When You Sing, Do You Breathe Virtually? by A K Whitehead
Whatever kind of voice we have, using it to its full potential depends very much on whether we breathe efficiently. Singing is one of those things which virtually all of us do. But do we do it virtually or properly?
Well, that's being rather hard. But point is that, if we want to sing in some kind of serious way, there are certain principles which can be ignored only to our own detriment. That's case whether we prefer to sing pop or classically. The principles involved used to be mostly associated with latter. But now more and more people are realising that they can be applied with good effect to any kind of singing.
For example, do you have confidence when you open your mouth? Can you sing phrases which are as long as you would wish? Or do you have to loose sense of what you are singing because of pauses for more breath? Do you have control over pitch and volume of your voice? Or do you sing in ways you did not intend?
All these aspects can be improved on by developing a few techniques for good singing i.e. for singing better than you currently sing. Certainly, best idea will probably be to get a good singing teacher. But it is possible to make some prior progress. But essential to that progress is breathing - breathing effectively and not, as most of us tend to do, breathing inefficiently.
And technique of breathing effectively is really quite simple. But it will need working at. First of all, however, always be sure that you:
1. Care For Your Voice Your voice is, in fact, comes from quite a delicate system of sound pproduction. The system can be damaged, sometime irreprerably. So always take care not to push it too far and try to do things which it has not been educated to do.
2.Practice Ever heard that practice makes perfect? Well, it does. Good singing does not just come. It takes practice. Of course, no one would sing something for a public audience without having sung through song at least a few times in private.
But is that where practice should start? With song itself? No, it should start a good deal before that. For example, one cannot sing without breathing - and that needs to be practised.
But practicng once a day is far better than once a week - much more than seven times better! That applies to virtually anything, but certainly to this. Your lungs need to develop and gain in doing what you want them to do.
However, breathing is not just a matter of sucking in air. So:
3. Breathe To Fill The Lungs In a very short time, developing a good breathing technique will show how inefficient your beathing used to be.
Breathing is much more than opening one's mouth and taking a lung-full of air. In fact, just opening your mouth and trying to take a lung-full will most likely not produce a lung-full. Most of us take breath in such a way that we try to fill lungs from top downwards. That's just inefficient. The result is that often we do not speak or sing for as long as we wanted or, even worse, for as long as we thought we could. Even worse than that, sometimes, we actually have air left in lungs which we do not use because we do not know how to use it.