When observing students taking voice lessons in Seattle, one of the things teachers always note is that new singers don’t always know when to breathe within a song. For many reasons, this can be a tricky technique for students to truly master. To further complicate things, when listening to an artist sing a song, new students often cannot hear the artist breathing. Thus, they don’t pick up on any cues as to when they should be breathing when singing.
If you’re a singer struggling in your voice lessons, here are a few tips and exercises from our voice teachers in Seattle to help make breathing during singing a bit easier.
7 Tips to Help You Find Where to Breathe
- Take a look at the lyrics of the song. Write them out if you need to, but say them out loud as if you were speaking to a friend. Take note of where you naturally pause when saying these words in a more narrative format. If you notice a place where you’d put a sentence or full stop, you can probably take a breath there during the song.
- If you still can’t figure out a good place to take a breath, slow down the song.
- Replace the words of the song with gibberish. Once you’re comfortable singing gibberish along with the tempo, try singing again with the actual lyrics.
- Depending on the genre, you have some flexibility with the phrasing. Try switching around a few words to make it your own.
- Change the key. Your muscles might not be comfortable singing in the key the original song was creed in. Changing the key can assist with the pitch and could free up your muscles to sing more efficiently.
- Add in some articulation exercises to your voice lessons in Seattle. Sometimes it’s our lips, tongue, or jaw that’s preventing us from breathing and singing properly.
- Practice breathing exercises with and without vocalizing to help you manage airflow better.
Vocal Exercises to Help You Breathe Better While Singing
Inhaling is the process of air moving into your body- simply breathing in. But, singers need to understand how their body feels when they inhale so they know what they need to do in order to get a breath in before the next phrase. The following exercise helps you learn how to inhale properly.
Pretend that you’re breathing in very heavy air. Feel it fall low into your body, below your belly button. Then, let your breath fall faster, still. Fill your lungs up as if you were going to blow up a balloon. Feel your abdomen and lower back expand. This sensation of your lungs filling up with air is how you inhale for singing.
Exhaling is the process of letting breath out of your body. Singing is all about controlling your inhalation and exhalation. You want these actions to be smooth and sustained.
To practice exhalation, find a small, thin piece of paper or a feather and practice blowing it around the room. Try to blow the feather up in the air using one long breath to do so. Try to keep your chest uncollapsed as you blow the object. Notice what moves in your body as you exhale to blow the object around. At the end of exhalation, you should feel the need to inhale immediately again.
Posture is extremely important when learning how to breathe well while singing. When your body is aligned properly, you’ll be better equipped to take and use breaths efficiently.
Different body positions can help you feel and understand how and where your breaths are coming from. It’s important to try different exercises that allow you to have a sense of intake and release. Posture and breathing exercises can begin by lying on the floor, then propping yourself up on your hands and knees, then squatting down, and finally slumping over. Even though slumping is frowned upon when singing, it’s OK when practicing posture exercises.
Your body will gradually adjust to the way you’re training it to behave through these posture, inhalation, and exhalation exercises. These exercises are great ways to improve your singing and can be done before, after, or during your voice lessons in Seattle.
If you, your kid, or someone you know is interested in taking voice lessons, our voice teachers will be more than happy to help! Our teachers come right to your home for every lesson, plus we offer virtual music lessons, too. Our online music lessons are taught by local music teachers with live lessons tailored to your child!