Breath Control

 

In addition to the previous and most important concept of where we expand, is the concept of breath control, - the control of the inhaling and the exhaling process.


BREATH CONTROL EXERCISE: “HOW LONG?”

This exercise is for breath CONTROL.  It’s also will help strengthen the diaphragmatic muscles.    This exercise is especially helpful for older singers.


Be sure you’re expanding at the right place - the gut.  Take in a full breath and then exhale letting out AS SMALL A STREAM AS POSSIBLE by forming a very small "ss".  Count at about a one second speed and see how long you can hold a steady firm (but small) air stream.  Hopefully you can go to at least 30.  Sometimes I make it to 60 or 70.  The ideas is to strengthen the diaphragmatic muscles and gain better control of the breath as well understanding where the expansion should be.


INHALE / EXHALE

SPEED

Generally we want to inhale more quickly and exhale more slowly (as we produce the tones).  However really the inhale speed will depend on a couple of things. 1) The amount of time available to breath. 2) The mood of the phrase we are preparing to sing.  At the beginning of a song, you can probably sing longer phrases since you have more time to take a breath and your oxygen level is normal.  As for the mood aspect, we destroy the interpretive mood when we take a fast breath when the mood is quite relaxed.  Particularly at a “pregnant pause” (when we take a contemplative pause in the middle of a piece) we need to be careful not to break the mood.  So breathing should be done in the context of the phrase’s mood.


SIZE

Also the size of the inhale depends on how long a phrase we are preparing to sing.  A long endurance phrase will require preparation with a huge breath whereas a short phrase requires a smaller inhale or we end up with too much air.  How loudly we are to sing also needs to be taken into account.


Happy Singing!


Music Ed Ted

     If you have any confusions or suggestions,

click on my E-Mail Address to send me a message.

                    tednorton@roadrunner.com