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Jojo
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Hi, I'm new to this site so am not sure if this topic has already been discussed.

I would like to know how I can sing with vibrato - I have read around this subject and get the impression that if I am doing everything right, vibrato will just happen. That must mean that I am still no getting it right!!

Breath control - allowing the sound to just come out and not pushing (supporting the sound at the right moments by using your abs - belly button to small of back?).

Any advise would be appreciated

thanks

jojo

x

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Hi, I'm new to this site so am not sure if this topic has already been discussed.

I would like to know how I can sing with vibrato - I have read around this subject and get the impression that if I am doing everything right, vibrato will just happen. That must mean that I am still no getting it right!!

Breath control - allowing the sound to just come out and not pushing (supporting the sound at the right moments by using your abs - belly button to small of back?).

Any advise would be appreciated

thanks

jojo

x

Question: What is your singing range? Use middle C as a reference.

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I recommend you purchasing 'Raise your Voice' by Jaime Vendera. He is actually a member. There is a great chapter on vibrato and the 4 different types and the feelings you experience when you get it right.

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Everyone has some vibrato naturally. I was told by other singers my voice was true (no vibrato, no bending notes) However I do have some. Vibrato is using the sound to oscillate at a certain speed, a kind of ah,ah,ah,ah almost like gargling, between one pitch and the next..moving back and forth. You can practise this on a comfortable note...do it slow so that you pitch correctly first, then begin to speed it up. eg c to csharp or cflat. You make the vibrato on the out breath and can vary it in intensity and volume using your sound and breath. Mariah Carey is often talked about as she has a lot of vibrato but we don't all want to sing like Mariah Carey! It just takes practise. Jaime Vendera is a good teacher so you can buy his book however I am sure there are many teachers and singers on this site who can also give you more tips. :lol: H

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I was told, and it may be not be the gospel, that a natural vibrato is the natural movement of the stomach muscles when very relaxed. Its obvious that some vibratos sound much more relaxed than others. The really fast vibrato, to my ears, is shrill, tense and a cheat to not have to hit the note very purely.

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I am not a big fan of Vibrato. I steer my students towards singing straight tone with spoken tone resonance with a splash of breathy H consonant on the spoken tone when necessary.

There is a huge issue associated with the above philosophy and that's Breath Support. Read my article on this forum about Breath Support of the Abdominal muscles and you'll get a good idea of its importance. The controversies that exist about vibrato are numerous.

One major one is when singers don't use Breath Support and they get accidental vibrato and they wind up sounding like Roy Orbison with this accidental vibrato shake.

My issue with vibrato (and there are many of my vocal colleague experts that will agree with me) is that when you use vibrato you hover around the pitch in a sharp and/or flat way and simply are not DEAD ON pitch. I have this issue with Liza Minnelli and other Broadway singers that simply do not sing on pitch and hover around the frequencies. It's awful because they do the horrible execution on purpose.

Sing with a straight tone and use varying degrees of breathy tone when necessary and your pitch will be consistent as long as you effectively support your voice through the abdominals.

Feel free to contact me at jazprod@aol.com for any technical philosophies or if you're interested in working with me on private instruction.

Warmest Regards,

Jimi Zimmardi

Owner

East Coast Music Talent

The Healthy Voice

CMVT - Voice Therapist - Voice Teacher/Coach- McClosky Institute of Voice

Official Product Endorsement with TC-Helicon Vocal Technologies

Official Product Endorsement for TC-Helicon Voice Live/Voice Live Monitor System

Voice Council Member of Product Development TC-Helicon Vocal Technologies

Voice Coach for American Idol clients who have placed as high as Top 24 Nationally

Voice Coach appearance American Idol 2006

Direct Voice Therapy Affiliation with major Ear, Nose and Throat Doctors and Hospitals including Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Moderator www.voicecouncil.com, a unique website and forum sponsored and hosted by TC Helicon, the world's leader in advanced voice effects products for professional singers.

www.eastcoastmusictalent.com

www.thehealthyvoice.com

www.voicecouncil.com

ECMT and The Healthy Voice invite you to join Jimi Zimmardi and some of the top Voice Teachers, Voice Coaches and Engineers at www.voicecouncil.com. This cutting edge site is sponsored and hosted by TC Helicon and is an outstanding forum for Professional Singers. Membership is free!!! We urge you to log on to www.voicecouncil.com to experience this amazing website and forum that will enhance your singing career.

