Why We Hate Our Own Voice and What to Do About It?

Hi, I often recommend recording your singing during practice. But I also know that you hate your own voice. Let me tell you a secret! It’s normal. We all dislike our own voices when recorded. In this video, I am going to tell you why and more importantly: what to do about it. Because if you don’t record and listen to your own voice on a regular basis, you are missing valuable information about your vocal instrument. And without this information, it’s difficult to improve your singing! So, watch this video to learn how to love your voice.

Logo.

Hi, my name is Katarina from How 2 Improve Singing.

Yes, we sound different when recorded, which makes us dislike our own voice when listening to it. It needs some getting used to listening your own voice recording.

Why we hate our own voice:

When we hear someone else talking or singing, the soundwaves travel through the air until they reach our middle and inner ear, where the sound energy is changed into nerve signals. These signals then result in you hearing the voice. However, when you hear your own voice, there is a second method of hearing your voice, called bone conduction. The vibrations from your vocal cords travel through the structures of your head, including the bones. This means that the bones of your head vibrate too and this sound energy is picked up by our inner ear. Because bone conduction transfers lower frequencies better, your voice sounds to you deeper than it normally is. So when you hear a recording of your own voice, it sound higher pitched or even squeakier that it sounds in your own head.

These are the facts and you cannot do anything about it.

But you can change a lot about how you listen to your own voice.

Here are some tips to help you love your voice again!

Tip #1

Don’t compare yourself to the recording of your favourite singers!

First, you have a unique voice. You will never have the voice of your favourite singer.

Second, the quality of a home recording is inferior to a recording in a professional recording studio. If you are using your smart phone or other less than professional equipment to record your voice, the recording quality will reflect just that. You don’t have all the bells and whistles to enhance your voice. So stop comparing yourself to other people. It’s not a fair comparison.

Tips #2

Listen non-judgementally!

Our societies are very judgmental. Just watch some of the singing competitions on TV with a panel of judges. They are ready to shoot one judgment after another. But do you know who the worst critic of your own singing is? You!

Stop judging and start listening. Quiet the inner critic and listen to your voice with an open mind. Do not have expectations. Do not analyze, do not try to figure out why it sounded the way it sounded. Just listen. Choose one or two qualities to listen for, for example breathiness or pitch accuracy. But don’t judge, just notice the variations in your voice.

Give yourself a chance!

Maybe you don’t like your voice because your expectations are too high for what you can do right now. Give yourself time to improve.

Tip #3

Listen to many different singers.

Every day, listen to or watch a video of someone else singing. Again, with and open mind, just listen to their voice and singing. Notice the sound quality, the nuances, the stylistic choices, the emotional expression of the song.

Listen to great singers like Pavarotti, Ella Fitzgerald, Josh Groban, Lady gaga, Fredy mercury, Fank Sinatra, Billie holiday, Barbra Streisand. Listen to songs in different music genres. Listen to the same song sung by many different singes and notice the differences. Listen to the same artist at different times in his or her life and notice the differences. Notice the differences but never compare yourself to other singers.

Bonus tip

Keep recording your singing on a regular basis. Eventually, you will get used to the sound of your own voice and you stop being judgmental. After you listen to your recording, always find a few aspects that you liked about your voice or singing. Say them out loud or write them down on a piece of paper. Learn to compliment yourself. It feels good and it builds confidence. Start developing this skill today.

In this video, I shared some tips to start loving your voice. Record your singing on a regular basis because it is an amazing and effective learning tool. Use your smart phone or even a simple camera to record not only your voice but your whole body to learn something new about your instrument. Singing is a self-exploration process and listening to your recordings or watching your singing videos is just invaluable.

To help you make observations of your singing videos, I prepared a free breathing checklist. Click the link in this video or underneath this video and download it for free. But before you do that, don’t forget to click the like button and subscribe to my channel for more videos every week.

Thank you for watching and I’ll see you in the next video. Happy singing and happy breathing!

Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCjm5ieP2mA

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

How to Strengthen Diaphragm for Singing?

Hi, so you are watching this video because you want to know how to strengthen diaphragm for singing? Everyone is talking about the diaphragm. It seems that the diaphragm is the holy grail of singing. So, in this video, I am going to share 3 secrets about the diaphragm. You may be surprised what I tell you about strengthening your diaphragm for singing. Keep on watching.

Hi, my name is Katarina and I am the creator of How 2 Improve Singing and the founder of Breathing Academy for Singers. Let’s talk about the diaphragm.

The diaphragm is the biggest breathing muscle. It’s a dome shaped muscles and it separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. Every singer talks about the diaphragm but it is definitely not the holy grail of singing. Let me tell you 3 less known facts about the diaphragm that you probably did not know.

Secret #1

You cannot sing from the diaphragm.

The diaphragm is active on inhalation, that is when we breathe air in. The diaphragm flattens and moves down. Contrary to a popular belief, the diaphragm is not active during exhalation. Yes, the diaphragm relaxes to its dome shaped position when we breathe out or when we sing. And it is very difficult to control a muscle in the state of relaxation.

Secret #2

You cannot touch your diaphragm.

You cannot touch, feel or directly contract your diaphragm. It’s not like a biceps that you can strengthen by lifting weights. Yes, you can pause breathing for a little bit or you can speed it up if you wanted but this breath manipulation involves more than the diaphragm.

The diaphragm is the biggest breathing muscles in our body but it’s not the only part of your body that participates in breathing and singing. Our vocal instrument is our whole body. Yes, the basic sound is created in your larynx, your voice box but if we isolated this sound from the rest of the body, it would not be pretty.

Secret #3

Finally, and I am sorry to disappoint you, you cannot strengthen your diaphragm.

Some people may suggest that the diaphragm can be strengthened with sit-ups. The muscles targeted by this exercise are the abdominal muscles, predominantly the rectus abdominis muscle (which is known as your six-pack).

Some people may suggest that breathing exercises will strengthen your diaphragm. But your diaphragm is strong enough for speaking and singing, unless you suffer from muscular or respiratory illness.

Maybe some people suggest that a strong diaphragm provides strong support for singing. Do not confuse the notion of “strong support” with a strong diaphragm. So called support in singing is a coordination of muscle action in your body and it involves many more muscles than the diaphragm.

So really, what you as a singer want to do is to learn to coordinate the action of many different muscle groups with the diaphragm to create balance.

So instead of looking for answers to the question how to strengthen diaphragm for singing, ask the right questions. For example, how to coordinate muscle action so that I can produce sounds with ease or how to breathe efficiently for singing.

Also invest some time and learn about the design of your vocal instrument – about your body. Believe me it will not be a waste of time. This knowledge will help you recognize myths about singing and it will allow you to cooperate with the instrument you have in a very natural way.

Check out my other videos to learn more about your vocal instrument. If you found this video useful, click the like button or share it with your singing friends.

If you want to continue talking about singing, join our free Facebook group Breathing Room for Singers. Click the link under the video and request access to this group.

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

 

Link to the video: https://youtu.be/RGj2o9alSKE

Singing Posture: Why Does It Matter?

Hi, in this video, I will give you 3 good reasons to pay attention to your singing posture. Everyone knows that bad posture causes neck and back problems. But the following three reasons will make it clear that healthy singing without tension is not possible without optimal posture. Reason #3 will boggle your mind, literally so keep on watching.

Hi, my name is Katarina and I am the creator of How 2 Improve Singing and the founder of Breathing Academy for Singers.

Posture does not get enough attention that it deserves. Well, it’s not the most interesting topic, I get it. And there are some famous singers whose posture is poor. And yes, some well-meant advice can lead to rigidity and tension, the exact opposite of what we want to achieve. But let’s discuss the reasons why good posture and singing are closely interrelated.

