I didn't find any tutorial on how to do a vibrato with an acoustic piano. So: How to achieve a vibrato with a piano ?

  • 3
    Wobble your head side to side. The effect is quite realistic.
    – Tim
    Jun 25, 2021 at 11:09
  • Although I mocked the notion in a comment on this post: music.stackexchange.com/questions/115559/… ... I later conceded: wiggling your finger on the key might not influence the sound in any way that a microphone could pick up, but that doesn't mean that it does nothing for the performer or the audience. A human listener combines their senses of sight and hearing to perceive a performance, and thus might "hear" an expressivity that they actually see. ... -> Jun 25, 2021 at 12:04
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    -> ... And for the performer, perhaps wiggling their fingers allows them to indulge an expressivity that indirectly and unconsciously influences other factors like touch, timing, and dynamics, and those do alter the measurable performance. Jun 25, 2021 at 12:07
  • Take a spanner open up the piano and twist the rod that the string is strung upon as you play a note. Viola you can vibrato on piano. EASY-PEASY!
    – Neil Meyer
    Jun 25, 2021 at 19:13

2 Answers 2


As has been discussed on this site previously, there is no acoustic piano that will produce vibrato - an oscillation in pitch.

By adding a mic, an effects unit and an amp/speaker, the sound of vibrato can be emulated, but for a bare acoustic piano - not yet.


You can do a sideways strong "vibrato" movement (like on a cello, just sideways) on a pressed key. It will depend on the construction of the piano whether any of that tension ends up in the frame where it can in theory affect resonance. The effect will not be a "vibrato" as such but rather a very subtle change in, well, something in the tonal quality. Whether any of that actually makes it to the listener other than via the performer's impression is anybody's bet.

For electronic keyboards or digital pianos, it would be easy to declare that no effect can come from there, but indeed more expensive keyboards actually can record sustained key pressure as "aftertouch" and make it affect the sound, though any such change would hardly be anywhere like the very subtle (if at all) effect on an acoustic piano.

Any such effect is subtle and not dependable enough that I'd be surprised if any serious piano school would bother mentioning it. On the other hand, I'd be surprised if there wasn't a deluge of partly unconvincing clips about it on the video platform of your choice.

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