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Vibrato

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DoverOs
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So, I was confused as to why I didn't have vibrato with my voice relaxed, but I found out that I have sort of agitate or energize the air in my lower torso. Can someone explain what happens in a muscular sense, when I agitate the air and produce vibrato?

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Sounds like you are doing vibrato by means of breath support. It will end up sounding a bit wide, a bit "fake." Better to achieve the balance of air pressure needed against the folds. When the balance is there, vibrato appears with no special effort and it is a thing of beauty.

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Sounds like you are doing vibrato by means of breath support. It will end up sounding a bit wide, a bit "fake." Better to achieve the balance of air pressure needed against the folds. When the balance is there, vibrato appears with no special effort and it is a thing of beauty.

When you're achieving that balance for 'natural vibrato', does this mean you're not physically controlling or consciously manipulating for the vibrato to be present? I was taught that physically manipulating the vibrato from the diaphragm is one way of practicing/getting used to the feeling of doing it. How do you cultivate the balance of air pressure needed to produce the vibrato?

Thanks in advance!

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First off, I think what Dover was talking about would be something like pumping the abs or diaphragm to create the waver.

However, Steven Fraser once wrote that vibrato is like a wave action in the folds that can happen when the right note is happening and, for lack of a better description, a secondary oscillation occurs, which actually creates the shimmering effect of vibrato. When you are not applying too much or too light air pressure to the folds, they have the ability to do their thing, so to speak. That is, vibrato is something that can happen when the breath support is happening as it should happen.

But, as always, I could be wrong, either in my understanding of what Steven said, or my understanding of the breathing it takes to sing, even wrong in how I think vibrato happens. I have no college degree in voice or vocal pedagogy. I have no background in teach voice, either to pop singers or choral singers, certainly not opera singers. And, my wrongness could incorporate any or all of these factors to varying degrees.

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Vibrato hapenning naturaly, without tampering with it, is one of the most reliable signs of ballance and good technique. Still, depending on the postures used, its not as evident as the vibrato present on classical singing, but its there. Its also possible to reduce it at will through the application of tensions to literaly force the pitch to remain constant. But the opposite is not possible, a voice that is not ballanced will not be able to relax at will to produce the vibrato until trainned into the required coordination. So trying to find a direct way to "make" vibrato happen will only work against it (with the purpose of trainning the voice).

As for how desirable the effect is and the means to produce it, well, it depends on style and personal taste. Personally, I dislike the result of tampering with the airflow, I dont even like its use as a direct interpretative resource, but rather connected with some other intentention.

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I always thought vibrato came naturally. If it doesn't come or if I have to work for it, that is a huge sign that I'm straining. Of course it's not desirable to sing with vibrato all the time for artistic reasons.

Perhaps try some lower tones that you could sing in your sleep and focus on steady support and an open throat (inner smile/FVF retraction). Learn that feeling and apply it to the higher and lower parts of your range.

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When you're achieving that balance for 'natural vibrato', does this mean you're not physically controlling or consciously manipulating for the vibrato to be present? I was taught that physically manipulating the vibrato from the diaphragm is one way of practicing/getting used to the feeling of doing it. How do you cultivate the balance of air pressure needed to produce the vibrato?

Thanks in advance!

Diaphragmatic vibrato is one technique that is used. However, you'll find a lot of differing opinions on it's use. I've found the nicest vibrato is one that is "automatic" or doesn't require manipulation.

Karyn O'Conner explains it on her website:

http://www.singwise.com/cgi-bin/main.pl?section=articles&doc=Vibrato

"Vibrato is the result of a balance between muscle systems in antagonistic relation to each other during phonation. When this balance occurs, the antagonistic muscle systems develop an alternating pulse that is a reflection of the continued energy level required of them to maintain equilibrium and muscular health. (Consider how muscles elsewhere in the body, such as those in our arms, begin to shake when strain or tension is prolonged. When we lift or hold a heavy object for a long period of time, we’ll often experience a periodic but constant shaking of the muscles that are being used.) In other words, the muscles of the larynx begin to pulse rhythmically in response to tension and subglottic pressure, and that produces the characteristic vibrato sound. It occurs naturally in order to protect the vocal folds."

The alternating pulse of the muscles require less energy and produce less stress.

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