Guitar Vibrato Breakdown

As much as I love my “don’t worry about it” approach to vibrato… I’ve finally come to a point where I felt like I had to show how I do it.

WARNING: You have to be able to play the notes before this is going to matter to you. If you are struggling through a lick, trying to add vibrato to any note along the way is just going to increase the struggle and frustration… not exactly what I had in mind.

But, if you are comfortable playing a lick or a certain line, and you want to put a little “sugar” on it, this should help.

And if it was helpful to you, please “share the love” by adding your comment and/or sharing this post on facebook or twitter.


  • Chris Roper

    Reply Reply July 21, 2018

    Hi Griff and thanks. Not surprisingly, I haven’t read all the comments and perhaps somebody else has raised this; if so……sorry. It surprises me that you haven’t mentioned the rate (tempo?) at which the vibrato should be performed and how it relates to the background tempo of the piece. Maybe we leave that to :feel”? Food for thought?


    • PAUL

      Reply Reply July 21, 2018


    • Tony Fenton

      Reply Reply July 21, 2018

      Thank you Griffin. I learned something new.

  • Kevin O'Sullivan

    Reply Reply July 21, 2018

    Thanks Griff
    I have seen this before but it’s really useful to be reminded of how important technique is to get it right.

  • Colin Campbell

    Reply Reply July 21, 2018

    This lesson is great as there are some people who think guitar vibrato means using the ‘whammy bar’!

  • DanaC

    Reply Reply January 19, 2018

    Thanks Griff, for that detailed look at vibrato. I’ve been struggling somewhat with it, but this video really helped me figure out the proper technique.

    • Joe Bryant

      Reply Reply July 21, 2018

      Thanks Giff, I don’t get to play much anymore because of age related problems. But I really enjoy your emails.

  • Gary

    Reply Reply January 18, 2018

    Good detailed video on vibrato! Back in the day, I would sometimes just bend the whole neck back and forth and get a mean vibrato. I think I saw Jimmy Hendrix do it one time, and thought it was cool.

    • Lance

      Reply Reply January 20, 2018

      Thanks Grif, been waiting for thiis explanation for a long time

  • Rohn

    Reply Reply January 18, 2018

    Your right its a natural thing I didnt even know I was doing it until it was brought to my attention by a fellow guitarist one day when we were just jammimng with each other


  • Marsh

    Reply Reply January 18, 2018

    Interesting video and responses.

    Vibrato is a bit like icing on the cake. Along with playing muted strings, harmonics and various other things that may or may not be discovered naturally. They all require practice to make them sound good. This video is great, because it makes you aware of it.

    When I started playing guitar I noticed classical guitar players moving their hands while holding down a note, but to be honest I didn’t see the point or hear much. Over time, I did start to notice more subtle tone differences. Everyone is different though. My son just started learning guitar, and he noticed the vibrato note right away. Of course it is much more pronounced in blues soloing.

    Nice to have the video in the arsenal!

  • Larry Puckett

    Reply Reply January 18, 2018

    Wow. Lot of comments. I’ll keep this short. Good stuff. Great instructions. Thanks Griff

  • ed sheeran instagram

    Reply Reply September 4, 2017

    plumbing supplies should always come from reputable suppliers so always check their backgrounds;;

  • Robyn

    Reply Reply August 6, 2017

    That was well explained and something I can try.
    Thanks. I enjoy your tips and get a lot from them. Thanks Griff

  • Steven Siegel

    Reply Reply August 5, 2017

    You covered it and people got the basics. Now its up to them to get there mind and hands to do what you do well.I slide up and down the fret board between the frets gets a smooth tone, more or less a brake in playing what ever I am playing. You call it a “sugar” I call it “taken a brake”

  • Mike Willman

    Reply Reply August 5, 2017

    Excellent. Executing vibrato is one of the most important things to learn, but also one of the most difficult. I’ve tried to teach others, but you made it understandable and gave us “actionable” ways to practice and even alternatives. One of my favorite videos from you!

  • Keith

    Reply Reply August 5, 2017

    How about a downloadable video?

    • David Waterbury

      Reply Reply January 18, 2018

      +Keith – There are lots of free websites where you can download YouTube videos. You just put the url from the YouTube vid in and it produces a downloadable link in any of several formats.

  • Fred Tumlinson

    Reply Reply August 5, 2017

    This is more of a question than a comment. The ultimate use of Vibrato that I have heard is in the song Sunshine of your love. Because of hand position you are required to do the vibrato on the A or D string using your index finger. The vibrato is quite exaggerated. Could you show us how to do this one correctly? and would using lighter strings be the reason Clapton does it so well?

  • Colin

    Reply Reply August 5, 2017

    Thanks Griff and maybe you can do a lesson that explains that use of a ‘whammy bar’ is different to finger vibrato.

  • Fred

    Reply Reply January 31, 2017

    The kind of vibrato you say you should not learn is the way violin players perform it.

    In the Blues BB King (hopefully you heard of him) also uses this method.

    If you bend a full step and then vibrato that note it is much easier to “rock ” as opposed to moving the string up and down

    • David Waterbury

      Reply Reply January 18, 2018

      He didn’t say you shouldn’t learn it, he said he wasn’t going to teach it. Here mentioned that classical guitar use it. Also, it’s easier to do on a violin because they don’t have frets which, on a guitar, contrain the amount of pitch variation you can achieve by rocking the string sideways. Also, as noted by Griff, B.B. King doesn’t do it. He does the up and down vibrato that Griff is teaching, although he frequently used his indeed finger, as Griff demonstrated. Finally, I strongly disagree that it is easier to vibrato a bent note by “rocking” since it is more difficult to maintain there bent pitch when rocking sideways than by slightly releasing and rebending.

  • Twig

    Reply Reply January 30, 2017

    Thanks for a clear explanation. I am sure this lesson will help me get vibrato under my fingers.

  • Alex Mowatt

    Reply Reply January 30, 2017

    Great lesson Griff. I have watched so many people play with vibrato in their arsenal yet never actually given it much practice. As always your explanations for such things is second to none. Unfortunately, whilst I love your lessons and courses I do not use either Facebook or Twitter and therefore cannot share the love, as you call it, on these platforms. Call me old fashioned if you will. I still like the regular platforms of the written word by way of either letter, note, or email. be assured I do share the love of your material with as many of my friends and family that will listen. Only today a friend brought Toonrack to my attention. I didn’t have the heart to tell him of the other major products out there that do the same thing such as Band-n-a-Box. Still different courses for different horses right?

  • Brenda

    Reply Reply January 30, 2017

    Wonderful lesson Griff.I have seen this in a lot of other places too, but never explained as well as you have done Griff. Fantastic?

  • Larry B

    Reply Reply January 30, 2017

    I have been using the classical style vibrato sometimes but this explanation clarifies the difference. I will need to practice and build strength for the blues/rock style. Once again a timely post. I very much appreciate your style of teaching and the seemingly timely, for me at least, posts of technique application. After purchasing BGU, my playing is much improved but not where I want it to be yet. Still working my way through BGU. For the way I like to learn your the best.

    Thanks again Griff.
    Larry B

  • Charles Snyder

    Reply Reply January 30, 2017

    Thanks Griff! When I took private lessons many years ago (dinosaurs still roamed the earth), I learned classical style on a nylon stringed Gibson. When I started with your lessons on a Strat it was quite hard to break the habit of classical style vibrato. I’ve been doing it your way for some time but still find myself reverting to the old way sometimes. I do think your method is not only easier, but I believe it also sounds better, in a very subtle way.

    Thank you again. You’re the best guitar teacher out there.

    • Legoge47

      Reply Reply January 30, 2017

      Was that just after dirt was created? ๐Ÿ˜†

  • Tony

    Reply Reply January 30, 2017

    Very clear lesson, Griff.
    It works!

    • John

      Reply Reply January 30, 2017

      I think there should be a wmv and MP4 included, for future reference by students.

  • Freestar

    Reply Reply August 6, 2016

    Griff you are amazing. Constantly inspiring. I do wish you lived near me in England. Thank you for you heart,knowledge and
    upbeat dedication.

