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Lesson: Using Vibrato to Your Bass Lines for Better Phrasing

Today we’re going to dive in to the topic of using vibrato in your playing in this beginner/intermediate-level bass lesson. Vibrato is key to expression and better phrasing, making it a vital tool of the trade.

In the first example in the video below, we’ll play a rock groove in C. Our line is a simple one, with 4 bars of 8th notes. In the fourth bar, we want to emphasize the end of the section. We’ll do that by moving up an octave – playing the same 8th notes – and adding vibrato.

In the second example, we’ll take a basic Pentatonic line in C, and apply vibrato to certain notes. As you’ll see in the video, playing the same line without vibrato makes the line lack feeling.

Be sure not to overdo it though. Vibrato should be used sparingly, to add emphasis to certain notes or key spots within a song.

Follow along with the video for even more examples and application of vibrato in your playing. Experiment with your own lines and ideas, and have fun!

Thomas Risell, otherwise known as “MarloweDK”, is a bassist and music educator from Denmark. For more great bass lessons from MarloweDK, visit PlayBassNow.com.

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Excellent and often overlooked, the vibrato is and essential tool in a well rounded bassist.