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Beginner Singing Technique - Breathing For Singing 2

lungs and diaphragm for breathing for singing

If you've read my previous post about breathing for singing, you'll be familiar with how the ribs and the muscles that control them aid you in breath control. There is one other major contributor to breath control though, and that's the diaphragm. If you're unfamiliar, it's a muscle just underneath your lungs that helps you inhale by pulling your lungs generally downward.

Similar to the expansion we go for with the bottom of the rib cage, the diaphragm sits JUST under the lungs. Not sure where your lungs end? Put your finger on your sternum (center chest bone) and slowly trace the bone downward. As soon as the bone ends, you should feel a soft squishy place. Say a loud /v/ sound and you'll feel your diaphragm flex outward. Now that you've found it, say that /v/ sound again and see if you notice an internal feeling of the diaphragm flexing in a downward way. The feeling will be in the center of your body, so you won't feel it with your fingers.

Similar to the rib control exercise in the previous post, you can try breathing low and quick and singing a long phrase. Breathe fast and sing the phrase again to practice controlling these muscles in tandem. NOTE: you may feel your tummy go out when your diaphragm flexes downward, this is neither good nor bad. If your diaphragm goes down, your guts have to go somewhere. Don't intentionally make this happen, but don't stop it either. Let your body do its thing.

Having control of your diaphragm in addition to the ribs should give you complete control over the inhaling part of singing. There is a bit more complexity when it comes to controlling the air as it leaves, but we can get into that in a future post. For now, just gaining control of the diaphragm, knowing where it is, and being able to feel it are all we are trying to do. Honestly, if you can do all three things you're making good progress as a beginner.

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