How to breathe well while you are singing and not to force your voice

It is often the case that after a long performance or intensive singing lesson we feel tired, we can hardly speak and it is clear that vocal rest is needed.

Of course, it’s the right thing to do. But what if you will optimise the singing process ? Putting in less effort, reducing air pressure which makes our vocal chords moving and not forcing the voice will give you opportunity to sing much longer without being tired.

All that we need to do is to have a clear idea what words we need to sing, sending a clear message from the brain to vocal chords and using air wisely.

I would compare it with the opening the door:

Whether you press handle vigorously or gently- The final result will be an opened door. The same happens with your voice.

We need to use a specific pressure of air for different notes in singing, but as soon as you have created a right note, what’s the point to give even more weight towards your vocal folds?

It’s important to admit that as soon as your pressure of air becomes higher than it is needed for a specific note, we start, as they say, to “force” the voice and as a result, you feel that your voice is tired.

• Video of vocal folds involved in a singing process

Please watch how our vocal folds work (photo/video). Please note that vocal folds are staying on the same level (typically, we think that they move up and down)

 

The vital question is how you control the pressure of air and how you manage your cords?

All that we need is well-organised air which is going through these cords and clear command/message of your mind which is sent to your vocal folds.

‘Befriend” your diaphragm – before we do this, diaphragm acts itself without us asking it to do the job, all is done by the subconscious mind itself. The moment we start to involve core muscles and diaphragm we start to feel general control over the muscle activity during the singing

Have a look at Seth Riggs & Michael Jackson singing lessons

Listen to a singing lesson of Michael Jackson who is working on his vocal technique with vocal coach Seth Riggs.  You can hear clearly how much importance his singing teacher gives to vocal breathing. I think Michael Jackson had a great vocal technique and singers could learn a lot from him.

In the end, I need to summarise:

-do not push the voice

be clear with consonants and vowels ( vocal folds need a clear message in order to deliver the best result)

use “belting”, activate your core muscles, mainly, when you sing in a high range of your voice

It will help you to save your voice and not to feel tired.

My interview to HUFFPOST UK Positive impact of singing on our life.

Huffingtonpost.co.uk ( HUFFPOST ) has recently interviewed me regarding the positive impact of singing lessons in terms of coping with low mood, with mild and moderate depression and moreover, how singing can help women recover more quickly from postnatal depression. Singing lessons will definitely boost your nervous and immune system and give you the “feel good ” factor and raise the level of endorphins in the brain. One doesn’t need to have “the voice” or “talent” to sing – one needs the passion, one needs the wish to be happy, one needs to exteriorise the inner emotions,” to let go”, to allow the free movement of the diaphragm, as much as allowing the movement of free thoughts and emotions. This is all incorporated in my singing lessons. “Healing”, “happiness” and the ability to express is what you get through singing sessions.

Thank you Amy Packham and HUFFPOST for exploring such an important subject.

“Whether it’s a banker who is seeking a form of mental relaxation, a teenager who feels uncertain about himself or a mum tired of daily obligations – after the first session, 99% of my pupils break all the psychological barriers and feel happy about themselves, uplifted, energised and focused,” he told HuffPost UK.

“In my opinion, during the postnatal period, even humming without any words with a closed mouth will uplift your energy. You can simply vocalise some easy scales or try to sing together with your favourite singer. Do not go for technically difficult songs.

“Good choices for new parents would be ‘Amazing Grace’ or ‘Dreamed A Dream’ from Les Mis. Many of Elton John’s songs are great to sing as well. If you like jazz, songs from Billie Holiday’s repertoire will also be great.

“The main idea behind is that you focus on the text and the melody. I assure you the magic of singing will bring the most joyful result.”

Here is the link to the full article on huffingtonpost.co.uk :

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/singing-boosts-postnatal-depression_uk_5a535b83e4b01e1a4b176558?9wi

It is time to talk about your diaphragm

 

I trust nowadays singers don’t give too much attention to a such valuable part of the singers “mechanism” as diaphragm.

I am delighted to share with you these brilliant videos where you can clearly see how powerful diaphragm is as a muscle and how significantly it can change size of our lungs and whole process of singing generally.

Please have a look.

The mechanism of breathing

3D model of diaphragm

Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique

Advice regarding freedom in singing

My advice regarding freedom in your singing:

In the very beginning of trying to explore our vocal potential, it is essential to completely exclude the movement of shoulders whilst we are breathing. The majority of vocal teachers of the past emphasised the importance of involving the lower part of the lungs in the process of breathing for singers. From the point of view of human physiology it can be easily explained – lungs become wider at the bottom. If we do not breath “low”, firstly we will use only 50% of our potential in terms of oxygen. Secondly, it is simply impossible to then support our lungs and breath properly with the diaphragm (the muscles just under the lungs).

It is important to mention that after passing this stage you will face another obstacle – to find the right resonance for your voice. Release tension in your tongue, which is quite a strong muscle. Tension can affect your voice.

It takes time to find your own voice. You need to be true to yourself. It is so important not to give your voice extra weight or to have it too light. You will need to find the balance – ” chiaro scuro” , as Italian masters say ( light and dark). A sound that has a balance of overtones will fly, and will also allow singers built up a good vocal range.

Great ideas about good singing.

There are thousands of articles and advices related to good vocal teaching which you can find nowadays on Google. I decided to put together the very important ideas and thoughts on vocal technique from reputable and extremely well equipped with their vocal technique artists.

Here you can listen what Luciano Pavarotti thinks about diaphragmatic support, which is so important for any type of singing.

Here, Luciano Pavarotti speaks about Concentration, Diaphragm, Throat and Resonance.