Vibrato Blues Guitar Technique

Learn several vibrato techniques for blues guitar and the exercises necessary to develop them.



Vibrato is an essential part of playing the blues soulfully. It has the power to make your guitar speak, but it also has the power to distract. Underdeveloped vibrato can ruin what you’re trying to communicate with a song.

But how do you do vibrato? Shouldn’t it be natural? Nope. Good vibrato technique does not come naturally. Your muscles must learn to move in ways they’re not used to. Vibrato is a 100-minute course that teaches you how to develop muscle memory for several vibrato techniques.

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Lesson Details

  • Part 1
    Part 1: Introduction

    In this section I'll explain why vibrato is such an important part of your playing.

    We'll look at the voice-like quality that good vibrato adds to your sound, and how vibrato cushions the hard edges of your playing.

    • Lesson Video
  • Part 2
    Part 2: Vibrato Elements

    In this section we'll look at several elements of the vibrato sound.

    • Starting pitch
    • The vibrato action
    • Vibrato width
    • Vibrato speed
    • Lesson Video
  • Part 3
    Part 3: Vibrato Styles

    In this section I'll explain 5 different styles of vibrato that I've picked up from my favorite players.

    • Bee sting vibrato
    • "Lenny" style vibrato
    • Squeeze vibrato
    • Shake vibrato
    • Scratch vibrato
    • Lesson Video
  • Part 4
    Part 4: Applications

    In this section we'll look at how to use vibrato, once you've learned how to actually do it. I'll give you some guidelines for how to incorporate vibrato into your playing in a way that "fits" the music.

    • Lesson Video
  • Part 5
    Part 5: What's Wrong With This Vibrato?

    This is a short, humorous section in which I offer up some opinions about what constitutes bad uses of vibrato.

    • Lesson Video
  • Part 6
    Part 6: Exercises

    Creating exercises for vibrato is not as easy as creating exercises for other techniques.

    So in this section I've created some exercises to help you develop the muscle memory needed to do vibrato. These exercises are based on singing exercises that I used to develop vibrato in my voice.

    • Lesson Video
    • Exercises