Breathing could be said to be a natural phenomenon in that it is inherent in us. It is almost not believable that someone could actually breath or take in air in a wrong way.
Well, you could be right but it is totally different when it comes to singing and taking in and removing air is very vital in this discuss.
Breathing goes a long way to improve the quality and the tenacity of the sound that comes out from our mouth when we are singing and mastering the art of breathing gives us edge over other singers.
In a more clear and vivid term, proper breathing gives the voice the needed support and gives ease of the body parts and organs.
Every pitch or note depend on air behind it Wich the source has to be steady and in place.
Proper breathing is only possible when a singer is vested with the nitty-gritty of proper breathing. Most at times, singers limit their singing prowess through the way they breath while singing, this they without even noticing.
Are you a victim of this?
Do not panic because we’ve got you covered.
Breathing is an important aspect of singing, this is because it avails the timbre and the intensity and the air moving through chords are not adequate it renders singing impossible and these makes the breathing exercises sacrosanct as we can not do without it if we must master the art of singing.
Breathing skills when improved gives not only control to the singer but also aid them master their voices just like a maestro would do. It will also increase not just their vocal register but also aid them to sing chromatically.
Good breathing will also give not just stamina to the singer but will also improve their singing in terms of vibrato, good sustain power and voice timbre.
Now let’s ask ourselves this question:
1. WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF POOR BREATHING HABIT IN SINGING
When talking about breathing, we are simply referring to the taking in (inhalation) and taking out (exhalation) of air and this is done through our nostril and the air is shallow when a person does this there is relatively a short break before he or she breathes again and this is natural and requires almost no effort at all.
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Sadly, singers try to replicate the way they breath while sitting in their couches at home and this does not work as far the milieu of singing is concerned. This is because breathing in singing is the deliberate and conscious effort of the singer and thus, there should be a clear cut dichotomy between breathing when singing and breathing when not singing.
Note that when singing, taking in of air is shorter than breathing out and this has to be a conscious effort and not anyhow.
Research have however shown, that when breathing, about 5% to 10% capacity of the lung is used but the number skyrockets to 50% when singing.
Singers often exhibit these poor habits of singing like not making use of their diaphragm which is very important, gasping for air because they have run out of air, being confused of where to breathe and breathing anywhere in the middle of the song as a result, and of course bad posture which is one of the most vital. These bad habits we have mentioned, is not limited as they are enormous.
Moreover, the outcome of bad breathing habit is quite enormous and could render the voice tensed while singing.
We will have to look at some possible ways of Breathing in properly while singing:
POSTURE: Good posture is almost synonymous to good singing ( although some would argue otherwise), Sitting properly or standing properly.
Good posture while singing will not only improve your breathing habit but will also improve your singing capabilities and voice quality.
Good posture however creates space in the chest cavity and expand the lungs to attain it’s full obligated potential. The space the good posture creates will then enable the singer to sustain notes for a longer period of time.
A singer must be conscious of how he or she stands, this is because you can’t stand hunched over to take a deep breath. Without a good posture, notes at the end of a phrase will be affected badly.
Good posture aids phrasing to go smoothly because the chest cavity and the vocal chords are expanded already by the good posture and this allows air to move in and out freely.
A typical example of a good posture are:
a.Keeping your body in a more relaxed manner while standing or sitting straight.
b. The width of your shoulder and your feet must be be apart from each other while you tilt forward a little bit.
c. Your shoulder should not be raised but move back a little and back.
d. Your chest and chin should be raised up high.
e. Make sure you make your joints flexible.
The aim of this posture is to relax your nerves and open up the diaphragm for free passage of air to optimize your singing prowess.
Diaphragm Breathing: Generally, the diaphragm is made up of muscles that cover the rib cage and distinct the topmost part of the rib cage from the bottom.
The diaphragm gets flattened and tightened when you sing from the diaphragm, thereby allowing air to flow without obstruction.
This inturn strengthens the voice and gives more quality and sustainability to it.
Warm Up: Warm up is sacrosanct if quality singing must be optimised. Going directly to sing without first of all warming up could be voice suicidal, this is because you may sound so awkward especially as a beginner that you would want to quit singing but hey, this is only because you never warmed up the vocal chords to attain optimal result.
Let’s discuss on some good warm ups you can do before starting the rehearsal proper.
Humming would be a good way to start the warm up then add lip trills to it.
Make sure you start slowly before getting fast so that you don’t damage the voice.
This must be done at least 20 minutes everyday time you wanna practice and make sure you do it before practicing.
Management of Breath: Another very important factor to work on is breath management. Singers often breathe in only to exhale everything in a split second then rendering his or her singing dry and ineffective.
If after following all the rules I’ve outlined and still can’t manage the breathe, then I’m afraid, your effort could be as good as not having it at all.
The breathe you have breathed in should be sent out slowly and sparingly not at once.
On a passing note, make sure you practice because ‘effective practice makes perfect’.
If this can be done religiously for a week then you’re on your pathway to greater heights.
Send in your observations and questions, I’m here to answer them.
Reference _ musicgrotto.con