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Fretless vibrato - totally misunderstanding

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by warfare_noise, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. warfare_noise


    Apr 28, 2013

    I ve got a some technique problems with vibrato on my fretless electric bass. First, I find that there is at least two different techniques to do that thing on the fretless - just check this guy

    On the first video he just moving his finger around of the fretboard, the second - sliding a little between two notes.
    On my bass (fender am std fretless) if I doing that as the shown on the first video, I got very weak vibrato. The second way works very well, but here I get a lot more tension in my fretting hand which is not good.
    So, I totally not understand how to make a nice singing vibrato, I hope somebody can help me with. Instruction with photos will be very helpful.
  2. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    A good vibrato starts in the elbow, moves the forearm, which move the hand through the wrist hinge, which is transferred as the hands for the fingers to control.

    Look in the two videos again and look at how the elbow is used.....

    Learn to move the elbow independent of the fingers and let it create the vibrato, rather than your fingers creating vibrato.
    There are certain situations where you can and will use your fingers for a lighter vibrato, or even a wider vibrato to your notes timbre.
    Again it needs practice and it needs development, so target the elbow movement first, see it as the 'rudder' that creates the vibrato and the fingers as controlling it. :)
  3. deckard


    Apr 4, 2003

    go on the net & esp. YouTube and see if you can find "footage" of cello players like Yo-Yo Ma doing vibrato - this visual may help you begin to understand how to do it on fretless.

    Watching some Michael Manring clips & observing how he does it would help, too.

    IMHO, like a lot of things, seeing how others accomplish it will lead to a quicker grasp of the basic technique, as opposed to slogging through written descriptions & trying to make sense of 'em... aka "one picture worth a thousand words".
  4. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    For cello, but the concept is the same.