Taking a breath in the middle of a line in a song, because you run out of breath, can ruin an excellent performance. Every singer, whether professional or not, has experienced this at one point in their singing career. However, if you know how to do breathing exercises for singing, then you can avoid that scenario happening again.
There are a lot of breathing exercises online that you can follow. In addition there are also singing applications or tutorials that you can try. Some websites are dedicated to teaching you different techniques and other information related to music and singing, such as Singorama.
Why Is Proper Breathing Vital in Singing?
Singing is the by-product of a system called phonation. Phonation refers to the vibration of the vocal cords when the air passes through it. Experienced singers can choose what type of sound they make. In addition they can also choose how much pressure they put into the vocal cords.
Breathing provides the volume and quality of the sound that your vocal cords produce. This is something you can only perfect through constant training and practice. Therefore, proper breathing is crucial for you to be better at singing by doing breathing exercises regularly.
Singers can control their voices better and try different ranges once they mastered proper breathing techniques. Breathing exercises will give them longer singing endurance and advanced techniques.
Causes of Poor Breathing in Singers
Your mind and body are in auto-pilot during normal breathing to the point that you ignore it altogether while minding other things. However, breathing when singing is entirely different compared to our typical every day breathing. The combined effort and various breathing techniques are needed when it comes to singing. It’s hard to become a great singer if you don’t have the necessary technique and control.
When you sing, you need to inhale quickly but should let the air out in long and even exhalation. In normal breathing, only 10 percent of the lung’s capacity is used, which is far from the 50 percent that is used while singing. Countless ways may cause weak breathing in singers, resulting in tension in the singer’s voice. Some reasons for weak breathing may include poor posture, not using the diaphragm, running out of breath, and not knowing when to take a breath while singing.
Breathing Basics for Singing
Some of the things that you need to remember to be a competent singer are inhaling, exhaling, and proper posture.
Inhalation is the act of taking in the air quickly and letting it fill your lungs. If you feel that your lower back and midsection are expanding, then you are inhaling correctly. You will also experience constant yawning while practicing breath control, and that is normal.
In singing, exhalation means a controlled release of the air from your lungs, so you don’t run out of breath while singing.
One way to practice the exhalation technique is to make a feather go up in the air by blowing onto it, making sure that it will not fall to the floor. As you are blowing the feather, observe how your stomach went back to its original relaxed state. At the end of the exercise, you should feel the urge to take a deep breath and fill your lungs with air.
3. Proper Posture
You can achieve efficient breathing while singing if you have proper posture and correct breathing techniques. These two always work as a team because you will not be able to inhale and exhale the right way if you are slumping or are too stiff. To make sure that you are breathing correctly, try placing one hand on top of your chest while the other one is on your stomach.
While doing the breathing exercises or even while singing, note the following:
- The hand on your chest should not be moving.
- The hand on the stomach should feel the belly expand as you inhale and pulled back in as you exhale.
How to Improve Breath Control
Singers can control their breath better and improve their breath control.
In singing, it’s not just the diaphragm that is responsible for having proper breath management and how the air is exhaled. In reality, the diaphragm is not involved in any way when we exhale or even while we are singing. It is the muscle that is involved during inhalation as it contracts and then flattens but stays relaxed during exhalation.
During exhalation, other muscles are working together with the diaphragm so that you can control the amount of air that passes through your vocal cords. Every time we exhale, the diaphragm goes back to its relaxed state after its contraction when we inhaled.
Without the help of other muscles, the diaphragm will go back to its natural position in a quick motion. This also means that all the air in the lungs will be released at once.
For you to improve in controlling your breath, you need to do breathing exercises to train the responsible muscles to work together in controlling the airflow.
Breathing Exercises for Singing
There are various breathing exercises for singing that you can try until you find the one that is most effective for you. Here are some breathing exercises and techniques accessible to most singers that you can modify to suit your personal needs:
1. Practice Proper Posture
Proper posture is crucial in improving the sound of your voice and boosts the effectiveness of your breathing. Good posture offers sufficient chest space for the lungs to swell to its maximum potential so that you can hold the notes longer.
The way you stand determines how easy it would be for you to breathe from the diaphragm. Keeping the chest high and allowing the rib cage to open can improve the flow of air that will pass through the vocal cords.
To achieve proper posture, you need to stand straight with a relaxed body while your feet are shoulder-width apart. As you lean forward, do not raise your shoulders and make sure that your joints are flexible so that you can easily bend your knees when necessary. Your chin should be aligned to the ground while your chest is raised for a relaxed bod. This allows you to boost your ability to sing. However, if you are feeling awkward and uneasy, you should stop doing the pose.
