What is Vibrato?

What is Vibrato?

In case of vibrato, the voice is changing between two pitches that are close together very quickly. This variation in the frequency of tone or musical note must not exceed a semitone from the main note. This effect will add warm to your voice.

Although vibrato is often described as a pitch variation, it is also mentioned as an integral part of tone or a vocal timbre that is evenly distributed over the groups of notes. The pitch variation remains the same as written pitch, and the listener listen the listen the average pitch of the song. Vibrato is a centering intonation device, though it has the permission to have free swinging pitch.

The parameters to determine vibrato is the cycles per second, oscillation, and amplitude variance. How to sing in vibrato is something that is being taught in music school but the purpose is not clear yet, most scientists believe that vibrato provide relaxant principle, because body requires internal muscles relaxation while performing heavy duty vocal activity, i.e. singing with consistent notes at high pith for longer period of time. It generally results from neuromuscular excitation of the laryngeal mechanism. A balanced muscle system during phonation in the form of antagonistic relation produce vibrato. In order to maintain equilibrium in continuous energy level and muscular health, an alternative pulse is produced by antagonistic muscle system resulting the balance of vibrato. You can relate this to the shaking of your arms muscles while going through prolonged tension and strain. Due to the subglottic pressure and tension, the muscle of larynx produces rhythmic pulse. This finally creates the vibrato sound. In order to protect the vocal folds, this phenomenon normally takes place.

Small movement of jaw and tongue that cannot be detected by naked eye, can be detected with vibration phonation.

Vibrato teaching is a difficult task as long as the student has got solid breathing techniques, at least intermediate vocal skills, and good tone production.

Singing with vibrato can bring stylistic variation to song and vitality to the voice. You have to find out an expert teacher who is experienced in teaching vibrato. Then you have to detect the problems of your voice with the help of the coach, and try to solve this critical situation, and improve a quality base of your voice. After that, you can go for singing vibrato consistently, and continuously with success. But you have to practice a lot to achieve the main target of learning vibrato.

The oscillations of the vibrato resemble the body’s reflexive response to increasing tension, and are the result of healthy function of vocal folds. The tension of the vocal folds changes periodically, and creates movement in the pitch. Thickness of the vocal folds changes the tension.


Larynx is not responsible of producing vibrato. Periodic oscillation is transferred to the tongue, pharyngeal wall, and epiglottis during the vibrato. This is a major component of the relaxation that is produced from breathe energy regulation with vocal fold responses. Sometimes, the external musculature of neck may respond to small movement of epiglottis, pharyngeal wall, and tongue.