Singers- Learn How To Control Your Vibrato


Vibrato is the oscillation in pitch that happens naturally in a relaxed and well supported singing voice- usually at the end of a phrase. Vibrato is your voice’s way of releasing tension and should never be forced or faked. Skilled singers can sing with or without vibrato. They can also control the speed and intensity of their vibrato at will.

The more control you have over your vibrato, the more versatile and expressive you can be as a singer.

How To Control Your Vibrato

Here are some simple exercises to help gain control of all aspects of your vibrato.

Vocal Technique

Good vocal technique is the best way to get an even, beautiful vibrato. Too much tension in the throat & vocal folds can inhibit your vibrato or cause it to be uneven/unsteady.

Also, if you don’t have enough air flow supporting your voice, you will tense the muscles in your throat in an attempt to force the sound out. This causes vocal strain and can prevent your vocal folds from moving freely and releasing tension (and your vibrato). To learn more about vocal technique for unlocking your vibrato check out this helpful tutorial- How To Sing With Vibrato

Vibrato Styles

Every singing voice is different- Some people naturally have a lot of vibrato and some have just a little. The sound of your vibrato is a combination of your voice’s natural sound (the way you are built) and what you listen to (your musical influences).
Vibrato styles very from genre to genre and have changed over time. For instance, in the 1920’s and 30’s a fast vibrato was in style.
Here’s the great Fanny Brice as an example of 1920’s vibrato


Classical singers use vibrato almost constantly- a very different sound than contemporary singers use.

Check out the masterful Joan Sutherland here-


Jazz, blues, soul, gospel and R&B singers tend to use big vibratos and rich tone.
R&B Singer, Jazmine Sullivan-

Pop/Soul/Jazz Singer Amy Winehouse-

Great singers can subtly change the sound of their vibrato to fit the style of music they are singing. Take a listen to Brandy Carlile sing with two distinctly different vibrato styles on two songs from the same album.
In this song “Wilder (We’re Chained)”, Brandy is using a lot of fast, light vibrato popular in classic country music (a la Dolly Pardon, Emmylou Harris). You’ll hear that her vibrato widens on long held notes.


Here she sings with much less vibrato- mostly only coming in at the end of held notes- a Pop Music sound- “Blood Muscle Skin and Bone”



Enjoy your practice and I’ll see you next time!












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