    • Dr. Douglas Graham

      Reply Reply January 31, 2017

      If you lived near me in England, (West Sussex) I’d be coming to you for lessons, for sure.

  • Michael Chappell

    Reply Reply February 17, 2016

    Hey Griff,
    Great refresher lesson seen this before with my comments.

    Thanks in Jan 26th 2016

    • Michael Chappell

      Reply Reply July 25, 2018

      Hey Griff,
      As usual a great refresher and I am already doing this watching your video lessons. But as you said have to watch the pitch.

      As you said many times, you have to pick up your guitar daily and try a lesson or just practice which I do even just watching TV with my wife I always have a guitar with me not plugged in but just practising scales or fret board notes for songs.. Great lesson as always.

      Michael-Sydney-Australia 26 July 2018.

  • zonkerlopez

    Reply Reply January 26, 2016

    fingering the logic of

  • Ian Robins

    Reply Reply January 26, 2016

    Thanks, Griff. Vibrato is one of those things you have to keep on top of. I heard Eric Clapton in an interview say it was the one thing he still practiced constantly. I find the hardest vibrato is the one where you bend up to the note and then start working the vibrato, the last one you demoed.

    I saw a video of Robben Ford where he admitted having difficulty with that and sometimes went to the note two semitones up and worked it without bending up to the note. I find that a lot easier too but it’s not always the appropriate place to be in a run or lick. So I’m persevering with the bend up and it’s starting to happen. All grist for the mill!

    Anyway, I really enjoyed this video. Thanks so much.


  • jim

    Reply Reply January 26, 2016

    Another great tip from the master. Thanks Griff.

  • John England

    Reply Reply January 26, 2016

    Thanks Griff, very informative and helpful.

  • Alex Mowatt

    Reply Reply January 26, 2016

    Without wishing to both repeat myself or appear patronizing, you are the best Griff. I have seen and purchased material from several online guitar instructors. I generally advise both friends and family of your prowess in both teaching and playing. Now this lesson – I noticed the Nace Amp behind you. Was that used in this lesson? Someone further up in the comments mentioned strings for playing vibrato on an acoustic guitar. What we all need to know is what strings to use for both acoustic and electric guitar that do not add to the hands aching after playing. I am not talking of finger tip sores but the overall ache from playing such technigues. I do hate predictive text and seem to spend too much time revising in writing thing s down.

  • Ivan T

    Reply Reply August 10, 2015

    In my 70s and can always use a little sugar. Thank you for that lesson you are right on as usual. Happy birthday hope you have many more.

    • Legoge47

      Reply Reply January 30, 2017

      Maybe a little Stevia sweetener?

  • Michael Chappell

    Reply Reply August 7, 2015

    Hi Griff,

    Your lesson is clear since learning the Blues Guitar since 2013 and now thanks to your courses I am slightly above Intermediate level. I have always used the Bending of the strings and as you said the Vibrato is a pitch changer but I prefer the Bending method so you have more control on the pitch you want to achieve in the Blues Solo. As you said Blues Guitar and on steel strings but in a lot of your video lessons you end the phrase with a neat vibrato each time. Which is cool. One of my guitars is a Strat with has a Tremelo which I never use unless I try to play Apache by the Shadows!!

    Great lesson.
    Michael -Sydney Australia

    • Legoge47

      Reply Reply January 30, 2017

      I think Preston Epps did APACHE first in the 1950s. ๐Ÿค”

  • Fran Mercuri

    Reply Reply August 5, 2015

    Wow Thanks Griff, you’re expertise sure makes it look easy. I get it that you need to practice this slow. I was told to use a metronome and build speed.

  • Darcey

    Reply Reply August 5, 2015

    I can do various kinds of vibrato no worries at all, but when it comes time to apply it mostly I tend not to. Not because I don’t want to but because the moment seems to pass before I remember to add it. at times when I do add it, I find I can’t do it up to speed, it and it sounds awful. When I try to go really fast my hand sort of freezes and no vibrato comes out and I feel it effects the whole solo.

    I feel these problems can be overcome with some kind of prcatice routine, but you say don’t worry it will come.

    To give you an idea I can play La Grange solo note for note, but adding vibrato…for e.g.

  • James Stabile

    Reply Reply August 5, 2015

    I realize that you only demonstrated the Classical vibrato to show what you were not going to show. But I want to clarify a small point… the classical vibrato is much more effective if you release the thumb from behind the neck… When playing on Nylon strings, it is much more difficult to produce “Bends” of any sort. When the pressure is maintained, the difference in pitch is negligible.

    BTW: Flute and oboe players produce a vibrato that is NOT a variation in pitch but rather a variation in intensity/volume. Most other instrumentalists vary the pitch.

  • Gary card

    Reply Reply August 5, 2015

    Thanks for the lesson Griff very helpful as all of your lessons have been thanks again as long as you keep sending them I’ll keep practicing

  • RonM

    Reply Reply August 5, 2015

    Duh, I didn’t think about how important the thumb is to this! Great technique video. Little more difficult on an acoustic, but the thumb helps! SQUEEZE with the thumb! Thanks!

  • Mark Arnold

    Reply Reply August 5, 2015

    Wow lots of responses to this topic nice lesson Griff I guess I was lucky to be gifted with this I learned it early on I think I was dead set on emulating BB kings style it just struck me as a really kool type of sugar for notes liked the classical example Steve Vai uses that style in his playing thanks again for all do !

  • Alex Mowatt

    Reply Reply August 5, 2015

    Thank you for this great lesson and making the whole process easy to understand. Whether I will ever be able to play vibrato like you did in the lesson remains to be seen. I have kidded my granddaughters in the past, before I reacquainted myself with discipline of practice, that vibrato was one of the ‘cool’ things that most guitar players might use from time to time. You are certainly the man on the far side of the pond. Over in the UK we have, among others, a chap called Mike Herberts who you may have heard of or might care to take a look see. he is very humble, yet experienced guitar tutor who recently suggested he was going to have to fold and go out of business. His students rallied round and encouraged him in several ways to continue. I tend to purchase both your material and Mike’s. He like your self makes it all seem ‘reachable’ with practice. Keep up the good work Griff.

  • John England

    Reply Reply August 5, 2015

    Once again Griff, an excellent lesson and demonstration of technique.

  • Paul Warner

    Reply Reply August 5, 2015

    Very interesting how certain subject matter will provoke so much response and some of it so damn funny like “my girlfriend broke my guitar” which I found to be hilarious. As for the subject matter I am not a big fan of over using vibrato. I practice it every single day but only to the extent that it is part of a legato run and only as a 16th or 32nd note, which means so quickly that you can hardly detect that I did it. I might try it in a very slow, emotional blues song, where I emphasize it more, but overall I am not a fan of it too much. I have watched B.B.King do it the way he does and I have never liked the sound or the motion of what he’s doing. I have watched others and some sounded good and others not so great. One song that really sounded outstanding with vibrato was Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed And Confused” but I don’t know as many of those kinds of songs that are that emotionally played, to give a better opinion on vibrato.

  • Jeff

    Reply Reply August 5, 2015

    Griff good stuff as always. Thank you. Come to Orlando .

  • Rob Johnson

    Reply Reply August 5, 2015

    Cheers Griff. I bought your Blues Guitar Unleashed v2 just a week or so ago and just wanted to say what a great course it is. I’m still waiting for the hard copies here in the UK but have downloaded the lot from your site in the meantime. Excellent course with beautifully presented course pages and download links. What a pleasure! I’m sure the hard copies will live up to expectations as well.

  • Sonny Griffith

    Reply Reply August 5, 2015

    Great lesson. I’m just about ready to start learning vibrato and your demonstration is timely and terrific for me. It really connected when you said it was like a bend, which I have recently learned. Thank you so much!!

  • John

    Reply Reply August 5, 2015

    Nicely said!!!!

