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Finding Your Vibrato Singing Style

Vibrato, the variation of a sustained tone or pitch, is one of the differences between singers and styles of music — how much vibrato they use and whether they use it all the time. A normal vibrato rate is five to eight pulses or fluctuations in the tone per second.

Vibrato can be fast or slow, depending on the singer. A really slow vibrato is sometimes called a wobble, which is often created by a lack of breath coordination. Vibrato that’s too fast is called a tremolo and usually results from too much tension somewhere in the throat or neck area.

Keep reading to find out what exercises can help you find your vibrato and to discover the difference between straight tone (no variation in pitch) and vibrato.

When you sing, one option is to use straight tone, with no vibrato or variation in the tone. You can use straight tone when you sing various styles of music, but you want the straight tone to be a choice, because it’s a different sound.

Knowing how to move from straight tone to a tone with vibrato is important in adding variety to your singing tone. Young male singers (before they hit puberty) don’t have vibrato, but almost everyone else has it or can acquire it.

One way to understand vibrato is to listen to other singers, especially classical singers. Almost every classical singer has vibrato. Listen to the pitches as the singer holds them out, to hear the variation of the tone. After you spend some time listening to others, record yourself singing a song that has sustained pitches. Listen to the recording of you singing.

Notice the variations of your tone as you hold out the pitches. You may find that the vibrato was there all along, and you just didn’t know it or didn’t know what it was called.

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