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Today, I’m gonna talk about Vibrato!

If you’re into singing,  you probably already know what it is, although maybe you don’t know what it’s called 😉

It’s when singers do things like, “And Uai…….eee…uai…..”, as Whitney Houston does in “I will always love you” (watch the video for the example). It’s that oscillation between pitches that singers do when sustaining notes, of which doesn’t necessarily have to be obvious – it could be subtle as well (again, watch the video for the example).

An oscillation between pitches when singing simply means when you sing from one pitch to the other back and forth. If we were to use the keyboard to illustrate this (watch the video), it would mean switching in between two notes just next to each other. However, when we sing with Vibrato, the pitch difference in between the two notes that we are singing is usually less than that found on the piano; less than a semitone. The pitch difference is tiny!

So again, if we were to use the keyboard to illustrate this oscillation that happens in Vibrato, it would sound more like when we’re using the pitch bender on the keyboard on one note (watch the video). Thankfully, with our voices, we can have better control than that and sound better than that! My pitch-bending skills on the keyboard are not great, as you can see 😛

Now how can we sing with Vibrato? Is it even possible for anyone to sing with Vibrato? The answer is yes! Anyone can do it – all you gotta do is practice these 3 simple steps to singing with Vibrato. Do note, that this is a 3 quick-step-guide on how to sing with Vibrato, and that there’s much more to dig into when it comes to singing with Vibrato. However, these 3 steps are a quick simple way to get yourself started in singing with Vibrato.

Here they are….

  1. Pick a comfortable note
    • First and foremost, pick a note of which is comfortable for you to sing in. “Comfortable” means, don’t pick a note that is sitting on your vocal break for now (if you haven’t developed our mix very well or haven’t ironed out your vocal break just yet).
    • Do not use a note of which you can barely even hold. If it’s not comfortable and you can barely hold that note, don’t even try vibrato on that note just yet –  you need to make sure you can sing that comfortably first (use the right vocal register to sing that note comfortably and easily first) 😉
    • “Comfortable” means you don’t feel any strain and you can sort of hold/sustain that note
  2. Use a steady pace of breath
    • You need a steady pace of breath going through your vocal cords and mouth as you exhale when singing
    • If you were to “tsssss……” that break that you’ll be singing, it should be steady and consistent from start to finish (watch the video to see the difference between one that is steady and one that is not).
    • If you can sing straight notes, basically sustain notes steadily, you’re probably already using a steady pace of breath as you sing (check out the example in the video to get a better idea).
  3. Add a pulse to your singing
    • We’re gonna add a pulse our singing! We can set a tempo first, and we could start slow first. Vocalise (or sing) that one note, following that tempo (which is to be consistent).
    • Once you’ve got that steady, you can then speed it up. We’re sort of “bouncing” on that one note, creating a variation in volume and at the same time, a slight variation in pitch as well.
    • The moment you’ve got that going at a consistent rate, you can then put the steady note and this pulse together – sing them together. It’s gonna take some practice, but you’ll learn how to feel your way into this. The vibrato doesn’t necessarily have to be added from the moment you sing – you can add it whenever you want, depending on what style or genre of music you’re singing.

Try those 3 steps, and remember, if you’ve got any questions, just post them below.

And if you still find it hard to sing with the vibrato after much practice with these 3 steps, it is likely that you are not practising good breath control and breath support at the moment – which is vital in singing with Vibrato.

Grab a copy of my book here, where you can get yourself started on the breath control and support exercises that will help you achieve a steadier pace of breath needed in singing with Vibrato. The book can also help you sort out Step #1 – help you sing notes comfortably, by using the right vocal registers (Chest Voice, Mixed/Middle Voice, Head Voice & Whistle).

Let me know what you’d like me to talk about more in my next Vlog 😉


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How To Sing With Vibrato (Vlog)