Rock.
    I have seen so many 'this rock' and 'that rock' styles come and go over the years, I'd need an hour to type them all out. :laugh2:

    Those are from the days where you incorperated some weird instrument into a rock band like a vibraphone. Played an ethnic intro.. Started of a heavy rock riff , then went into a few weird timings, then back to the ethnic stuff..:rolleyes: They were all on the bloody band wagon.. Then some new style takes over...'Glam rock' for instance and suddenly everyone is wearing spandex trousers and sporting hairstyles like a fucking parrot's. :rolleyes:

    In the meantime the likes of myself just kept rolling through the years twanging a living where one could.
    Yep! I've seen them come and I've seen them go..
    All good stuff though as that's what shaped rock n' roll.
    Heavens only knows what they call it these days..'Shite Rock' ?? :laugh2:

    Hey! Did you know where the phrase 'heavy metal' originated ?
    Many think it's some new sort of name that was made up during the past ten years, but
    it actually goes right back to the early days of Led Zeppelin.

    In fact one of the Zeppelin family tried to stop them using their family name.
    And there was born the phrase.. 'Heavy metal' = Led ( As in the metal Lead ) Zeppelin.
     
  14. John Vasco

    John Vasco I'm with the band V.I.P. Member

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    Kossoff also had very subtle vibrato in his playing when the mood required it.

    Check out his solo here, which starts at 2:12. Another thing to note is his use of repeat phrases, around 2:50 onwards. All this across a recurring two-chord turnaround, until further chord changes come in towards the end of the solo. Many (myself included) can learn a lot from this solo alone.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3_fTpbip8E[/ame]​
     
  15. John Vasco

    John Vasco I'm with the band V.I.P. Member

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    This has been chewed over before. Isn't the origin argued between the second verse of 'Born to be wild' and a reference to it in a book (author Burroughs?) :hmm:
     
  16. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories. V.I.P. Member

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    Re: Heavy metal
     
  17. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    Yes it is much more subtle on that track, but his technique is still the same in as much as he still applies vibrato at the begining of each note.
    Nothing wrong with that, merely an observation that I thought SlapChop may have been interested in.
     
  18. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    I always thought that it was a radio DJ who coined the phrase.
    But if it was used in 'Born to be wild' where did they get the phrase 'heavy metal' from. Chemists?? The Led in Led Zeppelin seems the one I'd go for.
    I suppose the real answer is lost in the archives of history. Another rock mystery.:laugh2:
     
  19. Phil47uk

    Phil47uk Senior Member

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    Good bit of detective work Mud..:dude:
    Well both theories seem to fit according to that.
     
  20. SoloDallas

    SoloDallas Senior Member

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    Vibrato. Vibrato to me is the most defining characteristic of a musician that plays an instrument - including voice - that allows for it. I pity piano players in this respect, though they can compensate with a super wide range of polyphony.
    I love Kossoff's vibrato - and Angus' - as actually these two are my heroes, Angus being first.
    I am not a huge fan of vibrato at the start of a note though, I tend naturally for the clean note - bent or not - then vibrato.
    Like I was telling Phil on another thread, I find myself vibrato-ing only at times. I almost don't play, at times, I only concentrate on vibrato.
    I like it that much.
    On stringed instruments, my feeling is that it takes years.
    Not only physically wise - and it's demanding - but also mentally wise.
    As you have to sing it internally before you can pour it out on the instrument.
    Timing also allows for it to really strike you. You have to place the note that will vibrate beautifully in timing, then and only then, vibrate it. At the point, yourself and everyone else are in heaven.
    You do it poorly and you sound like a child tying to play. Music is that elusive: you either can create the illusion of "cosmic energy" or you can sound like a fool approaching the instrument for the first time.

    I find that when playing live, I "naturally" find more energies to it because of the tension I feel. I tend to discharge the tension on the playing, especially on the left hand.

    Vibrato is my dream. I think I can say I play guitar for the vibrato.
    When I hear the wood resonating because of it, that's the moment I'm in heaven. I play for that moment.
    I even choose guitars basing myself on how they resonate with vibrato.

    It's that important to me.
     

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