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Control Your Vibrato – So it Doesn’t Control You

Control Your Vibrato – So it Doesn’t Control You

It’s possible to find dynamism with your vibrato.

Jono McNeil discusses the differences between diaphragmatic and laryngeal vibrato – along with some practice exercises in this video.

Caz Jones is a singer currently at London’s Academy of Contemporary Music.

My Reaction to This Week's Singing Competition Entry

Spencer Lord Spencer Lord - Riptide (Cover)

Spencer, you have a distinct sense of style and confidence. Yet, you seem to experience quite a bit of tension whenever you access the upper peaks of the melody. Watch your changes in posture and facial expressions when accessing these notes. To avoid these unnecessary supports, consider practicing singing these notes at a quieter volume, lying on the floor in a semi-supine position. This will ease the need to over-compression or contort your neck.

If you’re signed up to VoiceCouncil’s Peer-Review, you’ll be receiving unique insight from Jono McNeil for the next 4 weeks. You can sign up now.

Jono McNeil

Jono McNeil has established an exciting position in the UK music scene as a contemporary/pop vocal coach, whilst also singing with an impressive array of artists such as Michael Buble, Nelly, Lemar, Josh Groban and Jocelyn Brown, to name a few. Heading up the vocal department at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM), developing some of the country’s most exciting new talent, he has also worked, both coaching and scouting on two seasons of BBC’s hit programme, The Voice.

  • Londn Vocal Coach

    I want to write the most respectful post I can whilst expressing my shock at the video on vibrato above. To put this out to so many thousands of followers is, in my opinion, incredibly irresponsible. If The Voice Council is trying to develop an identity as an authority on voice then you should surely be sending out good, safe and healthy information… the coaching on vibrato above is neither of those things. In fact it is the opposite; misguided, unhealthy and ultimately damaging if used consistently. I would advise anyone watching this video to NOT use this technique to obtain vibrato. I watched open mouthed in surprise and disbelief at the information and technique used here. I am not going to be trashy and promote my vocal coaching company/newsletter/website here, as that is not my goal in this post. I hope this video gets taken down and a better one replaces it.

  • Kathy Coneys Alexander

    All my singing teachers were vague about vibrato saying things like, “It will just come naturally and you shouldn’t try to force it.” This is good advice, because forced vibrato doesn’t sound good, but on the other hand, Jono is giving some concrete exercises that, although a little unnatural, could get the ball rolling for some singers. These tricks are somewhat “synthetic” (which he even says in the video) but can help a singer unlock the door to vibrato when they are stuck with a completely straight sound. In modern styles of singing, both laryngeal and diaphragmatic vibrato are acceptable (so is a straight tone, for that matter!), whereas classical vocal methodology scorns the diaphragmatic. If a singer keeps the larynx relaxed, as he says, then I don’t think they are going to end up forcing. I would stress that these tricks may get the ball rolling, but that a healthy vibrato takes time to develop and should ultimately be natural and effortless.

  • Dede de Vries

    Hello Londn Vocal Coach,

    So you disagree with Jono.

    What is your advise to develop vibrato ?

  • David

    For classical singers, a low larynx with added diaphragmatic vibrato is a great way to go. Not the only way, but a very steady way, as the epigastrium never tightens to the point of seizing up, and must be kept supple and bouncing…..Samuel Ramey was a fantastic example of this diaphragmatic vibrato…..you won’t find a bass anywhere with his contol of steady tone. listen carefully and you will hear the pulse …. Without this diaphragmatic pulse the epigastrium can and does lock up, which can become a disaster. Trust me, it took me many voice teachers and years to finally find this fantastic solution to singing with ease.