How to Develop Tremolo
By true definition, tremolo is a modulation effect caused by varying volume and rapid repetition of the same note, or an alternation between two or more notes. Vibrato is the rapid change in pitch. Many people confuse the two or think they are the same. More commonly, singing with tremolo is usually considered the same as vibrato. True tremolo is usually reserved for instruments or digitally produced. Tremolo and vibrato will be used interchangeably throughout.
The change in the volume of your singing occurs through your vocal chords and is controlled through your diaphragm. Therefore, it is important to practice techniques that allow for full use of your vocal chords. These exercises will work with your diaphragm, tongue and throat. There are a few exercises you can do to train your voice to use the tremolo and vibrato technique.
The first exercise to help with being able to develop a vibrato is to learn how to take a deep effective breath with a controlled release. Breathing should not be done from your shoulders or your chest, but a deep breath into your lower ribs, abdomen area. When exhaling, you should control the release of your breath. The more control and the deeper your breath, the smoother your vibrato. To practice breathing in and then releasing while controlling the release, put your hands on your ribs cage at the bottom near your lower back. Feel it expand as you take in a breath. Start by releasing your breath in an even manner. As you continue with this exercise, start to vary the speed at which you release your breath. This will allow you to vary the volume of the note that you are singing. In addition, take a longer, bigger breath as you progress through the exercise until you reach a count of about five. If you can take a longer breath, do so. Once you get the breathing down start releasing your breath while on a note. Again, vary the exhale in volume as you progress.
The next exercise with help you relax your tongue. If your tongue is tight, it causes your throat to tighten at the base of your tongue and that does not allow the sound to come out clean and flowing like you want. To release tightness in your tongue, stretch it the same way you would stretch other parts of your body. Stick it out to stretch it and then relax. Do this several times until you feel your throat relax as well.
A final exercise will help to open your throat. Start at a comfortable note and practice making the “oo” sound. Increase up the scale as you continue. You can practice it doing scales to help open up more. This may already be a warm up exercise you do with other sounds. The “oo” sound is the one that helps open your throat.
Training your throat, tongue and breathing will help to make your vibrator and tremolo sound smooth and effortless. It will give your singing a pleasant sound while allowing you to be relaxed. As will all things, especially music, practice is involved.
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