The Wind Instrument
Did you know that your voice is a WIND INSTRUMENT? It depends on the air you supply in order to make its sound. The most important improvement you can make in your singing is LEARNING HOW TO BREATHE CORRECTLY. Yes, I know you’ve been breathing since you were born, or you wouldn’t have made it this far! But there are special breathing techniques that you need to know in order to sing well…
- How to get a full, comfortable breath for each phrase
- How to use your breath to give you a steady, comfortable air supply on which to sing through the whole phrase
- How to use an extra bit of breath to do the hard stuff in a relaxed way, instead of using your throat muscles to ram your way through
This is called BREATH SUPPORT, and successful singers from Rock to Broadway to Opera use it. When you have learned correct breathing technique, your sound will be richer, your range will open up (hello high notes), you will sing long phrases without tension, and your throat will be comfortable instead of tight. Your stamina will grow and you will be able to sing for a long time without getting hoarse.
Correct BREATH SUPPORT is not hard, but it is different from your regular breathing patterns. You need someone to show you how to do it, and then you have to practice it a lot, because you are changing established habits. You’ve learned it when you can maintain it without having to think about it, when it has become a new habit. It’s like learning to ride a bike. It takes all of your attention at first to keep from crashing, so you practice a lot. Then at some point you realize that you are balancing without thinking about it, and thinking instead about where you want to go. Much more interesting, but only possible because you’ve worked on the foundation of the skill. So it is with breathing. You learn the basics and then practice it every day, adding refinements along the way, but always making sure the fundamentals are solid.