Learn How To Sing With A Vibrato – LESSON 17 – Craig Shimizu Voice

Learn How To Sing With A Vibrato – LESSON 17 – Craig Shimizu Voice

Many singers have natural vibratos that needed no development. Others need to understand what the vibrato is and how to jump-start it.

:05 Hi, this is Craig from Shimizu Voice. Today’s video request came from F.S. from Malaysia. And he said, “Could you explain what vibrato is and how to achieve it? Most often than most, coaches tell us that to create vibrato one must only turn off the mental block to create a mental block, but most of us don’t know what it actually is.”

:40 Actually with that description, I don’t know either. Could you explain and show us diagrams of what muscles are involved.

:47 I know one of the ways I used to teach the vibrato is from the diaphragm. When you do that, you kind of just pump the diaphragm like a, huh, huh, huh, huh. And you just increase the frequency. Huh, huh, huh, huh, huh, huh, huh.

1:06 So that’s how you would do a diaphragmatic vibrato.

1:10 One of my students, when he did his vibrato, I noticed that the area by the solar plexus where the diaphragm is, it moved in direct conjunction to his vibrato. And he had a fast vibrato. And the diaphragm moved at exactly the same speed. That’s why I continued to teach diaphragmatic vibrato.

1:32 The other thing that’s really good about the diaphragmatic vibrato is that it teaches you to connect your voice directly to the diaphragm.

1:38 And now, in that diaphragmatic vibrato, especially after I saw my student singing like that, I tried to see if there was a direct connection from the diaphragm to the vocal folds. One of my students who is a nurse went to check to see. “Phrenic, phrenetic nerve? But I was never able to confirm if there was any real nerve connection that causes the vibrato.

2:03 The other type of vibrato that’s taught is the pitch-change. Pitch-change vibrato, the ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah. You start off like that ah-ah-ah-ah. Those are called pulses. You increase the frequency of the pulses until you get the speed of the vibrato that you want. Ah-ah-ah-ah…
But you start off with the ah-ah-ah-ah.

2:42 Now, that vibrato, to me is dangerous. I think that’s the one that I learned, that pitch-change vibrato. It’s dangerous because it’s fooling around with the pitch. What happened to me was that when I hit the end of the sentence, I’d go into my vibrato but then I wasn’t quite sure where the pitch was. So that kind of tightened up my throat. But, this is my own experience. So I know that other people learned it this way and they’re fine. If it worked for you, the pitch-change vibrato and it didn’t affect your pitch, then good for you, great.

3:21 The type of vibrato that I like to teach is the one that’s natural. Your voice likes to shake after you’re done with the main part of the sentence, you’re just kind of holding a note. It’s, it’s like an energy release of your voice…that,that tone that you’re holding. And the reason I like it is that you can maintain pitch. You can hear the pitch steady but then you hear other sound waves that are fluctuating around it. I hope the camera can pick up this sound. Ah….

4:06 As I began to run out of air, you could hear the fluctuations come out more. And that’s where it kind of makes sense that’s what a natural vibrato sounds like. It’s just the vocal folds, uh relaxing at the end of a phrase.

4:15 How to practice it?

4:49 When you hear these fluctuations begin to occur, just like a computer, you store it in your mind. You say, “Okay, how’d you do that?” See if you can do it again. Then you want to try it on different pitches. Ahh…. Ah…

5:58 But the main thing is to be sure that you’re comfortable and your technique is still good in all phases. That means your, uh, being supported with your stomach and you’re using your diaphragm, your throat is comfortable.

6:12 That’s how you would learn to do a vibrato. You have three options.

6:18 You can do the diaphragmatic vibrato. Huh, huh,….

6:38 You can do the pitch-change. Ah, ah, …

7:05 For whichever exercise you do choose, also do different vowels, mainly, mainly the five major vowels: ah, eh, ee, oh, oo because the fluctuations will be different. Especially for the way, uh, I like to teach it with the fluctuations around the main frequency. Some vowels will have more fluctuations that others. And you can learn the vibrato faster. Like ee…..

7:48 That’s it. That’s how to do a vibrato.

