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How Breathing Affects Singing - Division of breath

Now that you can feel the breath in your nasal cavity and against your palate, you can understand how your breath is divided. It is the same with singing. When air is exhaled over your larynx and vocal chords then into your upper cavities, it is going to split into two areas: one part into the nasal pharynx (nasal cavity) and the other into your upper head cavity (the back of the throat and into your mouth area). This division is caused from the pressure of the air, as it is expands in your chest and upward from your diaphragm. When you sing, the air is naturally split, but it must be rejoined before sound is emitted from your mouth. The pressure of the air coming from your chest and into these cavities must be controlled carefully so that you are able to hold a certain tone. Practice by preparing yourself as in the steps above. Fill your chest. Raise your head. Press your tongue to your upper palate. Now, open your mouth and breathe out steadily, under control. Do not emit a sound, just a constant, steady breath. Do you see (or feel) how the air is emitted?

Remember to not force the air out by pushing out your lower diaphragm, but allow the pressure to come from your upper chest. This is how you will control the sound, it's strength and its resonance. Do you feel how the air fills your upper chambers, but how it is controlled from the pressure you create and the amount you allow to escape your upper palate? This is what's important. Your breath and the pressure you control will control how much air fills your upper chambers and will thereby aid you in how much air (or sound) is emitted from your upper chambers (mainly your palate) when you sing.

The important points to remember are:

  1. There will always have to be a storage area for air.
  2. There will always be a division of breath as is released through the larynx and over the vocal chords.
  3. There will always be a release through the mouth that is controlled by the palate and the pressure of the nasal cavity.

So, if these are the same for every person, then the skill in singing comes with the skill of control and release of the sound that is emitted.

This is great news because it means that once you have a handle on the above breathing, then you are working your way even closer to learning how to control these variables, which will all work together to bring you an eventual controlled sound in your singing.

In the next lesson, we are going to learn more about how to control the breath that is emitted from your mouth and air chambers. This will all work together and be applied later to your singing. Once you have your breath under control, then you will have a greater advantage because you will then know how to control the differing sounds that you want to make when it finally comes time to sing.

Singing Tone and Sensations

We have been talking a lot about the art of breathing. That's because breath is what helps us create sound. Air passing over our vocal chords with a desired, controlled pressure allows us to sing. And, not only singing, but also knowing how to sing and understanding the reasons behind it is the goal of this course. Once you have this knowledge, you can build upon it and apply it to your own practice scheme.

Now, your breath, as we have mentioned repeatedly, must be finely controlled and manipulated. This breath is held in the upper chest, but is controlled as it exits the back of our mouths. When you sing, you should not push the air out of this area. Many people believe that if you want to have a strong sounding voice, you have to drive the air out of your chest cavity and the back of your mouth in order for the sound be elongated. This is one important point that we will reiterate.

Important Point: You do not need to push or expel the breath out of your lungs and the back of your mouth when you sing. This will not allow you to use all of the air you have within to your complete advantage. If you have to maintain a specific note or tone over any length of time, you will have to benefit from what breath you have at that moment.

You will always have to monitor your own singing form. That is why we have been going over it incessantly. The form of singing encompasses the organs, the breath storage and pressure control, and even the correct placement of the tongue on the palate. If you are conscious of what you are doing, you will have an easier time adjusting your voice or correcting something later when the sound you are trying to produce isn't quite right. It is much easier in the beginning to work on and learn about form rather than wait until you have allowed a mistake to keep occurring. It is as the old adage states: 30 days to make a habit, 30 days to break one. When it comes to singing, we don't want to start by doing everything correctly and monitoring the reasons behind what we are doing so that you greater learn how to adjust yourself should the need arise.

All of this is being revealed and taught to you so that you will have the necessary base to self-critique and know the reasons behind what it is you are doing. If you know how your own body and voice work, the greater success and potential you will have to rise as far as you'd like. Since the beginning of this course, we have said that singing is often thought of as a gift. And, some are naturally gifted. However, someone who knows the proper ways to train their own voice is much better off for long-term singing enjoyment.