Reason #1

The body functions best, when certain conditions exist.

Your skeleton provides support to your body so that the muscles can do their job without any tension or unnecessary effort. If your body is well-aligned, the muscles are free to move to do whatever they are supposed to do. On the other hand, if your body is misaligned, the muscles have to compensate for improper alignment to achieve the same result. Also, other muscle groups that are not required for a certain task have to get involved and help out. As a result, tension is created and the task requires more effort than necessary.

Let me give you two examples.

Example #1. If your head is jutted forward, the neck muscles need to compensate and work hard. Your neck muscles then get overworked and as a result tension is created that is transformed to your voice box, larynx. You feel fatigued and your endurance diminishes.

Example #2. If your chest is closed, your shoulders are curled forward, your ability to move air in and out freely will suffer. The lung capacity will be limited and the diaphragm will not have space to move up and down efficiently. You will exert more effort for breathing than needed, which will lead to shortness of breath, flat singing and other issues.

In summary, optimal posture allows your muscles to work at their optimal level.

Reason #2

The vocal instrument functions best, when certain conditions exist.

First of all, your vocal instrument is your whole body, not just your voice box, the larynx.

But speaking about the larynx, let’s look at this complex structure and its optimal function as it relates to posture.

The larynx is a complex structure composed of many working parts, such as cartilages and muscles. What is interesting about this structure that it is suspended from other structures by so called suspensory muscles. The larynx is suspended from the hyoid bone, which is a U-shaped bone attached to the base of the tongue. This hyoid bone is suspended from the base of the skull. Let’s compare this system to a hot-air balloon. The skull is the balloon. The hyoid bone is the circle frame that holds the burners of the balloon and the larynx is the basket. The basket is suspended from the frame and the frame is suspended from the balloon by suspension cables. In general, the suspensory muscles pull the larynx up when swallowing.

However, during singing, the suspensory muscles should be relatively inactive. If your body is misaligned, the suspensory laryngeal muscles will compensate for the misalignment, they will contract and move the larynx upward. The larynx will not be able to function optimally and because everything is related, your breathing will be affected too.

In summary, optimal posture allows your larynx to function efficiently.

Reason #3

My favourite reason to watch your posture: you are more confident when body is well-aligned.

You know that singing is a mind game and fears and worries affect the quality of your singing. Latest research shows that establishing and maintaining good posture brings confidence in people. Optimal posture gives singer the sense of poise and assurance. Also, optimal posture triggers a positive reaction in audience because a confident singers puts his audience at ease. Win-win on both sides.

Bonus tip

Let me share the most common flaws related to posture that you want to avoid:

  • Head jutted forward
  • Head tilted to the side
  • Chin too high or too low
  • Raised shoulders
  • Curled shoulders
  • Collapsed chest or chest that is too high
  • Protruding belly
  • Spine that is too straight or too curved
  • Locked knees
  • Feet too close or too apart

Observe yourself in the mirror or make a recording when you sing and look for these signs. Become aware of your posture not only during singing but also throughout the day. Once you are aware, you can adjust and change your posture to allow your body and vocal instrument function at its best.

And that is all for today. Don’t forget to click the like button and share the video with your singing friends. If you want to continue talking about singing. Join our free Facebook group Breathing Room for singers. Click the link under the video and request access to this group.

Thank you for watching and see you in the next video.

Link to the Youtube Video: https://youtu.be/lNSQAWXQrWs

Vocal Training Tips: 5 Steps to Mastering Breathing for Singing.


Vocal Training Tips: 5 steps to mastering breathing for singing.

Hello and welcome! My name is Katarina and as you may know I am very passionate about music and singing.

If you are watching this video, I believe you have the same passion.

I am going to introuduce a 5-step system to mastering breathing for singing. A simple system that helped many singers to learn to control their breath fully so that they can produce steady, resonant and tension-free sounds.

So let’s get into this. Here are the five steps to mastering breathing for singing.

