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Everyone is born with a 'natural vibrato' which by using the voice freely and practicing vocal exercises gradually improves the strength and control of their voice and subsequently the vibrato over a period of time, (it can take years!), however, some singers seem to have 'pure' voices with no 'vibrato'.  This is not always a 'bad' thing - some singers choose to use a clear tone as the most effective for a passage in a song or when performing a certain style of music. It is unusual for a singer not to have any natural vibrato in the voice and may indicate bad singing habits, incorrect breathing or posture problems.

So what is 'Vibrato?' - The dictionary term is 'Effect like Tremelo in Singing and playing an Instrument' but the sound produced is more similar to a 'warble' that a canary makes. When singing a note the voice appears to 'tremble' between notes creating the vibrato effect.  This is a natural occurance in the voice which will improve with training and practice.

If you are having problems achieving vibrato whilst singing here are a few tips to practice:-

  • Ensure your breathing is correct

  • Improve your posture

  • Hang your head and completely relax your neck, throat, facial muscles & mouth

  • In this position sing a gentle Ooooooooaaaaah

  • Practice your vowels & constonants

  • Practice yawning whilst singing a note

  • Practice holding a long note

  • Practice singing 'trills' (a note performed in rapid alteration with the note above it).

  • Go to a SINGING Teacher or VOCAL Coach!!

It is impossible to teach singing without interacting with the pupil which enables the teacher to listen and correct any faults or bad habits that are preventing the singer from achieving their potential - Don't get stuck with bad habits - find a tutor who can identify your faults and help you correct them!!

Vibrato related Q & A in the Frequently Asked Questions Section

Why do some singers sing with a lovely quivver in their voice, even if they haven't had lessons. How can I get my voice to do that?

Is it possibly to increase the speed of your vibrato

Vibrato Links

These are just a small example of the extensive links to online exercises and lessons we have available in the Singers Articles section, which contains complete listings of lessons, exercises or articles available on each site with direct links to the page (when not a framed site) plus answers to pretty much everything a beginner, intermediate, advanced singer or teacher needs to know! (All links open in a new window).

How Can I Learn To Sing With Vibrato?
Article by Kristina Seleshanko.

Money Notes
Documentation of the elite singing voice, a research data-gathering documentation project designed to quantify some of the measurable aspects of the singing voice. These spectograph images and sound samples from vocevista spectograph software looks at two spots where the auditors would be expected to listen particularly carefully to the voice production and provides observations on vibrato.

The Vocal "Wobble" - Causes & Solutions
article at VoiceTeacher

Understanding Vibrato
Vocal principles that encourage development, articles by David L. Jones of VoiceTeacher

Add some spark to your voice by Mark Baxter

Excerpts from "The NPR Classical Music Companion.

Vibrato Page
from Standing Stones covers a variety of vibrato related topics in music and singing including 19th century voice teacher Mrs Alverson discusses vibrato.

Use of Vibrato in Baroque Vocal Music
Observations taken from various pedagogical resources exploring vibrato in the singing voice as used in Baroque Vocal Music.

To Sing Like Shakira, Press '1' Now
Article from ScienceDaily on a computer trained to recognise Vibrato by a research group at Tel Aviv University.

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