The guitar is a magical instrument – we all know that.
…And just like how the ancient Aztecs used to cook with a special ingredient called amaranth (which I’ve started to use myself).
I want to teach you about a special ingredient you can add to your guitar playing.
Just like how amaranth would heal the wounded, turbocharge the tired, and bring health to the sickly…
This special guitar skill can do wonders to elevate your guitar playing and satiate your musical tastebuds.
Okay, enough food comparisons (I’m hungry), let’s get to it.
This special skill is called “vibrato”.
And in my opinion, it’s one of the most under-used guitar skills out there – even for acoustic players (it’s commonly taught on electric, but rarely on the acoustic).
Yet when done correctly, vibrato can make any note shimmer beautifully like a butterfly floating through your garden on a summer’s day.
Done badly, though, it can be like the equivalent of a squashed caterpillar!
The key with vibrato is to use good technique AND use it wisely.
…Because if it’s played with weak technique or overused, it sounds bad.
The key principle behind vibrato is that we’re shimmering the pitch up and down slightly.
This can sound super cool and it actually mimics what singers do when they hold a note and let the pitch waver up and down slightly.
I usually use vibrato when playing melodies and a phrase is ringing out.
You can try it yourself now:
- Play a couple of notes on the B string (this is a good string to practise it on)
- Try playing the notes on frets 3, 5, and then 8.
- Let the note on fret 8 ring out, and while the note is ringing out add vibrato to it.
It might have sounded good, bad, or somewhere in between, and if it sounded bad, that’s okay at first.
It takes practice.
There are actually three main ways to play vibrato.
Two out of the three ways aren’t great for beginners.
…But worse than that, there is one common error I see students make a lot when trying vibrato – whichever method they use.
Anyway, in a new Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy lesson, I teach my method on how to play vibrato properly (in a very simple way) so you can make your acoustic and electric playing shine and sparkle in a unique way.
So give it a go, try adding vibrato to your playing, and for more help, you can join the Academy where the new lessons (this vibrato lesson included) will be released on the 1st of February.
P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.