Are you having difficulty singing? Running out of breath? Inconsistent tone? Lacking control?
Breathing is a great place to start working to unravel a myriad of singer problems!
Start by getting to know your body. It’s useful to understand where the air goes when it enters the body, and that the primary function of breathing is to supply the body with oxygen!
Imagine your breath flow as it enters the body. Where does it fill? If it’s high in the body, around the shoulders, this can cause tightness in the throat and inhibit your ability to vocalise easily.
Avoid barrel breathing, which expands your ribs beyond where they would be comfortable when you are relaxing. This causes the throat to tighten whilst you hold the air in; the effect of this tightness on the voice is usually detrimental.
Breathe into your tummy. With your hands placed on your abdomen breathe in and out. Notice that as you breathe in your belly gets bigger, as you breathe out it flattens. Sometimes, you will notice that this happens the other way around: In this case, try the exercise again whilst lying down on the floor until you notice the belly button moving up towards the ceiling as you inhale, and then fall towards the floor as you exhale.
Practice this until it feels enjoyable, calming and relaxing.
The purpose is to gain conscious control over our breathing patterns so that we can use the right muscles when singing. This helps us to find ease and freedom in our vocalisation.
Simple breathing exercises can totally change your singing voice and even help you to relax if you’re feeling a bit nervous about singing.
Let me know in the comments how you get on trying this at home!