Yes. We breathe every day.
We take breathing for granted.
So why do you need to learn breathing while singing?
Well, the answer is simple. Breathing for singing is different from breathing at rest or during speech.
And in this video, I am going to share 5 differences between breathing while singing and breathing at rest or during speech. So keep on watching.
Hi, my name is Katarina and I am the founder of How 2 Improve Singing. Let’s talk about breathing for singing and how it’s different from breathing at rest or breathing during speaking.
Here are 5 differences:
Difference number 1.
Breathing while singing is deeper than breathing for speaking or at rest. During breathing, the diaphragm, the biggest breathing muscle in our body, moves only about 1 and a half cm or maybe half an inch when we breathe. During singing, the diaphragm moves much lower so the movement is about 7 to 8 cm or 2 to 3 inches. So the movement of the diaphragm during singing is much deeper. The goal of the singer is to coordinate the muscle activity to allow the diaphragm to descend lower that during normal breathing.
Breathing while singing requires more muscle activity than breathing during rest or during speaking. During speaking or at rest, breathing requires very little muscle activity. The diaphragm contracts downwards but not many other muscles are involved. During singing, many more muscles are involved in breathing. So the other muscles are your rib muscles, your back muscles, your torso muscles, your abdominal muscles. I like to call this coordinated muscle action The 360 Ring of Breath. And you can watch another video of mine about exactly that. Click the link above. The goal of the singer is to learn to coordinate the action of all the muscles so that he can control the amount of air going through the vocal cords.
The exhalation phase during singing is much longer than during speaking or at rest. During normal breathing, the exhalation and inhalation phase take about 5 seconds and they are about the same length. However, during singing, we really want to prolong the exhalation phase because that’s when we sing. The singer has to learn to resist the urge to breathe out at once and let all the air out. We want to prolong the exhalation phase when we are singing and let the right amount of air go through the vocal cords, right when we need it. The goal of the singer is to learn to engage the muscles of exhalation to slow down the air flow through the vocal cords.
Breathing while singing requires more conscious control than breathing at rest or during speech. So when we are resting or talking, we don’t really need to control our breathing. It happens at an unconcious level, automatically. However, when we are singing, there is more conciousness and control involved in the process, at least at the beginning when you are practicing or acquiring new breathing skills. Of course, you want to make the skill automatic so that when you sing in front of an audience, you don’t need to think about how you breathe. But the initial stages definitely require more concsious control than during speaking or at rest. The goal of the singer is to learn to coordinate the action of all the parts of your body to produce the most efficient and most resonant sound.
Finally, number 5.
Breathing while singing also prepares the singer’s body for good or efficient sound production. The main goal of breathing at rest is bringing enough oxygen into your body. However, during singing breathing is also the phase where your vocal mechanism gets prepared for the vocal performance. At the beginning of the inhalation, the singer can open up the vocal instrument, the vocal tract, lower the larynx, and prepare for most efficient sound production. The goal of the singer is to learn to prepare his instrument for singing during inhalation.
How is your breathing? Do you breathe efficiently for singing? If you don’t know, you can get my free breathing checklist. You can click either on the link up here or down there and get your free breathing checklist.
That’s all for today. Happy singing and I’ll see you in the next video.
Thank you for watching. Bye!
Link to the video: https://youtu.be/LHHDAit9oPo