If you are lucky enough to have been blessed with a beautiful singing voice, then it is likely you will want to either pursue a career as a singer, or at least practice more often. Here´s the catch: becoming a successful singer, isn´t just about having the voice- it´s about knowing how to perfect ways to be able to control and project your voice, so you can sing for long periods of time and make sure that you don’t run out of breath before the end of each line.
Aside from practicing the songs you want to sing and making sure that you have warmed up your vocal chords thoroughly before singing, learning how to master the correct breathing techniques for singing is crucial for success. Not only can proper breathing help you to improve your tone, it will also allow you to hold a note between the breath marks in a song.
The best singers, who understand the importance of breathing techniques, use the following two techniques before each performance to guarantee quality and consistency in their singing. There are several more you can use, as your breath control improves, but start with these two first.
Learn To Breathe From Your Diaphragm
In everyday life, we tend to breathe from our chest inhaling just enough to fill our lungs before speaking or even whilst sat in silence. With singing however, it is important to control the breath, which is why breathing from the diaphragm is important.
When you breathe out from the diaphragm, it helps to manage the muscles around the lungs, which control how quickly the breath is exhaled. This is turn allows you to determine how loudly or softly you wish to project your voice, as well as factoring in how much breath you will need to save, in order to reach the end of the sentence in the song.
To practice breathing from your diaphragm, place one hand on your stomach whilst laying flat on your back and consciously focus on filling up your stomach with air when you take a breath. If you are doing it right, you will feel your stomach rise and your hand will be pushed up and outwards gently, until you feel your chest expanding at the front of the body, as well as the sides.
Breathe out slowly to a count of 5. Repeat this inhaling/exhaling exercise for 5-10 minutes each day, once when you get up and once before you go to bed to improve your chances of singing success.
Another excellent singing technique to help you sustain high notes in a song is to learn to maintain a hissing “sssss” sound at a consistent pace and volume. This technique will allow you to manipulate the dynamics, or the loud and the soft of a song with greater ease.
Start by taking a deep breath and imagine you are blowing up a balloon. You want to make your breath last as long as possible and you can control how much air you are expelling by using your teeth and tongue. Keep practicing this and time how long you are able to do it for in one breath.
A variation of this exercise, which you can see full instructions of here, is to make the “sss” sound in a series of short and bouncy sounds, from the same breath and see if you can make it last as long. This will train your diaphragm to be more flexible so you will be able to sing faster songs and staccato sections of a song easier.