How To Know If You Have Mastered Vibrato On Guitar

Do you know how much your vibrato has improved over the last  6-12 months of playing guitar? Most musicians have no way to answer this  question because vibrato is believed to be impossible to track progress with.  Because of this, guitar vibrato rarely gets the practice time it deserves,  leading to far too many guitarists playing with very inexpressive and simply  ‘bad’ sounding vibrato.

To start, study the video below where I will show you how  simple it is to assess your level of mastery over vibrato. Watch the video  below before reading further:


To see the next part  of this video, study this page about guitar vibrato technique.

After studying the above procedure for testing the current  state of your vibrato, you need to adapt it as part of your regular practicing  to track your progress with vibrato over time. Here is how you need to do this:

1. Don’t spend all of your practice time (for vibrato)  practicing on only 1 pitch. You must also work on this skill in the real-life  application scenarios of guitar licks and solos. Although this seems obvious,  many people get stuck in practicing a certain technique in isolation without  applying it into the real world.

2. Log the metronome tempos at which you are able to play  vibrato technique, just like you track your progress with speed building  exercises (scale sequences, arpeggios etc.). Of course when you do vibrato in  actual music, it doesn’t need to be strictly in time all the time, but you must  have the skill to allow yourself to make it so, if needed. THAT is what will  make it possible to choose the best and most expressive way of using vibrato in  your songs and melodies. Knowing the precise metronome tempo at which you can  do controlled vibrato will give you the perfect indication of how this area of  your technique is progressing.

3. Spend some time recording your vibrato practice sessions  and then listen back to the recordings at “half tempo” (this can be easily  achieved in any computer recording program). Doing this will make it easier for  your ears to perceive the nuances of how your vibrato sounds in real time. Most  guitarists never analyzed their playing in that much detail and doing so leads  to many new discoveries on how to make your guitar playing better.

4. When you do vibrato within guitar licks and solos, vary  the rhythmic values you use to play it (exactly like I demonstrated for you in  the video tutorial above). This is important to do because you don’t want to be  boxed into only doing vibrato in a single way all the time. I also put this as  a separate step from simply “training with a click”, because you will be  thinking differently when playing over a musical track about your phrasing and  vibrato than you will when practicing to a metronome.

Don’t forget the final result you are after: to make your  vibrato sound GREAT. So don’t make the mistake of focusing on the tempo at  which you are doing vibrato and losing sight of the other elements that must be  refined to totally master vibrato.

Implement the above points into your practicing and you will  start to see your vibrato (and your guitar playing) sound much better than ever  before.

About the author: Mike Philippov is an educational guitar author, professional  guitar player and composer. He writes articles and publishes videos about the  best ways to practice guitar that are studied by many musicians worldwide. To  get more help with becoming a better guitar player, visit his guitar practicing website.

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