To sing properly you must know how to breath properly first. The sound that emerges when singing is generated when air makes your vocal chords vibrate. So everything ends up revolving around how you manage the air you get in and out of your body, starting with the diaphragm. There are a few breathing exercises for singing better to help you train to get the most out of your body.
Before starting our breathing exercises, it will help to explain what parts of the body we’ll be working with. Take a deep breath. Check your body. Probably your elbows have gone up and your chest is saving all the air. Well, that shouldn’t happen anymore.
From now on, every time you breathe you will loosen the upper part of your body and send the air further down until you feel it in your stomach and abdominal area. That way you will get more control over your diaphragm–a muscle located across the bottom of the ribcage that regulates the air flow in respiration–and the muscles around it. These muscles are the ones that have to do all the work when singing, never the muscles near the throat.
Now, on to the proper breathing exercises for singing better! Repeat each exercise several times before moving on to the next one.
Breathing Exercise #1: Feel Your Diaphragm
- Lay on your back, putting your hands on your abdominal area. Inhale and imagine the air flowing through your chest and filling up your stomach like a balloon
- Feel it inside your body and notice your hands going up
- Exhale, and feel your stomach pushing the air out as it flows up and your hands go down
Breathing Exercise #2: Let It Go Slowly
- Keep picturing your abdominal area as if it were a balloon
- Inhale filling it up with air
- Once you are ready to exhale, imagine you are opening a tiny hole in the balloon, letting a really small amount of air get out
- Leave your mouth and teeth closed, but relaxed, though, as well as your tongue and exhale with a steady “s” sound coming out almost like a soft whistle: “ssss”…
Breathing Exercise #3: All At Once
- Start out the same way as you did for the first two
- Exhale, only this time, instead of letting the air out slowly and gently, use your abdominal muscles and diaphragm to push the air out really fast
- Use the same “ssssss” sound as before, but this time make it as loud as you can, helping the air come out really fast and strong
Breathing Exercise #4: Short Bursts
- Use the same “balloon visualization” and inhale as usual
- Exhale while dividing the air flow in small portions. The easier way to explain this is telling you how it should sound when you do it: “sss…sss…sss…sss”
Breathing Exercise #5: Standing Up
- Stand straight, making sure you’re relaxed, with your arms to the side of your body and no tension in your shoulders
- Inhale once again trying to take the air straight to your stomach
- Check your chest and shoulders. If they’ve gone up, you are not doing the exercise the proper way. Remember how the air went straight to your stomach while lifting your hands when you were lying down. No shoulders or chest were involved. It’s harder to do this standing up, that’s why we started with the other option
- Once you’ve made sure the air is swelling your stomach and not any upper part of your body, exhale pushing the air up gently with your abdominal muscles
- Repeat all of the exhaling techniques from above while standing up
Learn to perfect these proper breathing exercises, and you will officially control the way your diaphragm and muscles handle your breathing when focusing on how to sing better.
Make sure you practice your breathing exercises for singing better as much as you can. And, of course, keep going further in your new singing knowledge by hiring a vocal coach or by using one of our highly recommended singing programs.