by Cari Cole
In the vocal technique world we say, “if you want a small sound, take a small breath. If you want a big sound, take a big breath!” But it doesn’t work well to stuff your lungs with breath — one has to learn how to take the breath so that the diaphragm lowers and pulls air into the lungs without creating tension. That is done by expanding the ribcage to the sides and back. Once you are engaging the diaphragm, you then have to learn how to use the breath you just took and not let it all escape on the first few notes. This is so often overlooked by even good voice teachers. But when you learn this, you will be able to support your voice better than ever.
There are many different exercises available to learn how to do this which I teach to my students. Over time they learn to integrate their belly breath, rib extension breath, back breath and suspension breath to support their singing voice.
As I said last week, your voice is a wind instrument and like every wind instrument, it requires a certain knowledge and fitness of the breath to play well.
Give it time and practice and it will become natural for your body and while you sing.