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How To Sing From Your Diaphragm

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I cannot stress enough how important this concept is and how misunderstood it is.

Before even attempting to sing, I want you to try an experiment.

The first experiment is to lay flat on your back and experience breathing from your stomach.

As you focus on the breath from your stomach, I want you to notice how your rib cage and your lungs are fairly stable and do not move much, but the breath comes predominantly from the abdominal cavity.

Do this for a while and experience the sensation and then I want you to take a big huge breath from the belly making it protrude as much as is comfortable, and then do a quick shout pulling in the stomach. Literally like you are “calling out” to someone or yelling at someone to try to save them from crossing a railroad track while the train is coming that they cannot see.

And no, I’m not asking you to shout when you sing, I just want you to experience what it truly feels like to breathe from your abdomen and your diaphragm.

Many people do not realize that we have two diaphragms. One sits directly under the lung/rib cage and the other is down at the pelvic floor in the groin/buttocks area. They both need to be engaged.

Once you are in this lay-down position, I want you to try to do a sit-up while holding a singing note and feel the amount of strength in the abdomen required to do this while doing the sit-up. You are now experiencing true “core” strength from the abdomen.

Now I want you to stand up and try the same experiment but not let your lungs and rib cage do all the work. Focus on this experience you had laying down and replicate that from-the-gut feeling while standing up.

These are the beginnings of true, core, diaphragmatic support that is absolutely essential for correct singing and for a relaxation response to sing with freedom, without locking down the body or pinching and squeezing in the throat when we sing.

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