Ahh, vibrato. The pleasing-to-the-ear vocal effect that enhances any voice with an undeniable polish, warmth, vitality and style.
So what exactly is it and how does it work? The word vibrato comes from the Italian “vibrare”, meaning “to vibrate”. Which makes sense because vibrato is the fast oscillation, or vibration, of a note between two pitches.
This subtle bending of a note is produced as a result of a relaxed and open throat combined with proper breath support (involving even, consistent air pressure), which allows for the free oscillation of the vocal folds.
While some singers seem to have been born with a naturally-occurring vibrato, many others have to work at it, with some finding the skill to be seemingly forever elusive. If the struggle has been real for you, don’t despair! Like so many other aspects of a singer’s instrument, vibrato can be developed and refined over time. See if you can find what works best for you in the videos below!
How To Develop Vibrato – Vibrato Techniques for Singers
Madeleine Harvey believes that while vibrato is a naturally occurring effect in the voice, it does have a deliberateness to it and must be engaged. She shows us how here:
Skip to 3:14 to start the first exercise.
How To Sing Vibrato – 12 Easy Ways to Make It Happen
Matt here provides a breadth of different exercises to try that can facilitate the development of your vibrato, including ones with such delightful names as “The Maroon 5 Vibrato” and “The Beggar’s Pulse”. Check ‘em all out to see which works best for you!
Skip to 2:37 to begin the first lesson.
How to Sing With Vibrato – How to Sing Better
Tara Simon says that “vibrato is your voice’s thank you note to you because of a lack of tension”. Watch her demonstrate this and more here:
Skip to 2:15 to see the start of the demonstration.
Singing Tutorial: How To Sing With Vibrato
Kerri Ho introduces the fundamentals to developing a lovely and free vibrato:
Go to 2:21 to start the first exercise
How To Sing With Vibrato – What Does Vibrato Feel Like?
Dr. Dan alleviates the pressure for those without a natural vibrato by discussing the merits of each singer’s unique voice, while also providing a practical exercise:
Skip to 3:00 to start the puffy pulsating cheek exercise.
How to Do Vibrato With Resonance – Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy
Ken gives us a very thorough explanation of the different styles of vibrato with examples of singers that use them, culminating in his demonstration of a natural and healthy vibrato.
Skip to 9:45 for Ken’s overview on natural vibrato.
How to Start to Find Your Vibrato (The Art & Mindset of It All)
Chris Liepe says that it’s important to develop a mentality that rather than MAKING vibrato happen, we need to LET it happen. Figuring out how things are supposed to feel first helps, as he demonstrates:
Skip to 2:55 to start the ghost lesson.
Skip to 7:22 for the next section.
Skip to 8:58 for the final exercise
5 Ways to Sing With Vibrato
For all the late bloomers out there, Chuck Gilmore gives us hope! As a youngster, Chuck was told he just wasn’t born with vibrato, until he found his at age 44. Here are some of his tips to find yours:
Skip to 1:22 to start the first exercise.
And one more from Chuck:
Singing Exercise – One Exercise to Get or Improve Vibrato
Vibrato 2 – Faster, Freer Vibrato – Voice Lessons To The World
Justin Stoney discusses the different ways vibrato is created, what might be preventing yours from happening freely, and an exercise that might help!
Skip to 1:44 to hear Justin talk about how vibrato is done.
Skip to 2:40 to hear some of the reasons why your vibrato might not be working.
Skip to 5:23 to hear Justin demonstrate the difference between an effective vibrato and one that’s too slow.
Skip to 6:58 to get right into the exercise.
And one more from Justin with another great exercise to try!
Vibrato 1 – Pitch Changes – Voice Lessons To The World
Skip to 5:55 to start the pitch bend exercise.
How’d it go? Off to the races? Congrats! Feel like you’re taking crazy pills? That’s okay too! Remember, with practice and patience, you can and you will find your own natural, balanced vibrato. You can doooo iiiiiit!
What’s your technique for amazing vibrato? Or the best videos you’ve seen on the topic?
As challenging as vibrato can sometimes be for singers to master, what’s even more challenging is mastering vibrato during a sustained high note. Here’s a collection of some of the best in the biz doing just that:
Famous Singers High Notes With Insane Vibrato
Who’s your fave? Mariah? Celine? Whitney? Gaga? Kelly? Ariana? Adam? Dimash? Queen Bey? So many vibrato virtuosos, oh how will you choose…