When it comes to playing a great solo, the quality of your vibrato is what is going to set you apart from the rest. It is not uncommon for professional guitarists to spend at least 30% of their time refining this skill, so it's time you add this in to your regular practice.
Out of curiosity, I once conducted an experiment to find out the true power vibrato can have. I recorded myself playing one guitar solo, making sure to add a few good vibratos in just the right places. I then took that exact same solo, but then edited in some out of place vibrato.
Next, I allowed a handful of my friends to listen and give me input on the solos (some of these friends being experienced guitar players).
The results were quite surprising. None of them caught on to the fact that it was an identical solo. In fact, they heard the edited solo as quite out of tune and out of time. The unedited solo seemed to them much better played and professional sounding.
I was a little spooked when they began describing the licks in the "good" solo as much cleaner and tighter sounding, even though both licks were the EXACT same.
This is how I explain it. A well played vibrato has whats known as a halo effect on the solo. This means that the influence the out of place vibrato is enough to change the way people will interpret the solo on a whole.
Sounds a little unfair, but it's unavoidable.
You have probably had similar thoughts many times yourself. Ever heard a guitar solo and thought there was something special about it? Take a moment to go back to that solo and really listen for the vibrato. You may not have noticed before, but often times the vibrato is what makes the solo stand out.
What is it that makes a solo "good" exactly? Watch this video to find out what you can do to make your solos stand out from the rest.
As you can see, vibrato is an attainable and highly useful skill that can actually be quite easy to learn. Once you start using it in your own playing you will surely hear the vast difference that it will make in you sound. Have fun with it!
Tommaso Zillio is a professional prog rock/metal guitarist and composer based in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Tommaso is currently working on an instrumental CD, and an instructional series on fretboard visualization and exotic scales. He is your go-to guy for any and all music theory-related questions.
Send comments or questions to: