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.
This page covers breathing exercises, but if you want to find out more about breathing and your diaphragm see here:
Try some our exercises below to help your breathing when singing. You may 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.
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!
Just to feel the difference (keeping your hand over your tummy) – take a breath 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 whole of your lungs. You should feel your hand being gently pushed outwards. You should also feel your chest expanding upwards and outwards as you are breathing in. Gently exhale the air in a controlled long and steady breath through your mouth.
You don’t need to try many, just enough feel the effect of your diaphragm pushing harder against your hand each time you pant.
Breath over counts
Now try breathing in (as if you are sipping in through that big straw) but control it over the counts of four:
You can have fun with exercise and change the numbers. For example:
Take a deep breath in, then exhale gently in a SSSSS S-breathe (hissing like a snake). Try to keep your exhalation as a controlled, 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.
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. it should be natural and relaxing
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. Use the music to guide you.