Episode 024 | Tara B | Singing with Vibrato

This episode dives into the world of vibrato. Many people have different ideas on how vibrato is made. Tara B explains healthy ways of producing vibrato, which can be a lovely addition and facet to our unique voices. Find out how to create a vibrato that lets you feel free in the process. 

(3:22) The 3 parameters of vibrato (from Richard Miller’s The Structure of Singing

Fluctuation of Pitch 

A Variation of intensity 

Number of undulations per second 

(4:54) There are 6.5 undulations per second for an average vibrato. A super fast vibrato is called a tremolo. A super slow one is called la voce oscilla—“the unfavorable wobble” 

(6:33)  Vibrato pitch is smaller than a semi-tone, a half step. 

(7:36) Unhealthy vibrato can be produced through the base of the tongue, causing unnecessary tension. 

(8.58) If the laryngeal structure isn’t supported by breath flow and the right pressure, the back of the tongue may become tense. It may shake, then causing an unhealthy vibrato. 

(10:16) Unhealthy vibrato can also be produced by stomach vibrato. 

(13:01) Everyone can potentially have vibrato, according to Thomas Shipp. 

(13:40) Healthy vibrato starts in the brain. But as it activates, it relaxes the vocal folds. 

(14:35) Karyn O’Conner says in Singwise “Vibrato is a result of balance between muscle systems in antagonistic relation to each other during phonation.  When this balance occurs, the antagonistic muscles develop an alternating pulse that is a reflection of the continued energy level required of them to maintain equilibrium.” 

(17:26) “Oscillations that occur in vibrato are the body’s response to mounting tension.” 

(18:28) Richard Miller says that a wobbles is where the natural structural support is removed from the larynx. It takes more energy to oscillate pitch. 

(20:03) Onset exercise:   1. Ha, hee      (Sing on the same pitch) ha-2-3-4    hee-2-3-4 

(21:09) 2. Sing “ga” on the same pitch. Add your hand pointing every time you sing a note. 


(25:44) from Matt Ramsey and Ramsey Voice Studio 

1. Put hand on belly. Vocalize like an old car starting its engine on ee. Let the stomach move at first and then not move as you keep on. 

2. Ghost Vibrato:  oo       Slide around like a ghost song then settle on one note and slide. Shake or flap your hands while singing and notice if vibrato is there. 

(27:56) Exercise: “the land of the free” from our National Anthem. On the word “free”, hold a straight tone once through. Then the second time hold for a bit and let go—release/relax. 


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