Does your vibrato sometimes go flat as you sustain it? Whether you’re learning vibrato or you want to improve it, this is for you.
Hi, I’m Chuck Gilmore, Founder of Power To Sing and the Second Nature Singing System. For some singers who are learning vibrato for the first time or are working to improve it, sometimes they go flat while they’re sustaining it. Their pitch slides downward until it’s flat. Here are 3 steps and a vibrato exercise to stay on pitch as you sustain your vibrato.
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Vibrato Alternates Between Two Whole-Step Pitches
Vibrato alternates between two whole step pitches, and the bottom pitch is the baseline pitch that is prominent as it cycles. [Demo] It is not a trill where you hear two distinct pitches. [Demo] As the oscillations speed up, the step between the alternating pitches blends and a swing in the sound emerges [Demo] and you hear the vibrato as a whole tone with the bottom tone as the dominant pitch. [Demo]
The Baseline Tone Is The Dominant Pitch
How does the baseline tone become the dominant pitch if it alternates between two pitches?
In the swing of the pitches the baseline pitch is the prominent tone you hear.
How Does The Singer Control Which Becomes The Dominant Pitch?
How does the singer control which becomes the dominant pitch without just holding a straight tone on the same pitch?
The undulations between pitches should spin 6-8 cycles per second. And it spins on and over the top of the baseline pitch not below the baseline pitch.
Three Steps to Sustain the Pitch with Vibrato
Here are three steps to help you stay on pitch as you sustain the vibrato.
- Vibrato must be energized with the mind by thinking above the baseline pitch and not below the pitch. Literally, think up. Sing it with energy and not lethargy. I think of the tone with vibrato driving out of me and forward, like I’m sending it to the back of the room…or across the street.
- A low breath, assisted by the diaphragm will help you energize tone and maintain pitch. When you inhale, the tummy comes out, as if you were filling up a balloon in your tummy. This action is caused by the diaphragm flattening downward from your ribcage, pushing your tummy out, and creating a vacuum which draws air into the lungs. As you sing you exhale and pull your tummy in toward your spine. When sustaining vibrato pull your tummy in and hold it in place until you take your next breath.
- If the cycle of vibrato is too slow, it gets too tall and deep and will begin to wobble and dip below the baseline pitch which makes it sound flat. Try speeding it up but not so fast that you get a tremolo. Faster will help create the swing in the cycle that centers the pitch and helps tune your voice.
Try this exercise to speed up your vibrato. [Soft Gee on a 5 Tone scale up and down C3] Girls do it an octave higher.
Here’s the link to a vibrato playlist with a bunch of videos to help you learn or improve vibrato.
Inside the Second Nature Singing System in Pillar I resides my course, Conquer Vibrato. I’m making it available to you as a stand alone course and here is the link to Conquer Vibrato.
The vibrato playlist will help you a great deal. But, when you are ready to SING with vibrato, confidently sing with it, get the course. It’ll help you immensely.
If you missed my previous video, you may not know you can develop a natural vibrato in your voice… so natural that it sounds like you were born with? it.
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Be sure to join me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @PowerToSing. I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing. For you vibrato can be second nature.