How To Breathe From The Diaphragm When Singing
When you learn how to breathe from the diaphragm when singing, you will find that almost every other aspect of your voice improves too!
Some of the benefits of breathing from the diaphragm when singing include:
- Sustain – being able to hold notes for longer
- Projection – the voice is able to carry farther
- Richer Tone – a rounder, fuller a richer tone
In order to learn to breathe properly when singing – there are plenty of online singing lessons available that can help!
From the moment we are born we breathe by raising our shoulders and chest so our lings fill with air. Our stomachs compress inwards as we inhale.
When we exhale the reverse happens, the shoulders lower and our stomachs expand. We have a natural ability to do this but unfortunately this is quite the opposite movements to do when we sing from the diaphragm!
Because breathing from the diaphragm is not a natural technique, it does not always come easy to us, but is taught to those who learn singing, woodwind or brass instruments and is used as a relaxation technique.
How To Sing Longer Without Breathing
Expand stomach and lower rib cage
When you take a deep breath in, try making your stomach expand, this can be tricky at first but in doing so, your shoulders will remain steady without rising.
Physically your diaphragm pinpointed just below your rib cage will expand during the inhale instead of your lungs within your chest. If you can achieve this, it will eventually enable you learn to sing notes over a longer period of time and with a better quality tone. The more practice you do, the better you will get.
Stand with feet apart
To help you with this exercise, it is better to stand with your feet slightly apart just wider than your shoulder width, this will steady you in case you feel a bit light headed.
Place your hands on your waist with the middle fingers of each hand touching just underneath the rib cage while the thumbs face towards your back. Doing this enables you to feel your stomach expand which in turn should push your middle fingertips apart so you can feel which parts of your body need to move.
A mirror helps
Try to keep your shoulders down, stand in front of a mirror to help you. You will probably notice and feel that the diaphragm pushes out first during the inhale, then the shoulders rise during the final part of the exhale.
This can be eliminated with more practice. As you become more experienced, you will feel your thumbs start to be pushed out from your side waist until eventually your back actually expands too during the inhale.
Paint a picture in your mind
It helps to paint a mental picture of a doughnut or car tyre being squashed round your waist so you have to push your stomach out and let your waist expand to break free from the doughnut or car tyre!
As you become more advanced you will find it is one thing to take long breaths as a diaphragm exercise, but harder to sing a lot of notes. This is because singing notes of a different pitch, low and high, uses a lot more air, consequently the air escapes quicker.
During your diaphragm breathing exercises, breath in through the nose or mouth filling the diaphragm so your waist is fully expanded then hold for a count of two seconds before SLOWLY exhaling.
How To Have More Breath When Singing
Doing this will allow you to really feel the diaphragm full and to try and control it as you exhale. It is quite natural to just let the air escape very quickly but doing this will defeat the object of the exercise.
Once you have developed the techniques of how to breathe from the diaphram when singing, you will have much better control over your voice.
See Also: How To Sing In Tune