Breathe Better With Vocal Voice Training
Breathing is something so ordinary for us that we hardly think about it as the day goes by, but it suddenly gains a lot of importance when you try to sing. Vocal voice training exists to teach you how to control your breathing and, with that, improve your singing, since both are closely related. An efficient airflow produces a better and clearer tone and makes longer notes or phrases much easier to sustain.
Controlling Your Breathing
When you are singing, you need consciously control the amount of air you exhale in every breathing cycle, depending on the length of each phrase or the notes you are going to hit. You need to have enough air to sing a verse without gasping in the end or cutting the flow of the words to breathe in the middle, which doesn’t sound good for your listeners.
Since your abdomen muscles are the ones that control the speed of each exhalation, you need to train them to resist the urge of breathing out all the air at once. The following vocal voice training exercises will help you achieve that.
- Stand upright, with good posture: shoulders back, chest high, arms hanging comfortably at each side, feet hip-width apart;
- Keep your arms straight and place them perpendicularly to your body, with the palms of both hands turned down;
- Inhale slowly for 3 to 4 seconds;
- Hold the air in your lungs for 3 to 4 seconds;
- Exhale steadily for another 3 to 4 seconds.
- Stand with good posture, as you did in exercise 1
- Take in a very deep breath
- Exhale steadily on a hiss as long as you can, trying to keep the sound from trembling.
Both of these exercises, done regularly, will give you more control over your exhalation. As you progress, increase the counts for inhaling, holding and exhaling in the first exercise, in order to improve your lung capacity while you learn how to release air at your chosen rate, as you need to do when you are singing. In exercise 2, you can make the hissing sound longer and longer each time, developing your ability to breathe out steadily. An irregular airflow would make your voice very shaky.
Training your breath makes you more adaptable to songs with a very fast or slow tempo that needs well-timed breathing to sound their best. The adequate breathing exercises will make you capable of sustaining long or high notes that can only be held or hit with a stable exhalation, without any irregularity. Do them often to get a result faster and truly memorize the techniques.
A good breathing technique can develop by having breathing lessons, of which there are several available. Any good vocal voice training method begins by teaching how to breathe. That shows how important it is in singing. But good breathing is only really effective when it is free. With that in mind, make sure that you do not force air out to the point of tensing up your whole body. Your lungs can be never be completely emptied or they will collapse, so it’s worthless trying to push more air out than you can. When you get rid of any tension and learn how to effectively breathe for singing, your vocal voice training will flow much better than you can imagine.
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