Close your eyes and envision it.... Write down the plan and absorb it.... Live the plan and practice it.... Master the plan and become it.... Jimi Zimmardi

Family is more important than show business.... Gary Marshall Television Producer

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Jimi, sounds more like your describing the negative effect of "wobble" as supposed to vibrato. with wobble their is sometimes not a distinct pitch as it does indeed wobble usually in a semi tone between notes. "good" vibrato has around something like 6-8 oscillations a second and although it too is a slight shift of pitch and volume its not as noticeable as the "wobble" and therefore is conceived as "good". i have read that vibrato is a very natural thing and that in fact by trying to hold onto a straight tone on a very long note you actually induce too much tension on the vocal folds. i think the reason a lot of people have problems with vibrato is in fact the same one for most singing problems- too much muscle. some people seem to try to muscle their way into something where in fact its more subtle than that and requires a certain amount of muscle deactivation and relaxation. i have also heard that vibrato is in fact a purely vocal fold process and although it involves the breath and diaphragm as all singing and even talking does, it does not originate from those sources.

in terms of vibrato exercises- the one that Hilary mentioned . where you play/sing two notes on a piano/keyboard a semi tone apart and gradually increase the speed of playing/singing the two notes. you can see such exercises and others by looking at videos on places like youtube. you may also want to just try singing a note, one thats around your speaking pitch, for as long as you can. now on the tail end of the note you may feel like theres some sort of tension approaching. you have to resist the temptation to squeeze or muscle up and this point. if you stay relaxed the vibrato should appear.

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This is why it's controversial. I have never heard the term wobble before. Your voice will have its natural vibrato. Spoken tone resonance can be accomplished simply by speaking a phrase and immediately segueing to sung. Generally you can equate the tone you get from spoken tone resonance as being straight tone. Ask yourself this: "How much vibrato effect that you get in singing while singing with spoken or speech tone resonance can you really hear when you speak?"

By using spoken tone resonance in singing, you're executing a sung tone that will help maintain your vocal tract's natural shape. If you use proper breath support to support your tone from the abdominals and you have good pitch, you won't hover over and under the pitch. Again I revert back to reading my Breath Support article on my page on this site.

Until we're all dead and in our graves, there will continue to be controversies and friction based contrary discussions about vibrato.

I'm a big fan of straight tone with natural vibrato that is not induced or manipulated. I'm sure there are a few of you out there that might disagree.

Frankly talking Baseball to me is a lot more interesting and less controversial....unless it's regarding steroids and Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees. By the way, I'm a season ticket holder for the Boston Red Sox since 1984 and as you might know, Red Sox fans despise the New York Yankees.....Just for the record.....

Warmest Regards,

Jimi Zimmardi

Owner

East Coast Music Talent

The Healthy Voice

CMVT - Voice Therapist - Voice Teacher/Coach- McClosky Institute of Voice

Official Product Endorsement with TC-Helicon Vocal Technologies

Official Product Endorsement for TC-Helicon Voice Live/Voice Live Monitor System

Voice Council Member of Product Development TC-Helicon Vocal Technologies

Voice Coach for American Idol clients who have placed as high as Top 24 Nationally

Voice Coach appearance American Idol 2006

Direct Voice Therapy Affiliation with major Ear, Nose and Throat Doctors and Hospitals including Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Moderator www.voicecouncil.com, a unique website and forum sponsored and hosted by TC Helicon, the world's leader in advanced voice effects products for professional singers.

www.eastcoastmusictalent.com

www.thehealthyvoice.com

www.voicecouncil.com

ECMT and The Healthy Voice invite you to join Jimi Zimmardi and some of the top Voice Teachers, Voice Coaches and Engineers at www.voicecouncil.com. This cutting edge site is sponsored and hosted by TC Helicon and is an outstanding forum for Professional Singers. Membership is free!!! We urge you to log on to www.voicecouncil.com to experience this amazing website and forum that will enhance your singing career.

