How to Sing Vibrato – PART I
When vibrato is flowing effortlessly in your voice it means that something good is hap- pening. Strong technique is in place with proper breathing and sound placement, body alignment, and a release of tension. In short, vibrato is a sign of good vocal technique. However, there are plenty of ways to do it incorrectly. You don’t want to mimic vibrato – you want to have the real thing.
Producing Vibrato Naturally
1 – Open the back of your throat. You can do this sim- ply by yawning. Try to keep that feeling of yawning in your mouth and throat while you sing. Singing well (and singing with vibrato) is largely about being relaxed and open. If your throat is closed, the noise won’t flow and your tone won’t be warm and rich.
2 – Relax your muscles com- pletely. Shake out any ten- sion from your wrists to your ankles. Do circles with your neck, stretching out the sides. •This includes all the muscles in your face and head, too, like your jaw and tongue. They should be do- ing very little work, regard- less of whether you’re sing- ing with a straight tone or with vibrato.
3 – To help you breathe cor- rectly, stand correctly. In or- der to master breath flow
(which is alarmingly impor- tant), keep good posture by standing with one foot slightly in front of the other, and your neck, head, and back all in a straight line. •If you’re sitting, sit on the edge of your chair with your back straight and your head facing directly forward – you shouldn’t be looking down, even if you’re reading music.
4 – Sing with your dia- phragm. Take a good, solid, deep breath into your core. Your shoulders should not go up and your diaphragm should lower. Vibrato is nat- ural; don’t bother forcing it if it’s not there. It just means you need to concentrate on other aspects of singing first.
5 – Keep your breath flow steady and even. To produce the sound you’re aiming for, keep the amount of air you produce steady and even. •In addition to being steady, your breath needs to be even to keep vibrato consis- tent. If it’s not even, you may notice your vibrato slowing
down or speeding up – both of which should be avoided.
6 – Keep it subtle. Vibrato sounds much better when it’s light and natural. •What’s more, know when it’s appro- priate – which isn’t all the time. If you sang a song en- tirely in a straight tone, that song wouldn’t be aurally in- teresting. If you sang it en- tirely with vibrato, that song wouldn’t be aurally interest- ing either. So use it some- times, don’t use it others, and switch it up. Use it when you feel like it fits.
7 – Master other things first if need be. If vibrato doesn’t come naturally to you, well, for starters, don’t give your- self a hard time. •Focus on your resonance and timbre, instead. You’ll develop the right habits of singing freely, breathing properly, and be- ing relaxed. You’ll start plac- ing the sounds correctly in your mouth, letting go of your jaw and tongue, and the vibrato will start spilling out.