Breath control is one of the most important aspects of singing. Without a proper breathing technique, you will not be able to produce a clear, firm tone. Here, I will explore why breath control is so important and provide some exercises to help improve your breathing for singing.
When you breathe, your diaphragm contracts and expands, drawing air into your lungs. The diaphragm is a large, dome-shaped muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen. The contraction and expansion of the diaphragm are what make breathing possible.
In order to sing properly, you must be able to control your breathing. This means you must be able to inhale and exhale deeply and evenly without gasping for air. That’s because gasping for air will disrupt airflow through your vocal cords, resulting in a strained, weak tone. This is one of the reasons your vocal coach always encouraged you to do breathing exercises during your vocal warm-ups.
Benefits of Breath Control for Singers
Prevent vocal injuries
Failing to control your breathing can lead to vocal fatigue and injuries. When you sing, you are using your vocal cords to produce sound. If you do not have reasonable breath control, you will strain your vocal cords, which can lead to injuries.
Power high notes
If you want to be able to sing those powerful high notes, you need to have reasonable breath control. That’s because you need a lot of air to produce those high notes. And the only way to get that much air is by taking deep breaths.
Increase vocal endurance
Good breath control will also help increase your vocal endurance. When you control your breathing, you can sing for more extended periods without tiring your voice out.
Improve vocal tone
Lastly, good breath control will result in a better vocal technique. That’s because your voice’s quality depends on the airflow through your vocal cords. If that flow of air is disrupted, your voice will sound strained.
Provide energy and stamina
Another good reason to work on your breath control is that it will give you energy and stamina. When you are performing, you want to be able to give it your all without running out of breath.
Reduce stress and tension during performances
If you are feeling nervous before a performance, proper breathing can help reduce that stress and tension. When you focus on your breath, it will help to calm your nerves and ease any performance anxiety you may be feeling.
Breath Control Exercises for Singers
One of the best exercises you can do to improve your breath control is diaphragmatic breathing. This is a breathing technique that focuses on strengthening the diaphragm muscle.
To do this exercise, lie down on your back with your knees bent and place one hand on your tummy and the other on your upper chest. As you inhale through your nose, focus on pushing your stomach out, and you should feel your stomach expanding as you breathe in. Then, exhale slowly and let your stomach fall back in. Repeat this ten times.
Singing for extended periods requires that you have a good reserve of air. To build up that reserve, you need to take some “huge breaths.” To develop your air capacity, lie down on your back and inhale through your nose for 5 seconds. Hold your breath for 8 to 10 seconds, and then exhale slowly. You can also try this standing up.
This great exercise will help you sing lower notes for longer. You can do this exercise while lying, sitting, or standing. If you choose to lie on your back, raise your knees and put your hands on your tummy. Inhale slowly through your nostrils and exhale while gritting your teeth and using your tongue to release air, thereby producing a hissing sound. You should feel your stomach going in and out as you do this.
Lip trills are a great way to warm up your vocal cords and prepare them for singing. To do this exercise, make sure you are in a comfortable position. You could stand if you prefer, but try to keep your feet about shoulder-width apart while balancing your weight evenly on both feet.
Start by inhaling through your nose and then exhaling through your mouth while vibrating your lips. Your lips will make a noise, but try not to use your voice. As you get comfortable with this, you can start to add some vocalisation to the lip trills.
Practise Breath Control Exercises to Take Your Singing to the Next Level
Breath control is an essential skill for singers, and it allows you to sing with power, control, and endurance. Practising the exercises above can improve your breath control and take your singing to the next level. In addition, always try to practice proper posture when singing, as this will also help improve your breath control.