Breathing Control Tips for
In order for us to achieve the desired effect from our breathing control exercises, here are some important tips, so that our exercises become more focussed and effective.
For those who need to refresh their memory on the breathing exercises for singing, just click here to revise the basic breathing exercises taught in the previous sections of this website.
You can also apply the breathing control tips on this page to the advanced breathing exercises for singing, which would be building on the skills that you would have acquired from practising the basic breathing exercises and breathing methods for singing.
Now, in order for us to practise our breathing exercises effectively, we need to bear in mind the following points:
1. Downwards and Sidewards Motion
Whenever we do our breathing exercises, we should ‘imagine’ the movement of air as coming in from our mouth and moving downwards towards our abdominal area in a downward and sideward motion. The muscles surrounding our diaphragm area, as well as our abdominal muscles, should expand slightly in all directions, more noticeably sideways.
The reason behind this is that our diaphragm separates our rib cage from the rest of our organs below it (including our stomach and intestines). When our diaphragm contracts and flattens during inhalation (when we breathe in), it pushes down on our vital organs and compresses them slightly, resulting in a slight bulge all round in our abdominal area, or as we commonly call it, our waistline.
2. Maintaining Tension in the Abdominal Muscles
When we exhale during our breathing exercises, our task is to focus on maintaining a certain level of tension in our abdominal muscles (since as I previously mentioned in the earlier section on ‘Breath’, these muscles are easier for us to control, compared to the diaphragm muscle itself).
We should not let our abdominal muscles collapse inward too quickly, and should try to maintain an outward tension, letting our abdominal muscles contract slowly as our breath is expelled from our body. This will allow us to train these muscles to be able to withstand greater tension, and also to be able to control our breath more effectively.
3. Feeling the Movement of our Muscles as we Practise:
As we practise our breathing exercises, it is vital that we feel the movement of our muscles, especially our abdominal muscles, so that we know whether we are doing the exercises correctly or not.
If we find that our abdominal muscles collapse inwards too quickly, or that they are not expanding sideways/all round whenever we practise our breathing exercises, then we would do well to try to achieve the desired movements.
We can test the tension in our abdominal muscles by ‘poking’ the front of our abdominals a few cm below our belly-button, and making sure that this area is tense whenever we perform our breathing exercises.
As long as we bear in mind these simple breathing control tips whenever we practise our breathing exercises, we will definitely achieve great improvements in our breath foundation for singing, especially for those who may not be able to sustain long notes, or for those who find themselves constantly out of breath when singing long phrases in a song!
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