- Choose a note on the fretboard. For the purposes of this text, we’ll choose A on the 2nd string (10th fret).
- Vibrato can be applied by any finger on the fretting hand, but most players generally favor the first (index) finger for adding vibrato. We’ll use the first finger.
- Play the note. Now, using the entire arm, push and pull the string slightly to the left and right of it’s natural position on the fretboard. This should cause a change in pitch.
- This is a type of vibrato preferred by many rock guitarists (think Neil Young). The intensity, and amount of bending applied in this type of vibrato are individual to the guitarist.
- Now, try this. Play the same note, and bring the knuckle of your first finger into contact with the side of the guitar neck. Rapidly rotate your wrist, so your knuckle repeatedly comes in contact with, then stops touching the neck.
- Your finger should naturally bend the string when doing this, to produce a rather different sounding vibrato. This style is favored by guitarists like B.B. King.
- Lastly, try playing the note again, and firmly push the string forward, then pull it back (towards the bridge, then the headstock). This should give you a very subtle, ‘classical’ sounding vibrato.