66 thoughts on “Learn How To Sing With A Vibrato – LESSON 17 – Craig Shimizu Voice”

    1. +mazz sitima Hahaha! Yeah, I always have trouble picking the fonts. I thought this looked most like vibrato. As if I know what a vibrato looks like in print. 🙂

  1. I have a question,how do I make my whistles stronger,they are squiky and chipmunky,I wanna make them audible

    1. +it iz me b*tch The whistle register is tricky to train and strengthen. You have to keep the air flowing as your main priority. When the vocal folds come together while you’re practicing the whistle there will be a slight strain that will prevent you from attempting it more that a few times. Even when you do manage to get a nice whistle, you can only practice it a few time anyway because the whistle is being done with the very edge of the vocal folds and will exhaust themselves quickly. But with time you’ll be able to establish the coordination, strength and find more notes.

  2. minh duc nguyen

    Hello, I have a problem when singing higher with head voice. When using head voice or mix voice, my voice becomes strange (not airy, but sounds like a girl). Can you give me any advises to solve this problem? btw, my chest voice is from G2 to G4#. I cannot sing as high as tenor guys right? Thank you very much. I really like your videos (and your channel too)

    1. +minh duc nguyen Hi Minh, thanks for commenting and enjoying the channel!
      That sound that you’re making is a disconnected sound from your chest voice, which btw is pretty high at a G4#. You can easily become a tenor if you transform your entire chest range into a true mixed voice. This will allow you to move into the notes above G4# without breaking into a head voice. If you didn’t already please see my video “How To Sing: Using the Mixed Voice to Fix the Break (Crack)”, to learn how to do this.
      Let me know if this helps you.
      – Craig

    2. minh duc nguyen

      +Shimizu Voice Actually I watched that video and then found my mixed voice (thanks to you). But then the range of mixed voice is very short.I mean, I can go higher than chest voice 1 or 2 notes, but if I get higher, I need to change to pure head voice, and then girly voice begins 🙂 

    3. +minh duc nguyen
      That’s good. Did you also try the How to Belt video using the cry?  That’s another technique to link the head voice to the chest voice.  What’s happening at the break is air is suddenly being released.  The cry is meant to hold the vocal folds together to prevent it from becoming the head voice.
      Keep me posted if this works for you.

  3. Dean III Stanbury

    I’m a tenor/soprano my voice is very high and I’m able to hit whistle tone and much higher but some times its squeaks or goes so higher my voice is no longer audible and sounds like my voice just stopped

    1. +Dean III Stanbury Hi Dean, thanks for commenting. I posted an answer to someone else about the whistle register. Here it is again:
      The whistle register is tricky to train and strengthen. You have to
      keep the air flowing as your main priority. When the vocal folds come
      together while you’re practicing the whistle there will be a slight
      strain that will prevent you from attempting it more that a few times.
      Even when you do manage to get a nice whistle, you can only practice it a
      few time anyway because the whistle is being done with the very edge of
      the vocal folds and will exhaust themselves quickly. But with time
      you’ll be able to establish the coordination, strength and find more

      Did that help? If not, please let me know what you’re trying to do with the whistle register.

    1. +Dean III Stanbury What you’re experiencing is what happens when the vocal folds are allowed to part. The further apart the vocal folds are, the more air passes through them. Your vocal folds are allowing more air to pass through and thus the head voice becomes the falsetto or whistle tone.

  4. This topic is very touchy. I think the best way to produce vibrato is when you hold a note in a resting place and let vibrato naturally happen but it is also the hardest to master. I feel all the other techniques are only trying to imitate that. I alternate the pitch with my larynx which a lot of people do. its ok on mid-range notes but cant do it so easily on high notes because your larynx is raised and has little room or nowhere to go to alternate the pitch.

    1. +Conker32192 Thanks for commenting! Yes, there are different ways to develop a vibrato. As long as it sounds good, doesn’t cause you to lose your pitch and you’re comfortable while doing it then great!
      – Craig

  5. Thank you for the video. I love your explanation of all the techniques. 👍✨I wish I can take your class, but you are too far from California where I live. I will continue to watch your video then 😊

    1. +princesssayu You’re welcome, Princess! Please let me know what area of your voice you’re most concerned with. I’m designing this channel so that I can direct singers to the video that can most help them. If the subject has not been covered yet then I’ll make the video.

