Breathing – Let the Muscles Do the Work
Diaphragmatic breath support.
What is it and how do we use it?
The diaphragm is a muscle that is located directly below the rib cage.
It’s shape is concave like a crescent moon pointing down towards the stomach.
When we take in a diaphragmatic breath it contracts and begins to bend in the opposite direction like a crescent moon now pointing upward toward the chest cavity.
When we take in this diaphragmatic breath the stomach should feel like there is a balloon expanding as we take in our breath and contracting as we push out the breath to sing a phrase.
When the chest stays expanded this creates a very powerful vacuum of air in the lung.
This powerful vacuum when pushing down on the diaphragm as we sing a phrase provides considerable strength compared to breathing from our chest cavity.
The snap of this pressure allows us to free up and relax the chest, the neck and the throat and provides considerable strength, power, stamina and longevity.
A good way to start to learn how to feel this diaphragmatic support is by laying on your back and breathing through your stomach placing books on your stomach if necessary to feel this balloon of air when we inhale and exhale.
Another really good way to strengthening the diaphragm is to take in our breath laying on her back in a sit ups position and blowing out the air as we ascended to sit up and releasing the air as we descend the sit up.
It is very important to monitor ourselves that we go into a relaxed state between each sit up.
Otherwise the diaphragm will stay bound up tense and not release into a relaxed state.
This ebb and flow of diaphragmatic breathing doing sit ups will allow us a similar sensation as when we sing and help us to understand the relaxation response needed between each phrase.
Learning to control this flow of air is essential to great singing.