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Special Techniques

Vibrato and Bend

Vibrato and Bend are 2 of the most used effects in all stringed instruments although bend is a more "guitar realm" one at that. Both are about distorting to a certain level a given note so as to release some of its accompanying harmonics thus adding beauty to musical phrases. Both vibratos and bends have to be used with discretion and it is not wise to over use either one.

The main difference between the 2 is that bend only rises the pitch of the note while vibrato lowers and rises it alternatively. Depending on the speed at which you shift the finger up and down or across the string you will have a faster oscillating or slower oscillating vibrato or bend. Depending on how far to the sides you push and pull the string or how far up and down you push and pull the string your vibratos and bends will be more or less pronounced. Below I display 2 animations showing both taken form staff #4 of "Love of My Life".



Above: Bend taken from Queen's "Love of My Life". Visit the masterclass here →

In Bends, the finger is moved in an up and down motion from its main knuckle where the finger meets the hand.


Above: Vibrato taken from Queen's "Love of My Life". Visit the masterclass here →

Vibrato is achieved by stopping the string firmly under the fingertip and then making it slightly longer and shorter by pulling it sideways using the whole arm to achieve the necessary momentum.

One Great Scenario where a bend adds beauty t teh phrase is at the end of "A Whiter Shade of Pale", 

Bend, Whiter Shade of Pale staff #25

Study "A Whiter Shade of Pale" here 

2 Beautiful Vibratos are used in Queen's "Love of My Life" in staff # 15 to bring out the High B

Slow Vibratos

Study "Love of My Life" with me here→

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