Tag Archives for " singing breath "

Apr 22

A Breathing Exercise for Singers

By danny | Uncategorized

a breathin exercise for singers

Check out this great breathing exercise for singers! It’s designed to help release tension in the entire body, starting at the feet and working all the way up to find freedom and breath, ultimately leading to tension release in the jaw and tongue and setting your voice free to be amazing!

Tension in the body interferes with great breathing. We all tend to hold the things that feel stressful to us in our shoulders, necks,  backs, and hips. If you take a moment right now to notice where you are holding tension in your body, you may be shocked to realize that you are holding tension in many areas of your body! Take a moment to notice a place that you may be holding tension. Once you have acknowledged that tension, try to direct a breath into that area – and on that exhale soften the muscle. It might take you a few tries, but the muscle will relax and allow blood to flow. You may even notice a feeling of warmth as blood is once again allowed to flow through  constricted tissue! You’ll begin to feel SO much better as you continue this practice, and after a while your muscles will understand that this is the new order, and they’ll begin to memorize this new, relaxed state. Not only will your voice be set free, you will experience a calmer nervous system and free breath as well! If we can unlock these tense muscles, and then reprogram your muscle memory to be soft and relaxed (rather than tense), you will begin to have great blood flow, bringing oxygen and healing throughout your entire body. Since we were created to breathe with our entire lungs, not just the front portion that lies high in our chest, our breathing will go back to the natural, low belly breath that brings calm to our spirits and great support to our voices. It’s a win/win!

breathing exercise for singers

 

1. To do this exercise, stand or sit with your perfect posture. You want your body to learn to be properly aligned at all times because not only does this lead to your best singing, it also leads to your best health. Your health and vitality are of utmost importance to your life and your singing. My passion is to help you find your own amazing voice while setting you up for a lifetime of great health and energy so that you do all of the wonderful things you love to do. So see if you can incorporate this exercise several times throughout your day. You will be able to do it in a flash with some practice – so the more you do it, the sooner your muscles will adapt to this great new relaxed state of being!

2. Close your eyes and scan your body for any tense areas.

3. Align your body.

4. On an inhale, direct your breath into a tight area, and on the exhale, release the tension in that area. Continue for a few breaths until you feel the muscle go soft and can feel some warmth return to the area as blood begins to flow through the tissue, bringing oxygen and healing.

5. Notice how your breath begins to move much more easily into your belly and lower back. Notice that your hips begin to relax and feel more open and it even feels like breath is moving into your pelvic region.

This is your breath for singing, but it is also your breath for life! Singing is natural and easy when done correctly. We were perfectly designed to sing with our natural breath. Relax, breathe, and sing from your heart!

Happy Singing!

Suzanne

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Mar 05

How to Breathe Correctly When Singing

By Suzanne Davis | Uncategorized

how to breathe properly when singingWe all could really benefit from knowing how to breathe correctly when singing, couldn’t we? To be sure, I can stand a refresher everyday. We are all born to breathe the proper, healthy way that God intended when He designed our amazing bodies. Just watch little babies and young children breathing as they sleep, play, cry, talk, and laugh. The first thing you will notice is that they have naturally great posture. Watch little children as they walk around. Their spines are straight with their heads beautifully aligned with their shoulders they have naturally proper posture. When they sit, they do not slouch and slump, but sit with a straight back, even when they a playing on the floor. When they cry, all of the action is coming from the diaphragm and the supporting muscles below it.  When they laugh, it is a big belly laugh, straight from the diaphragm. When they talk, yell, or sing, they produce the sound the same way.  It is all properly and correctly supported from the diaphragm and the muscles below. Very rarely will you see a young child breathing high up in his chest, unless he is sick and having to struggle for breath.

Why then does this change as a person moves into the higher years of grade school and beyond?  Why do we lose our natural ability to  breathe properly, without engaging the muscles of the chest, neck shoulders, throat, jaw, and tongue?  We would have so much less trouble with our singing if we could just continue this natural breathing.  It would be so much easier than trying to learn to breathe properly once we begin to earnestly try to improve our singing voices.

