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Fretless vibrato

Discussion in 'Ask David Overthrow' started by davewilson5401, May 4, 2011.

  1. I've heard some wonderful fretless soloists use a nice wide vibrato and I'm wondering how it's done. I know there's the typical side to side string stretching technique guitarists use. I would like to roll my finger forward and back like the upright players do but I don't get enough pitch change. I can't slide my finger along the strings without dampening the vibration. Maybe I need a different kind of string. I'm currently using SIT strings "silencers" semiflat 45-65-80-100-120 on my five-string carvin fretless. What do you recommend?
  2. Thanks for the question. I'm sure many will chime in but my two cents is that the vibrato comes from more than the fingers. I learned from a great bassist, DR Lyn Christie many years ago that is starts with the arm (elbow) and the motion of the arm from the elbow joint up. I used to practice playing notes with 2 quavers, 3 quavers, 4 quavers etc... This helped me develop a good vibrato on the fretted as well as the fretless.

    The vibrato doesn't really involve "sliding" the finger on the string but the motion of the finger going side to side while stationary of the fret helps cause the vibrato, at least in my case. The string should always have contact with the fretboard.

    The semi flat or "halfwound" strings may prevent you from getting the vibrato more easily. You may want to try roundwound, in which case you want to make sure you have a protective coating on your fretboard so the string don't eat through the neck.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Mayers

    Mayers Guest

    Sep 28, 2007
    Stretching the string like guitar player is called bending.

    You are suppose to roll your finger back and forth and not slide. You should check how an classical upright player does it.
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