Arts & Entertainment, Music

Mastering Vibrato

Jake Shimabukuro

Lesson time 04:31 min

Find out Jake’s techniques for playing vibrato.

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Topics include: Mastering Vibrato


[00:00:00.00] ['UKULELE PLAYING] [00:00:27.59] - Vibrato. Vibrato is when you use your fingers to create like a wavering sound in the note that you're playing as it sustains. [00:00:42.52] There are different ways that you can achieve this. Singers, you know, they really learn how to control it, but you know, they're able to waiver the pitch. So instead of just playing a note like this-- [00:00:56.26] [PLAYING NOTE FLAT] [00:00:58.23] --by moving your fingers up and down or left to right, you can waiver the note like this-- [00:01:03.38] [PLAYING NOTES VIBRATO] [00:01:07.11] --as opposed to just playing it flat. [00:01:09.22] [PLAYING NOTE FLAT] [00:01:10.83] And here's with some vibrato. [00:01:12.09] [PLAYING NOTE VIBRATO] [00:01:14.10] Gives it just a little bit of spice, you know, that little kick, I think, that just kind of sweetens up the dish or sweetens up the note that you're playing. [00:01:24.30] So the most common ways of achieving vibrato is, with your left hand, you can kind of slide your left hand back and forth like this, right, you see? So you're actually-- technically, what you're doing is you're pulling on the string and you're actually-- by doing that, you're tightening the string. And then by pushing, going the opposite way, you're actually providing less tension, right? So you have this idea of pulling it sharper, and pushing it back down to flatten the note. [00:01:58.62] So you're doing this. [00:01:59.71] [PLAYING NOTE VIBRATO] [00:02:01.01] So that's very extreme there, but-- [00:02:03.55] [PLAYING NOTE VIBRATO] [00:02:04.28] You know? And when you do it this way, it's very subtle. There's more of a push and pull kind of feel to it, which is pretty much what you're doing. You're pulling and pushing back on a string. [00:02:18.00] Then the other way is when you're almost doing it like a traditional bend, but not as extreme. So you're kind of moving your finger in an up and down. So as you push the string up, right-- [00:02:32.94] [PLAYING NOTE VIBRATO] [00:02:33.78] --what that's doing is bringing more tension, right, against-- on the string so it gets higher, and then you're pulling it back down, right? And then you're going the other way, so you're doing the same thing. So you're creating that tension as you go up, but you're also creating that tension as you go down. It's very, very smooth, you know, because you're taking it from pitch going up, then taking it back to pitch, but then going back up in the same motion. You see that? [00:03:02.42] [PLAYING NOTE VIBRATO] [00:03:03.68] So it's a different-- it has a very different effect. Almost like as you're playing the melody-- [00:03:09.61] ['UKULELE PLAYING] [00:03:12.04] --like I'm internalizing it. You know, I'm feeling it. (SINGING) Dah dah dah dah-dah dah. You know? Just-- [00:03:20.64] ['UKULELE PLAYING] [00:03:50.09] Just that little-- that little gesture, you know? [00:03:55.34] ['UKULELE PLAYING] [00:03:59.58] It's not somethi...

About the Instructor

Called the “Jimi Hendrix of the ʻukulele,” Jake Shimabukuro won worldwide acclaim for his fresh and fearless musical interpretations. Now he’s sharing his approach so anyone can experience the joys of the ʻukulele, from the simple chords that make up hundreds of songs to more complex fingerings and compositions. Learn how to adapt songs you love for ʻukulele or write your own. Stop worrying and start strumming.

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Jake Shimabukuro

Jake Shimabukuro teaches you how to take your ʻukulele from the shelf to center stage, with techniques for beginners and seasoned players alike.

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