Updated date:

How to Sing Better in a Flash

Audrey teaches us to sing better by changing the way we breathe. Singing rides on air.

how-to-sing-better-in-a-flash

A Better Voice For All

“Wow. You have a great voice!” Now, who wouldn’t like to hear this? Perhaps you have. Then, again, maybe you haven’t. Not all of us are born with a natural, beautiful, singing voice. But we were born with the most important tool necessary to sing our way to a fabulous vocal sound and beyond. And this is what this article is all about.

Regardless of where you are right now with your singing, I guarantee you a better all-around-sound once you have learned how to use this tool I'm about to reveal to you. Every second of every day this amazing part of you is hard at work as you move, sit, stand, chat, eat and sleep.

What you may not know is; this very tool is one of the most critical scientific properties for a healthy, beautiful voice. We all possess this muscle, but most of us are not aware that it even exists, let alone the benefits of using it.

Get ready to shake hands with your breathing muscle and the key to good singing!

Meet Your Diaphragmatic Muscle

The diaphragm separates the thoracic cavity from the abdomen. It is responsible for controlling the singing tone.

The diaphragm separates the thoracic cavity from the abdomen. It is responsible for controlling the singing tone.

The Diaphragm is Your Singing Muscle

Your body is equipped with a spectacular dome-shaped muscle known as the “diaphragm.” You wouldn’t be alive without it because this “parachute-like” structure is responsible for every breath you take. It's also responsible for how you sound when you sing. Yes, other techniques are required in order to develop the voice, but not one will work without proper use of the diaphragm..

How to Locate and Use the Diaphragm for Better Singing

To locate this powerhouse for sound:

  1. Lie down comfortably on your back on a bed,a mat, or carpeted floor. Position yourself with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent (pointing upward).
  2. Simply follow your breathing for a minute or two with your attention. See if you can sense which parts of your body your breath touches.
  3. Place a book on your abdomen, centered at the waistline.
  4. Inhale, lifting the book with the belly. Don't force this step, just allow the abdomen to expand as you inhale.
  5. With the weight of the book resting on your belly, lift the book as you inhale and hold it for about 5 seconds. Then lower the book slowly as you exhale all of your air. Repeat, 5 or 6 times, breathing through the nose and out through the mouth.
  6. Keep your body relaxed, allowing just the breath to do the work.
  7. Repeat this exercise, but this time replace just holding the book for 5 seconds with singing the numbers, 12345678910. Lower the book as you sing, expelling your air slowly.
  8. Repeat the above exercise and increase singing the numbers to 15.
  9. Repeat again, singing to 20 or as far as you can. DO NOT STRAIN.

The more you go over this action, the easier it will become.As you incorporate diaphragmatic breathing on a daily basis, not only will you sing better; you will enjoy much better health and reduce stress. It's a no brainer!

Floor Breathing Exercise to Engage the Diaphragm

Place a book on your abdomen.

Place a book on your abdomen.

Controlling The Breath As You Sing

Now that you've learned how to inhale deeply, you need to know how to control the air as you exhale. If you let too much air escape you'll run out of air too soon. And, if you don't let enough out, you won't have time to recover.

  • Take a big breath for long phrases and expel the air slowly. For shorter phrases, take in less air and release enough to finish the phrase.
  • Make it a practice to measure each phrase within the song to help you prepare ahead of time. You don't want to get caught right in the middle of a phrase running out of air.
  • The space between phrases are known as "recovery." During this time, your body returns to its natural state and quickly begins the inhalation phase using the diaphragm.
  • Higher notes require more air. This does not mean you sing louder. Keep a nice balance between low and high notes.

Congratulate yourself as you make any small progress learning Breath Control.

Bad Singing Habits That Constrict The Voice

Screaming and singing incorrectly can strain the vocal cords.

Screaming and singing incorrectly can strain the vocal cords.

12 Things You May be Doing Wrong When Singing

Let's take a look at a few bad habits that interfere with a nice singing tone:

  • Raising the chest and shoulders as you inhale.
  • Gasping for air when you take a breath.
  • Inhaling through the mouth instead of the nose.
  • Keeping a stiff/bad posture.
  • Trying to hold in the belly.
  • Grimacing as you breathe.
  • Locking the knees.
  • Lack of preparation.
  • Making noise when inhaling.
  • Failing to release tension in the face and neck.
  • Focusing
  • Releasing too much air while singing.

