Singing breathing

Singer know the words like terms: supported, hold or diaphragmatic breath. When singing you “have to breath” down like the continuation in the direction of exhaling. When you are able to manage that, you feel how the energy flows in the part of the abdominal cavity where it with the help of the diaphragm and other abdominal muscles creates the centre of our body power. Let’s have a look at some facts about the diaphragm…


The thoracic diaphragm is a muscle barrier between the chest and abdominal cavity. In relaxed conditions it has the shape of a dome and is an important breathing muscle – contracting the diaphragm namely causes a spontaneous inhale. This one contributes up to 80% of the muscular part necessary for breathing. Contracting the diaphragm causes drawing air from the lungs, enlarging the volume of the thoracic cavity and as a consequence reduces intra-thoracic pressure. The contracted diaphragm shortens for about 30% according to the relaxed condition. When relaxing the diaphragm you exhale and this is mostly a passive process. Breathing where most of the work does the thoracic diaphragm is called diaphragmatic breathing or so to say breathing with the thoracic diaphragm. The part of the above mentioned breathing depends on the fitness, age and physical burden.

Singers strengthen the breathing power for managing singing with active working of the abdominal cavity which in a combination with a balanced body posture enables a basis for a stable airy pillar. It is about an adjusted cooperation of the diaphragm, ribs, abdominal cavity and lungs in combination with stable legs. On the basis it is about training which at appropriate methods constructs the skill of an intensive but at the same time relaxed breathing. First the focus is on effective exhaling…

Correct singing exhale

For an illustrative and plastic image lift the hand high above the head. Imagine, that you hold up the lift, that were cur at a special moment all supporting cables and let it fall free. During the fall without control totally relaxed exhale all the air where the hand drops as free as possible towards the floor. When repeating the exercise you have to be careful that you do not adopt a wrong expression therefor you have to insist at an upright posture the view focused in the space. Singing requires to not exploit every single chance for a relaxed exhale, the rest of the air after the sung out musical phrases must not remain in the lungs.

correct singing breathing
singing exhale
relaxed exhale

Correct singing inhale

In the next step the exercise will be upgraded with an effective singing inhale which is similar to the inhale at combat sport or at exercises for rhetoric skills. A perfect inhale is mostly performed through the mouth and only partly through the nose. An inhale through the mouth offers a total opening of the vocal body. The air should only in severe cold conditions flow through the nose as a short consequence not to dry up the mucosa in the throat. As mentioned at the beginning inhaling is directed to the earth, in the abdominal part as continuation in direction of exhale…

correct singing inhale
correct inhale
inhale for singing
deep breath

Are you “curious” about your prior singing knowledge? A broad description about warming up before singing, breathing, singing vowels and consonants, about the singing expression, singing in polyphony, correct phrasing, vocal ambit (gentle singing of extreme remote tones) and about the contentual preparation of a song you find in the handbook of the basics of vocal technique.

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Robert Feguš