Advice for Singers: 3 Myths about Breathing Exposed

Hi, let’s bust some myths about breathing in this video. I will take on three common myths that may be holding you back from singing with ease and confidence.

If you believe that the diaphragm supports the sound, that breath support means to push your belly in and that you need as much air as possible for long phrases, you need to watch this video! I will tell you why these beliefs are myths and what to do instead. Keep on watching!

Hi, my name is Katarina from How 2 Improve Singing and this is my advice for singers: do not believe the following three myths about breathing and singing.

Myth #1: The diaphragm supports the sound.

The diaphragm is the biggest breathing muscle. The diaphragm is active on inhalation and it’s passive during exhalation. Yes, I repeat the diaphragm relaxes during exhalation; that’s during singing . Therefore, it cannot support the sound.

What do you do when someone tells you to support the sound? You probably start squeezing your belly in or you start squeezing or pushing or creating tension somewhere in your body. And squeezing and pushing are those two actions that you definitely don’t want to do.

So, what does it mean to support the sound? Breath support is a dynamic action between the muscles of inhalation and exhalation. The goal of breath support is to create the right amount of air pressure under the vocal cords so they can work efficiently; most efficiently.

So, stop focusing on the diaphragm and start using your whole body to create the sound efficiently.

Myth #2: Breath support means pushing belly in.

So now that you know that breath support is a dynamic relationship between the muscles of inhalation and exhalation you also know that pushing your belly in is not breath support. If you push your belly in you are actually pushing a lot of air through your vocal cords so you are creating more air pressure than needed and the vocal cords cannot function efficiently. This will affect your vocal tone and it will affect it negatively.

Just try it. Sing a phrase from your favorite song and while you are singing, try to push your belly in and you’ll see that you may end up gasping for air at the end of the phrase or even running out of air before you finish the phrase.

So, what should you do instead? Stop focusing on your belly when you are breathing out or when you are singing and start using your whole instrument, your whole body to create efficient sounds. Learn how to coordinate all muscle groups for singing, not just one part of your body or not just the diaphragm.

By the way, any singing advice with the words squeeze or push is not worth following. These actions create unwanted tension and tension is something we don’t want in singing.

Myth #3: You need to take in as much air as possible for long phrases.

You probably know that short phrases require smaller amounts of air, inhaled air, than longer phrases. But long phrases do not require your whole lung capacity. Inhaling as much air as possible is problematic for several reasons.

Just try it yourself: inhale, pause and then inhale again. Do you feel like choking? Do you feel the tension right here in your throat?

That’s because it’s difficult to control large amounts of air. So called “tanking up” creates high pressures under your vocal cords and that will negatively affect your vocal tone.

So what to do instead? Stop tanking up! Instead, first think about the phrase that you are going to sing. Think about the idea that you want to express in your singing and inhale as much air as you need for that phrase. When was the last time you ran out of breath when speaking? Our minds know how much air our body needs for speaking or singing.

Also learn how to use your breath efficiently. With good breathing technique, you can take an average amount of air and use it for longer phrases.

And that’s all for today. Don’t forget to click the like button and subscribe for more videos every week and if you want to learn more about breathing and singing and you want to continue our conversation join our free Facebook group called Breathing Room for Singers. Click the link in the description below and request access to this fabulous Facebook group.

Thank you for watching and I will see you in the next video. Bye!

Link to the video: https://youtu.be/R_O6pSnuEEs