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How to learn vocal vibrato

By Chris Glyde

As a vocal coach the biggest question I get from people who want to improve their voice, be it an early beginner singer or someone untrained, is how to improve their vibrato. I realize that many people don’t exactly know where vibrato comes from.

Let’s first talk about what typically happens when people try to perform vibrato without any technique. I have some experience with this, since I’ve been singing since I was a kid, but didn’t train my voice until 17. Typically when someone has no training their vocal vibrato is caused by a shift in the larynx. This is not traditional vibrato that would be found in classical vocal training. The problem with this type of vibrato is that it relies on raising the larynx and increasing the tension of the note. This is why it can be hard to put vibrato on higher notes because they have nowhere to put their larynx.

You can find examples of this in plenty of singers, the most obvious sign is that their vibrato goes up in pitch. A proper vocal vibrato goes down in pitch. A proper vocal vibrato also is caused by resonation. Your voice resonates when it relaxes and therein lies the problem with just trying to learn vibrato.

The vocal system is like any system of pieces that move harmoniously together. If you’re trying to improve one aspect without improving the others it’s simply not going to work.  In order to relax when you’re learning vibrato, you need to develop all areas of your voice. There is no such thing as just learning vibrato. You must spend time and improve the whole structure together. Learn to support your voice and relax the larynx to create the resonance. It’s the relaxation of the larynx that causes the resonance you’re looking for and thus the natural vibrato.


About The Author:

Chris Glyde is a vocal coach in Rochester, New York. If you’re looking to develop a strong vibrato and build upon the system of your vocal structure than check out

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