I Help people sing and speak expressively and powerfully no matter the level of experience :)
HI, I'M JORGELINA
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As you know, breathing for singing is an important part of a singer’s training–we train to expand our lung capacity and to develop breath support.
So today I want to give you a tip to train another part of your breathing. As well as expanding our air capacity, we need to train how to use it properly. Sometimes you can find songs in which you don’t have a lot of places where you can breathe, because of long phrases or very quick ones.
One of the struggles singing students find when singing is that they fail to recognize possible breathing spots and then they run out of air and have to “cut” words in the middle to breathe again.
This affects your singing in many ways. To start with, if you are running out of air you are not going to be able to use your technique properly in a way that helps you sound good, but also you won’t be able to express yourself freely since your body will be stressed out due to the perceived lack of air.
But equally, if you end up interrupting words and phrases in the wrong places to breathe, the whole flow of the song gets affected.
At the time of choosing songs for your singing studies, there are many things to consider. How high the song goes to in terms of pitch is only one of multiple factors that determine how “hard” a song is. If you are a real beginner and you struggle with getting enough air, then a song with long phrases won’t be the best option for you right now. Choose a song that has a little challenge but not one that is impossible right now – you will get there with practice.
One thing you can do to resolve this is to grab the lyrics of the song printed on paper, and then consciously find all the places where you can do a long breath. Then just write a semicolon in that place.
Then, find all the places where you have a gap to do a short breath (through the mouth) and write a comma in all those places (in short breaths make sure that the inhale is not loud and that you keep your shoulders down).
Once you finished, practice the song breathing in all the places marked. This way the body learns exactly where to breathe to always have a good amount of air, enough for all the sound we need to produce, and enough to be of good quality.
Another thing I have found very useful when practicing this is to sing rap songs, hip hop songs, or any song that has some similar rhythmic complexity. Rappers are really good at optimising the air since they have to pronounce lots of words quickly with a very good and even quality of sound. I encourage you to practice rap songs as well, as I have found that with time this training makes the body used to really take advantage of every gap and breathe there. Then it becomes a natural skill! and it is a lot of fun too.
Give it a go!
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Image by Antonio Rull
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