Helpful tips on breathing

Hello. I know a lot of people think that breathing is supposed to be natural… but that concepts has a lot of limitation I think. If you want to be a great singer… you must control a lot of stuff. But the most important thing is breath management. Great breathing required that your exhalation is as slowly as possible, but with support. Now.. the good news is that this is all you have to remember.:D
I`ll explain further what I mean with these concepts. Support is the abdominal musculature that you feel when you are pushing against something or doing push-ups etc. THIS sensation… must be felt always when you are singing. from piano (dynamics) to forte. (so even when you are singing loud or not);Because.. this sensation makes you sustain the notes and further build beautiful phrases.

Now.. with support you have to retain as much air as possible. So breathe OUT not in. But remember that musculature must be strongly involved.

So: before you make any sound
1.Inhale as deep as you can. feel your belly and last 2 ribs spreading 360 degrees outward. Some spread also in their backs.
2. compress your muscles (like blowing strongly) (some may feel this support in their belly, some in their backs.. it`s a personal sensation)
3. Sing. -> with the compression there, try to SLOWLY (as slow as you can) to consume the air in your lungs.

It helps to think that you are breathing out/down (especially on high notes) in order to build more muscle support… even if you are breathing slowly inward. If you think you are breathing in, you`ll mentally not get the same results.. and you`ll blow air out faster.

It`s very important that you consider breathing management the most important part of your voice. So it`s very important that you do breathing exercises. (maybe 5min or max 10 min X 3 times a day).

Here are some that help me most:
1. Inhale. make a strong and loud and STEADY “S” sound until your lungs are.. let`s say depleted:) (haha but they will still have air, so that you won`t die:) ). If you can do it for 10 seconds… try to slowly get in time to 20.. 30..40 seconds:)
2. exhale. sip through an imaginary straw. hold it and release slowly.
exhale. sip through an imaginary straw. hold it. sip quick. hold it. sip quick twice. hold it. release slowly on a “ha”
3. sip staccato (quick) 5 times. release
sip staccato (quick) 10 times. release
sip staccato (quick) 15 times. release
4. hold a lit candle arms length away from you. Inhale. You blow a steady stream of air just to make the candle flicker, not extinguish it! x5 times
5. make like a dog.:D on different vowels “he”, “ha”. You`ll certainly feel a lot of muscles working in this one:) if you`re doing it right.

Remember that sound comes from pressure & a steady, not a large vocal stream. not air.. that`s why it`s so important to compress even before you sing:)

If you have questions you can leave a comment below or skype me:)

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    • Margaret
    • February 6th, 2012

    Hi, loved your post, great info. The only thing I would add is that as you exhale keep the ribcage out, the abdominal muscles do all the work as far as air flow. At the end of a line/exercise everything relaxes, then gather air for the next bit. ( you can watch some people, not necessarily professionals, and see their chest collapse as they get to the end of a line, that is a no-no. I study privately and my teacher tells us to watch other singers during recitals or concerts to examine their technique looking for things like that).

    Cheers, M

    • Chrissie
    • March 12th, 2012

    Wonderful, wonderful tips. I am only beginning with classical singing, but I find breathing my biggest limitation. Thankyou!!

    • Lubega Joseph
    • August 12th, 2014

    Wow!! that is a great lesson for breathing.I would also put more light on breathing like a dog.With the movement of the stomach out and in,you breath through the mouth in and out respectively like a dog.Thank you please.

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