Vibrato is a slightly contentious topic which divides the minds – some singers can only sing with vibrato and some claim they can’t get any. No matter which group you belong to, Jono McNeil shows in this video workshop how to be able to control vibrato a little more.
Jono explains that vibrato, like many other vocal tools, can stylize songs and add a personal note to them. There are two main areas in the body to control vibrato. The first one is to control it with the diaphragm. This is better known as diaphragmatic vibrato. It helps the voice to sound thicker and richer. Although it is common as musical theatre style, there are also contemporary ways to make use of it. Jono demonstrates this with Macklemore’s “Can’t hold us” as example.
The other way to control the vibrato works through the larynx. It is called the laryngeal vibrato, which can very often be heard in jazz. But for the laryngeal vibrato, there are also ways to add it to contemporary music. A good example is Jessie J’s “Price Tag”, an R’n’B song Jono sings to us.
If you are struggling to get your vibrato, Jono shows you how to find it. He compares vibrato to the propeller of an old plane, which you have to push to start and then it takes off by itself. With vibrato it can be the same – if you place ner hand under your sternum to push the vibrato to start, you can slowly get it going. Once you know how to use it, you can pop it into songs here and there to get more expression and more life into your singing.