Step 1: Mindset

Step 2: Knowledge

Step 3: Posture

Step 4: Self-Exploration

Step 5: Exercises and Application.

How does it sound? Easy, right? But trust me this is a simple but complete system that will keep you on the right track to your goals.

I can feel some skepticism here, so let me tell you briefly about each step and why they are important on your journey to better breathing, better voice, better anything! Each step will pose a question. If you answer all five questions, you will know exactly where you get stuck and what you need to work on.

Step 1: Mindset.

Set yourself up for success! In order to change or develop the way you breathe during singing, the absolutely first step is to put your mind to it. Some of you watching this video may be still on the fence whether breathing for singing is a skill that needs to be developed or whether it comes naturally. Some of you may think: “Well, I am not an opera singer, I sing simple songs. Maybe I can do without good breath management.”

The truth is that if your mind is not 100% set on the goal, you will never put 100% of your efforts into reaching the goal. If you are not convinced about the absolute need for developing effective breathing technique required for singing success, then you will never go the extra mile to master this skill.

So the questions is: Do you truly believe that breath management is a skill that needs to be developed?

Step 2: Knowledge.

Developing good breathing technique has to be based in science. There are a huge number of misconceptions about singing in general, including myths about breathing for singing that are rooted in poor knowledge of anatomy and physiology of the vocal and breathing mechanisms. How can you build solid and effective skills on lies? It’s like building a house on weak foundation. A house like this is likely to collapse very soon.

Are you one of those people who say: “I don’t like anatomy. It’s too difficult or it’s too boring. Why do I need to know all the muscles or bones in my body?” Well, you don’t have to. However, you need to have a good understanding of how our body looks and how it functions during breathing and singing. Without this knowledge, you may be attempting movements and coordination that your body simply cannot do. Then you end up confused or disappointed that your efforts did not pay off.

Now answer this question: Do you build your skills on facts or misconceptions?

Step 3: Posture.

One may think that posture and breathing are two different topics. But I believe that they are closely intertwined. You cannot have good breathing without good posture. And good posture is the starting point for effective breathing. You do them at the same time or shortly one after another. So why would you want to separate them?

You need optimal body posture, including medium high chest posture before you start inhaling. At the beginning of inhalation, the vocal tract opens up and shapes into an optimal posture for sound production. As you exhale, you want to maintain the posture you’ve established for the best sound production. All these motions are linked together and it would be silly not to develop them at the same time.

The question is simple: Do you have optimal body, chest and vocal tract posture for best sound production?

Step 4: Self-exploration.

Singing is a self-discovery process. You can have the best teacher telling you the best advice about breathing for singing but if you do not apply the knowledge to your own body, it will not translate into progress or mastery. Self-discovery starts with self-exploration of movements and sensations during inhalation and exhalation. Self-discovery leads to self-awareness, which is the key ingredient to singing mastery.

No one ever learned to breathe or sing properly just by reading books or listening to videos. It is absolutely essential to do the work. But not just any aimless work or exercise. It has to be work that makes sense to you and your body. We are all individuals with different bodies, different needs, and different sensations. Self-exploration is a process that makes a new skill your own. No self-exploration, no mastery.

The question for this step is: Do you apply the knowledge to your own body?

Step 5: Exercises and application.

I believe that you are very well aware of this last step. In singing, the saying “practice makes perfect” does not apply as much as the saying “practice makes permanent”. And practice also makes a singer’s life easier. A new skill or movement has to be practiced on a regular basis to become automatic. Automatic movements and skills decrease the need to switch focus constantly. Initially, when learning a new skill, it may be challenging to keep focus on all the body parts and movements required for singing. But through regular exercises, the ultimate goal can be achieved and that is an effective application of technique to singing a song.

The last question to answer is: Do you practice on a regular basis so that the new skills become automatic?

O.K. So this was a brief introduction of the 5-step system to mastering breathing for singing. Some of the steps are easier than others. Some steps can take very little time, some steps may take longer.

Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEV6edqxhVI

 

Breathing Techniques in Singing: Silent Inhalation


Today’s topic is silent inhalation.

If you hear (demonstration of audible inhalation). Those are audible inhlations. And I am going to tell you why it’s not a good idea. Why it can actually be the reason why you cannot make it through a sung phrase.

I don’t know how you feel about audible inhalations. Maybe you are not even aware that singers use audible inhalations. To me audible inhalations are distracting and when you are singing with a mic, they are amplified and to me they are not pleasant.

But there is another reason, there is more important reason why audible inhalation is not a good practice. When you hear someone inhale, what happens is … there is some kind of obstruction or narrowing or constriction or tension in the vocal tract and it can be either narrow vocal passage. Or it can be a position of your tongue, it can be narrowing of your throat, or tension in your throat.

Audible inhalations are usually a sign of shallow breathing.

What is shallow breathing?

Shallow breathing is when you use mostly the upper portion of your lungs. You are not using the whole capacity of your lungs. When you inhale audibly, you are using your upper body for inhalation. And that does not ive you enough air so then you have a hard time going through a phrase.

Also, when you inhale audibly, it’s very often associated with some kind of tension in your upper body. Either in your neck or your upper body and when we sing we don’t want any tension, right?

You actually have to work much harder when there is a constriction, obstraction or anything. You have to work really hard, much harder than when everything is open and the inhalation is silent. Silent inhalation is an effcient and much easier way of inhaling.

How to practice silent inhalation?

Step 1: Inhale silently.

If you are inhaling through your nose, flare the nostrils. Do you see how my nostrils flared? You create more space in your nasal passages. If you are inhaling through the mouth, open up, make a space. But I am not talking about (demostrating open mouth) opening your mouth. I am talking about creating space in your throat. It’s the concept of open throat and lifting your soft palate.

Step 2: Once you know how to do this, you can practice silent inhalations in breathing exercises. So maybe you want to inhale for the count of four, exhale for the count of four. If you know how to do this, you can practice silent inhalations with your sung phrases. Inhale silently and sing your phrase.

Step 3: And once you know how to inhale silently in front of each phrase, then you can put the phrases together and sing the whole song. And maybe, you can inhale silently in many parts of your song but you come across a part where you suddenly realize: Oh, I inhaled audibly here. And start thinking: what happened, where is the constriction, where is the air turbulance coming from, where is the strain, where is the obstruction and trouble shoot around that. And try it again and inhale silently for that phrase.

So that’s all for today.

Thank you for being here with me. Thank you for watching.

If you have questions, post them and of course, I want to hear about your singing. Are you able to inhale silently? Are you able to inhale silently in all those places in your song or are there some particular places in your song where you suddenly realize: Oh, I am using audible inhalations. What can I do about it? What cause audible inhalations? So troubleshoot around that.

So please share. Happy silent breathing! Happy singing! Bye!

Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmgDKdY6_GA

Anatomy for Singers the Easy Way: The Diaphragm

Anatomy for singers the easy way: The Diaphragm.

We are going to talk about the very important characteristics of the diaphragm so that you understand its role in breathing for singing. Let’s start right now. So let’s play a game, “True or False?” I am going to show you three statements and you tell me if you think that they are true or not:

  1. The diaphragm inhales and exhales.
  2. The diaphragm supports the sound.
  3. You can feel your diaphragm when you inhale.

Now, pause the video and think about these statements. Are they true or false? By the way, if you don’t know what the diaphragm is, no worries, I am going to talk about it very soon. Just take a guess for now.

Ok. If you said that all three statements are false, you are absolutely right! Congratulations! These three statements are very common myths floating around in the singing community. And some singers build their skills based on this kind of information and as a result of not having good knowledge about their instrument, they don’t progress.

So now, let’s talk a little bit about the diaphragm and let’s see if you will be able to restate the three statements into facts.