  • Bill333

    Reply Reply August 5, 2015

    Good video Griff, it’s funny, I’m just reaching what I guess u would call maybe an intermediate stage in my playing. About 2 yrs into, w several hours daily & consistently. In the past I had tried to “learn” & “practice” vibrato, it was an arduous process & artificial sounding. However, as of quite recently, I found myself “unconsciously” using & executing vibrato quite nicely when I’m just really focused & playing something whilst meandering thru the positions & trying to incorporate most of the fretboard. It’s like I’m accenting the feeling I’m trying to get across…& coming quite naturally & in the right places…so go figure ??? My issue now is, And totally of a different nature, I know all the patters of the minor pentatonic, BUT, I can run thru a solo in G using all the patterns (improvising), but in other keys I have trouble & am very slow because I haven’t gotten used to where the positions fall once I start moving out of a pattern to another, if that is understandable the way I’m trying to explain it. I can’t find a shortcut aside from memory of where roots are located….& outside of G, I easily get lost…

  • Ed B.

    Reply Reply January 19, 2015

    Griff – I have to ask ya about further amp effects on vibrato sounds.
    Your string pushes and pulls are understood.
    Yet the off and on effects of amp casting vibrato effects
    such as on the timing distorts the sounds the tones, on a Fender Princeton
    amp. You can vary the speed and slow it down, or choose to speed it up during the course of play. This sound may not be where you are going here, but is does have
    allot to do with tone change during the performance. I use it along with
    reverb too change the tones. Looper pedal systems helps turn on and off by way of
    not having to be stuck in one type of sound during the gig.Switching from vibrato
    to crushing distortion with two amps running, the harder blues amp with lead sounds from Fender Blues amp can really clear up the changes to heavy blues sounds, more punch. Tube effects sounds way over transistor sounds.
    this blending can only be done through the looper system. Stepping off pedals
    is far harder during a tight solo. Most often we elect to not go to pedal changes
    during solos. Your bending of notes half way is noted. But how do you handle
    effects changes during the two minute 56 second standard blues tune? Unless
    we are talking about stretching out the tune for longer hold overs.
    What is your thoughts? I realize the changes can be endless exchanges, but
    is there a time to be precise and then trashy? Clean play verses lead switching
    to pedal effects, is there a course for this in your lessons?

  • Rob

    Reply Reply January 17, 2015

    Does the “Tremelo Arm” do the same thing?

    • Alexander

      Reply Reply January 18, 2015

      Absolutely it can, but you have to learn to use it that way. David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame uses his tremolo bar often for a very smooth vibrato.

    • James Stabile

      Reply Reply August 5, 2015

      Since both the tremolo and Vibrato involve some kind of quivering, many people often use the terms interchangably. This is incorrect but it seems to be the case in the naming of the “Tremolo Arm” it works by stretching and releasing the entire set of strings by rocking the bridge. This works very well except that is very easy to overdo it. This can produce a true pitch-based vibrato.

      The tremolo on the Guitar is usually produced by a rapid back and forth motion of the pick thus repeating the same note(s)rapidly (Somewhat like a drum roll). It can be done on single notes (as when playing Mandolin style or on full chords as is usually done on the high-intensity “Big Finish” of a rock number. Classical and Flamenco guitarists get a similar effect with Rasgueado.

      The “Tremolo Arm” AKA the “Palm Pedal” cannot produce any sort of tremolo

  • Mars

    Reply Reply January 17, 2015

    Hi , I’m so much amaze how you demonstrate. And help us know how to do this , thank you so much.

  • Danny McCarthy

    Reply Reply January 17, 2015

    Hi Grif,
    I am new at this game, and I am having problems picking my strings. I use a pick, but I just can’t seem to pick my strings so as to get a clean sound. Is there a method that I can practise so that I can get it right? I live in Perth, Western Australia and I have an electric guitar. Look forward to hearing from you.
    Cheers, Danny.

    • Jack

      Reply Reply January 17, 2015

      I don’t know if this will help, but what I do most of the time is I gently rest my picking hand (bottom of my palm) on the bridge and I use very little hand movement when I’m picking the notes. Also try an up and down motion when picking the note or notes.
      By gently resting the palm on the bridge you will cut down on unwanted noise. You might want to try a few different ways of resting your picking hand to get the results you want, but it will come eventually.
      Another thing that Griff has covered in his video lessons is to use very little pressure when playing, its hard but the less pressure you use the cleaner and easier playing will become.
      I hope that helps.


  • Moises Ashley

    Reply Reply December 2, 2014

    Amazing! This blog looks just comparable my older one! It’s on a completely entirely different issue but it has just on the subject of the matching summon design and design. Vast abundance of colours!

  • Mark

    Reply Reply July 13, 2014

    As a low intermediate player (just out of knee-britches) I tried vibrato a la BB but couldn’t get my hand to wiggle like him. So I settled for rocking my hand from side to side obviously keeping the relevant finger within the frets. This works for me for any fretting finger. I found I can use the bending technique as per your expo by vibrating up and down although with less facility as I just tried it, but the problem here is that (a) I’m likely to hit neighbouring strings and on the high E the string can actually slip slightly off the neck. Both techniques produce the same sound, so I guess what I’m accustomed to is fine.
    Anyway keep dem great vids coming.

  • tony

    Reply Reply June 30, 2014

    nice hey try that at the tenth fret on the b and g string . wiggle it a bit. how about a tremolo bar lesson . Griff you got one and never seen you use it. actually havent seen a blues player ever use one yet . got any examples of thoes two items mentioned. the last lesson about using notes in a cord shape was outstanding. have worked on that before i saw the example . its loaded with much info thanks.

  • Donald Giboney

    Reply Reply May 14, 2014

    You are the greatest in showing how to items thank you

    • Bill

      Reply Reply January 17, 2015

      Salute to the king of vibrato, the late great Gary Moore.

    • ozzy

      Reply Reply January 19, 2015

      You will just about never see a blues player useing a whammy bar. They just don’t work out well in blues…Could be an exception here and there but it’s very rare for a true blues man.

      • ozzy

        Reply Reply January 19, 2015

        Sorry, my comment was actually for Tony

  • Keith Mitchell

    Reply Reply May 13, 2014

    thanks for a great explanation of vibrato. Makes sense to me the way you explained it and demonstrated. My vibrato has improved immensely.

  • steve

    Reply Reply May 12, 2014

    I have seen this before but its always good to have a refresher course as no doubt we all have our favorite bend styles and we tend to go with the one we know best and forget the other methods. You once again show your brilliant teaching style without getting to Technical. Good work

  • Tradewind

    Reply Reply May 12, 2014

    Adding sugar! Does that make you a sugar daddy? Since I am still struggling with a clean sound, the sugar will just have to wait. But thanks for explaining that. In doing so, you have removed the concern about trying to learn it until later. So like you said, “Don’t worry about it.” Done deal.

  • Tom

    Reply Reply May 12, 2014

    I was wondering how the pull offs bends an vibrato came on pretty much by its self it was like one day there it was. Man what a day. it was great an a good explanation keep um coming Tom 66 years young

  • Frank

    Reply Reply April 24, 2014

    Nice and clear explanation ,with some nice technical bits as well . Thanks , might be time for an overdrive pedal !

  • Len Lawson

    Reply Reply April 22, 2014

    Thanks again Griff,I needed that.I already sent a reply,I hope this is not a duplicate,but as I am older,I am having trouble applying some of your teachings to some Jazz Standards,like How high the moon,Satin Doll, Take the A train,Moon River etc etc,Thanks very much you are the best,Len.

  • mike

    Reply Reply April 22, 2014

    Another great lesson, thanks

    • Len Lawson

      Reply Reply April 22, 2014

      Hi Griff,Thanks very much for these great tips,I need them.,I was wondering,as I am older do you teach just how I can apply some of your teachings to songs like,Jazz standards,like Ain,t Misbehavin,Bewitched,Autumn Leaves,Bye Bye Blackbird,Blue Skies,Georgia on my mind,How high the Moon etc etc.Thanks very much,Len.

    • Con

      Reply Reply June 26, 2014

      To my knowledge it’s something that’s not really used in jazz as such…
      But a very good explanation from Griff

  • tony

    Reply Reply March 2, 2014

    not only am i commenting about the tromolo bar but one other i saw here did also . i sure that the same effect can be achived by using the tromolo bar but its tricky . a dive can be done with it also . i think why worry about it . just bend and be happy with that right . maybe Griff you could comment at some point .

