Breathing Exercises for Singing

To learn why breathing exercises are important for singers you might also want to read our short article about Proper Breathing for Singing

Breathing exercises for singing: Practicing Inhaling

Inhalation breathing exercise 1

  1. Lie on your back on the ground. Take a deep breath and feel your upper chest and abs expand upwards. Do not tense your abdominal muscles in any way and notice that your shoulders do not move.
  2. Take another deep breath and feel your entire chest and abdominal area—all 360 degrees—expand. Your chest should expand outwards, not upwards (as you tend to do when you’re standing), and you should feel your back and side muscles expand as well. This is the kind of breathing you want to achieve while you’re singing.

Inhalation breathing exercise 2

  1. Pretend that air is really heavy as you inhale. Visualize it weighing 50 pounds and let it fall low into your body.
  2. Let it fall lower than your belly button. Explore this sensation.
  3. Then let the breath fall in faster. Still visualize it being heavy but let it fall quickly into your body.
  4. You can also fill your lungs as if you were going to blow up a balloon. You will feel your abdomen and lower back expand. This sensation of quickly filling your lungs with air is how you properly inhale for singing.

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Breathing exercises for singing: Practicing Exhaling

Exhalation breathing exercise 1

  1. Light a candle and hold it eight inches away from your face.
  2. Take a deep breath, keeping your shoulders and chest nice and steady.
  3. As you exhale, blow gently on the flame to make it bend but not flicker around wildly.
  4. Continue the steady stream of air to keep the flame bent, counting silently to see how long you can bend the flame.

This breathing exercise for singers helps you to develop the control needed when you sing a long phrase of music. If you can bend the flame for the count of five the first time, try to make it to six the next time etc.

Exhalation breathing exercise 2

  1. Look at a clock with a seconds hand.
  2. Take a reasonably-sized breath and sing a note on ‘ah’. Try to use up all your breath in a 5-second span. That’s exactly 5 seconds … no more, no less.
  3. Repeat as many times as you like, using larger or smaller breaths. Again, the goal is to use up all the air in 5 seconds!

The above breathing exercise teaches singers to focus their breath and avoid wasting air. Try it again, using a longer time period than 5 seconds. It may help to visualize filling the room with all of your sound, while using up your breath completely. With sufficient practice, you’ll achieve a clearer, focused sound and better breath management.

Related articles:
singing posture, breathing for singing, breathing techniques, vocal cords singing, vocal health tips, singing lessons online

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