The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle that spans across the bottom of the ribcage. It is attached to the spine at the back, to the bottom edge of the ribcage on the sides and to the sternum (breast bone) on the front. The diaphragm separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity.

The diaphragm is the major muscle of inhalation because it is responsible for about 70% of inhaled air.

During inhalation, the diaphragm contracts, flattens and moves downward. This downward movement pushes on the inner organs in your abdomen. You can observe this direct effect of the descending diaphragm as your belly gets pushed out during inhalation. It is not the diaphragm you see and feel moving in and out. It is the inner organs getting pushed out due to descending of the diaphragm.

When the diaphragm moves down, the lungs expand. As a result, the air pressure in the lungs decreases, which sucks air into the lungs.

During exhalation, the diaphragm relaxes and returns up to its dome-shaped relaxed position. The inner abdominal organs also return to their “normal” position and you can observe this as your belly moves in. The lungs decrease in volume, which causes the air to rush out of the lungs.

There you have it! The diaphragm. But how does this knowledge help us create a flexible, yet powerful system to support the sound? Once you understand the basic structures and principles, you can start discovering and exploring your own body, you can start learning how to use it to your advantage and how to control it. Now, let’s reformulate the three statements into facts that we can build our skills upon.

  1. The diaphragm inhales. It relaxes during exhalation.
  2. The diaphragm does not support the sound because it is very difficult to control a muscle in the state of relaxation.
  3. You cannot feel your diaphragm when you inhale. What you feel is the inner organs and the abdominal wall moving out as a result of the descending diaphragm.

This was just a short anatomy and physiology lesson. As you can see, it does not have to be boring or hard to learn.

Ok. That is all for today. Thank you very much for watching this video and I cannot wait to the next one. Happy breathing and happy singing. Take care.

Link to the video: https://youtu.be/-A2AgKPIasw

Why Is Breathing Important In Singing?

Hello and welcome!

Today I am going to talk about breathing for singing and the reasons why you should not skip this fundamental skill when you are really serious about learning how to sing or improving your singing.

We take breathing for granted. We breathe, right? So why should we learn breathing while we are singing?

Well, there are several reasons. Keep on watching.

Why is breathing important in singing?

For those who don’t know me, my name is Katarina and I am the founder of How 2 Improve Singing and I love helping people explore thier vocal instrument so that they can sing in a healthy way, sing more and sing with confidence.

In this video, I am going to answer three questions about why is breathing important in singing.

Question #1. Will I sound mechanical if I learn the mechanics of breathing?

So let’s compare a singer learning breathing technique to an athlete, a runner who is learning a new technique, jumping hurdles. So this runner, initially, may look unnatural or mechanical. He even may knock some hurdles down or fall or trip but eventually, he will be able to run hurdles with good efficient technique. And the same goes for a singer. Initially, it may not feel natural. It may not feel comfortable but eventually, the singer will be able to sing with ease using an efficient breathing technique.

Question #2. Does good breathing just help you avoid running out of breath?

And my answer is: it definitely improves, affects many other aspects of singing. For example, it affects tone quality, tone stability, definitelly voice resonance, how rich is your voice. It helps with vocal efficiency. It helps with pitch problems. Maybe you have pitch issues and they may be rooted in inefficient breathing technique. It helps with voice flexibility but because I am a speech and language pathologist, I have to say that good breathing technique helps you sing without tension and that helps your voice to last long and prevent vocal injuries. Definitely, good breathing technique helps in many different aspects of singing.

Question #3. Do only opera singers use good breathing technique?

Good breathing technique is beneficial for singers of all music genres because we all need efficient and controlled breath.

As you can see, I am very passionate about breathing for singing. And I wrote a blog post with all the reasons, or at least all the reasons I could think of why this topic is important and why you should not skip it if you are really serious about improving your singing. So please go and check the blog post. Click the link either up there or down there. Somewhere in this post. Go and check it out.

