Vivian Campbell admits he developed his signature vibrato style by accident

Vivian Campbell performing live
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Today, adding vibrato to chords is a metal signature. But Vivian Campbell, who helped pioneer the style, has admitted he didn’t even notice he did it at first.

“I put vibrato on my chords. I never realized I did until Ronnie Dio pointed it out to me,” Campbell said of his discovery in a new interview for Total Guitar. “It was only because I played a Les Paul, and [with] Les Pauls you can be in tune on a first position chord, but by the time you’re on the fifth fret playing a barre chord it’s a little fruity. By the time you’re further up it’s really exotic.

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Jenna Scaramanga

Jenna writes for Total Guitar and Guitar World, and is the former classic rock columnist for Guitar Techniques. She studied with Guthrie Govan at BIMM, and has taught guitar for 15 years. She's toured in 10 countries and played on a Top 10 album (in Sweden).