You need breath to sustain (hold) a note. Holding a note with no vibrato can get a little boring but holding them with a little dynamic (loudness & softness), variations can be useful. The opposite of singing with vibrato (a pulsating variation) is to sing with straight tone (or what I call holding the note solid in the tone) with no fluctuation in pitch. To do this you must use your diaphragm, no movement and staying on the pitch. You need to know how to control your voice and hold notes with and without vibrato…it’s all about control.

To sustain a note, you must have breath control, which involved the muscles around your middle (stomach and chest cavity). These muscles must be tight in order to control the airflow, by doing this you tighten the diaphragm (also a muscle above your stomach and below the lungs), which gives you complete control of your voice. When you release the air, it should be a consistent and slow stream. If you sing from the throat, you will lack vocal control.

Try to hold a note longer on a piano, you can use the damper pedal (the floor pedal on the right). This will sustain (hold) the sound. You can buy a pedal for the keyboard as well, which will do the same thing for a keyboard.


Want to hear the one about fermata? Wait, it’s too long.

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