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Breath Support in Singing

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Question about Breath Support in our KTVA Forum

Hi Ken,

I have watched How To Sing Better Than Anyone Else, Volume 1 and 2 continually over the last week and feel I have a good grasp (in theory) of the method as you have explained perfectly; however, just a couple of questions about breath support.

Lets say I start a phrase of a song on A4 and the phrase is a decending one. As I hit the A4 note (with the right vowel modification and using as little air as possible) do I push down on my diaphragm to the point where it would be if I had ascended to that note from the lets say an octave below?

And then as I descend down through the phrase should my diaphragm be slowly releasing or should I keep it at the same point until the phrase is complete and then release it to allow the next breath to drop in ready for the next phrase?

I have watched very closely the video of you coaching Sara; her diaphragm (front lower abs) can be seen to move inwards on each phrase regardless of if the phrase is ascending or descending or doing both.

I realise that that asking you all this is a bit like asking someone to explain in words how to ride a bike:-)

Kind regards, Gary

Ken Tamplin’s Answer:

Keep pressing down until you are ALL the way down from all of your high notes, not just THE HIGH NOTE of a scale. Then he also says to release this tension as soon as you are off the high notes, because otherwise you will lock up the abdominal muscles, and wear out your strength to the point that you will not be able to keep up the stamina needed to support an entire vocal performance. Our “diapragm” needs to rest between strokes, just like our heart rests in between each heartbeat.

Using this complex of muscles to resist, regulate, and control the outflow of air while singing is the art of support.

You can start to release diaphragmatic “spring” or pressure about 1/2 to 3/4’s of the way down a scale or a lower key phrase.

Once your are done immediately relax the whole diaphragmatic support mechanism like a “puppet/marionette” who’s master has let go of the strings (limp) for the split second you need in recovery time so as to not lock up the abdominal structure and have power for the next phrase.