Vocal Training Exercises – Breathing Techniques

Breathing is the most natural thing on earth to do. We normally wouldn’t give a second thought to breathing unless we had specific health problems related to it. Being that as it may, one of the first things taught in all vocal training lessons is breathing. This is because in singing, a lot of manipulation and control of our breathing is involved to produce different characteristics of the notes being sung. In a way, it’s like learning how to breathe all over again.

Air is the foundation of the singing process. The quality of what is being sung is largely determined by the rate of air movement through the body. To be a good singer, you will need to learn how to control the rate of air passage out of your body. This will ensure that you can hold notes for long periods of time without getting short of breath.

Building Up Your Breathing Control

When starting vocal training lessons, the first thing to do is learning how to manipulate the amount and rate of air being released from the lungs. The key difference between breathing for singing and talking is that the release of air depends on the words and notes being sung.

You see, normal breathing doesn’t require any specific patterns. You just inhale and exhale any amount of air you want! However, when you sing, the amount of air being released needs to be carefully controlled so you don’t run out of air in the middle of song phrases. The only way you can match the release of air to the singing of the words is to learn proper breathing control.

Here are two simple exercises that targets your abdominal muscles which control the rate of air being exhaled from your body.

Exercise 1

Stand using good posture

Place your feet approximately shoulder width apart

Extend both arms out until they are perpendicular to your body

Turn the palms down

Breathe in for 3 to 4 seconds

Hold your breath for 3 to 4 seconds

Breathe out for 3 to 4 seconds

This exercise is designed to help increase your lung capacity and give you more control over the time it takes to release air from your lungs. Over time, you will notice that the time you spend inhaling and exhaling will have increased due to your larger lung capacity.

Exercise 2

Stand using good posture

Place your feet approximately shoulder width apart

Breathe in deeply

Exhale as long as possible while making a hissing sound

When singing, the last thing you want is for your notes to come out choppy or in gasps. This exercise will help you develop a steady air flow in your singing and achieve the fluid stream of sounds.

These two exercises are great as part of your warm up sequence for whenever you are getting ready to sing. You can also you use them as part of your vocal training.

Breathing Control Training

All vocal training lessons come with breathing lessons. This is because every song has its own characteristic and require different timing and pace of breathing.

Long notes will require steady and smooth exhalation for an extended period of time. Different note pitch will also require good breathing control. The more extreme the note difference, the higher level of mastery that is required.

There are also other breathing training that can further enhance your capacity during vocal training lessons. Another thing you will want to work on is avoiding tension when breathing. In other words, don’t try to force air out that doesn’t exist. All this will do is create tension on your vocal cords and degrade the quality of your singing as well as potentially damage your vocal cords.

I would advise that you continue to practice the exercises in this article regularly till these techniques because almost second nature. They may seem simple, but don’t underestimate the power of what it can do for your singing. Once you have a good breathing foundation, you won’t have to think excessively about breathing pace and holding notes when singing because it will come naturally.

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