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Is breath over used in singing teaching? – Learn to Sing

Breathing is often considered far too important when we talk about singing. So while I included it in the course, I don’t want you to apply it to everything that you do. Let me explain: 

The breathing lesson is focused on releasing the abdominal wall to breathe lower into the lungs. Our lungs are bigger at the bottom than the top, and we are able to breathe in quicker if we release the abdominal wall. This is what is often referred to as “breathing from the diaphragm” but we can only breathe from our diaphragms, which is why I take issue with the instruction. You can not control what you can not feel. We can however control our abdominal wall.  

This breathing technique is also good for lung health because we get rid of the stale air at the bottom of our lungs, circulation, because of the increase in oxygen, stress relief because we slowing our heart rate when we breathe out longer then when we breathe in and of course for singing longer held phrases, and it is mostly used in classical singing.  

It is also good to release built up tension in the voice, which may be causing your vocal strain.  

The main take away of the breathing lesson, is that I want you to breathe less.  

Yes, you heard me correctly, I want you to breathe less in general. One of the big causes of vocal strain with breathing is either that you are gripping in the abdominal wall and therefore the voice is closing up. Or breathing in too much high in the chest, causing the activation of more muscles than we need here at the top of the chest.  

Let’s try it out So hold your tummy muscles as if you are being punched, now count to 5, how does that feel? When we grip or hold the tummy muscles our body does this to build up pressure to lift heavy things or push. Think about when you move your couch or when you are constipated. But we don’t want to do either of those things when we are singing.  

So This breathing exercise in the lesson is aimed to release the abdominals in order to be able to sing with less effort, and also to allow the throat to remain open in order to allow the vocal folds to do their thing and move freely.  

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