If you agree that good breathing technique is an essential part of good vocal technqiue, click the like button. Share this video with your friends and share the blog post with your friends. Leave me a comment. Give some love to this video.

Thank you for very much for watching.Thank you for liking, sharing and commenting. I’ll see you in the next video.

Until then, happy breathing and happy singing. Bye.

Link to the video: https://youtu.be/KG8Cx6ploLo

Breathing while Singing: How Is It different?

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.

Number 2.

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.

Number 3.

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.

Number 4.

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

Vocal Range Test Continued: What Am I?

So now you know what your vocal range is. You’ve figured out the highest and the lowest notes that you can sing. And now, you are probably wondering.

What does it mean?

What does it make you?

Are you a tenor or baritone?

Are you a soprano or alto?

What does that all mean?

In this video, I am going to tell you exactly what it means, what it makes you and what you can do with this information.

Hi, my name is Katarina and I am the founder of How 2 Improve Singing. Let’s talk vocal range and voice types.

Quite some time ago, I created this YouTube video called What is my vocal range? It was one of my first YouTUbe videos, where I did not have any equipment or I did not know how to make a good YouTube video.

However, this video is very popular and it’s watched every day by many singers. Obviously, singers want to know what their vocal range is.

And many of these singers also wonder. If I can sing this low and I can sing this high, what am I? What does it make me? Am I a tenor or baritone? Am I soprano or alto? What is my voice type based on my vocal range?

And my answer is very easy. You are a human being with that particular vocal range. You cannot tell a voice type just based on your vocal range. There is more involved than the knowledge of your highest and lowest notes. Your vocal range does not make you anything. Dissapointed with my answer? Let me explain.

Number 1.

Your vocal range can change or can improve. You can improve your vocal range with good vocal or breathing technique. What you can not do now, maybe you will be able to do six months from now. And your vocal range will change. Will your voice type change? I don’t think so.

Number 2.

I am making an assumption that you are not an opera singer. So I’ve got good news for you! If you are singing in any other music genre than opera, you can transpose a song. You can sing a song that was originally sung by a soprano,  even if you are a baritone. Just transpose it. Opera singers don’t have this luxury. They have to sing in the original key. They cannot transpose so they have to know what voice type they are. But I assume you are not an opera singer. Opera singers usually know their voice types and they don’t need to take a YouTube vocal range test.

Number 3.

Voice types in choirs. Choirs have a little bit different rules for setting the voice types. The goal of a choir is to create a unified sound. So sometimes choir directors will use different rules for setting the voice types or choosing singers with specific voice types. Very often, people who can read music or sing harmonies will sing the lower types. Even though they may be sopranos, they may be put into altos. Just because of their skills.

And finally, number 4.

Ok. I get it. You want to be a certain voice type. Maybe it’s way cooler to be a tenor or a soprano. I don’t know. People always want to be something that they are not. People want to have something they don’t have. But you have only one voice. And it’s very unique so work with what you have. Don’t get hung up on one voice type that you want to be. Work with what you have and make the best out of it.

So the question remains. What can you do with this information? Now, you know your vocal range. What can you do with it? Well, there are two reasons.

The first one is choosing an appropriate song. So choose a song based on your vocal range. Choose a song that will showcase the best parts of your voice. And not your weaknesses. So for example, if you find out that your strengths are in the mid-range of your voice, choose a song that does not have too many high notes.

And the second reason is: once you know your vocal range, you can start improving it. You can start extending it one semi-tone at a time. So see where your vocal range is and use good breathing or vocal technique for extending it. One semi-tone at a time.

Speaking about good breathing technique. Do you know if you breathe efficiently when singing? Download a free breathing checklist. Click the link either in this video or down below to get your free breathing checklist. Start transforming your breathing and improve your vocal range and singing so that you can sing with ease and confidence. Thank you for watching this video. I’ll see you in the next video. Happy singing!

Link to YouTube video: https://youtu.be/4IaCLZb7Wwg