Vibrato is a musical effect from an instrument or a voice. It is a technique used to add expression to a piece of music. Vibrato is the rhythmic pulsation, vibration and/or bending a pitch (note).

Vibrato can happen very naturally with a singer. If it doesn’t happen naturally, it can be a learned technique. It is alternating quickly between two pitches that are close together. There are two ways to hold a note, with vibrato or holding the note solid without vibrato. Very skilled and experienced singers will alternate between the two.

String and wind instruments can mimic the vocal function. Some keyboards have a pitch wheel, pitch bend or bender, which makes the pitch (note) wobble faster or slower. It is not possible to do this with an upright or grand piano, but keyboards and electronic pianos have the capability.

An example of vocal vibrato is in the song attached, performed by Trishia Uy singing “Speechless”. You can hear her using vibrato many times throughout the song. It is used to add more expression and texture to the sound of her voice.


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