  • Gary L.

    Reply Reply February 27, 2014

    Thanks Griff for a well explained lesson!

  • Glenn Lego

    Reply Reply February 24, 2014

    What, then, is the difference between vibrato and tremolo? Does a tremolo bar on an electric give you the same effect?

  • PAUL

    Reply Reply February 5, 2014


    • Richard Burnham

      Reply Reply February 25, 2014

      Paul, did you get your answer? The guitar Griff is playing is a Suhr, pronounced “Sir.” American-made in California. Google them for some cool guitars.

  • peter scrase

    Reply Reply January 12, 2014

    Hi Griff,
    Please can you advise me as to which guage strings i need for beginner acoustic blues guitar

  • dale

    Reply Reply January 6, 2014

    good video Griff, thanks for the vibrato tips, Just more iceing on the cake……Thanks for all the help. P.S. really enjoying your BGU course.

    thanks Dale

    • Guy Thomson

      Reply Reply April 16, 2014

      Peter Scrase, a set of light gauge strings are ideal for beginner guitars , and they can get very light , a set of 9-42’s works well for awhile , but 10’s are more common. Everyone has a brand preference due to feel of the string, how long they last , etc. Martin, Ernie Ball, D’addario, Fender, etc. all make great strings and they WILL sound different on every guitar. Tone makes a difference too down the road. After going through a lot of brands I settled on Ernie Ball Regular Slinky’s for my acoustic and Ernie Ball Cobalts for my electrics . Thats my faves based upon the overall tonal ability and feel of the strings. There really is no wrong choice, but beware of cheap cheap strings because they will break and nto last as long.


    Reply Reply November 8, 2013

    Vibrato does not take care of itself. It should be practised with a metronome if necessary and players should listen to opera singers or violin players to fully appreciate how notes open up in a natural way with the right vibrato as opposed to a straight constant vibrato, and also when vibrato should not be used because it sounds overworked. Vibrato and dynamics working together is also an area that most guitarists have no clue about. Vibrato can tend to sound too busy and frenzied if there is no control over it. There are also wrist, finger, arm and trem types of vibrato. Therefore the topic is much more involved than the usual approach.

  • Wendell Akens

    Reply Reply November 6, 2013

    Excellent demonstration of exactly how vibrato is achieved. I had always thought that, since the fret doesn’t move, the tone would not change, but I can see now how the movement of the finger does alter the tension of the string enough to make the change in pitch. This was a great lesson that answered a lot of questions that, I’m sure, a lot of people had.

  • Rich

    Reply Reply November 2, 2013

    I found just improvising was the best tool You can put sugar any where you feel like. I feel if I learn the progression but cant play the accents …. hard road ahead 12 bar blues and box 1and 2 will put you on the right road

  • Jesse

    Reply Reply November 1, 2013

    I love it..that’s the way to really do it..till the whammy bar came in..that’s cheating…also it works good if you got some good feedback…awesome technique. Thanx again

  • llewellyn

    Reply Reply November 1, 2013

    Hi Griff,
    Many happy returns of the day,may you be gifted with many many more cherishable ones today and always.”HAPPY BIRTHDAY”.
    Thanks for the Vibrato lesson its really good.

  • John Krieger

    Reply Reply October 30, 2013

    I don’t always learn about guitar playing form your videos, but I ALWAYS learn a lot about teaching. You point out thing it would never occur to me to explain.

    Thanks for the insight.

  • John Young

    Reply Reply October 30, 2013

    The vibrato video was quite helpful.
    Most of my playing is on my nylon string and you mad it clear the different techniques that are most applicable for each kind of guitar.
    You are a very good teacher.
    Thanks again. .

  • Jay

    Reply Reply October 30, 2013

    Once again, Griff, you’ve shared something important and helpful. You’re a great teacher because you put it all on the table. Thanks.

  • Don Bender

    Reply Reply October 28, 2013

    Gretv tips. Thank you.

  • Bill Parker

    Reply Reply October 22, 2013

    RE: Vibrato vs Tremolo definition.

    Griff is correct in the video. Vibrato=Change in pitch. This definition goes back centuries in classical music, long before any radio or electronics existed. I don’t know when/how it got changed in the radio training (or even how the terms would apply to radio), but because his original expertise was electronics, maybe that’s why Leo Fender got it reversed on his guitars and amps. I believe that the reason the terms are mis-applied in the guitar world is because of Mr. Fender. I believe the original pitch altering tailpiece for guitar was made by Paul Bigsby and he correctly called it a vibrato tailpiece.

  • Eric S Baker

    Reply Reply October 16, 2013

    I’ve heardof vibrato, I’ve heard vibrato, but I’ve never heard the definition of vibrato. Until now!
    “a change in pitch” For all the different ways you’ve shown how to achieve that, thank you for your good explanation, Mr Hamlin! And I love your expression “…a lil sugar on it…”

  • Aussie Bill

    Reply Reply October 13, 2013

    I’m not ready for this… yet. however, your explanation makes it a lot easier to understand and I have no fear that one day soon I’ll find adding a bit of ‘sugar’ to the notes working for me.
    once again, thank you

  • JoJo T

    Reply Reply October 11, 2013

    HB Griff , Great Video on a very important issue .. Especially if you play the Blues ( which I do ) .. Over the years I believe that vibrado is something that Guitarist develop with time , As for myself Bends and Vibrado are a very important part of my warm up before I go on to perform. Thank You and keep up the good work !

  • PAUL

    Reply Reply October 10, 2013


  • Graeme H

    Reply Reply October 3, 2013

    Thanks again Griff for another great video. I have been using the classic style but realise now that small bends are the way to go. Takes a bit of practice though.

  • Jonnie Brasco

    Reply Reply September 11, 2013

    This one will have to go into my vault for later, I’m not playing clean enough to add anything yet. I have saved all your lessons (emails) as I’m going through a series of surgeries right now and they are my motivation to rehab and get my guitar back into my hands…even as a beginner I’m hooked and your style of teaching is perfect! Thanks again! pEaCe, JB

  • Peter Mahoney

    Reply Reply August 20, 2013

    Thanks, Griff, for another great tip. You show the truth in the saying, “(Guitar) God is in the details”!

  • David

    Reply Reply August 9, 2013

    Thanks. I have hade fun practicing that technique. Could u just tell me what brand that guitar is. Driving me nuts! Maybe I should recognize the logo, but……….. not happening.

  • Paul Hachey

    Reply Reply August 7, 2013

    Great tip; as usual Griff. I have your beginner blues guitar course and am about 1/2 way through it. Any & all of these tips are greatly appreciated. I will be continuing with your other courses as; or when I finish this one. Thanks again Griff, keep em coming! …Paul

  • Mark Bain

    Reply Reply August 6, 2013

    How about a little explanation of the slides that you use that travel down the entire neck. Specifically,where do they start and end?

  • Ed Barthel

    Reply Reply July 28, 2013

    Once again bringing some clarity to something I’ve been struggling with… Thanks…

  • Rhonda Markham

    Reply Reply June 3, 2013

    Thanks so much for this tutorial, Griff! I have several of your dvd sets but am still plugging away at the beginning. To have you demonstrate these little gems and tidbits of advice is helping to motivate me to continue my journey by knowing the “shortcuts” of what to do when I finally get to that place I want to be in my playing. I appreciate your effort and time….rhonda~~

  • Bryce Doppin

    Reply Reply June 2, 2013

    GRIFF is the man .he knows how to explain things so that even I can understand it FULLY ,he covers ALL the little details that anyone else would not explain, “Correctly”. Griff is the guy that I learn the Most things from because, He does go into the Details and that,IS what keeps us CLEAN Guitar players.Thank You .BD

  • Serge pool

    Reply Reply May 24, 2013

    Nice tips to improve vibrato on my new electric guitar .Thanks Cliff another great lessons

  • Mike

    Reply Reply May 16, 2013

    Great – helped me finish off the knowledge and skill that I had already in my head. Thanks.

