Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Reducing Virbato

I was wondering how difficult it is to reduceintrusive vibrato?

Once a singer develops a widevibrato / wobble is it ofetn too late?It depends on what is causing it and the age of the singer. If the singer is young and has a particularly low or large voice, such as a bass or a young Verdi baritone, the cause is often lack of support. These kinds of voices usually take more breath to vibrate the vocal folds than others, and for them it takes more time to gain breath control and muscle development of the resisting muscles in the back, chest, abdomen and intercostals If the singer is older than fifty, it is can be age related. Vocal folds lose elasticity, and muscle mass decreases with age. This will cause an age wobble. The time that this happens has a lot to do with genetics and general health. People age at different rates, some sooner, some much later, some abruptly, and some gradually. Some women lose their voices at menopause, and others do not. The ones that don't, have a hormonal system that slows down the loss of muscle tone. It has to do with how much natural testosterone is in the system as the estrogen levels drop. If the wobble is caused from vocal abuse, recovery is possible in some cases. It depends on the extent and kind of damage, and how ingrained the singing habits are. The older the singer, the more difficult it is to undo the habits that caused it in the first place. Common habits that can lead to a wobble usually involve pushing involving support and focus issues, covering too low in the passaggio with men, singing wide open without proper cover or mixing high notes in men. Men must either mix or cover high notes, or damage will result. Whether one mixes or covers is a stylistic issue as well as a technical one. Damage caused by habitual use is more difficult to treat than temporary abuse such as singing too much one summer or singing a role beyond one's means, then it depends on the extent of the damage. complete vocal rest usually fixes those kinds of problems, then getting the breath support back in place which will then be out of shape will follow. Continual abuse of this kind however will result in more permanent damage. Sometimes a singer simply has a naturally wide vibrato. If the oscillation doesn't exceed the distance of a half a step between two pitches of a scale ( a minor 2nd), most people don't seem to mind. If it exceeds the interval of a half step, it will sound out of tune. Habits are pretty much ingrained by thirty-five for most singers, and by then they have become part of a singer's muscle memory, which is also tied in with a singer's expressiveness. If a wobble has been intermittent, or is recent, the chance to fix it is more possible than someone who has had a continual wobble since the beginning. There are exceptions. If the singer is a basso profundo with a big voice, the opposite may true, he may have a wobble until he is thirty-five, then he sings without one for quite some time. This can also be true with some helden bass baritones. Keep in mind that I am speaking of exceptionally large voices and low voices. What you usually get is a Wagnerian baritone or bass baritone pushed beyond his means, and this can cause a wobble. There are many factors that can cause a wobble, and the solution depends on these different factors, so each case has to be analyzed on it's own merits.

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