Breathing is involuntary. You do not need to think about when to breathe for you to be able to do it. In singing, however, the breathing process becomes a bit more complicated. It is one of the essential things you need to do in order for you to sing in a pleasant manner. When you enroll in a vocal voice training course, the breathing process is one of the things you will have to learn about.
Basically, vocal training will teach you how to breathe all over again. Air movement determines the quality of sound. A singer must know how to manipulate and control the passage of air out of the body and he/she must know how to hold notes without becoming breathless half way through.
The beginning of your vocal voice training will focus on controlling air released from your lungs. In singing, you are required to manipulate the release of air to match the words and notes of the piece.
This is very different to when we are talking – whilst we are talking, we really do not have to control our breathing. There are no patterns and no particular moment where we need to hold our breath when we talk normally. In singing, the air we inhale should be managed to last until all the words have been sung. This can only be done when we have mastered breath control.
Here are some of the exercises that concentrate on the abdominal muscles, the part of our body that is in charge of our exhalation speed:
Start by standing up while observing good posture. The feet must be about shoulder width apart and both arms should be extended until they are perpendicular to the body. With the palms facing downward, inhale for 3 to 4 seconds. Next, hold your breath for 3 to 4 seconds and exhale for the same amount of time.
Stand while observing good posture, with the feet hip width apart. Inhale deeply and exhale for as long as you can while making a hissing sound.
The two breathing exercises are the simple ways on how you can control air release. For the first exercise, gradually increase the inhaling and exhaling time for you to learn how to control air release and to increase the capacity of the lungs.
Exercise two, on the other hand, teaches you to steadily release the air. The hissing sound you make should be straight, with no gasps or sudden bursts. This is very crucial because singing requires you to produce a stable flow of sounds.
Training on breathing is usually the start of vocal voice trainings. This will teach you how to sing the notes that require timed and paced breathing.
Long notes, in particular, need to be sung in one breath with no interruptions. Varying pitches will also demand you to be good in controlling your breathing so that they will be easier to reach.
Breathing exercises should be done regularly so that they will become almost second nature to you. Whenever you are singing, you would be able to sing smoothly without having to think about breathing pace because it will come natural.
Avoiding tension will also be important so that you don’t damage your vocal chords.