How To Sing With Vibrato If You Have A Straight Tone

You Can Develop Vibrato Even if You Sing With A Straight Tone Today!

It seems that in more modern singing styles, vibrato is not seen as something that doesn’t quite fit. If you listen to many singers, they will tend to sing a straight tone when holding long notes, and some singers may bring some vibrato right at the end of the note.

Check out this video of Greenday as an example of a singer who seems to have no vibrato at all.

I believe a little differently. I think that vibrato gives a voice its beauty. I also think that it can be used quite happily in modern singing. If you don’t believe me, just listen to artists like Jeff Buckley.

The correct use of vibrato not only makes a voice beautiful but can also make the voice sound bigger as well as improve the tone. In fact, vibrato is a natural product of singing without any interference from the throat muscles.

In this article, I want to explain how vibrato is created, and also how you can learn how to sing with vibrato if you currently have no vibrato.

how to sing with vibrato image 1How Is Vibrato Created?

Before I show you an exercise that can help you learn how to sing with vibrato, we should first define it and explain how it is created.

Firstly, vibrato can be defined as a “musical effect consisting of a regular, pulsating change of pitch (wikipedia)”

As mentioned previously, vibrato is a product of correct singing. When you are supporting correctly and singing with an open throat, then vibrato should happen naturally.

In fact , the main driver for vibrato is correct support. Let me explain.

When you contract your breathing muscles to support the voice, this contraction is maintained by nervous impulses sent to these muscles via the nervous system itself. This can be thought of as a “nervous tremor”.

This is quite natural and is one of the signs of correct vocal technique. The actual speed of vibrato can vary with the individual singer, but a vibrato that is too fast for example, the vibrato sounds more like a “tremolo”, is generally a sign of some kind of interference in the voice.

Vibrato really does add a certain warmth or quality to a note. If you don’t believe me, here is a guitar tutorial that shows how vibrato can make a difference to the tone and feel of a note. You only need to watch the first minute to see the difference.

How To Sing With Vibrato

So, how do you learn how to sing with vibrato, and also if you don’t currently have vibrato, or you sing with a straight tone, how do you do about developing it?

The only way is to learn how to sing with a good technique, and that means learning how to sing using correct vocal support. To learn how to improve your voice using support, please see this article, as it explains support in much greater detail.

Once you have the basic concept of support down, and you are singing without interference, then you should start to see vibrato naturally being produced in your voice.

If you are struggling developing vibrato, then there is an exercise that you can do to help “kick start” vibrato in your voice.

Basically, you can use the activation/deactivation of the support system to help simulate vibrato.

Sing a low note supporting properly, release your support, then reapply it again. This should result in a wobble that you can control speed wise by controlling the rate at which you apply/release support.

Please only do this in the lower part of your voice, and you can practice this exercise until support starts to become a natural part of your singing. Be careful to only do this using proper support, as trying force vibrato or create it in other ways could lead to vocal damage.

So, that’s how you can learn how to sing with vibrato…..

How to sing with vibrato image 2


While vibrato has been seen as being a “classical singing technique”, and not relevant in modern singing styles, I contend that vibrato actually makes your sound better by adding warmth and quality.
I also content that it is a product of good singing technique and an important part of a healthy, well rounded voice.

One way to also test this theory is to record your voice in Garage Band or some other software using a microphone and listen back to the results. I did this one day and the improvement in tone and quality was astounding.

Well, now you know how to sing with vibrato and you also know why it is important and how it is created, I hope that you can use this information to become a better singer.

I wish you success in all your singing endeavors…..

Andy Barnes

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  • Pete Scott

    Reply Reply January 5, 2016

    Sorry Andy. I just don’t understand what this means. It is the key passage in your article for accessing the how, and it just doesn’t communicate anything to me. I realise you know what it means, but it doesn’t enable me. I wish it did . . .

    Sing a low note supporting properly, release your support, then reapply it again. This should result in a wobble that you can control speed wise by controlling the rate at which you apply/release support.

    • Andy Barnes

      Reply Reply January 9, 2016

      Hi Pete,

      You are correct, you will get a wobble at first, and when this exercise is done, it must be done properly using correct support. In time, the wobble can be brought up to vibrato speed.

      Bear in mind that this is an exercise that should only be used as a last resort. Generally, if you support correctly and there is no interference from the swallowing and other interference muscles, then you should start to hopefully see and hear your natural vibrato.

      I will make sure that this is clear in the article as well.


  • Graham

    Reply Reply January 22, 2016

    You suggest asking Jeff Buckley about using vibrato in “modern” music. You know he died nearly 20 years ago, right?

  • Andy Barnes

    Reply Reply January 22, 2016

    Yes I do. It was meant more as a “metaphorical ask”, but I have changed it because it is confusing

  • Mauro

    Reply Reply January 31, 2016

    Hi.. I agree with Pete Scott. Sorry Andy but please, explain a little bit better.. What is the support? How to support and how do I release it?? I don’t understand about this thing and is really important for me to understand so I can know Who to start the excercise..

    • Mauro

      Reply Reply January 31, 2016

      I meant “how” not Who..

    • Andy Barnes

      Reply Reply February 9, 2016

      Hi Mauro,

      Support is lifting the abdominal muscles upwards against the diaphragm in order to close the vocal cords. It basically is taking a breath, then lifting your abdominal muscles upwards, and then sustaining that lift until you need to breath again, then you simply release the muscles and repeat.

      I sell a tutorial on support for $10 here if you would like to know more –


  • Brian

    Reply Reply February 6, 2016

    Is it hard to sing?

  • Andy Barnes

    Reply Reply February 9, 2016

    Yes it can be hard to master singing. It takes 10% talent and 90% hard work and practice

  • A vibrato that adds a touch of class to your voice everytime you switch it on… And one that you can turn on and off as you please, just like turning on a tap.You see, when vibrato is flowing effortlessly in your voice it means that something good is happening. Vibrato is a sign of good vocal technique. Plus it sounds fantastic…

    • Andy Barnes

      Reply Reply June 28, 2016

      Absolutely agree with you….

      It sounds so much better than a straight tone

  • Erny

    Reply Reply September 15, 2016

    its so elusive for me to do vibrato. can someone help me out with a step by step approach to vibrato

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