  • Bob DuCharme

    Reply Reply April 25, 2013

    As always, down to earth, and revealing …. thanks, Bob in West Virginia


    Reply Reply March 20, 2013

    Thanks for the vitrabo breakdown lesson.But right now,I’m stuck on Beginning Blues Guitar. I’m stuck on page 44 trying to figure how to find the differance between the major &.miner chords.

  • Steve

    Reply Reply March 20, 2013

    Thanks griff.Another great lesson.

  • Tommy

    Reply Reply March 17, 2013

    Fun and well made lesson , looked at it when I took a break in The blues course i got from you still some lessons to make its a hard struggel but will get on i I promise you

  • Richard Ruh

    Reply Reply March 1, 2013

    I use vibrato as an extension of a note oraccent a phrase you dont have to use it all the time but it sure makes a nice statement!


    Reply Reply February 23, 2013

    Thanks Griff

    All the stuff you talk about has been very helpful in moving me forward technically.

    You give the ‘nuts and bolts’…I have to put it together.

    One day, I hope to be as proficient as you.

    John / Maldon/ England

  • Charles

    Reply Reply February 22, 2013

    The patience and clarity with which you explain topics is much appreciated and easy to follow.
    You’re the best instructor as far as I’m concerned. Thanks so much.

  • Ann

    Reply Reply February 22, 2013

    Nice tip…but my tips of fingers are feeling it a bit….

  • Pete

    Reply Reply February 19, 2013

    Nice one Griff another clear, concise gem. Many Thanks.

  • Mike Biere

    Reply Reply February 19, 2013

    Great lesson!

  • Kim Turner

    Reply Reply February 18, 2013

    I played the violin for about 8 years when I was a kid and now over 30 years later when I learning to play guitar I find myself automatically doing the classical style of vibrato on sustained notes. The more traditional electric guitar style of vibrato is very foreign feeling to me. So I feel that I really do need to practice this style of vibrato and any tips for practicing such as this video are welcome.

  • Len Lawson

    Reply Reply February 16, 2013

    Hi Griff,Thanks you make it look so easy.Len.

  • Don

    Reply Reply February 16, 2013

    Great stuff as always Griff. I like to download your lessons to my hard drive so I can view them again and again without sucking up bandwidth getting them off the web each time. The best thing is when you give us an MP4 link but sometimes you don’t. Can you please make that an all the time thing? Thanks.

  • Art

    Reply Reply February 16, 2013

    Excellent as always in your style of presentation Griff, simple and easy to understand. Thank you

  • matt gomez

    Reply Reply February 16, 2013

    Your tip is welcomed. I use vibrato and like the sound.All your tips are good. Learned alot. Tks.

  • Eddie Martin, Jr.

    Reply Reply February 16, 2013

    Not to challenge the teacher, but to get clarification: I’ve always understood vibrato to be a variation in volume (amplitude) and tremolo to be variation in the frequency of the the note. To raise and lower the value of the note (signified in example like a sine wave frequency modulation) with the tremolo attachment in the bridge of guitars designed for that. Vibrato would be more of a on-off stacato in volume, hence the effect in Linc Wray’s Rumble which is was created originally with the the vacuum tubes in the amplifiers. This has been MY understanding of the difference between vibrato and tremolo.

  • mike z.

    Reply Reply February 16, 2013

    Griff,this is a great lesson.It seems that this is something most teachers brush off as something you will pick up later. You explain it very well. Thanks again. Mike

  • Thomas Fuller

    Reply Reply February 16, 2013

    Yes this is helpful I been playing around with that in some of the jams i go to an its got so they pass it to me more often but you do have to put it in right places. I hope that I am doing it right but some people likemit an others well tolerate. thanks Griff

  • smitty

    Reply Reply February 11, 2013

    I like the theory that I’ll play it naturally when I get to it. Already do by accident sometimes. Thanks for all the lessons so far. You rule! Keep up the great work!

  • Ray Knutson

    Reply Reply January 31, 2013


    I enjoy your “Blues Unleashed” course as well athe the “29 Jam tracks”. On this Vibrato session I did not have any audio. I,m thinking that it is not my computer as I have heard the audio on your other email lessons. Can you send this one only to me again? If you cannot, I understand.


  • Joseph W Chu

    Reply Reply January 28, 2013

    Hi Griff, the little SUGAR you add is such nice way to put it! Thanks!

  • Dominick Popolillo

    Reply Reply January 27, 2013

    You sir, are a great teacher! You present the working of the Fretboerd in a war that even the most basic student can understand!
    By the way, Is that a Fender Strat that you are playing? I have short finger,s so I dont do well on a Gibson neck!

  • Wayne

    Reply Reply January 3, 2013

    I always play clean , I take a shower at least once every two days.:)

  • Allan

    Reply Reply December 28, 2012

    Hi Guys i saw a few posts about downloading Griffs video’s, here is what i use every time i hit a web page that has media of the types i specify it offers to Download the files for me ( Very cool )( even facebook ) try the demo and you’ll see what i mean……. enjoy


  • Rocky

    Reply Reply December 12, 2012

    As a cellist, standup bass player, guitar hacker, and professional instructor in several disciplines, I want to express my admiration for your instructional style and presentations. I have learned a lot from your videos for my feeble attempts with guitar. This presentation on vibrato is outstanding. To me, vibrato is one of the most subtle important things a musician can learn or use and will make the difference in being a player as opposed to being an artist. Thanks for your efforts

  • Jill

    Reply Reply November 25, 2012

    U r a gr8t tcher, playr and human being. Thanks for all u do!
    And no, I’m not hitting on you. Keep up the great work.

  • chris

    Reply Reply November 5, 2012

    Great advice Griff, as usual. Would liked to have seen a little more concerning the high E string, though. You know the one, the B.B. King action.
    Take care

    Chris (UK.).

  • Win

    Reply Reply October 13, 2012

    Is the sound different if the string is pushed rather than pulled

  • Gary Cost

    Reply Reply October 8, 2012


    Great explination on a topic that’s rarely covered. Job well done!

  • Mike

    Reply Reply October 6, 2012

    For the person who wanted the download…!

  • JimJ

    Reply Reply October 4, 2012

    Great lesson~!

    Thank you.

    I’m wondering why you didn’t make this video a download?

    How long will this video be available at your web site?

    Is it complicated to make a video into a downloadable format?

  • Dick Hoffman

    Reply Reply October 3, 2012

    This came from your opening remarks about vibrato happening when you’re ready for it. Why not do a video that talks about realistic timeframes. How many years of applied practice does it normally (whatever normal is) take to be able to expertly play the easy chords, how long to play barre chords, how long to play vibrato and bending, etc. I think you have the experience to be able to give practical advice in this regard. Something like this would give beginners like myself some realistic goals to strive for and give us a feel for how to measure our growth, or lack of same.

  • steve ziemba

    Reply Reply October 3, 2012

    Video isn’t compatible with my Blackberry!

  • Temple Weste

    Reply Reply September 27, 2012

    hey, Griff–great lesson! i was doing the classical style & didn’t realize this is the way to do it. So glad you cleared that up. Aloha!

  • Brian

    Reply Reply September 26, 2012

    Griff, your style and professionalism has by far added more to my repertoire than anyone, on the www or not. I only wish I had more time to really pursue your love of this great instrument.

  • jose

    Reply Reply September 15, 2012

    Griff-nice job great teacher clear and sincere thanks for all your efforts

  • Matt Bopp

    Reply Reply September 13, 2012

    Just wanted to compliment you on your teaching. I’ve been playing across the US for over 33 yrs-
    Learned guitar on an old farm (had to practice in the chicken shed) and was mostly self -taught from the school of hard knocks – by ear with no electronics to speak of. Figuring things out was fun, but quite a challenge ( my Mel Bay book was holding back alot of the “good stuff”!) The clarity you come across with is truely a “must have” for anyone wanting to get on with it. Someone once said, “it’s not the hours you put in, it’s what you put in the hours” I strongly recommend your course for ANYONE serious about learning guitar – I only wish you were there to learn from back in the “barn days” ๐Ÿ™‚ Even though I’m in my ’50’s, I still find your site fun and refreshing – everyone can still learn a thing or two… I had to write and say thank-you and keep up the great work. You’re solid and come across clear & clean! (and that’s hard to find out there!)

