how to breathe when singing


Have you ever heard about breathing concepts like “expand your back like this,” “sing from your diaphram,” “support your belly,” and so on? These are some breathing techniques that many traditional singing schools teach and I have been through some of them. Rather than making singing easier I realised it was making it tougher and harder to sing. I later discovered that it wasn’t that complex. Breathing shouldn’t be taught as some alarming and difficult thing. It’s really a distraction when breathing is taught as some thing special you need to begin to do when you sing.

So how do you breathe when you sing?

Well, the number one rule I often mention is that singing is just like talking, hence, you breath the same way you do when you talk. For instance, like I mentioned earlier the concept of “sing for your diaphragm” is not plausible because the way you breathe normally is exactly the same when you sing. You breath in and your viscera expands and you breathe out and it contracts.

So what role does the diaphragm play when you breathe while singing?

It plays the normal role it does when you breathe everyday. When you breathe in or inhale, your diaphragm contracts or tightens and moves downward. This increases the space in your chest cavity, into which your lungs expand. When you exhale, your diaphragm relaxes and moves upward into the chest cavity.

Singers who have breathing issues either don’t sing with the right technique, for instance, people who sing with falsetto all the time as a normal singing voice may likely experience breathing issues and this means singing with too much air. Secondly, singing with anxiety could cause breathing issues too but these two reasons have nothing to do with learning some concept in breathing. You will then be barking up the wrong tree only to realise that the problem is still there in the end.

When you want to sing, think of breathing as you would when you talk!

Frank, The Vocal Lexicon.

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