Just how important is it to focus your energy on vocal breathing exercises?
I'm going to tread dangerous ground in this article! Why? Because I'm going to go against what the majority of vocal instructors say. Before you click away in disgust, consider this....
One. I improved my voice more than I could ever imagine by using this technique. Two. This is the technique that is used by many international superstars. Keith Urban, Michael Jackson. Stevie Wonder. And so many more.
In fact, when Whoopi Goldberg was recruited to act in the movie "Sister Act" (remember? It was a classic!), she was immediately sent off to 'Seth Riggs', the inventor of the technique I'm about to discuss.
Ok... Here I go...
Into the war zone....
The biggest myth in singing, is you must master this complicated event called "diaphragmatic breathing".
Have you ever had a singing teacher that told you to "give your tone more support"! Or "breathe from your diaphragm".
Or did your teacher ever get you to do 'special' exercises just to get you to breathe right?
I have been through all this. I practiced for hours a day, for years. And then one day, it hit me. This isn't making me improve! Why am I getting taught this breathing technique that doesn't make me sing better?!
Let's dig further into this cloudy issue...
Why not? Well, there are many reasons. For one, your diaphragm is already strong enough for singing. It actually takes very little air to sing. And as you sing higher notes, your vocal chords close off a portion, leaving less free to vibrate.... Meaning even LESS air is actually needed.
Has your teacher ever told you to give your tone "more support" when you go for your high notes? Mine has...
Do you think sending more air pressure to your chords when they are shorter in length will help you sing? No... but it will hurt!
Instead of focusing on vocal breathing exercises, I believe it's ten times more effective to do exercises to keep you at speech level. Speech level means that you are not applying anymore strain or tension, than you would when you speak.
The right exercises will do exactly this. And you will discover that correct breathing is a by-product of correct technique. And correct technique means staying at speech level.
With this speech level singing method, the exercises target very specific muscles... the correct singing muscles. Once these muscles are isolated, and strengthened, your vocal chords will easily hold together all the way through your range.
This will mean that you will be able to hit any note in your range, with ease. You will also have a consistent sounding voice, from the bottom of your range to the top.
The exercises are designed so you will balance the air pressure without even thinking about it. So, you are basically mastering this so called "diaphragmatic breathing", without even studying it!
A bonus of the speech level singing is, when your chords begin to "zip up" as you sing higher, you will discover much more vocal range that you didn't even know you had! All with the ease of talking.
So much for vocal breathing exercises!