    2. +Shimizu Voice Ohhh Thank you so much Craig 😊 My most concerning is my vibrato. It’s not stable and sounds not natural when I switch to vibrato from straight voice. I’d also like to know what area ( position) of the palate the air flow should come out when I make vibrato.

    3. +princesssayu Airflow is controlled by the vocal folds and diaphragm.  Which type of vibrato are you trying to develop? Pitch change, throat or diaphragmatic?

    4. +princesssayu
      Hi Princess. If it’s the diapragmatic vibrato you’re interested in then do the diaphragm pump.  Put your hand on your solar plexus, the area right under your sternum and say some very breathy “huh”s. You should feel the diaphragm’s contribution to generate the huh. When you feel it then do a sustained huhhuhhuhuh. That’s a diaphragmatic vibrato.  Well, a start of one anyway.

  6. Cikgu Sarah Safarina

    i love your video.. im a teacher .. but when i talk louder in class to ecplain something , i get headache , if i talk normal..people sometime dont hear me.. can you give me some tips..

    1. +Cikgu Sarah Safarina Thanks for your question, Cikgu. I just helped someone with this yesterday. She actually came in for singing lessons but it lead to her speaking voice, which her friends always make fun of for being too high. She was speaking in a way that was way too high for her natural pitch. This causes loss of resonance and volume.
      Be sure that you are speaking in a comfortable pitch first. The next step is to reduce the airflow which also causes loss of resonance and power. Please learn adduction. To get you started, hold back the air (not your voice) when you speak. This should give you more projection.
      – Craig

    1. +Nicole Lim Thank you, Nicole! You’re very welcome. Please let me know if you have any questions.
      – Craig

  7. Moyses Ramirez

    hello Craig I love your videos but I was wondering if there’s some way I can send you audio of me singing and possibly you telling me what I can improve on if you can’t I fully understand why . I hope you have a great day 🙂 you rock!

    1. Christopher Tan

      +Shimizu Voice can I send too sir 🙁 you’re the best teacher I’ve ever seen in youtube, totally different from the others.

    2. +Christopher Tan Yes, I’ll listen to something  you send me.  But the easiest way, if you’re not shy is to post it on your youtube channel.  But my advice will be posted here.

    3. I listened to Xin Gan Bao Bei and you have a very good voice.  As I ask all my students, what is it that you’re having a problem with?  What don’t you like about your voice?

  8. musicisbrilliant

    You SERIOUSLY are one of the most helpful people on singing that Ive found. Please keep it up!!!!

    1. Thanks, Trisha! Actually there not so funny when it happens, but I guess everybody else think so. So if they can get a laugh, why not?

  9. Hi there,

    I would like to have clearer clarification for a natural vibrato. I myself can do diaphramatic vibrato, but it sounds not so natural, or it may be because I am not so adpet at it yet. But for the natural vibrato, it is something reallt hard to follow. I can sing straight tone and notice some undulating voice sometimes. But it is extremely hard to maintain that undulating voice tomcreate vibrato. Could you please help? Thanks.

    1. +Shimizu Voice Hi Craig, A short question. Should I still continue practicing manufactured vibrato as well? I am not sure whether manufactured and natural vibratos kinda support each other or not. I feel like I can do manufactured vibrato easier but I am not sure the other way around. Thanks Craig !

    2. Hi Arm.  Continue practicing whatever is working. I had no vibrato before.  In fact that was the main reason I took voice lessons.  So my vibrato is manufactured but sometimes when I’m singing a natural vibrato comes out.  I can tell because it’s faster and has smaller “waves”.  So the two may go together.

    3. Hi Craig, someone told me that practicing a vibrato when one just starts practice singing is not useful. Practicing a vibrato should come last, or near last, when one’s other techniques are solid. In my opinion, mastering a vibrato takes time so I think if I wait to practice it last, It will take even more time to master it. That’s why I think I should practice it concurrently with other techniques. What isnyour opinion about this? Sorry that you are questioned a lot regarding this topic. I really appreciate your opnion.

