How do we perfect our breathing and vocal exercises for singing? Are there any magical breathing exercises that will fix all of our vocal problems?
The answer to the above is no. However adopting some breathing techniques will improve your vocals no end. Breathing is a complex event that no teacher can explain without getting into medical terms. Not only that, students will never understand completely when a teacher tries to explain about breathing techniques and why it is important to breathe correctly when singing. When a teacher tells you to breathe from your diaphragm it isn’t easy, but with practice it will come naturally.
Keep it simple
When singing it is important to get into the routine of breathing correctly. Once you adopt this routine it is important you stick with it. If you start trying to adopt breathing exercises that are complicated you will only place stress and tension on your voice as you will be trying to concentrate on a million things at once, confusing matters and potentially doing more harm than good.
So, how do I breathe properly you may ask. Simple, stand up straight with a nice easy posture and relax your shoulders. Take a nice big yawn (like you do at the end of a long day) and that is how to breathe properly. When you do the exercise again notice how much your stomach expands outwards in a most natural way. Told you it was simple!
Optimal Air Pressure
The speech level singing process relies on sending the correct amount of air to the vocal chords. As you sing higher into your range, less air is required to the vocal chords. Correct air pressure will allow your vocal chords to 'zip up'.
This "zipping up" function of the vocal chords happens to shut off a section of the vocal chords, leaving them less free to vibrate. This makes it easier for the chords to vibrate faster, making high notes easy to access. All you need to know is the right exercises to practise. Good, effective exercises will automatically do all this complicated stuff for you.
Right from the beginning of the speech level program, the exercises regulate the amount of air pressure sent to the chords. You don't actually need to think about how much air you're sending as it happens automatically.
Using breathing exercises for singing can often lead to confusion. Remember....Breathing is not a complicated thing! It's a natural process, and if you do the quick exercise outlined above, you will gain enough understanding of how important breathing is for vocal exercises.