Breathing Exercises for Singing

Breathing Exercises for Singing

Breathing well will support your voice.   To breathe properly for singing, you must breathe deep into the bottom portion of your lungs, engaging the diaphragm.  This will support your voice.


For more details about your diaphragm and breathing


Try some our exercises below to help your breathing when singing.   If you feel light-headed to begin with, especially if you’ve not tried breathing exercises before.  If it happens to you, please stop until the feeling passes and try again later.

Breathing Exercises 1 – Find Your Diaphragm

The diaphragm is a large dome-like muscle, which sits below your lungs and above your tummy and is the muscle which allows us to breathe.

Place your hand over the soft part between the bottom of your rib cage (just above your tummy). and feel your hand gently being pushed outwards as you breathe in. (Watch you don’t use your stomach muscles to help you push your tummy out, or that you are lifting your shoulders!) This is the diagphram, the muscle we use when breathing and for singing.

Just to feel the difference (keeping your hand over your tummy) – now try breathing in as if you are sipping through a very large straw (imagine it to be about 2cms in diameter). Gently suck that breath in, and feel it filling the bottom of your lungs. Then feel it filling the sides and back of your lungs. You should feel your hand being gently pushed outwards. You should also feel your chest expanding. Gently exhale the air in a long and steady breath.

Pant like a dog.

You will feel your diaphragm pushing harder against your hand each time you pant.





Breathing Exercises 2

Now try breathing in (as if you are sipping in through that big straw) but control it over the counts of four:

Inhale 2 3 4                   Hold 2 3 4                           Exhale 2 3 4

Inhale 2 3 4                   Hold 2 3 4                           Exhale 2 3 4

Inhale 2 3 4                   Hold 2 3 4                           Exhale 2 3 4 and relax.

Breathing Exercises 3

Take a deep breath in, then exhale gently in a SSSSS S-breathe (hissing like a snake).  Try to keep your exhalation as a steady and constant stream for as long as you are able.

When you start to feel the urge to breathe, try and exhale just a little bit more before you have to breathe in.

Some people can manage just a few seconds, others can manage around a  minute.

Do what is right for you to begin with.  Try timing yourself.  Eg this week you managed 10 seconds, next week try for 11 seconds etc.

Warning: Don’t do too many of these exercises in straight succession as you will start to feel dizzy and lightheaded.  If you do, please sit quietly until the feeling passes.


Breathing Exercises 4 Breathing in-time with music

This exercise is breathing to music over 8 counts

Gently breathe in as if you are sipping the air through a big straw.

Breathe in 2 3 4 5 6 7 8   Breathe out 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Watch you don’t hold your breath during the exercise.  You should aim to continually draw air over the 8 counts, then exhale over the 8 counts.

Click here for more singing exercises



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