    4. Hi Arm.  Yes, people have many questions about vibrato.  Learning a vibrato is why I took lessons, so I know how important it is to many. I believe a vibrato should be on a student’s mind from the beginning.  If you don’t allow the natural undulations of the voice, the entire voice may stiffen.  So, you are doing the right thing. 
      Please ask all the questions you want. Every comment helps the video on the youtube ranking system.  So you are really helping me by making comments.
      – Craig

    5. Hi Craig, long time no see. I can do a manufactured vibrato more efficiently now, but some vocal coaches who teach a natural vibrato usually say that “A manufactured vibrato (probably a diaphragmatic one) can damage you vocal cords.” (or your voice in general.) Do you think this claim is true? I am kinda worried about this. Thanks as always !!

  10. My other question is whether it is good to do diaphramatic vibrato. Some say diaphramatic vibrato encourages abdominal tension and eventually throat constriction. Could you please clarify?

    1. A good diaphragmatic vibrato shouldn’t cause abdominal tension. However, if excess abdominal tension was already present then that should be fixed first, as this alone may be holding back your vibrato development.
      PS This was delayed because of “Failed To Post” message.

  11. Hi Craig
    I cannot intentionally produce vibrato when I sing but sometimes when I hit the high notes and sustain them I am able to produce vibrations somehow. Can that be called vibrato?

    1. Hi Krishna, hmm, that sounds like vibrato but the term vibrations is
      usually used for describing where the voice is felt. Is there anywhere I
      can listen to it? Or can you send it to me?

    2. Hi Krishna, sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. Because of the link, my channel thought it was spam.
      You have a natural, fast vibrato. Very nice. Like a computer, store all those places where they emerge. And also listen for slower paced vibratos and store those too.

  12. Andrea von Rehn

    Hi Craig. In one of your videos – I suppose on diaphragm or air control – you sing a powerful note for about 45 seconds, even several times. My questions: Is it diaphragmatic vibrato or natural vibrato – maybe diaphragmatically supported? And: What do we have to train to achieve such a long powerful tone? Will the usual support training exercises over a couple of months or years do? Or additional physical training? I can do a simple ssss for 50 seconds now and a very, very soft i or u for 30 seconds, an a being much more difficult, and a powerful, loud note also…

    1. Shimizu Voice

      Hi Andrea. Actually loud singing and breath efficiency go together. For the average singer, breath control on louder sounds is easier than breath control on softer singing.
      This is one of the main takeaways for me from CVT. I like how they make louder singing so easy (Overdrive). If you can just make that loud calling type of sound, you should be able to develop a powerful voice very quickly.
      I’ve never used those “ssss” drills to develop power, only to teach students not to tighten their stomachs. Loud singing has to do with adduction more than controlling the release of air, if that makes sense.

    2. Andrea von Rehn

      Sorry, me again in this matter. I would like to ask more precisely.
      I can sing loud and powerful, but I can make the loud tone last for max. 17 seconds, a soft note for half a minute (both “inhaling”). I wonder what’s the secret to keep the diaphragm down as long as you can;-)

    3. Shimizu Voice

      You may ask all the questions that you want, Andrea. The “secret” to holding the diaphragm down is very simple, be sure the glottis is closed. You can feel this instantly if you try to pick up something heavy. The glottis has to close to allow your body to do any heavy work. Now of course, we can’t sing like that, but that’s the “secret”, no air can be leaking out when you’re trying to control the diaphragm.

  13. Your explanation of vibrato seems a little crazy, given that virtually every pop or jazz singer is clearly using what you call “pitch change,” which is exactly how we wind-instrument players do it. It’s roughly a one-half-step down oscillation at the rate of about 4 per second. Name any famous singers that pump their diaphragms, or wind-instrument players for that matter. Don’t feel bad, even Seth Riggs’ vibrato explanation as a “whole-tone trill” is goofy too.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Learn to sing like a proLast chance to get your FREE 5 part singing course here !

Learn to sing with confidence, power and perfect pitch...

Learn to sing like a proGet your FREE 5 part singing course here !

Learn to sing with confidence, power and perfect pitch...