Vibrato is an oscillation of two different pitches happening simultaneously. This kind of pitch variant happens as a result of a change in air pressure and cord tension. Usually when vocal coordination’s are engaged and then relaxed. The presence of vibrato adds an expansion, vitality, warmth and a polish to an otherwise very simple sound.
Very few vocal coaches will teach or even talk about vibrato. Their stance is that it is a naturally occurring effect once good supportive habits are established. Which is totally true! However, vibrato also has deliberateness to it. Which means you have to engage it. So you, Youtube viewer may be saying to yourself “ I do have great vocal habits but I still can’t seem to find my vibrato! So what can I do?” Well friends…it’s for you that I have made this video.
Think of vibrato as being similar to a golf swing. Everyone uses what works best for them. As you use this video to practice your vibrato, I encourage you not to judge the quality of your sounds. The sounds you make are a result of your coordination’s. So you’ll have to experiment to see what works best for you. The exercises in this video are meant to be temporary coordination’s. Just to get things engaged and moving.
To get started, let’s simplify the coordination of vibrato with a simple note bend. We’re going to start really slow and then build on it. The idea here is to trick the nervous system into an eventual subtle vibrato. You’ll want to choose a tempo that allows you to perform the bend perfectly. Do not rush through this. Going too quickly through the bends will reinforce untidy habits. What you can do slow, you can do fast. Keep the bending clear and concise.
Our next exercise is a breathy laugh. This is meant to wake-up the diaphragm and bring more diversity to your sound. Remember that the sounds we will do today are in no way a finished sound, but are meant to get the ball rolling by engaging the components that are necessary for a healthy vibrato.
Our last exercise in today’s video is a wobbly wide vibrato. It kind of sounds to me like a baby bounding on a lap. This is meant to engage the subtle connections of diaphragm and vocal cord. Remember, this is a temporary sound and the end focus is to slowly and gradually speed up the sensation, which will ultimately lead to a pure, finished sound.
Now that you have a nice feel for what vibrato feels like…go forth and sing!! Remember to keep your sensations clear and work at a pace that allows you to perform perfectly! I also want to encourage you to see vibrato as a vocal effect, much like licks, trills, runs and riffs. As you really come to embody that lovely texture that vibrato can give, you’ll want to vary the degree of vibrato to keep your listeners ear engaged.