How to Achieve Breath Control

Oftentimes, beginning singers are always tense or anxious about controlling their breath. They feel it’s rocket science to control, manage or support the breath especially while singing long phrases or melismatic notes. However this is not true if properly taught, learned and practised.

Breathing refers to the process of moving air out and into the body. Breathing is divided into Inhalation and exhalation. Inhalation is the process of breathing that involves the expansion of the lungs (an elastic spongy organ ) with air ( oxygen)  poured out across the surface of the lungs and finally entering the blood while exhalation is the process of the lungs forcing out the used air (carbon dioxide) and decreasing the volume of the lung.

Breathing is the movement of air, organs and energy around the body.   For good vocal sound production, there should be free movement of air around the body.

Breath control is the practice to coordinate the movement of air around the body often through the use of the learned techniques.  During breath control, the diaphragm, which is a dome-shaped organ beneath the lungs, contracts and presses down the abdominal cavity thereby creating a vacuum. The lungs are then filled up with air that passed through the nostrils, trachea and bronchus, bronchioles. The diaphragm then releases itself and the air is pushed out of the lungs gradually with breath control.

Breathing properly helps you to:

1) Use your breath Efficiently

2)Have a less Airy tone

3) To sustain notes and sing long phrases.

4) Increase your volume

5) Improve stamina /Endurance while singing

6) Reduce tension in the chest, shoulder, neck and face

7) Reduce tension on the vocal folds and organs

8) Allows enough oxygen needed in the body and balances release of carbon dioxide.

Singers should:

1) Avoid quickly forcing air out of the body

2) Expand the area above not below the navel

3) Avoid the rib cage or sternum collapsing at the end of a phrase

4) Avoid raising shoulders or chest caused by inhaling too deeply

5) Breath silently through the nose because this is helpful.

Good posture is the basis of breath control and support. To achieve good posture for Breathing properly while singing are as follows:

(A) For Standing

1)  Stand against a wall

2) Your Head ,shoulders,hips and heels should touch the wall.

3) Relax your body.

4) If you notice any tension shake your body and breathe in.

5) Slightly bend your knee but not to the extent to make you shorter.

6)Your ears should be over your shoulders.

7) Keep the crown of your head to face the ceiling.

8) Allow plenty air to flow in and out of your abdominal regions.

9) Keep Shoulders back, down and relaxed.

10) Keep Chest in neutral,high position to make room for air.

11) Keep arms at each side of the body.

12) Arms should be relaxed and not rigid.

13) Put the weight of your body on the balls of your feet.Lean weight forward.

(B) For sitting

1) Sit Up Straight on a chair

2) Place the feet flat on the floor

3) Avoid crossing your legs

4) Avoid leaning backwards

One great technique that helps the Singer to achieve breath control or support is the Appogio technique.

Appogio is an Italian word called Breath support. It involves raising the sternum before inhalation and not allowing the chest to collapse when replenishing the air. When we speak the ribcage collapses when exhaling but with Appogio technique the  ribcage  doesn’t collapse.

How to achieve the Appogio technique                          

1) Raise both arms above the head. The sternum will rise naturally

2) Breathe in

3) Bring down the hands as you breathe out.

Click here to get a free ebook on how to control your breath.

Click here to watch our Vocal coaches Grace Oforka and Charity Thomas speak on Breath Control 

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1 Comment
  1. I hope to learn and achieve much from this training

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