The Practice Project 5: Breath management for singing

This video focuses on breath management for singing, and especially on what’s going on in the abdominal area (around solar plexus and abdomen around navel) during:

1. “Normal” or passive expiration
2. Inspiration
3. Support (which means we are extending the expiration, or in other words: holding back the air so it doesn’t escape too fast)

There are a couple of exercises that are good especially for those who tend to carry unnecessary tension in their abdominal muscles, or tighten their abdominal muscles during inhalation.

For the support exercise at the end, try counting seconds as you support:

Can you hold back the air for 20 seconds…? 30…? 40…? …up to a minute?

Make sure the bulge around solar plexus stays there, and doesn’t move in (as it does in passive expiration).

Let’s all get hissing! The Egg-Heads will help you remember what should move in what direction!

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2 thoughts on “The Practice Project 5: Breath management for singing

  1. Hi Katja,
    I recently found your blog and I am so glad I did. I have been trying to let the body sing now as opposed to making it produce the sound I want for about a year or so now. I was wondering about breath support. I am able to keep my lungs and ribs expanded while singing in order to not overwhelm the vocal folds but I find while I am singing I still run out of breath and my voice constricts. Do you have any tips to avoid this? Also, I have a problem with over manipulation of the throat, can you suggest any exercises to avoid this. Thank you for any help you can offer.

    Jamilah

    • Hi Jamilah,
      Many thanks for your message and I’m sorry it took me this long to reply. I was traveling, teaching and learning in Brazil for the past 2 months and did not spend time around the blog.

      In order to keep the ribs expanded while singing we need to work with certain muscle groups. To be more specific, the abdominals, the big “back muscle” latissimus dorsi (the lats), and the muscles of the loin (quadratus lumborum) all help us to resist the natural urge of the diaphragm to release and the air to espace the lungs too fast (and the voice to constrict).

      Support explained in writing would be this:

      During singing, the waist muscles and solar plexus are pushed outwards while the abdomen around the navel is gradually pulled inwards, in a constant and sustained manner. The back muscles are tightened. The muscles in the loin try to pull the pelvis backwards, while the muscles in the abdomen try to pull the pelvis up under your body.

      It might sound very theoretical when you read an explanation like this, I know!

      I’ll try to cover some more support related questions in my future videos. Hope this helps for now!

      Kind regards,
      Katja

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