A Spooky Vibrato Exercise

A perfect vocal exercise for this time of year is one that helps with discovering your vibrato. A healthy vibrato is a natural occurrence that involves the spinning, sizzling sound during a sustained pitch of a well balanced voice. When differing antagonistic muscular systems of the voice are in balance with one another, the result is a gorgeous vibrato. A good vibrato doesn’t appear overnight, since it takes some time to balance and build one’s voice; however, there are some exercises we can use to “wake up” the natural vibrancy of the voice.

One such exercise, just in time for Halloween, is the “haunted house” or “ghost” exercise. On a pitch in a very comfortable part of the middle of your range, try to imitate a ghost, or silly haunted house spirit. “Ooooooooooooh! Oooooooooh!” You will notice that all the best haunted house sounds have a sobbing sort of spooky vibrato in them. Try to imitate that sound. Once you can do it on an ooh vowel, try some other vowels, until you can do it on all the major vowels. Once that feels comfortable, try sliding up and back through your passage on the haunted house sound. Then try some arpeggi, and scales sustaining the top note. If you notice the vibrato is gone, just make it spooky and silly, and let the tone spin. You will notice that after a while, you will no longer need the silly, spooky sounds, because your natural vibrato will have been awakened and you can sustain pitches like a professional! Have fun with it!

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