How To Sing With Vibrato

Regarding the MANY questions I have received about Vibrato.

I have seen so much bizarre information on various forums that I am glad to answer this.

If you are a KTVA program user, you would remember that I said “Vibrato” is the last in the “food chain” or “Release Valves” (the vowel modifications I have you do in the volumes to relieve and release tension).

Once the correct vowel modification is achieved (with correct support), it “pings” to that little sweet spot (amphitheater in the back of the throat with good vowel placement) that sounds like the note is easy and soaking in reverb.  This is only truly achieved by open throat technique.  It’s at this point, vibrato is released, so as to “relax” the note and allow “resonance” to take over.  Remember I said it was “resonance” that grow the voice?   Not “powering” through the sound.

Once this “resonant vibrato” starts to oscillate, it gets more robust and fills up the room without the tension of what it would take to “power” out a note like that without proper technique.  AND it is this sound that GROWS the voice instead of tearing it down like when we “power” through a note.

So now the question was raised:

“So, from the note being held, does vibrato oscillate upwards or downwards?”

Think about this guys.  If Vibrato is the last in line for relieving tension, wouldn’t common sense tell you it oscillates downward (usually 1/8 to 1/4 tone.  Some people have a very wide vibrato and oscillate a 1/2 tone or even more like Bruce Dickinson).   If, when you are learning to develop vibrato, you try to oscillate “upwards”, you will actually create tension (of course…the note is going up).  If you oscillate downward, you are relieving tension and is more natural.  This is not to say that people like Freddie Mercury have a vibrato that oscillates upward. Sometimes it sounds like it does and sometimes it doesn’t.  But in candor, I am not a fan of his vibrato.  I prefer, Aretha, Sam Cook, Nat King Cole, Dio, Mariah, Mickey Thomas, Pavarotti,  and many others.  I would consider those as standards for healthy vibrato. So in my professional opinion, in order to maximize you final release valve, vibrato should oscillate downward approximately 1/8 to 1/4 tone below the root note.

Start out slowly to get the feel of it.  Then gradually speed up the vibrato until it feels more natural.  This will take some practice. But it will be worth it in the end.  Also: Do not “over-use” vibrato. This can be a crutch for bad pitch and vowel placement issues.  Use it sparingly so that its beauty stands on its own