How to Develop Vibrato in Your Singing Voice

By Chris Anzalone
A metronome keeps time as you develop vibrato

If you aspire to sing in musical theater or even if you just want to improve your voice for original music or choir practice, you will want to develop your vibrato. This quality creates a natural, rhythmic vibration in your voice, never forced and always repeated in perfect time. This should never be confused with general shakiness or wobbling, both of which indicate a lack of vocal control. To truly develop your vibrato, you will want to practice every day.

Control your breathing. Before you begin singing, take a moment to notice your breaths. Try and keep each breath slow and consistent, maintaining a steady heart rate.

Assume the correct posture. Stand firmly with your chin parallel to the floor, your shoulders back, chest held high, and hands and knees relaxed.

Focus on your timing when you sing. If you have difficulty maintaining a steady beat, you will want to sing while a metronome plays in the background and keeps the time for you.Timing is everything with vibrato, as your voice must remain fluid and controlled in order to achieve the correct effect.

Begin practicing vocal exercises to warm up your voice. Practice notes as well as pronunciation. For example, the website Vocalist recommends singing the words "I really love to sing," while moving up a musical scale. In other words, each syllable in the sentence would correspond to a note on the scale, placing each syllable one chromatic note higher than the last.

Practice holding long notes. Choose a note and sing it from your diaphragm, holding it for as long as you can without taking a breath. This will stretch your lungs and your vocal cords and help you to begin developing your vibrato. If you keep practicing this technique, you may find that your natural vibrato begins to manifest on its own.

Try yawning while singing a long note. The process of yawning will help you to strengthen the muscles required to achieve a perfect vibrato. Practice this technique every day and you will begin to notice the vibrations.

Sing vocal trills. In simple terms, a trill simply requires you to choose at least two notes on a scale, such as C and G, and sing the two notes in quick succession without pausing, repeating back and forth between them like a rapid, repetitive musical phrase. The Voice Teacher recommends this technique as a way of quickly awakening the vibrato function.

Practice singing songs that require a great deal of bravado. You may want to begin with Broadway showtunes, as professional musical theater requires a mastery of the vibrato technique.