Close your eyes and envision it.... Write down the plan and absorb it.... Live the plan and practice it.... Master the plan and become it.... Jimi Zimmardi

Family is more important than show business.... Gary Marshall Television Producer

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This is some info about vibrato pulled from an article by Maestro David Jones (http://www.voiceteacher.com/vibrato.html). He's a classical teacher - It's pretty interesting. He mentions vocal wobble here as well:

"I define vibrato as a "slight variation of pitch resulting from the free oscillation of the vocal cords". This free oscillation of the vocal cords results from (1) an open pharynx or what many call the "open throat" along with (2) healthy "closure of the cords" (see article on vocal cord closure) I consider that vibrato is a result of these two opposites working together: open throat and closed cords. (3) Another major factor to be considered in regard to vibrato is the even sub-glottic breath pressure. This is regulated by the "support system" which involves the abdominal muscles, lower lumbar/upper gludial muscles, intercostal muscles and pectoral muscles. (See articles on breath and breath management).

Environmental Factor: As a child, I always had a vibrato. Whether developed through vocal freedom or imitation I do not know. I had an older sister who was an excellent soprano and used to sing a lot of opera and operetta in the home. I found great joy in imitating her vocal sound while I was still a boy soprano. I could match it quite well and was later asked to join the Texas Boy's Choir because I had a healthy and even vocal sound. Other cultures encourage different types of vibrato. For example, in some Asian cultures, a wide and slow vibrato is very desirable. Many French pop singers use a faster tighter vibrato. Neither of these examples represent healthy vocalism.

Vibrato Problems:

(1) The Vocal Wobble: We often hear singers that have a wide and slow vibrato (see article on the vocal wobble.) The causes have been described in the article entitled "The Vocal Wobble". A wide vibrato is usually a lack of proper "resistance of the breath pressure" or a lack of "focus in the tone". It can also be a result of a lack of proper adduction of the vocal cords. One or all of these problems create a sound that our culture defines as "age in the voice". I have found that singers in their 20's can have a wobble. I have students in my studio who are in their 70's who have no sign of such a vocal characteristic. In fact, they have what our culture calls a youthful, and more importantly, healthy sound. I have found the primary cause of the vocal wobble to be misuse rather than age. An unhealthy vocal technique used over a short or long period of time can be the cause such a vocal problem. The solution is quite simple: vocalize exercises that require body support along with focus. The "ng" is a healthy sound that can help develop focus in the voice. The sustained "hiss" can help a singer learn what muscles to use in order to "hold back" the breath pressure or "support the tone".

(2) The Overly-Fast Vibrato: Some singers have an overly fast vibrato that can be as disconcerting as the wobble. Neither the wobble nor the fast-vibrato is the desired vocal sound for healthy singing. A fast-vibrato can be caused by a number of vocal situations. (1) Pressure at the root of the tongue. This pressure at the root of the tongue can have its origin at inhalation or at the attack or onset of sound. (2) Lack of vocal cord approximation: Many singers who do not quite understand that the vocal cords must close after inhalation. This lack of proper adduction of the cords can result in a faster vibrato speed. If the vocal cords do not approximate closely enough, the vibrato can become faster depending upon the size and shape of the vocal cords themselves. (3) Lack of support is another cause of this vocal problem. Most of us have heard singers with definite vibrato problems and we have experienced singers with healthy vibrato. One key factor in attaining a healthy sound is to be sure that the vibrato is vibrating at an even rate. An uneven vibrato can be caused by sudden changes in the sub-glottic breath pressure. This is caused by a lack of even "body resistance" or support in the body. The vocal cords then begin to separate and vibrate unhealthily. The result is an uneven vibrato sometimes accompanied by pitch problems. The fast vibrato is less noticeable if the rate of vibrato is even rather than sporadic.

(3) The Straight Tone: So often I have singers who come into my studio with a straight tone (no vibrato). Some of these singers are not aware of vibrato or how it is developed in the voice. Many come into my studio with the express desire to develop vibrato in their sound realizing that their voice is lacking in that particular area. In over 25 years of teaching, I have never had a singer in my studio that could not develop healthy vibrato.

(4) Diaphragmatic Vibrato: A diaphragmatic vibrato is the pulsating of the diaphragm during a sustained tone to "create" a false vibrato. Music theatre singers develop this damaging vocal habit in order to have some sort of vibrato when none is present in the tone. This is a huge mistake. A diaphragmatic vibrato is difficult to repair because the lower abdominal muscles memorize the pulsating sensation so deeply. This situation can be repaired with lots of time and hard work. Solution: Use the idea of the sustained "hiss" and memorize what the body "feels" during this function. Then sing a tone while keeping the same "feel" in the body. This will stabilize the shaking diaphragm.

