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Bends, Slides and Vibrato

Today we will discuss how to get started with soloing or as it is sometimes called playing a lead. A good way to get started with this is to look at the smaller building blocks of a solo. Obviously the smallest building block is a single note and there are some interesting things we can do with just one note on guitar.

Because the strings of the guitar are flexible this enables us to manipulate them in much the same way someone could manipulate their voice. Examples of this would be bending a note, sliding into a note from above or below, and vibrato.

To bend a note you use one or more fingers and play a note while bending the string either up or down on the fret board.

Bends can be very small or very large and you should experiment and listen to how other players use this technique.Sliding to a note can be done either from a higher fret to a lower one or vice-versa from lower to higher.

Classical Vibrato is accomplished by pressing and playing a note and rocking the finger from side to side in the direction of either fret.

Blues or rock vibrato is done by playing a note and then bending it up and down towards the ground and then upward in the opposite direction.

Vibrato should be done very slowly at first trying to get a nice even rhythm and then practiced at a medium and then a fast tempo.

These techniques are invaluable in giving player expressiveness in their soloing.

You should find examples of some of you favorite solos and look at how the players use these techniques.

I hope this article helps get you started making your soloing more interesting.

Alan Darby

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