It may seem silly to ask whether you’re breathing correctly. After all, it’s something we do subconsciously each and every day. But when it comes to singing, there actually is a right way to breathe. Here, Chesterfield, MO teacher Lauren V. explains how to check…
As vocalists, we are taught to sing using good breath technique. What does this look like? If you’ve ever noticed an athlete breathe, generally you will see the chest and shoulders rise. When singing, good technique allows the ribcage freedom of motion to allow maximum air capacity.
Let’s break this down and learn about a key part of the body called the diaphragm. First, to identify the diaphragm, locate the soft section in the middle of the rib cage, located above your belly button. Now follow your rib cage down and around the sides. The diaphragm is a large flat muscle attached to the bottom of your rib cage. It is involuntary, so it functions all by itself. As we breathe in, the diaphragm lowers to allow the lungs to fill with air. As we exhale, the diaphragm relaxes into a domed shape.
Now, let’s try a breathing experiment. First, breath by raising your shoulders and chest. Do you notice your head move as well? Next, lets try using proper technique. Allow your ribcage to be free, and take a deep breath in through your nose. You will notice your sides and stomach expand. This is due to your lungs filling completely with air. If you didn’t notice your ribcage moving, try placing your hands on your sides. Now think of Superman standing inside your ribcage pushing out as you breath in – feel them move?
Looking for some specific exercises you can do to ensure you’re breathing properly while singing? Check out the video below for some helpful pointers.
You should always be conscious of your breathing, as it is the most important part of a singer’s sound, power and control. For a more in depth study of the anatomy of singing, I recommend reading Your Voice, an Inside View by Scott Jeffrey Mccoy.
Lauren V. teaches piano, singing, Broadway singing, music performance, music theory, songwriting, speaking voice, & acting lessons to students of all ages in Chesterfield, MO. She joined the TakeLessons team in July 2012, with over 10 years of classical voice and piano training, and 12 years of theater experience. Sign up for lessons with Lauren, or visit TakeLessons to find a music teacher near you!
Photo by fauxly.