How Does Using the Diaphragm Improve my Singing?

Singing is created by using the air we inhale and exhale. The most important step to learn in order to sing better has to do with the way we breathe.

What you may not realize is that singing is both an art and a science. The breath is a cushion for the singing tone to ride on. Singing is about the way you breath and how you use air efficiently.

When we combine phonating with the right amount of air the voice can skyrocket to the next level. This means you can:

  • Increase your vocal range.
  • Sing without the voice breaking or cracking.
  • Hold notes longer without running out of air.
  • Sing on key.
  • Add vibrato to your tone.
  • Sing with more power.
  • Prevent vocal strain.
  • Add richness to your tone.
  • Prevent the voice from shaking.
  • Sing legato (smooth and connected.)

Master the Flow of Breath With This Easy Exercise

Repeat the exercise daily to build greater breath support.

Inhale quicklySing the numbers distinctly on one breath12345678910

Expand around the waistline

Avoid slurring the numbers

123456789101112131415

Let the belly do the work

Release air a little at a time

123456789101112131415 16 17181920

The rib cage expands as well

Sing on an easy, light tone

12345678910111213141516171819202122232425

The Belly Breath or Diaphragmatic Breathing in a Standing Position

Keep the shoulders and chest still as you breath through the belly.

Keep the shoulders and chest still as you breath through the belly.

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” - Judy Garland

Diaphragmatic Breathing Isn't Just For Singing

Do you know there are tremendous health benefits contributed to diaphragmatic breathing? It boosts your immune system and gives your brain a good work out. It also helps reduce stress and fear. You'll not only sing better, you will feel better.

I contribute my longevity to belly breathing. It can be practiced while driving, sitting, walking, exercising, watching television, bathing, lying down or standing up. If you have a hard time getting to sleep, like I do, concentrate on some deep breathing for a few minutes. Really get into it. Feel the movement of your body along with waves of sensations. Empty your mind of all clutter. Be aware of the cool air floating through your nostrils as your rib cage expands. Allow the peaceful exhale to send love to you and all the world.

© 2021 Audrey Hunt

Comments

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on March 30, 2021:

Devika

So good to see you here. Breathing the right way is good for our health and so is singing. So sing away, Devika.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 27, 2021:

Hi Audrey it is nice to see that you are gifted in singing and informing us about the techniques. Most interesting and well put together.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on March 26, 2021:

Hi, Linda. I love knowing that you are working on some of these techniques. If you have questions about the breath exercises let me know.

Good health to you.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on March 26, 2021:

Thank you, Chitrangada. I'm so pleased to know my article has helped in some way. I enjoy your comments and am grateful for your support. I plan to do more writing and look forward to sharing them with you.

Take care.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 25, 2021:

Thank you for sharing the great tips, Audrey. I’m going to practice some of the techniques that you recommend,

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on March 25, 2021:

Excellent article Audrey! I have learnt a lot from your well explained methods of singing. Proper breathing is so important, as you clearly explain.

Good to read your article after a long time. Thanks for sharing!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on March 25, 2021:

Liz

Thanks so much for your comments. I appreciate your taking the time to read this. I hope all is going well in your part of the world. Stay safe and well.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on March 25, 2021:

Hi Pamela

I'm happy to know you enjoyed this. So few of us realize the benefits provided by the diaphragm. I'd like to get the word out to everyone. Thank you.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on March 25, 2021:

Mubarak

Thank you for reading my article and finding it helpful.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on March 25, 2021:

Bill

I'm laughing! And my book would still be just an unfulfilled dream if not for you!.

love,

Audrey

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on March 25, 2021:

Hi Peggy

Because you have spent your life as a nurse, you have given extra validation to the role proper breathing provides for us healthwise. Thank you!

Liz Westwood from UK on March 25, 2021:

This is a very helpful and well-structured article. It explains the reasoning behind the technique. I am sure that having a better understanding of the process must help towards achieving a better singing voice.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 25, 2021:

Audry, this is an excellent explanation of how the diaphragm works with singing and just improved health. You spelled out all the steps to improving. This is a terrific article!

Mubarak from INDIA on March 25, 2021:

Informative article. Thanks for sharing

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 25, 2021:

Truthfully, I just skimmed this article. After all, I've read the book. lol

love,

bill

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 25, 2021:

Hi Audrey,

You will not only be encouraging people to sing better, but also improve their health, by these tips about proper breathing techniques. Well done!

Related Articles