One of the hallmarks of an intermediate or advanced singer is singing with vibrato. It’s something you come to expect and what your ear intuitively listens for in a song. If you’re struggling with finding your vibrato, Coach Tara and Coach Sharmayne have just the trick for you.

The Secret Handshake

At Tara Simon Studios, we’ve come up with some unique and unorthodox ways of teaching vibrato. The most successful mechanism we’ve used with students has been “the secret handshake.” Here is what you do:

Clasp your two hands together in front of you holding them steady. Take a big breath and begin singing any straight-tone note within your natural range. As you sing, start moving your hands back and forth, not too slow and not too fast. You want a nice vigorous pace as if you are mixing a protein shake or bottle of milk. Doing this will simulate physically what vibrato feels like and is something you may need to do for a while until your muscle memory kicks in.


Once you understand the mechanics of vibrato using the secret handshake, the next step in the learning process is to self-conduct your vibrato. To do this, simply follow along with your finger making a horizontal line or motion as you sing a straight tone and then an upwards and downwards motion when singing vibrato. 

As you self-conduct, you can go back and forth between straight tone and vibrato. You can also speed up or slow down your vibrato depending on how quickly you move your finger up and down.

These techniques will help you find your vibrato, and with practice, you will soon be able to utilize and control your vibrato all on your own.

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