One way to view singing is as an expert use of a big gust of wind, or organized and appointed breathing.
Watching Voicecouncil’s Peer Review Videos the past couple of weeks has shown me, yet again, that many aspiring singers really need to work on this area.
In fact, getting in touch with your breathing pattern and learning to control it is a skill that will not only improve your performance, it will also benefit you in calming yourself before going on stage!
In the very first lesson I have with my students, I give them the “TWELVE-STEP BREATHING” Exercise:
a. Inhale for four steps [these are literal steps – I have them walk around the room!]
b. hold for four steps,
c. exhale for four steps,
d. repeating this cycle as you walk:
4 steps………………4 steps…………….4 steps
Repeat this as many times as you can.
A Break with Your Past
You are breaking your normal breathing pattern and your body may take a while to get used to this exercise, but keep it up…keep experimenting with durations of time, staying aware that the middle, or holding, phase is what you want to build.
One thing, though: if you get light headed, stop and breathe normally until you can resume exercising!
Next, start using some physical-muscular force to control your dynamics.
Do you know where your abdominal area is and how knowledge of its potential will enhance your singing?
More support from the abdominal area means more control of every note at every volume – but don’t think that we’re talking about pushing hard on the muscles in this area, or having a distended belly whenever you sing!
Getting in touch with the use of this essential musculature is one of my first and longest-lasting drills I use in teaching performance.
Control of one’s breathing through the entire experience on stage is essentially mastery of these muscles and breathing techniques.
I’ve become a disciple of this pre-gig preparation, and it really works!
Now, testing this new breathing out is virtually impossible with an Adam Thicke dance tune, so go get “So In Love” from Kiss Me Kate, or “Something Good” from The Sound of Music, phrasing that makes more sustained demands on your lungs.