Breathing Exercises for Singing
Exercises to improve breath control
The health of your voice is paramount as a singer. Therefore improving breath control by using breathing exercises for singing can help you to keep your voice strong. Many people with breathing problems use voice lessons as a way of improving the issue. Breath control is essential as a singer and you’ll need it to perform, if you lose your breath and stop singing, you risk ruining your reputation.
Many singers fall into the trap that they must do endless breathing exercises for singing in order to sing well but this shouldn’t be the case. Many of the breathing issues that singers encounter such as running out of breath before the end of phrases are far more often down to the internal muscles (the vocal cords & larynx) being made to function incorrectly. It’s also affected by how the air flow is distributed rather than the actual function of breathing being incorrect. It is however really important to get the basics right.
Helpful breathing exercises for singers
Make sure your shoulders are not rising when you take a breath. If they are this indicates shallow breathing & will result in too much air pressure onto your vocal cords. You’ll likely get an initial blast of volume followed by very little else as your breath and therefore your voice quickly runs out. The cycle will then continue and become very hard work.
Your breathing should start much lower down with your stomach & diaphragm muscles expanding like bellows. If your stomach goes in when you breathe in, you’re doing it the wrong way round!
Lie on the floor, relax and breathe normally. You should notice as you breathe in your stomach and rib cage rise (inflate) and as you breathe out they get smaller again (deflate).
Practice doing short mini laughs with a breath in between – “Ha” breath “Ha” breath “Ha”. On every “Ha” make sure the stomach is going in and on the breath going back out. This breathing exercise for singing is good to practice this in slow motion to help develop control with your air pressure & flow. Think of squeezing a tube of toothpaste from the bottom up to keep that steady flow.