What I have found to be the case with the thousands of people I have taught to sing better, is that the problem is not with anything other than our modern day stress.  When we feel stressed, we naturally tighten up our muscles.  Our hips, lower backs, mid backs, upper backs, bellies, chests, shoulders, necks, jaws, heads, and even our extremities can get very tight as we hold tension and stress in our bodies. I have found stress and tension to be the main problem with all of my singers and have developed many strategies to help them overcome this great limiter or the human voice. Once we can begin to address this problem, and practice releasing the tension we are holding in our muscles, our breath can naturally resume it’s proper form, allowing us to let our voices go free and easy. Singing once again becomes fun!

Take a moment if you will, and just give your body a quick scan for places you may be holding tension. Is your neck tight?  Maybe one shoulder or both? Is your jaw nice and loose, or are you grinding or clenching your teeth? Are you breathing shallowly and high in your chest? Are your hips and lower back feeling tight and sore?  Any tension that you pick up in your body interferes with proper breathing and your best singing.

Let’s begin a nice practice that will get you light years ahead in your singing. An added benefit is that you will feel great, and stress will soon no longer be part of your vocabulary. Proper breathing soothes the nervous system as well as it supports your voice.  You will be breathing correctly all day long, so you will soon notice how much better you feel, even if you haven’t noticed that you need to feel better! There are many perks to breathing the way we a designed to breathe, so let’s get started!

You can watch an exercise that will really help you as you do the little practice I will describe below.  One of the main things we will work on as we discover great breathing is proper posture, so do this exercise called proper singing posture part 1, as well.

Here is what I want you to do, all throughout your day. You can do it sitting, standing, or lying down. The hope is to get into the habit of doing the body scan several time throughout the day so that relaxing the muscles, bringing the body into proper alignment, and belly breathing once again become the norm for you. We will build from there on how to sing this way, but first let’s just teach your body once again to be properly aligned, to allow the muscles to relax so the breath can move through the belly, and to remind your muscles that they do not have to hold tension, but can relax.

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HERE IS AN EXERCISE THAT WILL WORK WONDERS FOR YOU!

With both feet on the floor, while sitting straight up from your sit bones, do the following.

1. Feel both feet firmly on the floor hip width apart.

2. Sit straight in your chair.  Point your tail bone toward the floor, and then slowly straighten your spine, one vertebrae at a time.  Let the neck straighten as if there is a string attached to your top vertebrae and it is being gently pulled through the crown of your head toward the ceiling. Your ears should be in line with your shoulders, your chin parallel to the floor. The shoulders should be relaxed.

3. Now scan your body for tension, just noticing at first where you may be tight or restricted.  We can release all of this tension by starting at the hips.  If we can release the hips and the lower back, the tension in the upper body will also melt away.

4. Focus on your hips and your sit bones.  Allow the glutes to soften and melt like a puddle into your chair.  I know it sounds silly. I thought so too until this practice began to make great changes for me.  So go ahead and give it try for a few weeks.  You won’t want to go back!

5. Once you feel the release happening in your hips, and glutes, release the muscles in your thighs, calves, and feet.  Just allow your bones to hold you up.

6. Bring your focus back to your glutes and hips. Once again release the tension there by softening the muscles and allowing the breath to fill that soft space.

7. Move slowly up your spine, softening and melting the muscle tension as you breathe nice slow breaths into that space.

8. Once you have softened the muscles of your shoulders and neck, relax the tongue, jaw, and face.

9. Continue nice slow breathing, allowing the belly to expand as you fill the whole body with breath, as if you are a barrel.  I like to breathe 4 counts in and 6 counts out.

10. If you feel lightheaded at any point, just return to normal breathing.

Practice this several times throughout your day. You can do it in as often and as quickly as you need. The goal is that you will once again breathe normally with your belly, with soft relaxed muscles. From here we will build strength for speaking and singing with our own amazing voices!

Happy Singing!

Suzanne

how to breathe

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