  • Walt Peters

    Reply Reply September 13, 2012

    Good Explanation Griff, Thank You… Play those Notes Cleanly, Then Bend`M` Thank You….

    Wal of the`RAPIDS“CEDAR`that is……

  • bluesrock

    Reply Reply September 12, 2012

    Well done.


    Reply Reply September 12, 2012

    i agree fully with “griff” as a pro guitarist myself, Vibrato” will come,
    what i taugh myself was “to hit two notes and hold and vibrato the 3rd note, works every time.
    griff hope its ok to put my 2 cents in

  • Ben L

    Reply Reply September 12, 2012

    Grif, that was a very good demo that you did. Please keep those little tips coming.

  • ed

    Reply Reply September 12, 2012

    I like how you make an exact science out of every concept. It takes the slopiness out playing and gives a player something to strive for. Keep on trucking.

  • Ray Young

    Reply Reply September 12, 2012

    Thanks Griff, as a reasonably proficient guitar/bassist of 50yrs experience your gift of being able to teach even an old dog like me something new never ceases to amaze me. You are without doubt the absolute best at what you do. If I was as good as you I couldn’t resist playing flashy riffs etc to impress us lesser beings,but,you never resort to showing off in this way. I wouldn’t be able to resist it that’s for sure. In fact when I’m teaching I resort to this all the time. That’s why you’re at the top of the tree young buddy. Wonderful stuff thankyou. Ray (Oxford England.U.K.)

  • andy

    Reply Reply September 12, 2012

    Thanks Griff-good stuff as always-much appreciated

  • Jan P.

    Reply Reply August 30, 2012

    Thanks again, it is very helpfull. I do have to practice it more but I am falling behind on what to practice first, I have a mountain to climb from your courses.

  • Joe

    Reply Reply July 27, 2012

    abit ahead of me yet. thanks

  • James Balakier

    Reply Reply July 4, 2012

    Thank you for the instructions on vibrato. They are very helpful.

  • John Gelbart

    Reply Reply May 13, 2012

    Thanks Griff. B.B. King sure delivers a mean vibrato – wish I could do it like him …also check out how EC does his vibratos. Hard to master, but so sweet after conquering the technique !!

  • Larry Hoskins

    Reply Reply April 20, 2012

    Griff, Thank you. I now have a better understanding of how vibrato works.

  • AzMike

    Reply Reply April 16, 2012

    Thank you Griff- I am still a relative novice but my confidence is growing daily!

  • Brian H

    Reply Reply March 11, 2012

    Hey, thanks Griff – that takes the mystery right out of it. When it comes up, I’ll know what to do. You’re the best.

  • tony

    Reply Reply March 5, 2012

    so when are you going to demo the tramolo bar . ?????

  • Larz

    Reply Reply March 4, 2012

    Great explanations…two of the great ‘vibrato experts’
    were Hendrix and Gary Moore..imop..that crazy bend
    you did where you had to use your right hand for
    ‘muting’ reminds me of them. Thankz Griff.

  • Geofficus

    Reply Reply March 3, 2012

    Thanks a ton for your posts…I had a buddy that was vehemently AGAINST the bendy vibrato – he said “real guitarists only use the rocking technique” and was always complaining of getting tired too quickly! LOLZ I say do what comes natch!

  • Bob

    Reply Reply February 12, 2012

    Youre not proscribing bending the guitar neck like Pete Townsend then

  • Richard Michael

    Reply Reply February 2, 2012

    Great Griff, I for one am glad you decided to show us this technique. I am learning some of B.B.Kings licks and vibrato is a large part of sounding good. Thanks, Mike

  • Steve Grosvenor

    Reply Reply January 27, 2012

    Thanks Griff, not just for this video but for all of them you’ve been sending me for the last year or two. I’m in a medical induced cash flow shortage (to put it politely) or I would have purchased one of your many courses by now. Even though I’ve been playing for many, many years now, I still find that you bring me something helpful and educational almost every time. I play a late 70’s Strat that I refer to as my “boat paddle” but it’s MY boat paddle and I just love that single coil sound. You have a great sense of humor in your teaching style. So once again a big THANKS MAN, you have a great touch and your instructional messages are always greatly appreciated.

  • dairel bobbitte

    Reply Reply January 26, 2012

    Thanks so much for all the info you post. I can apply some of it to an acoustic guitar

  • Paul

    Reply Reply January 24, 2012

    The simple demo of the methods were very helpful.

  • Brian Palmer

    Reply Reply January 24, 2012

    Thanks again Griff every thing you tell me helps keep um’ coming

  • Jim Edge

    Reply Reply January 24, 2012

    You should also talk about the whammy bar on guitars and the different types of bars. The Strat has one type that lowers the pitch but there are other guitars that can raise and lower the pitch. Just a thought.

  • Rob

    Reply Reply January 24, 2012

    Nice explanation and demo Griff.
    Have you ever considering teaching?; D

  • saurav

    Reply Reply January 24, 2012

    Great lession sir, thanx a lot……..

  • Griff, not exactly related, but saw a ten string graphite guitar on a YT page, wrote and asked, how are the strings on that, E A G D B E is six, what is the tuning on ten.

    Vibrato, bends, slides, I ask people using Reason how to write this. They say, use midi on the keys or guitar and that will copy it. But I was talking about step notation. Not even Propellerheads can answer that. Or they don’t even know what I’m talking about.

    Thanks for the lessons, hope I can get my YT page to go viral, then might be able to buy some of your DVDs sometime.

    Way too hot to think here, need to go for a tram ride to the beach.

    All the best in the US of A.


  • Don Bender

    Reply Reply January 16, 2012

    Excellent tip. Thank you.

  • terry

    Reply Reply December 17, 2011

    very good but as a bigginer can i play a little riff with just two or 3 fingers which sounds great.

  • Ron Demers

    Reply Reply December 16, 2011

    That was a very helpful lesson…it is great to learn the correct method…thanks

  • Darcy

    Reply Reply December 7, 2011

    Gr8 lesson,sound advice!i must learn to walk b4 i can learn to run…thanks so much for sharing your experience.i love the blues,you are the best! mucho gracius!

  • Reg Moorwood

    Reply Reply December 7, 2011

    Hi Griff – Great lesson as usual. Many thanks for all you help, don’t suppose you’d consider selling me your hands – come to think of it, I couldn’t afford them! Regards Reg

  • Mark Rubenstein

    Reply Reply November 15, 2011

    He is playing a Suhr guitar (made by John Suhr). Great guitars. John Suhr used to build guitars with Rudy Pensa (Rudy’s Guitars in NYC) before going out on his own. Suhr guitars include this basic Strat clone, but his fancier guitars are probably best known and played by many professional guitarists, including Reb Beach, Peter Frampton, Guthrie Govan, and many others.

  • slantsix

    Reply Reply November 13, 2011

    I’ve wondered for a long time what the headstock says on your guitar. The guitar looks like a Stratocaster, but I’ve never seen a headstock like that on a Strat. It seems unlikely you’d own a cheap Strat knockoff…, but what the heck is it?

    Great lessons, by the way.

  • Len Lawson

    Reply Reply October 6, 2011

    Griff,Your instructions are really helpful and appreciated,keep up the great work,Thanks very much.

  • Mel

    Reply Reply September 30, 2011

    Thanks much Griff ,much appreciated

  • Cynicure

    Reply Reply September 19, 2011

    Hi Griff… in your explanation of how to do on a steel-strung guitar the same kind of vibrato you would do on a nylon-string guitar you say that it doesn’t work as well on a steel strung guitar because of the extra tension on steel strings; you said that you CAN do it, but you need to put so much effort into it that you end up shaking the guitar…

    Now, true as this is, one method of doing a vibrato, not so much for individual strings or individual notes, but for whole chords (especially those where you want the chord to ring out for several beats), which I’m personally quite fond of using, is to actually shake the body of the guitar! This works even on electric guitars, but you can really get some fabulous sounds when doing this on an acoustic…

    Haven’t checked into the BGU forum for a while ’cause I’ve had too many other things on my mind, but I’ll definitely look in again soon!


