I quit playing guitar about 15 years ago because every instructor I had was your standard “You gotta feel it” when he blazes into a fast run or vibrato. Nobody could break down things in a mechanical way like Troy. I stumbled on his video on YT and came to this site to subscribe. I just started and am blown away by his scientific approach to teaching. Does this site go into different mechanics like vibrato and string bending as well or is everything focused on speed? I have a ton of questions about vibrato that a scientific approach could resolve
Analytical =/ scientific. Not to say Troy endorses any sort of blind faith divination but I think he’d be the first to tell you there was a lot of trial and error and happy accidents and a lot of sleep lost to gain his superpowers- what he teaches us is a professionally condensed version of his journey so that we can both pick away and get our 8 hrs of sleep, so to speak.
That being said, memorizing the tangible feel of the motions is very important, because it serves as a trigger to make the movement more consistent. In his “flooring” lesson this very aspect is emphasized and outside the realm of stringed-instrument (violin/cello etc) virtuosity, it’s hardly considered the standard approach.
To answer your question, I don’t believe Troy dissects bending/inflections like he does picking, but it’s almost paramount to making the runs sound professional and fluid. Speed alone won’t give you that musical effect.
Vibrato like any other facet of guitar playing, can be taught and learned but it’s more subtle and takes a lifetime of effort to learn and develop. Even the most experienced players stress this as the single most “signature” part of a player and indicative of command over the instrument in general. Beyond pure speed, a vocal vibrato is the most elusive trait in the general guitar community. Developing good vibrato is about training your ears, listening to the great blues guitarists of the past from the three kings/EC/Hendrix you name it to the texas guys like srv/EJ, and YJM, and all of their derivatives, observing their hand movements, and by some process of musical osmosis, and a lot of repetition, it happens.
But enough of that. What exactly is your question that you believe could be helped by a scientific process? Where does your vibrato stand now?
Hi — thanks for signing up! We’ve mostly been focused on picking motions so far. And I wouldn’t even say speed, per se, but just learning how to do these motions smoothly. It’s just that the test for smoothness is trying to do them fast enough that you can’t “overthink” them and they start going, and feel good. So that’s why we sometimes seem to have a speed emphasis.
As far as bending, we haven’t addressed that because I’m not aware that this is a thing that massive numbers of people struggle with. If it is, we’d be happy to take a look. What are the problems that people have with bending, and what if anything you do think they want to learn?
And vibrato, as far as I can tell, seems to be mostly about personal preference. Every time someone makes a comment about vibrato on an internet video, it’s usually to say that it sucks. And that’s just not a super uplifting conversation. Again, if there is some way we can help simplify the technical explanation of how to do vibrato, that’s fine, and that’s more up our alley. But is that something that nobody else is doing or has done yet?
Here is a good video on vibrato
Guthrie Govan recorded the definitive masterclass on Bending & Vibrato technique (in 5 parts). I doubt you’ll find a more comprehensive lesson on the subject.