Breathing is a vital part of singing because it controls the volume level and sound quality of the singer. When a singer breathes correctly he or she will have a full and supported voice and will not require to strain himself or herself. To make a specific sound, one requires an adequate quantity of air to be passing through oneâ€™s vocal folds. Poor breathing will result in poor voice quality and that is where vocal breathing exercises play an important role.
BENEFITS OF CORRECT BREATHING FOR SINGERS
A singerâ€™s vocal quality can be majorly enhanced using breathing exercises. Learning the correct vocal breathing exercises not only gives you more control over your voice as a singer but also increases your singing stamina. Vocal exercises definitely improve the quality of your voice. It rounds your tone, gives your voice a fuller feel, enables you to project sound better and extends your range. Right breathing techniques also protect your vocal health by seeing to it that the correct amount of pressure is placed on your vocal folds and larynx.
Through vocal breathing exercises, it becomes possible to be deeply aware of your breathing. Such exercises have been developed to deepen your breathing and they engage all the muscles you need to use. The goal is to achieve the flow of a steady stream of air that is consciously controlled by your muscles.
START WITH THE RIGHT SINGING POSTURE
Keeping an upright singing posture is absolutely a must before you start singing. The body must be correctly aligned say experts as it is only with the right posture that the bodyâ€™s muscles can be efficiently used to produce a beautiful sound. Begin by standing against a wall while ensuring that the backside of your head, shoulders, your posterior and your heels are touching the wall. While it might feel awkward at first as if you are leaning backwards, it will feel natural with practice.
LEARN TO INHALE AND EXHALE CORRECTLY
Once you have developed the right posture, you must next learn how to inhale and exhale correctly using your abdominal muscles. Interestingly, natural breathing motions do not come naturally to people. So a good way to begin is to contract the abdominal muscles to exhale and allow the body to automatically inhale. Simultaneously relax your abdominal muscles. While doing this exercise it feels like the abdomen is actually a bag full of air. Follow this process of this exercise a couple of times.
VOCAL EXERCISES THAT EXTEND AND STRENGTHEN YOUR STREAM OF BREATH
Amongst the important vocal breathing exercises is an exercise called â€˜Blowing Out the Candles.â€™ To do this first exhale completely, then deeply inhale and finally suspend your breath, keeping your throat open and relaxed. Using an S, F and P consonant gradually puff out air. While you do so you can feel the muscles of the abdomen pumping put. If you are performing this exercise with real candles your puffs should only move the flame back and forth but should not put it out.
The second exercise is called â€˜Bumps in the Road.â€™ You can begin this exercise with full exhalation followed by a deep inhalation. Now blow out air gradually, pushing outward on the muscles of the abdomen to prevent them from moving inward too quickly. As you blow push harder puffs of air without stopping, at regular intervals. The pulses feel like crossing over speedbumps in a car.
The last vocal exercise might make you laugh! It is called Lip Bubbling or Lip Trills and you can practice it not just to control the flow of breath but also to relax the muscles on your face around the mouth. To do this breathe out completely before breathing in, then suspend your breath for a moment leaving your throat relaxed and open. As you start to breathe out purse your lips slightly together to make them move up and down against each other. You can also do this exercise with pitches.
In conclusion, it can be said that the importance of learning to control and produce the breath for singing cannot be underestimated. This is the fundamental part of vocal training and you should start every performance and practice session with vocal warm-ups. To learn to do this right, please take a look at our Western Vocals or Hindustani Vocals courses.