  • David

    Reply Reply September 3, 2011

    Thanks for this lesson.
    David,South Australia

  • Eddie Martin, Jr.

    Reply Reply August 31, 2011

    Griff, not to pick the fly poop out of the black pepper, but I’ve been educated in my USAF airborne radio training that vibrato is a staccato in amplitude or volume modulation whereas tremolo is the variation caused by slightly raising and lowering tonal quality or pitch. Thus the tremolo bar on the tailpiece of the guitar. I’m not challenging the teacher, but just throwing this out from my “bag” of trivial knowledge.

    • Griff

      Reply Reply August 31, 2011

      You are correct, Eddie. For some reason the terms tremolo and vibrato get turned around in music. I’m so used to it now I don’t even think about it anymore. Thanks for the reminder.

  • John Affleck

    Reply Reply August 3, 2011

    Hi Griff,
    Thanks for another gem of a lesson. And to find that I have been using the vibrato method you first discussed [where you move your finger slightly to and fro on the note] is the right way proves to me that I’m on the right track with my playing. All thanks to you and the great method of showing and explaining in detail how to achieve these added embellishments.
    Thanks again my friend and keep up the great work.


  • Donald C

    Reply Reply July 20, 2011

    Great lesson Griff,just got electric guitar yesterday have to get an power adapter yet,can’t wait to try this.Been playing the accoustic,can’t get the sound I want.

  • Eric

    Reply Reply July 13, 2011

    The perfect examples for the stuff I just began to discover a few weeks ago. As you said previously, it just sorta starts happening. It was almost accidental when I first did this, and a complete surprise. Thanks for the reinforcement, Griff.

  • Mark

    Reply Reply July 8, 2011

    Good stuff thanks, What kind of guitar are you playing?

  • Roy

    Reply Reply June 27, 2011

    Hey Griff

    Really good stuff——– love it——- love it——- love it—— keep up the good work

  • Sierra

    Reply Reply June 24, 2011

    my sister broke my guitar

  • Rob

    Reply Reply June 14, 2011

    Thanks Griff. I have been wondering how to get a vibrato. Now you’ve given me something to work with…Cheers Rob

  • Andy

    Reply Reply June 13, 2011

    Many thanks Griff for vibrato tips. As always, very practical and easy to understand. Enjoying all the lessons.
    Best wishes from the UK. Andy

  • dav

    Reply Reply June 2, 2011

    well done Griff ! again ! Thanks from England, Dave

  • Ben Smith

    Reply Reply May 27, 2011

    My first attempts to employ vibrato was by using the tremelo bar to effect whole cords, then I got in the habit of using the trem-bar for single vibrato. It became such a habit that I tend to play with a couple of finger wrapped around the trem-bar. That, of course has it’s limitations. Recently, I’ve tried to stop using that so much and use side to side motion on sisngle notes, which works for me better than the “up and down” move. Just thought I’d at least give you some feedback. (I’ve asked that my headstone bear the declaration: “He died trying to play guitar!”) Thanks for all your efforts! You no doubt have made significant differences in many aspiring guitar players lives.

  • have enjoyed your method of teaching. I have been playing for awhile but seem to step all over myself when I go to grab a solo, puts me as fronting vocally playing a stroung rythm.I’m also a songwriter and would love to overdub my leads and solos without having to allways having to bring a stronger player in on sessions Keep up the great work I know many others are learning from you. angels all around you Griff…………………..Keep it rockin’ Rev. Lee

  • mosesfila

    Reply Reply May 19, 2011

    Great lesson had to watch this on my phone but will watch again at home great stuff griffin thanks again

  • Rob

    Reply Reply May 13, 2011

    Thanks Griff-great instruction : )


  • Jim

    Reply Reply May 8, 2011

    Griff, first thanks for this lesson~!

    I sure wish that this video/lesson was downloadable.

    It’s nice to be able to watch these lessons without going on-line.

    I appreciate you~!


    • Con

      Reply Reply June 26, 2014

      Hey Jim there’s a few ways of downloading videos.One way is to install RealPlayer basic (free) from if you watch the video again on-line you should get little pop-up in the upper right corner of the video saying “Download This Video” which it usually does when you click it…

  • Ruby

    Reply Reply May 6, 2011

    I’ve written you before to thank you, and basically that is why I’m writing you today.
    You are such and awesome person. You have taught me so much and I look forward
    every time I sit down to my computer to go to my “inbox” and there’s some thing more
    for me.
    In one of the e-mail you recommended to us that were really taking advantage of what
    we were receiving from you that it would be appreciated if we would go ahead and order
    Blues Unleashed (beginners).
    Griff, I would love to order that but with the economy such as it is, for not just me but
    everybody. I’m on a Social Security Disability, but also a Permanent Cosmetic Tattoo
    Artist, but like I said, the timing isn’t right for me right now, but when the timing is right
    that is the first item on the list of priorities!
    But, there are so many, many of us “Baby-Boomers” out here that have tried for 40+ years
    to “little” avail.
    Lesson’s are out of the question for most of us, (month-to-month) and here YOU are.
    I hope this tell’s you a little about how much I thank you for being here for me and all the
    rest who learn so much from you. YOU’RE THE BEST GRIFF.
    Ruby Roberts

  • David

    Reply Reply May 3, 2011

    Good clear explanation, very helpful.

    Now help us with the wammy bar, I struggle with that [set up and all please]

  • roger

    Reply Reply May 3, 2011

    great video..very helpful….thanks so much

  • Barry Ruhl

    Reply Reply May 2, 2011

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your efforts. Well done!

  • kate forrest

    Reply Reply May 2, 2011

    The sound is very low

  • beaux

    Reply Reply May 2, 2011

    Griff…. I appreciate your little “extra tbachings as well as I do the lessons in the course. I, like many of your forum members, rely more on the forum than we do the lessons. The “virtual jam room” was a great addition to the website, too. I saw where you jammed there over the weekend.

    This subject has never been covered so well… or with such emphasis….


  • Al Last

    Reply Reply May 1, 2011

    Thanks for the good alternative vibrato scheme….

  • Thomas

    Reply Reply May 1, 2011

    great video. i’ve seen other people try to explain vibrato and this is by far the best explanation. thank you very much.

  • Fred

    Reply Reply May 1, 2011

    Very useful and explained very well in great detail

  • Sean

    Reply Reply April 30, 2011

    That was a good one Griff.. Very helpful.. I’ve been playing for 35 years and still struggle with vibrato.. thanks…

  • ozzy

    Reply Reply April 30, 2011

    Cool Griff…now that wasn’t so bad ,huh? I think you done a great job explaing the vibrato technique.Thanks a lot and keep feeling those blues and sharing it with the rest of us.

  • carmen sharman

    Reply Reply April 30, 2011

    Thanks again . This is just great . I have been strumming the guitar for 200 years . You , are teaching me to play every note individually . This is a real buzz .

  • john``

    Reply Reply April 30, 2011

    griff how about sending us an e-mail diploma?heh heh,just an idea. yur the best.God bless.

  • Al Gibson

    Reply Reply April 30, 2011

    Hey Griff, Thanks for the Vibrato tips,Im good with vibrato on my ring finger but not so great with my 1st finger and struggle abit to do vibrato with bends but am sure Ill get there,Id like to be able to download this video so I refer back to it when practising vibrato etc is this possible please ?
    Thanks again and Cheers Al.

  • Glenn

    Reply Reply April 30, 2011

    Thanks Griff,
    this info will help me get my 4 note solo sounding a bit closer to yours, I did say a bit.

  • Jose

    Reply Reply April 30, 2011

    very cool lesson!! THNKS

  • Joe

    Reply Reply April 30, 2011

    I know it does not apply here but what type of strat are you playing there.I see it starts with an s but cannot make out the rest.

