A house must be built on a solid and strong foundation to keep it from washing away or collapsing. The same is true with your singing voice. Breath Control is the foundation on which your voice is built.
Air acts as a cushion for the singing tone to ride on. It is the energy and life force of the voice. How you manage your breath when you sing can drastically change the sound of your singing voice.
Singing requires a different set of rules than for speaking. So if you try to sing by breathing the way you do when you speak, well, it just won’t work. When you sing, you not only need to inhale quickly and exhale slowly as you sing, you also must have good posture.
Also, when we sing, unlike speaking, we need to learn how to control the breath as we sing. Here’s an exercise to help you learn how to take a quick breath of air:
1. Take a minute and observe how a dog breathes. That’s right – a dog. (A baby also breathes the same way.) You will not see any movement in the neck, shoulders or chest region. But you will see movement in the stomach area as the dog or baby breathes in and out.
2. Next, you will pant like a dog. Don’t laugh – this really works. Actually pretend that you’re a dog on a hot summer’s day and pant, noticing where the movement is taking place in your abdomen.
3. During inhalation, the abdominal muscles move down and out. Now continue panting and slow down the rate of your inhalation.
4. As you’re slowing down feel the steady movement of your body. Notice that as you breathe in the air your belly expands outward. As you exhale your belly returns to its natural position.
5. Notice that during the exhalation, your abdominal muscles move out, not in. This is the natural way to breathe and your body does this form of breathing as you sleep.
6. Practice doing this entire exercise repeatedly to aid in teaching your body how to inhale and exhale. Be sure to have a drink of room temperature water during and after this exercise.
For a complete lesson on how to breathe for singing click here. You will learn in an easy and efficient manner exactly how to use the diaphragmatic muscle, which is your singing muscle.
Now that you have learned how to sing on key and support your voice by breathing correctly – let’s sing.