Breathing Techniques
For Singing

It took me a long time to figure out the best breathing techniques for singing. 

I went to a lot of vocal coaches when I first started my singing career. They told me I wasn't breathing correctly. So I thought maybe that was my main problem with singing. 

I went through all the exercises they suggested, including lying on a floor with a belt around my waist so I could feel my diaphragm moving. There was value in all these ideas, but they weren't addressing my particular problem.

This happens with a lot of my clients, too. Most times what's really happening is that we're cutting off our air. 

How Are You Creating Your Air?

When I work with a client, I start out by getting you to a place where you understand how you're creating the air, and you're not doing things that would cut off or block your air.

And typically that's from us pushing and tightening to try to get the air to come through. 

So after we've gotten to a place when we've worked with your body enough that you are not blocking yourself, meaning you're not pushing into things and closing off your air, then we can start to talk about diaphragmatic support.

Try This Breathing Technique
For Singing

Try this experiment. Take a really big breath. Feel the air coming in. Notice that your whole  diaphragm area starts to come out. 

Now, what happens if you actually cheat that a little bit? I find that if I deliberately push out the diaphragm area, I actually feel like I have more air. So I take the air in, the diaphragm area expands out, and now I want to hold a sustained note.

Supporting With the Diaphragm

You can see this in the video at 2:36. I'm pushing out with the diaphragm but I'm also thinking down, so I'm controlling the diaphragm to release the air when I need it. 

(The video below begins at the correct time for this demonstration)

When I want the sound to get bigger on the highest note of the arpeggio, I'm having a really conscious thought of taking that big breath in, pushing out on my diaphragm.

When I want that extra sound, I make an extra effort and kind of pull up from the crotch and feel the extra power that I can use. Hear this at 3:25.

(The video below begins at the correct time for this demonstration) 

Know Your Body

You have to try this for yourself, to get to know how it feels in your own body to fill up the diaphragm with air and then support and control that air so that you can use what you need when you need it.

You've got to find the thing that really works with what you're doing. What I mean by that is there is typically something that all of us have been doing that has been stopping our air.

So once we figure that out, and get those habits out of the way, then we can start to control that air, and we'll have plenty of it.

Be sure to try these breathing techniques for singing and hear your singing get better! 

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About The Author

Roger Burnley - Vocal CoachRoger Burnley - Vocal Coach

Roger Burnley is a vocal coach located in Hollywood, California. He has been teaching singers for over 30 years and singing for even longer than that. 

Notable past and present clients include Macy Gray, Brandy, Ray J, The Beastie Boys, James Torme, Taylor Lautner, Nona Gaye, and many more.

His clients have collectively sold more than 30 million albums, with several reaching Platinum and Gold status. 

Roger has been featured on VH1, TV Guide Channel, TV One,
and MTV appearing as a vocal expert.

About The Author

Roger Burnley - Vocal CoachRoger Burnley - Vocal Coach

Roger Burnley is a vocal coach located in Hollywood, California. He has been teaching singers for over 30 years and singing for even longer than that. 

Notable past and present clients include Macy Gray, Brandy, Ray J, The Beastie Boys, James Torme, Taylor Lautner, Nona Gaye, and many more.

His clients have collectively sold more than 30 million albums, with several reaching Platinum and Gold status. 

Roger has been featured on VH1, TV Guide Channel, TV One,
and MTV appearing as a vocal expert.

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