Breathing Techniques for Singers

A vital component of good singing is air. Singers must be able to control their breathing or they risk becoming fatigued and their singing will suffer. The breathing techniques below will produce immediate results, and improved singing performance if practiced regularly. I have yet to meet a singer who has not been able to improve his singing instantly by practicing these breathing techniques.

Breathing Technique Start10 Slow Exhalations

Start by taking a deep breath and fill your lungs all the way down to the abdomen. Now let it out slowly in a constant stream. It helps to imagine that you are breathing out through a very thin straw and the air is escaping so slowly that it doesn't appear as if you're breathing at all. Even if a candle were placed close to your mouth it should hardly flicker as you exhale. Do this ten times.

Breathing Technique cont.: Five Exhalations - Different Notes

When you're done, do five more. But on these next five breaths, choose a comfortable note and hold it during the entire breath. Try not to let it change in pitch or volume. Choose a note in a comfortable pitch somewhere in your normal speaking register. Low notes are recommended for this breathing technique because they help the throat relax. Change the pitch for each outward breath.

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Breathing Technique cont.: Five Exhalations - Different Notes - Changing Volume

Now do another five of these, but this time gradually change the volume of each note from zero up to a medium volume and then take it back down to zero over before the end of the breath. Select a different pitch for each breath and avoid letting the pitch go flat or sharp. In this breathing technique, all that is changing is the volume ing is the volume, and that should be changing so slowly that the rate of change is almost undetectable.

End Breathing Technique: Five Exhalations - Different Notes - Changing Volume - Changing Timbre.

For the last set of five breaths (making a total of 25) do everything you did in the previous five, but change the timbre of your voice at a faster rate than the volume is changing. To do this, sweep through the vowels: a,e,i,o,u. The change should be gradual and in any order you wish. It'll sound similar to a Tibetan chant, so if anyone asks what this breathing technique is all about just tell them you've converted to Buddhism and you're cleansing your spirit.

So What Does This Breathing Technique for Singers Achieve?

You're probably asking yourself how these breathing exercises help and want to know why the benefits are immediate. Well the answer is simple. By concentrating on keeping your pitch constant you focus on what your body needs to do to sing on pitch. Let's face it, pitch is probably the most common and important concern of singers. A side benefit of doing this breathing exercise for singers is that it pumps extra oxygen into your brain. This is really good because the more oxygen in your brain the better you think and are able to focus on the task at hand: singing.

Other Breathing Techniques and Tips for Singers

When you're on the mic remember to keep the abdomen tight and the throat relaxed, allowing air to move easily. High notes are achieved with more air and not by squeezing your neck muscles. You can test this technique by imagining you see a friend across a busy street and you want to get his attention. Call out "hey". Notice that you do this in a relaxed way with lots of air. That's how to hit those notes on the edge. Relaxed throat, pushing the air out with the abdomen.

Not Talking is a Useful Singing Technique

Believe it or not, talking is more of a strain on your voice than singing (if you're doing it right of course). Many Broadway singers are under contract to not utter a word on the day of the show until after the singing performance ends. This means that if you want to be a successful singer you have to learn to breath, learn to focus, then shut up and sing!

Related articles:
singing posture, breathing for singing, breathing exercises, vocal cords singing, vocal health tips, singing lessons online

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