Diaphragm Breathing... All Singers Do This!


I suspect that it is we singers (and perhaps some yoga-enthusiasts) who are most curious about what it means to "breathe with the diaphragm."

Look here for my latest video demonstration that teaches you a powerful breathing exercise - diaphragmatic breathing.

Diaphragmatic breathing is an often searched-for term on the internet.

Some singers exclaim: "I was taught diaphragm breathing!" But as you will see in the following brief videos, we all use the diaphragm when we breathe! It is central to breath.

However, we singers can (and must) learn how to breathe more efficiently.

But before I write about what a more efficient kind of breathing might mean to vocalists, please have a look at the following short video: How We Breathe - An inside look!

And for a really up-close and personal look at the wonder of the diaphragm muscle itself - view this (short) 3d-yoga video of the diaphragm muscle in motion.

Now that you have seen that it is pretty difficult to NOT use the diaphragm when we sing, let's look at what more efficient breathing can mean to a singer.

Keep in mind that some singing teachers do not talk much about breathing. And others claim that when the throat is functioning well, the breath will sort itself out.

There is some truth to that opinion. If your vocal cords and tongue and soft palate etc. are not working well to produce balanced tone, then "good breathing" may not help you to sing much better.

Be Conscious of How You Breathe!
I believe that it is useful to work on both the production of tone and better-controlled breathing. I usually begin a lesson with several minutes of conscious breathing. There are two reasons for starting this way:
• one - the focus on breathing helps to free us from whatever stresses we brought with us into the studio - so you have a minute or two to "shift mental gears";
• two - we learn that good singing requires more conscious use of breath.

A singer friend of mine, Linda Pavelka, is a long-time professional singer who has sung in concert halls and opera theaters all over the world. I was recently talking with her at a party in Montreal where she told a few of us singers (who were standing with her in the kitchen,) about a breathing exercise that she herself found very helpful in releasing tension in the throat and jaw.

Here is the short video I took of her explanation and her demonstration of this exercise: Shimmy Those Hips!

And finally, the new video on breathing demonstrating an exercise that helps you to spin long-held notes with more ease. Click here for how to improve your breathing. 

I wish you great singing!

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