I know my last post was on breathing, but bare with me! The idea behind "Quick tips" is to take some of the most common singing problems, explain them in a relatable way and then give you an exercise to help strengthen that area! cool huh?!
Hands down the most important part of singing, we rely on correct breathing for vocal health, projection, tone, dynamics, the works, its the engine in the machine that is our singing voice. and it should be easy right? i mean its breathing, i bet your breathing right now!! so why is it something that singers so commonly struggle with? I think its often because singers are flooded with buzz words and terminology with no real relatable explanations to go with them; What does sing to your diaphragm mean?
how do i support my sound. how do i breath to my stomach? My lungs aren't in my stomach!! its an overwhelming amount of vague information. So let me try and simplify it.
Most people tend to breath correctly, until they're asked to think about it!
We naturally take slow deep breaths which cause our diaphragm muscle to contract which pulls our lungs down, our stomach expands and our lungs fill with air, without any conscious thought!
However the second we think too hard about taking a large breath, or we’re nervous or anxious, we pull our shoulders back, puff out our chest and a group of muscles called intercostal muscles that are used to form and move the chest wall, take over. We end up holding air in our chest, which means we bring minimal air down into our lungs.
If you don’t think you’re breathing correctly when you sing, stand in front of a mirror take slow intentional deep breaths, keeping your chest relaxed, don’t let your shoulders lift, and feel your stomach expand. on the exhale hiss your air out nice and strong and feel your lower core muscles naturally contract. keep working on that until it starts to feel natural.
if its still sitting in your chest, try the same exercise whilst lying on your back! (it's very difficult to breath shallow when lying down)
the lungs are a passive organ, they hold and filter air but they don’t pump it.. they rely on your diaphragm to contract an release them without you even thinking about it.
so just focus on taking deep full breathes on the inhale, and gently contracting your lower core muscles on the exhale and let your body do what it naturally does!