Vibrato refers to the rapid variation in pitch while singing. Before the advent of microphones, vibrato was developed to allow singers to maximize their volume without damaging the voice. Today, vibrato can bring warmth and timbre to your voice and make it sound more mature. If you want to develop your vibrato, maintain a healthy posture, take deep breaths and have a relaxed body can help you improve your tone. With time and practice, you will be able to develop a stronger and clearer vibrato!
Method 1 of 3: Develop a Natural Vibrato
Step 1. Expand the back of your throat
Open your mouth and stretch the back of your throat as far as you can go. Begin by mimicking a yawn, widening the back of your mouth without straining or tightening your throat muscles.
If your throat is closed, your voice won't flow and your tone won't sound warm and rich
Step 2. Relax all the muscles in your body
If you are not relaxed, you will not be able to sing with vibrato. Release all the tension in your body through relaxation exercises before starting to sing, in order to strengthen your natural vibrato.
- The vibrato will occur naturally if you are relaxed. Avoid straining the muscles in your mouth or the rest of your body to produce a clear sound.
- If your larynx is tight, you won't be able to rock back and forth while singing, which is what vibrato produces.
Step 3. Sit or stand up straight
Good posture is essential to maintain a strong and clear vibrato. Sit or stand with one foot slightly in front of the other, and with your neck, head, and back in a straight line.
- If you are sitting, sit on the edge of the chair with your back straight and your head facing straight ahead. Don't look down, not even to read your sheet music.
- To practice keeping your body relaxed and your spine straight while activating your breathing support muscles, lie on the floor on your back as you sing.
Step 4. Breathe steadily and evenly
Shallow breaths can ruin the strength of your natural vibrato. When you need to breathe, breathe steadily and evenly while inflating your lungs as much as possible.
Activates the abdominal muscles to support the diaphragm. Reaching vibrato requires plenty of constant breathing
Step 5. Sing from the diaphragm
Breathe deeply with your lungs and, as you open your mouth, sing as you exhale. Keep your shoulders level and while singing, try to focus the sound in the center of your stomach instead of your chest.
If you feel like you are straining the sound or your throat hurts, you may not be singing from the diaphragm. Try to sing not from the chest but down towards the stomach
Step 6. Listen to a rapid key oscillation when you sing
Vibrato is a rapid variation in pitch that develops naturally as the voice matures. As long as you follow the proper singing technique, listen to this variation in your voice. The more you practice, the more likely your vibrato will develop.
- Not all voices have a pronounced vibrato, even among professional singers. If your vibrato is softer or less pronounced than others you know, you just might have a subtle vibrato.
- Unlike some singing techniques, vibrato must be developed rather than learned. Practicing proper singing, breathing, and posture techniques can help you develop vibrato over time.
- You may find it helpful to use applications such as Spectrogram or Singscope while practicing vibrato. These tools can show whether your pitch variations occur evenly, which is an indicator that you are singing with natural vibrato.
Step 7. Troubleshoot any issues if you don't hear vibrato
If you still don't notice a vibrato sound while singing, check your posture, muscle tension, and breathing. Make the modifications to fix any errors you notice and try singing again.
- You won't be able to notice vibrato right away, as it takes time to develop. However, by practicing maintaining correct posture and singing technique, you will be able to develop and strengthen your vibrato over time.
- If you are putting too much stress on your jaw, for example, this could inhibit your vibrato. Let your jaw relax and try singing vibrato again.
Method 2 of 3: Strengthen Your Technique
Step 1. Do warm-up exercises before singing
Warming up your voice can help avoid vocal tension and produce vibrato naturally. Before practicing a song, try doing any of these singing exercises for at least 5 to 10 minutes:
- Hum in a key in your lower register, then slowly open your mouth and transition from hum to sing.
- Bring your lips together and exhale as you vibrate, then vocalize up and down as you continue to exhale.
- Try different tongue twisters, such as "the successive succession of events happens successively with the succession of time" or "if the snail had a face like the snail has, it was a face, it was a cabbage, it was a snail with a face."
Step 2. Practice abdominal breathingAbdominal breathing can help you balance your breaths and sing from the diaphragm. Place one hand between your chest and lower stomach and breathe out. You will feel the center of tension in the center of the stomach.
Practice belly breathing for a minimum of 5-10 minutes a day to help you sing from your diaphragm
Step 3. Try voice exercises designed to improve vibrato
Voice exercises can strengthen the tone and versatility of the vibrato. Do any of these exercises or others designed to improve vibrato for a minimum of 10-20 minutes a day:
- Place your hands on the lower part of your chest, just above your navel, and sing a note of your choice. While singing this note, press down on your stomach with your fingers several times at a rate of about 3-4 cycles per second.
- Place a finger on your larynx (around the center of your throat) and wiggle it up and down as you sing in a steady pitch. This will produce an oscillating sound similar to a vibrato, which can help you train your muscles to develop real vibrato.
- It fluctuates between two notes, one note and another one semitone apart, between 6 and 8 cycles per second. If you can't sing as fast, keep practicing and switching between keys as fast as you can.
Step 4. Keep the vibrato at different volumes
Try singing vibrato out loud, then softly, and keep shifting up and down. If you're having trouble, practice controlling your airflow with bubble exercises (“lip roll”). Close your mouth and let the air escape in quick bursts as if you were blowing bubbles or raspberries.
Look up bubble exercises online if necessary
Step 5. Take singing lessons to improve your overall voice
Strengthening your voice when singing will help you develop vibrato naturally. Enroll in singing classes with an instructor who understands vibrato and can work with you to turn your weaknesses into strengths.
- Most recreation centers and vocational training centers offer singing classes taught by professional instructors.
- Meet with a minimum of 3 different singing teachers before choosing the one that is right for you.
Method 3 of 3: Avoid Common Mistakes
Step 1. Maintain a subtle vibrato
Singing a song entirely in vibrato can get overwhelming. Try using vibrato as a way to emphasize certain lines rather than how you sing the entire song, to help your singing voice sound more versatile.
A music instructor can help train you to figure out which lines would or might not sound good with vibrato
Step 2. Use vibrato d selectively
Although many pop, musical, and classical songs benefit from vibrato, some songs sound better without it. If you're not sure whether a song sounds good with vibrato, look up live recordings and see which lines professional singers emphasize with vibrato.
Step 3. Relax your jaw while singing in vibrato
A common mistake people make when using vibrato is tightening the jaw, which can cause the jaw to wobble. If you feel like your jaw is tight, relax the muscles as much as possible and avoid moving them up and down with your voice.
This error is known as "jaw vibrato" or "Gospel jaw" because it is more common among Gospel singers
- If the vibrato doesn't come from you naturally, don't beat yourself up. Developing a clear-sounding vibrato takes time, and most singers don't really develop it even after many months of practicing and strengthening the voice.
- It is very important to relax when trying to produce vibrato as tension on the vocal cords can inhibit the sound. Keep practicing until you produce a consistent sound.
- Don't put too much vibrato in your voice. If your vibrato is too loud or too loud, it could be overwhelming for the piece.
- Try not to practice more than 1-2 hours a day developing vibrato. If you use your voice for too long, you may inadvertently overload it.