Lesson 2: Breathing
As explained earlier, the correct way to breathe when singing is called: Diaphragmatic Breathing.
This is a much deeper form of breathing than how we seem to breathe these days (e.g. due to pollution, bad habits, school etc). Take a baby for instance, when he/she breathes, if you look at the tummy you will see it rise as they breathe in and collapse as the baby breathes out.
This is diaphragmatic breathing. We as adults breathe like this too, but we only seem to breathe that way when asleep or under anaesthetic or just as we’re about to dose off in front of the TV. When awake a lot of us seem to breathe shallow, in our chests, (This is called Thoracic Breathing).
---- As we can see in Fig.1 the body is split into two halves by a muscle called the Diaphragm, which acts like a partition - the two halves are the thoracic and abdominal cavities. As we suck in the air through our mouths, the rib cage swings out and our diaphragm, contracts (goes down) to allow our lungs to fill with air like a vacuum.
As you can see in Figs 2 and 3, when the diaphragm contracts (goes down), it takes up some of the space in the abdominal cavity, thus pushing out the stomach.
The diaphragm acts a bit like a valve or tap, by controlling the amount of air that is released from our lungs.
So, if we never allowed the diaphragm to return to its normal position, we would not be able to breathe the air that is in our lungs out. It is also very important to note that when you try to breathe like this, your shoulders and chest never rise and that you feel no discomfort.
Try it out a few times and see how it goes, as you may not get it straight away. Don’t give up, just relax and keep trying as some things take time.
Remember, your shoulders and chest must not rise!
You can see more of our videos on the Inner Vocals Technique at our Singer Surgery You Tube channel.