Why do theatre performers ‘quiver’ their mouths when doing vibrato?

Asked by: Amber Carlson

Why do singers mouths shake?

…describes a method of simulating vibrato by rapidly quivering the jaw and tongue. This movement creates rapid changes in tone and in vowel formation, leaving the listener with the impression that the singer is creating vibrato.

Should your jaw move during vibrato?

And second of all the jaw has nothing to do with a vibrato. You want to relax your jaw and really let go and if you do that. Probably you won't have the job moving try to relax your jaw.

Why do singers voices quiver?

“Vibrato — it helps you transmit sound over distance. It actually protects the voice against what otherwise would cause a lot of vocal strain. It’s part of the body’s mechanism to produce a large volume of sound, without doing any damage. The secret is to try to keep the sound frequencies all lined up.

Is vibrato natural or learned?

Vibrato is something that happens very naturally when your vocal technique is solid. Particularly when your voice is creating sound with a lot of freedom. But it is also a skill that can be learned. There are vibrato exercises on this page that will help you develop it.

Is vibrato difficult?

Vibrato’s use in various musical genres. Vibrato is sometimes thought of as an effect added onto the note itself, but in some cases it is so fully a part of the style of the music that it can be very difficult for some performers to play without it.

How do you control vibrato when singing?

Now to slow the vibrato down I want you to decrease the speed of your airflow. And also decrease the amount of compression you're using on your vocal folds so we're going to go from fast to slow.

How long does it take to develop vibrato?

Vibrato is a byproduct of strengthening and controlling the muscles in the larynx. For beginner singers, vocal vibrato may come naturally after 10-15 lessons with a good singing teacher. For those that already have control over pitching a note, vibrato can develop with hard work within a week.

What vibrato feels like?

Some people feel vibrato as a quivering of the pitch. Others feel little bursts of air hitting the back of their throat. There’s no right or wrong answer. The only right way to learn vibrato is to find an exercise that works every time.

Why do people move their head when singing?

Many amateur singers or students of singing raise their head whenever they move from low notes to progressively higher notes. The rationale is that as the notes get higher, the student or singer feels that they need to raise their head in order to visualize the higher notes and to be able to sing higher!

Is vibrato conscious?

Vibrato must be consciously or unconsciously caused physically by the singer. Even instrumentalists cause vibrato either by mouth motions (embouchure vibrato), hand motions or conscious diaphragmatic pulsations.

Does vibrato come from the throat?

Vibrato is a small variation of pitch occurring spontaneously that results from the free oscillation of the vocal cords. A singer achieves a healthy vibrato by allowing for an open pharynx (open throat) while his/her vocal cords come together seamlessly without unnecessary holding/tension.

Do children have vibrato?

In young voices, however well-balanced the laryngeal activity, a vibrato is rare. I have only heard what I would call an intrinsic vibrato in children who are not only technically adept but also approaching puberty. In children younger than this I would suggest that any vibrato is a consciously imposed wobble.

What is false vibrato?

Airflow is modulated by periodic and rhythmic movement of the abdomen, which creates a false vibrato. Many singers develop this bad vocal habit in order to have some sort of vibrato when no healthily, technique-obtained vibrato is actually present.

Why do Broadway singers use so much vibrato?

Vibrato has the effect of warming up the voice and helping it carry over a large orchestra and across a concert hall. It shifts the pitch and frequency of a note ever so slightly, but happens so quickly it is barely noticed.

Why is my vibrato weak?

A ‘weak’ vibrato could be caused from a few thing, it could be due to the fact each oscillation is not prominent enough, or it could be the voice underneath the vibrato lacks presence due to slightly unrefined technique in one area or another.

Can you have too much vibrato?

A singer with fast vibrato creates too much air pressure for the larynx or vocal cords to respond effectively, caused by an aggressive approach to breath management. Singers with a tremolo are generally tense, controlling, or possibly overanxious emotionally. Simply learning to relax is not enough to correct it.

How do you know if you are doing vibrato correctly?

Your attention to the note hopefully you'll hear a slight movement or fluctuation. In the pitch.

How many types of vibrato are there?


There are three basic types of vibrato: wrist (more properly “hand vibrato”), arm, and finger. There is also a fourth type: a “simulated” vibrato called fingertip vibrato.

What is the difference between tremolo and vibrato?

In short: Vibrato deals with change in pitch. Tremolo deals with change in volume. True vibrato is most often achieved either manually or mechanically.

What is hammer vibrato?

Hammer vibrato is also known as ‘vocal cord’ vibrato. It sounds like a long sequence of pulsations on the same note. It may be thought of as a long line of attacks. Hammer vibrato is most likely produced at the vocal cord level, i.e. Level 1 (see ‘Various levels of the vocal tract’).