The finite element method based on the Hellinger-Reissner principle with independent strain is applied to the vibration problem of cantilevered twisted plates and cylindrical, conical laminated shells. With a small number of elements, the present assumed strain finite element method is validated by convergence tests and numerical tests, comparing with the previous published vibration results for cantilevered conical shell. Computational effort and virtual storage reduce significantly due to good convergence. This study presents the twisting angle effect on vibration characteristics of conical laminated shells. Parameter studies with varying shallowness of cylindrical and conical shells are carried out. As the curvature increases, the fundamental mode shape changes from twisting mode to bending mode. For shells with a large curvature, the fundamental frequency, which is always characterized to bending mode, is almost constant independent of twisting angle. The twisting angle affects greatly twisting frequency and mode shape. (C) 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.