3 Easy and Effective Breathing Exercises for Successful Singing
- 7th November 2017
- Posted by: SOPM
- Category: Advice
In order to sing well, knowing how to breath effectively is just as imperative. This is because it helps you sing in tune and stay in rhythm. As with other rudiments, it’s a skill that can be mastered with practice. Trained singers use a breathing technique called diaphragmatic breathing.
The technique of diaphragmatic breathing allows you to take deeper breaths and control your exhale more effectually. Regulating your respiration means using a steady stream of air from your lungs to support your singing voice. Air flow has an impact of pitch, tone, vocal strength and vibrato.
If your air flow is frail, you might find yourself singing flat or out of tune. This results in having a breathy tone and/or having a strained voice. The School of Popular Music in Guernsey decided to list 3 simple breathing exercises for singing that will help you master diaphragmatic breathing.
1. Stand in front of a mirror
Start by taking a deep, low breath. Watch yourself expand around the waist as you inhale. If you’re doing it correctly, your shoulders and chest won’t rise. Next, put one hand on your upper abdomen and the other on your rib cage as you exhale on a hissing sound. Keep a strong, steady stream of air going for as long as you can.
Keep your upper body open and relaxed while you exhale. Your abdomen should come back towards your body while your rib cage and chest stay open. Repeat this exercise 5 times. Next, choose a note at the upper-middle part of your register and instead of exhaling on a hissing sound, sing one long held note on the exhale. Every time you repeat the exercise, move up a half step. Higher notes require more breath support, so you’ll find it more challenging as you go higher.
2. Lie down on the floor
With a pillow under you head, place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. First, take a regular (shallow) breath. You’ll feel your chest rise and the top of your rib cage expand. Now take another breath, but focus this time on relaxing your abdomen and expanding around your waist.
Picture your diaphragm muscle pulling air down into your lungs. If you’re doing it right, you should see your abdomen rise, but not your chest. These two types of breaths should feel and look distinctly different. Go back and forth between them- first shallow, then deep, shallow (chest), deep (abdomen).
3. Stand in front of a mirror
With a hand on your abdomen, for this exercise, you’ll be focusing on gently and quickly contracting the muscles in your abdomen to create little bursts of air/sound. Choose a note in the middle of your register and sing on a short pulse. Don’t squeeze too hard – you don’t want to create unnecessary tension or hurt yourself.
The goal of this exercise is to feel how the muscles in the abdomen help control the exhale as you sing. Keep your upper body open and don’t let yourself cave in, and your abdominal muscles need to slightly contract on the exhale. This exercise allows your diaphragm to ascend slowly, enabling you to sing longer phrases and have better control over pitch and tone. Go up and down your register singing these short pulses.
Practice these breathing exercises at the beginning of your daily practice routine before you warm-up your voice. Soon diaphragmatic breathing will start to feel natural. Stay relaxed and try to focus on the easy flow of air in and out of your lungs.
We hope you’ve found these tips useful. And remember, if you’re looking for music tuition in Guernsey, look no further than School of Popular Music.