2. Breathe From the Diaphragm
Breathing from the diaphragm allows you to inhale profoundly and control the release of air to your vocal cords. When the diaphragm goes down and becomes flat, it is allowing the lungs to release the air to support your singing voice. You can master breathing control techniques through constant breathing exercises, which will help in improving powerful airflow.
One simple breathing exercise you can try is to stand with your hand over your abdomen, then inhale deeply through your nose and slowly release the air through the mouth. Repeat this breathing exercise for at least 10 to 15 times. Your stomach should be moving outwards as you inhale, making sure that no other muscles are moving aside from your abdomen.
These diaphragmatic exercises aim to improve control and boost diaphragm.
3. Warm up the Vocal Cords
Warming up the vocal cords improves the flexibility of the muscles as it removes extra mucus, lessening the risk of injury since the larynx is a weak muscle. Your voice will stay in shape if you make it a point to perform vocal warm-ups consistently.
The trills and scales are some of the most popular warm-up exercises among professional singers focusing on tone quality, breathing technique, and more. When doing warm-ups, remember to start with simple and gentle exercises like lip trills or humming. After the simple warm-up, you can try doing a different drill that is somehow connected to the song you are practicing.
The last aspect of a warm-up exercise should be focused on the song part that you are having trouble with, so you can practice that part and make necessary adjustments.
4. Do the Hissing Exercise
Do the hissing exercise if you want to slow down your breathing. The result is that you will not have any issues when it comes to your lower range. A hissing exercise helps your voice without sound and how to exhale in an even and steady manner. You can do this exercise in any position that you are comfortable in as long as you are relaxed while doing it.
Don’t forget to put a hand on your abdomen so that you can feel the movement as you do the exercise. Fill your lungs by inhaling through your nose, then grit your teeth and control the release of the air using your tongue. You are doing it correctly if you can hear a low and consistent hissing sound while exhaling along with a feeling of sensation in your stomach.
Because you need to release the air through your gritted teeth, this exercise aims to work on your abdominal muscles.
5. Breath Management
Learning how to exhale in a controlled manner can significantly help you to become a better singer. However, there are some practices that you need to avoid when trying to learn breath management.
- Do not focus on singing louder; instead, focus on controlling the diaphragm so as not to lose the effectiveness of your voice.
- Be wary of croaky sounds in your voice, as these may mean that you are using a wrong singing technique that may dampen the quality of your voice.
- Avoid shouting while singing to reach high notes or wanting to be heard by everyone
- Just focus on your breathing and using your diaphragm to support your voice.
- Create your style and avoid imitating someone else’s technique; instead, enhance your skill and talent.
6. Panting Makes Perfect
You may think that it’s silly to pant like a dog, but it sure does work.
Start by placing a hand on your stomach while your abdominal muscles are relaxed, then start panting as you feel the stomach pushing through the movement. You should be able to feel your stomach moving outwards as you pant. Avoid filling up your lungs with lots of air in preparation for warm-ups or right before you sing a high note as this may backfire and cause you to run out of breath instead. Let the inhaled breath come out in a coordinated manner for a clean tone to come out from your voice box.
Learn How to Sing
If you are one of those people who want to learn how to sing or someone who has a natural talent and wants to enhance what you have, then you need to invest in your voice.Singing brings a lot of positive feelings and good vibes, not only to the singer but also to those privileged to listen to a great song. Some of you may think that singing is not meant for everybody, and that is where you are mistaken.
You can also be a great singer by learning the right techniques that can enhance your gift. You can teach your vocal cords through constant practicing, and before you know it, you are not just holding on to a tune but a whole song.
What is Singorama?
Singorama is a course aiming to help those who want to improve their singing skills and vocal agility. One of the co-founders of the company is a vocal coach and a former band vocalist who is well-known internationally. Singorama offers various singing tips and tutorials that are beneficial for those who are interested in music. Currently, they have released a new product, the Singorama 2.0, which comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
The Singorama 2.0 is a complete learn-to-sing program that offers 28 interactive lessons in audio form. These 28 audio modules are a combination of worksheets, eBooks, and other useful tools that will significantly help in conditioning your voice to become a better singer. The program also offers significant training on performance in addition to the lessons on singing and music.
Included in the package is the Perfect Your Pitch Pro, a program that will train your ear to listen to the music, so you always get the right pitch.
Another addition is the Singorama mini-recording studio, where you can listen, record, chart, and evaluate your development.
They are also giving out The Ultimate Guide on How to Read music, wherein you will quickly learn how to read notes. Everything that you need to become a better singer is in this program.
Always remember that singing is comparable to an exercise because the more you spend time practicing, the better you will be. If you really want to improve and hone your singing talent, you should always remember to practice proper breathing techniques as well as learn how to use your voice in the proper way. Alternatively, you can also try using the Singorama 2.0 program.