Breathing with the diaphragm is not new, as many singers and vocal coaches will attest. But what singing classes and breathing exercises for singers are the best, and how can the right exercise help your singing? Well, singers must retrain their muscles and get back to the basics to relearn how to use their breath support.
The diaphragm is a large, dome-shaped muscle at the base of your lungs. When you inhale, the diaphragm contracts and moves downward, increasing the volume of your chest cavity and allowing your lungs to fill with air. Whether a rock singer, opera god, or pop star, you must know how to use your diaphragm to sing correctly. These techniques can quickly learn from music schools or a vocal coach. This guide will discuss the importance of breathing while singing and the top breathing exercises for singers to improve their diaphragm control.
Importance of breathing while singing
Proper breathing helps you project your voice and sing with more power and control. In addition, it enables you to inhale enough oxygen to support your voice throughout a song. If you are not taking in enough oxygen, your voice will begin to fade.
Below are the top 5 breathing exercises that can help to improve your diaphragm control.
1- Warm up your vocal cords
It’s no secret that singers must warm their vocal cords before they start singing. But what many people don’t know is that you can warm up your diaphragm to enhance your singing abilities. The following exercises will help to get your diaphragm working properly and increase your breath support.
- Warm up your vocal cords by humming a scale or singing simple songs. This will loosen up the muscles in your throat and prepare them for more strenuous exercise.
- Take a deep breath and hold it for 5 seconds. Then release the breath slowly, counting out loud. Repeat this exercise 10 times. This will help to stretch and open up your lungs and prepare them for extended breathing.
- Sit or stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms at the sides (or clasped behind the head). Inhale deeply through the nose, feeling ribs expand laterally (side to side). Exhale slowly, contracting abdominal muscles as you do so (imagine trying to push the stomach button toward the spine), forcing all air out of the lungs until empty.
2- Practice slow breathing
When starting, it is best to practice slow breathing. This will help you to get used to using your diaphragm and to control your breathing.
To practice slow breathing, inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, allowing your ribs to expand laterally. Hold your breath for a few seconds, then slowly exhales, contracting your abdominal muscles as you do so. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
3- Hissing Exercise
The hissing exercise is one of the best ways to learn how to use your diaphragm and increase your breath support. It involves taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly while making a hissing sound. This will help to stretch and open up your lungs, preparing them for extended breathing while singing.
When doing this exercise, ensure you are exhaling through your nose to get the most benefit from it. Be sure to hold your breath for a few seconds after inhaling, then release it slowly as you make the hissing sound. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
Once you have mastered the basic hissing exercise, you can move on to more advanced exercises to help you control your breathing better. One such exercise is called “the power puff.” To do this exercise, take a deep breath and then exhale quickly, making a “pfft” sound as you do so.
4- Breath management
Breath management is one of the most important aspects of singing. If you cannot control your breathing, you will not be able to sing with power and control. In addition, if you are not taking in enough oxygen, you will start to feel tired, and your voice will begin to fade.
You can do a few breath management exercises to help improve your singing. One such exercise is called “breath pulses.” To do this exercise, take a deep breath and then exhale in short bursts, making a “pulse” sound as you do so.
Panting is another breathing exercise that can help you to control your breathing and increase your oxygen intake. To do this exercise, take a deep breath and then exhale quickly, making a “panting” sound as you do so.
This exercise is especially helpful if you feel short of breath while singing. It will help you take in more oxygen to continue singing without losing your voice. For best practice, experts can take singing classes. Music schools will help you to improve your vocal cords, breath control, and stage presence.
What to avoid
Along with practicing the exercises above, there are a few things you should avoid doing if you want to improve your singing.
This is one of the most common mistakes singers make. When you over-breathe, you take in more oxygen than your body needs, leading to a loss of voice.
2- Shallow breathing
This is the opposite of over-breathing and is just as harmful to your singing. When you take shallow breaths, you are not getting enough oxygen to your lungs, which can lead to a loss of voice.
3- Holding your breath
This is a common mistake that singers make when they are first starting. When you hold your breath, you are not allowing any oxygen to get to your lungs, which can lead to a loss of voice.
Learning to control your breathing is one of the most important aspects of singing. By practicing the exercises above, you will be able to increase your breath support and improve your singing.