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I can bend strings easily and apply vibrato without much trouble, but when it comes to combining those two techniques I am totally lost. When I try to make vibrato on a bent string I loose control of pitch and sense of rhythm goes out of the window. Moreover, "rate" of vibrato that I can achieve is much lower while bending than "plain" vibrato.

How can I practice vibrato with bends?

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    Isolated practice is the only way I know. Bend a string up one fret, apply slow vibrato. Relax. Bend up two frets, apply slow vibrato, relax. Repeat every day until the vibrato becomes easier and you can increase and control the vibrato speed. Most of the time there are no shortcuts. – Todd Wilcox Feb 3 '16 at 20:53
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    @ToddWilcox that's what I would say too. Why don't you make it an answer before someone else does? Just because it fits on one typewritten page does not mean it has to be relegated to a comment ;-) – Rockin Cowboy Feb 3 '16 at 21:15
  • @RockinCowboy LOL! Ok, done. – Todd Wilcox Feb 3 '16 at 21:17
  • My problem is that when I play "normal" vibrato, it comes from shaking motion of my wrist. But when I bend, wrist is too tightened so I can't make that motion, so I have to somehow utilize only fingers. – el.pescado Feb 6 '16 at 20:17
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The vibrato in this case is usually to bend a note up, say, one fret, then let it relax and re-tension it a few times. You don't always have to let it back to the ordinary fretted note, it could be relaxed half a fret down, but then it only needs to be bent back to the target note. Again, with a two fret bend that is given vibrato, it may need to go to a straight string again, but it may only need to be relaxed by half a semitone, or one semitone.Try to use a couple of fingers, it's hard work controlling a big bend with only one. It depends what style, genre or who you're trying to emulate. You need to do it slowly to check pitch, particularly the target note. Don't overshoot. Ears are good for this. Yours or your listeners.A tuner will also help, when practising slow vib. As often, no substitute for doing it lots, a.k.a. practice.

  • I agree. Playing a two step bend then releasing the bend down one step and raising it again is a good way to keep a consistent pitch in your vibrato. You can also go the other way, bending up one step from the target note and releasing again. This method allows you to check your target pitches by playing both notes before performing the bend. – MatFarley Feb 9 '16 at 22:43
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Isolated practice is the only way I know.

Bend a string up one fret, apply slow vibrato. Relax.

Bend up two frets, apply slow vibrato, relax.

Repeat every day until the vibrato becomes easier and you can increase and control the vibrato speed. Most of the time there are no shortcuts.

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