Top 10 Breathing Techniques For Singers
Every singer needs to learn breathing techniques to sing more easily. Without using these techniques as a singer you are putting more strain on your vocals chords and even using the wrong body parts to sing, resulting in a poorer sound quality. So to help all singers out there i have put together my top 10 breathing techniques.
Finding your diaphragm
Standing shoulder width apart, place your hands just above your stomach and below your ribcage in the middle, here you will find your diaphragm. Breathe in slowly and feel it rise outwards and fall Backwards as your breath out. Feel it work? this is where you need to feel your breathe coming from to sing, it will feel strange at first but once you are used to it it becomes second nature!
Keeping a good posture whilst singing and breathing is vital to creating the sound that comes out. Standing feet shoulder width apart, relaxed knees and straight back practice all exercises. If your slouch you are crushing the diaphragm, restricting your ability to breath properly.
Breathing out slowly on a ‘tss’
Taking a long breath let out a controlled ‘Tss’ and see how long you can let it out for, try and beat this time every time you do this exercise. Ultimately this trains you to control the breath you let out and strengthen the diaphragm.
Loosening your abdomen
Getting down on your hands and knees feels your stomach fall towards the floor as your breathe in for 4 and out for 4 counts. Doing this your will start to understand where you are breathing from and release any tension around your diaphragm.
Lying on the floor with a book on your stomach
This exercise helps you to find your diaphragm and for you to understand the element of control again. Simply breathing and keeping the book balanced trains you to control breath.
Pretending to suck through a straw
Start by pursing your lips as if you have a straw there, suck the air through into you diaphragm from here, slow and long this should make a loud windy sound. When breathing out it should be as quiet as you can make it. Doing this exercise helps to control the sound of breathing, as a singer you shouldn’t be able to hear each breath between words or phrases.
Breathe with Surprise
This exercise is aimed at opening your vocal chords, when you breathe in as though you are surprised imagine your vocal chords creating a wide space in between for more air to pass through. To complete this correctly, breathe in short and sharp, hold the breath for 4 counts and slowly exhale.
To create a ‘silent breath’ you need to breath through both your nose and mouth, doing this slowly and carefully enables you to relax the vocal chords and understand again where you are breathing from. Practise this at any time or place!
Start by adding a tone to a ‘zz’ sounding almost like a bee. Breathe in for 4 counts and let it out in a controlled steady sound until the air is gone. Practice this multiple times, you will start to feel your abdomen muscles working harder to support the diaphragm as you go along and the notes get longer and longer. This exercise will help you to sing longer phrases without taking a breathe in between.
Using Your Muscles
When breathing you will use many muscles you didn’t know you needed to sing. Using you abdomen to support the diaphragm you will feel muscles as far down as your lower stomach muscles working. You will also feel muscles towards the middle of your back at each side of your ribs working, these are helping to full your diaphragm with air. Using these muscles all contribute on how you breath more effectively and ultimately help you achieve a better supported singing voice.