  • Gabriel

    Reply Reply April 30, 2011

    Nice !!!

  • Bob

    Reply Reply April 30, 2011

    Thanks Griff. The BB King vibrato was what I was thinking of so glad to know this tip. I’m not ready for vibrato though. I still am having problems with getting clear notes with the chords. My fingers don’t seem to be fatter than others so if you have addressed that in 2010 or 2011 could you reference those emails? Thanks.


  • Lary

    Reply Reply April 30, 2011

    Nice break down Griff keep up the good work. I enjoy your stuff.

  • D Wayne Fraser

    Reply Reply April 30, 2011

    I get the vibe . Very interesting .

  • nash

    Reply Reply April 30, 2011

    very good lesson….more clear about vibrato now…cheers

  • Mike

    Reply Reply April 27, 2011

    Good info Griff, makes the vibrato understanding clearer, Thanks, BGU all the way

  • David

    Reply Reply April 22, 2011

    As I’ve said before, great lesson. However allowing a download for this and other tips would be fantastic and we would all love you that much more.

  • David

    Reply Reply April 22, 2011

    This lesson should be a great help to any beginner to intermediate blues guitarist and probably to a fair number of more accomplished players.

  • Gerry

    Reply Reply April 22, 2011

    Griff, excellent vid. It’s a technique I’ve been having trouble with, but I’ll be trying it today.



  • Elliott

    Reply Reply April 18, 2011

    Great lesson Thanx

  • Dave Z

    Reply Reply April 18, 2011

    Great lesson for this old wannabe..I’m in Michigan but lived in your area about the time you were born (March Air Force Base) and played accordian in a Polka band. Now I’m a wannabe blues guitar player and you lessons are great. I have two of your DVD courses and really enjoy your internet lessons…….Thanks

  • william

    Reply Reply April 18, 2011

    Great lesson on the technique for vibrato.

  • Kenny S

    Reply Reply April 18, 2011

    Tho I have been playing for years, your lessons are a great way to stay fresh & continue learning. You are amazing how you take your time to explain. Thanks so much

  • Rich Croce

    Reply Reply April 18, 2011

    I really enjoyed this Griff; very informative and well done.

    Rich C

  • Joel

    Reply Reply April 17, 2011

    You always come up with great tips. Thanks again for reminding us about proper playing techniques.

  • Russ

    Reply Reply April 17, 2011

    Thanks Griff,
    Just downloaded yet another eye opener. I sincerely appreciate your teaching style.
    BBG/BGU owner

  • Gary

    Reply Reply April 17, 2011

    Bang on Griff! It’s one of the techniques you can’t force yourself to learn. It does just come to you i, in time.

  • Frankie Michel

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011

    Thanks Griff, I have your Blues Guitar Unleashed which is fantastic and always look forward to your new internet lessons. Love your clear and precise teaching style. Frankie

  • don smith

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011

    Please continue with these mini lessons,I have bought most of your lessons but I do find these very helpful.Keep up the good work,regards Don

  • willie neal lee

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011


  • Len

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011

    Hey Griff, any chance you’ll let us download this video for our personal archives?

  • Walt Serafin

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011

    Excellent lesson on a difficult subject! Great explanation on various forms of vibrato.

  • Mike Harmon

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011

    Huge help, Griff! I keep trying to force the vibrato. You’re right, strength over technique never works. Thanks for all you do.



  • John Madden

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011

    Your style and little lessons are great. One gets lost after a while,to the basics. I like your
    review,and style. There are little things I forget,and with your lessons,it comes back to me
    with a show and tell. I always learn something for your teachings. Thanks John

  • Ray Allen

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011

    You’re the man. Another great bit of information. Thanks so much for all you do to help
    all of us.

  • Gary

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011

    Cool technique. Would have been nice to see a lick or two showing how these are actually used.

  • Mel Lieberman

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011

    Very good and helpful explanation. Key word and eye opener is “subtle;” especially when attempting Claptonesk first digit vibrato. I have struggled with this for some time until you released this vid.

  • Mike St Charles, IL

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011

    Griff . . . again . . . another great lesson!

    One other thing, I have noticed that you tape your lessons using a varity of guitars. It would be helpfull, for me a least, to know the brand and model of the guitar as well as the brand and guage of the strings that you’re using.

    I think it would be helpful to know the amp and model as well as any effects “boxe(s)” and settings that you are using to get the sweet tones you seem to wring out of those different guitars. Your comment about increasing the sustain was very important.

    I play other instruments and now I am trying to learn how to play the guitar. From experiance I know that a good musician can make just about any instrument “sound” better than it really is.

    For me, at least, once I know the setup was just right, all that is left for me to do is practice and improve my technique. The sound and tone would be there for me to discover and bring it to life. My motivation . . . the personel satisfaction and reward for all of the effort it takes to master a musical instrument.

    Just a thought

  • Jerry Green

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011


    Thanks, this lesson is very helpful and something else to work on. I think this is what separates you from some of the other guys out there in that you add these helpful lessons in addition to the courses you sell because you really do want all your virtual students to become musicians. Thanks again.

  • justin

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011

    For the longest time I was using the wrong type of sugar, thanks for setting me on the right path Griff, Its funny I still find the classic the easier one to do, guess i’ll have to work on it more…lol


  • Rick Furr

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011

    Griff….can you make this available as a download? Us older guys (I’m 70) need a reminder from time to time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • tommy rhoads

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011

    good lesson Where do set the volume and tone controls on your guitar?,thanks

  • Robin

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011

    Thank this was very helpful

  • Richard Bonn

    Reply Reply April 16, 2011

    Thanks for the lesson Griff ! Your explainations on technique are always clear and make alot of sense ! Keep them coming.

  • Jody

    Reply Reply April 15, 2011

    Thanks for that, Griff! I’ve been working on the first solo in BGU since last fall and I can play it through, but have never been able to hit the vibrato like in your example. So this video is most welcome and helpful. The “clamp” analogy you use makes a lot of sense and makes the vibrato more natural, but my problem is that I’ve never been able to play with my thumb over the 6th string. Something else to work on, I guess!

  • alvaro

    Reply Reply April 15, 2011

    thank you Griff, i have found this very helpful and clear but i am not rady for it just yet.
    I am working on the course and i am loving it, taking it easy though…

  • john r dobson

    Reply Reply April 14, 2011

    hi me again that last comment was for t-mobile my mobile operator.not you sorry they were stopping me watching your video on my phone!and i thought i was leaving a comment about their content lock,sorry again,i love all your tutorials and even though ive been playing for over 35 years i still find your lessons useful.thanks and sorry again for the last comment.regards john

  • john r dobson

    Reply Reply April 14, 2011

    hi im 51 years old and have no children or a credit card,only a debit card,so cant unlock so called content lock!and im only trying to watch a blues guitar tuitorial,not a blue movie!why is this?not that i will get an answer.regards a frustrated blues guitarist,not a frustrated wanker!john.

  • j savor

    Reply Reply April 13, 2011

    Thanks for the lessons!

  • jon3b

    Reply Reply April 13, 2011

    Much appreciated Griff. Been waiting for this since you mentioned an upcoming demonstration and I’m happy to say it’s coming along nicely. Still some salt in my sugar, but this should help me pick out those last few grains.

  • Bill

    Reply Reply April 12, 2011

    Thanks Griff, helps a lot. I’ve been doing the classical approach to vibrato and have found it difficult on the electric. I’m a longtime guitarist, but it has only been recently that I’ve gotten into playing lead or solo. Always a rhythm player. Always good to learn another approach.

  • EJG

    Reply Reply April 12, 2011

    Great lesson. I’ve seen this explained in many other places, but never so clearly.

    Thanks Griff!

  • TonyS

    Reply Reply April 12, 2011

    Thanks Griff that was a good lesson. I always seem to struggle with the vibrato on a bend and you just answered a number of questions all in one go so thanks. Great to see these little lessons come out from time to time. Hope everything is good at your end.

  • Dave Shephard

    Reply Reply April 12, 2011

    Good lesson. ๐Ÿ™‚

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