Learn to Sing: Breathing
Breathing well will support your voice. Singing when there's no breath left is a common way of tiring your voice. Follow the steps below to help improve your breathing.
- Breathe deeply from your lower lungs - imagine a rubber ring around your waist (your diaphragm)
- Breathe in and try to push the ring outwards.
- Breathe in through your nose and out through your nose and mouth.
- Avoid raising your shoulders as you breathe in - keep them relaxed and level.
- Relax! Tension will prevent you from making a good sound.
To practice breathing well, try this:
Lie on the floor on your back with your hands on your stomach. Breath in (inhale) and your hands will rise.
Now breathe out (exhale) and they will lower. In this position it is virtually impossible to breathe incorrectly. Try to breath in the same way when you sing.
Practice breathing regularly to improve your technique and build your capacity
Exercise 1 - Hissing
- Breathe in to the count of 4, breathe out, hissing, to the count of 4
- Then, breathe in for 6, and hiss out for 10
- in for 6, out for 12
- in for 2, out for 12
- in for 4, out for 16
- in for 2, out for 16
- in for 4, out for 20
- in for 1, out for 20
The idea is to monitor your breathing, and ensure that you can last through long phrases. Be economical with your breathing. Make sure the hiss is consistent; that it is not louder at the beginning than at the end. You are aiming for a smooth even sound.
Exercise 2 - Snatched Breaths
- Breathing in gradually, think of your lungs filling up in fractions, when you count. Focus on the diaphragm, being careful not to hold tension in the throat.
- On the count of '1' - breathe in (¼ full)
- '2' - (½ full)
- '3' - (¾ full)
- '4' - (full)
- 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 - breathe out, gradually.
- Repeat, on the count of '1' - breathe in (½ full) '2' - (full)
- 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 - breathe out gradually.