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I finally feel like I have developed my vibrato

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Llama's Rage, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. My vibrato no longer feels forced and feels verrrry comfortable and natural to do when hanging on notes... it is a wonderous thing :)

    I've been playing bass for the better part of 3 years with some guitar before that and it is just now feeling good.

    Just wondering how long it takes others to feel like they "have their vibrato" if you know what I mean.
  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I spent a little while very specifically developing my vibrato on fretless BG. My teacher commented on it not too long after, though I hadn't made any mention of it earlier. When I picked up DB, the first thing my teacher did AFTER I started to play in tune was to work on my vibrato.
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    It's an integral part of my fretless playing. My fretted playing gets it up high.

    Now if I could only get it in my piano playing...
  4. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    Anyone else have trouble using vibrato on their top string on a fretted bass?

    My tendancy is to pull the string down (towards the floor) so it's hard to bend the top string away from the floor for vibrato (otherwise it slides off the fretboard).

    Piano playing: nothing tickles my fancy like Chick's use of vibrato on electric piano. Its all over the place on "Elektric Band". When I saw him a few weeks ago he used that thing (what's it called?) to bend notes and get vibrato just a couple times.
  5. All_¥our_Bass


    Dec 26, 2004
    Pitch wheel
  6. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    There lies your problem. You should vibrato by rolling your finger along the string, not grinding the string against the neck sideways.

    Grinding the string up and down just kills your frets (or your fretboard, in the case of fretless).
  7. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yeah, and I find that makes it even harder, because I now have to climb the string up out of the ditch that it previously had made in the fret.. Then there's the fret buzz from the damaged frets...

    Maybe I should have looked into vibrato techique earlier.

  8. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    I get what your saying, but don't you get more vibrato by moving the string parallel to the fret?

    There are times when I like a lot of vibrato.

    Pitch wheel?
  9. Well, you get a wider vibrato, which I guess is what you meant by "more". You should do it that way if that's the sound you want. Frets need releveling eventually anyway, and you can't let extra wear scare you away from playing your bass.
  10. I kind of do it somewhere in the middle...I used to shake it wildly back and forth parallel to the frets and it sounded awful. My friend (who plays guitar) was like *** do you call that, so I tried it the opposite direction with just my finger moving, but that sounded kind of bad too...but after playing through some liquid tension and dream theatre songs a whole bunch (not sure why these songs in particular developed it; perhaps it just happened that these were the songs I was playing when I came to it) I've gotten it the way it just feels perfect and sounds great :)
  11. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    That may be possible (although I can get a pretty wide vibrato using the other method), but when you use this type of vib, you can only bend the note sharp from the original pitch. With the other method, you get both sharp and flat around the original pitch - which keeps the note "centered" better.
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    from an old thread on this subject

  13. I don't think you're going to go very far flat unless you've got fingers like a gecko. My understanding of classical guitar vibrato is that shaking your hand puts more pressure on the string and bends the pitch up. Regardless, vibrato should only go one direction. Traditionally strings, winds, and voice have gone down, but if you've got frets you'll probably have to go up (unless you are blessed with the aforementioned gecko fingers). Going both above and below the note makes for wobbly tones.
  14. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    That's absolutely incorrect. Read my second post for how the process works. As far as string players go, I've studied with both jazz and classical upright players, and vibrato goes around the note, centering the pitch.
  15. I did read it, and then I disagreed. I don't think you can get enough grip to drop the pitch much, and that most of the effect comes from the way the pressure on the string changes. I spent some time tugging on strings, and that's my considered opinion. Feel free not to agree, but I trust my judgement on this, just like you trust yours. Some pitch drop, yes, but not much.

    As for whether it should go up or down, before now I've always been told it should go in one direction only. It's possible that bass vibrato traditionally follows different rules, but everyone else moves away from the pitch and back to it in one direction.
  16. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    You know, I work with 45 or so horn players on a daily basis, and I can't find one who thinks vibrato should go only one direction away from the pitch. Every one I've spoken with go around the note, both flat and sharp. And these aren't just hack musicians either, they're some of the best in the country.... I know which way I'll go on this.
  17. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    I'm not the world's greatest fretless player, but I've never met someone who only played vibrato in only one direction from the center note.
  18. I have to say I agree with Pacman... vibrato should center around the note. It helps maintain intonation, anad I've never known anyone to say otherwise
  19. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    +1 to Pacman.
  20. Hmm, as a very creative, eccentric kid picking up the double bass (my first and best instrument), I never delt with this notion of sharp and flat of the pitch. I just kind of looked at the professional players and did my best to "pretend" to play like them. Coincidentally, this is how I developed mature vibrato technique. I never ran into this problem, but yes, I'm sorry lemur, no hard feelings, but every decent musician I know vibratos above and below the pitch.