The Voice - The Basics
In this brief article, lets go through the very first basic step of singing; Breathing.
There will be no sound at all made without it, so it is the first thing we need to address to get a better singing/speaking voice. When breathing in while singing we should use the most natural an primal way of breathing, it is the same breath a sleeping baby takes, the same breath a yoga fanatic practices and even the same breath that Olympic weight lifters use to be able to put the body
through the enormous stress of lifting heavy weight;
The Diaphragm Breath.
Using your diaphragm while breathing will cause your belly to act like a balloon. Breathing in your belly goes out, like a balloon filling with air, and while breathing/singing out the balloon belly slowly goes back to its normal deflated state. All of this is happening without any movement whatsoever from your
shoulders or chest.
When using the diaphragm to breath/sing, you should be feeling the same sensation as those unforgettable times when you have laughed until your stomach hurts from all the fun. That feeling is the contraction of the diaphragm muscle, which is located under your lungs.
Don’t just breath like this because I say so. If you do, how are you going to stay motivated? How are you going to be able to trouble shoot yourself without a voice teacher by your side?
You want to be a strong, confident and independent singer, you wont always need someone to tell you if you are doing right or wrong.
Using the Diaphragm Breath is the easiest way to have a steady stream of air coming out from beginning of breath to end. This is important because you want to be able to sing long phrases without the interruption of a breath, and you want to be able to control things like tone and loudness without getting
interrupted by a puffy breath. Another benefit of breathing this way is the reduction of the time needed to take a full breath. Breathing/Singing out with the diaphragm is like building up tension in a spring or suspension of a car.
When the diaphragm contracts to its maximum capability you will be out of air, but as you let go of this tension, if you let it, the air will automatically come rushing in, and at great speed, making you able to sing a long phrase, taking a fast but full breath and sing a long phrase again, indefinitely.
Practice. Practice makes perfect, I think you will find yourself getting the hang of the Diaphragm Breath when just practicing breathing, quite quickly. Breathing correctly while singing may proof more difficult. You need a stepping-stone, something that is not quite singing, and not just breathing, but still makes you use your breath correctly. One of the best exercises for this is called "Lip Drills" or "rolling R’s". These are just noises, but they both require a steady stream of air to work, if you push air in a puffy or inconsistent way you will simply start to loose your drills or rolls. Start with making one of these noises on the breath out Instead of just breathing, when that feels easy you are ready to move on to a song. Sing desired song on either "Lip Drills" or
"Rolling R:s" and you will find that it has an almost magical way of making you push air from the diaphragm. Consequently, since our bodies are built to create muscle memory, you are with this technique setting yourself up to breath correctly also when singing the song normally.
Happy Practice. That is all for this brief article. It is my hope
that it helps you with your singing quest!