5 Tips on Singing Breathing For New Vocalists
“Sing from your diaphragm. Sing from your diaphragm!” Have you ever heard this before?
Ugh! What does that even mean? It seems to be a common direction when people talk about proper singing technique https://vocalizr.com (although the person who used to tell me this is a horrible singer).
I have had three voice teachers over my time of study (all with legitimate music degrees in vocal performance), and not a single one of them talked about the diaphragm. That doesn’t mean there isn’t physiological merit in mentioning the diaphragm, it’s just hard for a new singer to visualize and work on.
Yes, it is true that breathing is a fundamental element of singing well. When you’re singing, there are a lot of things going on mentally and physically, and that distracts from what you really need to be doing: breathing naturally.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way that can help you get started on proper singing breathing (without all the useless and confusing physiology that seems to get thrown around):
Lie on your back (couch, floor, bed) and just relax and breathe. Just like when you’re sleeping, your chest and your abdomen are going to expand and contract (filling the lungs with air, and then pushing out). This is what natural breathing feels like, and it’s the very sensation you should be going for when you sing.
Keep your shoulders down. A very bad habit that many new singers get into is lifting the shoulders to breathe. You don’t do this when you naturally breathe or talk, so why would you do it when you’re singing? You don’t have to be all stiff and wooden (you may be sitting with a guitar, at a piano, on a stool at a coffee shop), you just want to be aware if you’re struggling to get air in. Lifting your shoulders to breathe is a good sign that your putting too much effort into it.