(5) The role of the vocal trill: In some cases, a singer can begin to awaken the vibrato function by using a trill. A trill is an educated yodel at the vocal cords that may or may not be easy for a singer to produce. Some connect with this idea and begin to release the "over-squeezing" of the vocal cords, therefore allowing for the development of a vibrato.

Healthy vibrato can be achieved in a rather short period of time. Usually the time factor is dependent upon the singer's mind/body coordination. Some singers have more of a connection to their body than others. I recently had a large-voiced baritone who began to develop some vibrato in his sound after only three lessons. I have had others who have taken much longer because of singing straight tone for so many years. At any rate, any singer can achieve a properly regulated and even vibrato with concentration, proper instruction, and by embracing the process rather than the result. Patience is a most important aspect while training and balancing vocal production."

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;)Nice debate here and thanks MissPK for the article above. I am a fan of straight tone with natural vibrato like Jimmi is. It depends on what you wish to sing and do with your voice. It isn't essential in my book to have vibrato, but it does give a nice effect to your singing. I say this because for commercial singing you wish to develop varying voice techniques, but for voice healing...you use straight tones and vibrato is actually detrimental. You also have to realise that a nervous singer will create a wobble in the voice and this corresponds with the above article in understanding the mind/body co-ordination to produce good vibrato. I believe it is best not to THINK too hard about it and let it flow naturally. You can practise as I suggested and get the effect into your body/mind so that it becomes natural. Eva Cassidy worked hard to get her vibrato as she wanted it. I go with my emotion in singing the song and I use vibrato where it wants to come naturally. :cool: H

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Like Hilary, I too am "a fan of straight tone." It's impossible to harmonize with vibrato, and most of the choir singing I do calls for harmonization between the (typically) four parts. When you do a recording of a choir not disciplined to back off on the vibrato, all the sopranos (whose voice pitches dominate the frequencies of peak hearing sensitivity) sound like hash, or distortion, because while some are raising their pitch, others are lowering it, and no one is singing "on pitch."

That said, though, there are two vibratos that need mastering, depending on the songs you are singing . . . as a soloist or in a duet, for example.

The first is the vibrato often used in opera to add excitement to the theme of the action. This is typically a "wide" vibrato, sometimes spanning a full scale interval, or more. This takes discipline and attention.

The other is fully relaxed vibrato, where the singer more-or-less intends to sing a straight tone, but if it's held for a half-note or a whole note or more, a very gentle wavering starts as the muscles used to snap home on that pitch begin to relax a bit. I've seen this expressed as perhaps the normal nerve firing rate of a relaxed muscle (I think by James Daugherty). This vibrato develops gradually after holding a straight pitch for a second or two, and has a vibrato frequency of about six cycles per second or so. In fact, it's almost impossible to completely sing straight tone because this relaxation takes conscious effort to overcome. It's also the vibrato you might hear in a quiet, loving operatic duet -- where Leonora meets Florestan in the dungeon ("Leonora?" . . . "Florestan!) -- not the kind where their voices are trembling with excitement or fear (which Beethoven deliberately writes into the score) a few seconds after they see each other through the darkness ("Gott! Wie dunkel hier!) and realize it's true (Gott! Er ist es!) and they're saved ("O namen-, NAMEN-lose Freude" . . . "O dank dir, Gott, fur diese Lust!").

Dramatic vs. tender. Vibrato.

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I am freak about vibrato..I mean...I'm a rocker..so I couldn't live without it.

It is very easy...some are natural in doing vibrato...some not..

Greg Lake/John Wetton and many other rock singers never used vibrato that much and they are MARVELLOUS performers.

But a singer should learn how to do it...it's part of the aestethics of singing since ages.

Basically we have 3 vibratos: stomach (or diaphragm)-larynx-jaw.

But if somebody hasn't a natural vibrato what really works is simply understand what vibrato is...it's just a smeitone/tone bending of a note.

Just tray to get a C...just bend it to B....at the beginning very slowly...the faster and faster but always keeping an eye on the control of the note and the muscles...

That really helped many of my students who never experienced that.

Rock on!

Ale

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Learning where to place vibrato in a phrase is the ultimate tool to master. Vibrato, whether natural or learned, can be a powerful thing if used sparingly, and within the correct context of the song.

Personally if you are able to carry a straight tone, then walk into a vibrato and end back on a straight tone...you are doing something right.

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