How do you do the "wavy" vocal sequence like an opera singer? You know, it's like a-h-a-h-a. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it's kinda like when an opera singer or a singer in general, such as Celine Dion or Britney Houston, makes a long "wavy" vocal sequence, especially at the end of a verse.

  • Can you give a link to a representative example?
    – Richard
    Oct 5, 2016 at 11:49

3 Answers 3


You might be disappointed in this answer, because it's nothing special! Based on the link you gave in a comment, this is just something called a melisma, which is just a string of pitches sung on a single syllable.

Think about singing a children's song or a hymn; most new syllables are a change of pitch or a re-articulation of the current pitch. (Think "Old McDonald," "Itsy-Bitsy Spider," etc.) Occasionally you'll sing a string of pitches on one syllable, but it's relatively rare.

With a melisma, however, it's one syllable for a string of several pitches, which is all Celine Dion is doing in your example.

Although occasionally a vocalist may switch between an "ah" and an "oh," I'd say this still falls neatly within the melisma tradition.

There's no specific technique to it; just sing it well!

  • Nothing special? I don't have the faintest idea how to do that! And it sounds great so I wanna learn how to do it. Oct 6, 2016 at 17:22
  • The trick is to do it slowly, making sure you get each pitch right. Then speed it up. Nov 4, 2016 at 23:52

You mean coloratura? Like in the Queen of the Night aria? Well, you do that by having good teachers and practising a whole lot until you have a solid voice support and solid control over it and solid pitch and solid delivery and good breath elasticity and well-rounded leggiero. There is no particular trick to it. You just do everything right and well-controlled and coordinated and it will sound ok on a practised voice.

  • Yeah, kinda like that, but maybe less "sharp". youtu.be/7KBQLgeKRbg?t=249 Notice the "wavy" o-o-o-o-n-n-n part at the end. Something like that. I wasn't sure if it was appropriate to use a link to a video here cuz of the copyright stuff. Oct 5, 2016 at 14:10

It sounds like you are talking about vibrato? Sometimes singers will increase the vibrato at the end of a phrase for dramatic effect.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.