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Country Vocals Lessons: Vibrato - Introduction

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[MUSIC]
Let's work
with vibrato.
For your listening list for
this lesson, goodness, there's so
many great singers that you can
listen to to study vibrato.
I like to listen to Alison Krauss
because she has such a beautiful light,
fluttery kind of vibrato.
She's got a very natural, fast vibrato.
I have to work very, very hard to even
attempt that speed of vibrato that
Alison does it so beautifully and
naturally, and the tone is gorgeous.
My vibrato is more
similar to Judy Garland,
who's also another singer
that I listen a lot to.
She's got an very big robust,
very deep modulation in her vibrato.
And I also like listening
to Raul Malo's vibrato.
He sings with the Mavericks.
And those are all singers that I
would put on your listening list for
looking at this particular quality or
tool that you are gonna have in your belt.
So the three things that we
can control and that determine
the sound of our vibrato,
are speed,
how fast the modulation happens.
This is a slow vibrato,
[MUSIC]
I actually slowed it down over time.
[MUSIC]
That time I spread the vibrato up over
time, so
you could hear how the speed varies.
You can also play with
the depth of your vibrato.
This engages your throat a little more.
And it's how far from the core tone,
the core pitch, so
you're delivering a pitch on a note,
and when you introduce vibrato,
part of what you're changing is
the pitch around the core pitch.
So if you're singing, [SOUND] for
example, a C, here's a straight tone.
C [SOUND].
Now I'm gonna introduce a little
bit of vibrato, C
[MUSIC].
You can hear that I'm
[MUSIC].
It's not as much as a half step, I'm not
[MUSIC],
I'm not varying the pitch as much as that.
But it's a subtle bending, it's a
de-tuning of the note C, [SOUND] that I'm
singing, that's part of the quality of
the vibrato that I'm using right there,
is I'm actually varying very subtly,
varying the pitch of the note.
How far I vary the pitch is
the depth of vibrato that I'm using.
I'm gonna try to deliver a very deep,
slow vibrato so
you can really hear the change in pitch.
[SOUND]
[MUSIC]
You can hear that the depth of the vibrato
is moving up and
down around that core tone.
The other part of there,
vibrato that you can control,
the other aspect of it is the volume.
And that's where you change the volume,
the loudness, increasing and backing off
on the loudness, so the volume of a note.
You don't have to change the pitch at all.
You can just modulate the volume.
If you stay on a single pitch, [SOUND] but
only change the volume,
modulate the loudness.
[MUSIC]
That I engage my respiratory muscles
from below my diaphragm,
my lower abdominal all the way
up through my rib cage,
I can feel that modulation
happening much more
from my respiratory muscles,
not so much from my throat.
The depth of the pitch I modulate
more with my throat muscles and
the muscles inside my mechanism.
But the volume of the vibrato I mostly
change with my breathing apparatus.
One more time,
this is just changing the volume.
[MUSIC]
That vibrato I delivered on the same
pitch, trying to keep
the pitch in perfect tune and
right at the core pitch, and
I just modulated the volume so
that it's like the note
is coming at you and
going back and
forth in distance, that's how
we perceive volume as
a function of distance.
So we're gonna do some
exercises where you can
practice working with each of these
different aspects of vibrato.
There's a backing track that you
can use to exercise on your own,
and there are some exercises
where you can sing along with me.
[MUSIC]