This is a valuable discussion between Saily and I on vibrato and applies to all of us:
I am so sorry to disturb you often but I wanted to ask you this.
I am in the stage two of singer’s impact, learning vibrato. Tried vibrato in my usual B# scale and I could easily place notes better without strain. I was much comfortable singing. I might not be doing it right but I felt at ease. I could feel the tight feeling I always had, is gone. What is making the difference? Shall I try singing in vibrato all the time. This is very much against our style & placing exact notes is what we do all the time. Little confused.
Could you guide ?
Hi Saily: Vibrato relaxes the vocal cords somewhat. There is more balance between the air from the lungs and the muscle in the vocal cords. It promotes a healthy tone production. In contrast, the straight tone (which is used a lot in American Pop, Rock, Gospel, R&B, etc) causes an imbalance between the air and muscle. There’s more muscle than air and this condition tires the voice. Out of balance, now the larynx comes up in an effort to help and outer neck muscles come in to try and help…which makes it worse.
Vibrato is not necessary on all notes. Only Opera and some other religious or western classical music uses fairly constant vibrato.
Here’s an example of Barbra Striesand singing. https://youtu.be/S-P2VhTynh0 1:00. Notice she uses vibrato on notes she sustains, but on phrases she doesn’t. This is pretty standard.
Even if some singers don’t use vibrato in their songs, they should use it in their vocal exercises. This will help rebalance the voice and return it to a healthier condition. It is better for the health of the voice long term. But if it is not used in your genre, then you have to program it into your exercises, and your warmups and warmdowns after you perform. Only singing with the straight tone will eventually break down the voice.