All You Need To Know About Circular Breathing Singing

Contrary to popular belief, singing is not a simple task.  Firstly, you need to perform the correct warm-up techniques before performing any song or face damage to your voice.  In addition to this, the professional singer (or want-to-be professional singer) needs to have correct control over their breathing when singing.  This article will provide information on breath control and circular breathing singing.

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  1. Posture

The first step to developing strong vocal techniques is by establishing good posture.  The body is an instrument and poor alignment can influence the outcome.  Good posture will enable good breathing and good singing.  Consider your body as an engine that drives the voice, and think of your breath as the fuel driving the engine.

To establish good posture you should stand with your feet hip-width apart and weight distributed evenly.  One positive exercise is transferring weight from the left to the right foot, backwards and forwards, and round in a circle before moving to a centered position.  The knees need to be relaxed and the arms must rest at your side.  Be aware of your neck and chin – in many cases a person will raise their chin believing they are helping sound release; however, raising the chin merely places strain and tension on the voice

  1. Learning To Breathe When Singing

When the posture is established, you will need to develop a technique of singing while breathing.  It is vital that you have control over your breathing when singing as this helps support the voice and enables healthy singing.  There are three separate breathing skills all singers must learn when training to sing:

  • The ability to inhale large amounts of air

An ability to inhale large amounts of air allows the singer to sing long phrases in a relaxed and controlled manner – think about Whitney Houston’s iconic note hold in “I Will Always Love You”.

Exercises to obtain this skill involve lying on the floor or on a bed.  Breathe in and out through the mouth focusing on how your body feels.  Inhale through the nose or mouth for four seconds, then hold the breath for eight seconds, and exhale in a controlled manner for eight seconds.  Remember, when you hold the breath the body should not be tense and the throat should be relaxed.

  • The ability to “snatch” small breaths of air quickly

Snatching small breaths of air quickly refers to breathing quickly between sentences or phrases in a song.  The best way to learn how to do this is by practicing panting.  As you start panting, you will feel the stomach moving out and in at high speeds.  This is due to the diaphragm moving up and down; thereby, pushing the stomach contents aside.  In circular breathing singing, you need to do this silently by focusing on the exhalation and not trying to breathe in.  Remember, lungs are a vacuum and are not ever void of air.

When you open your throat, allow the larger quantities of air to enter your lungs quickly – similar to a gasp of shock.  Practice this silently and you will learn to snatch breaths of air quickly.

  • The ability to control the escape of breath

Controlling the escape of one’s breath helps singing in a relaxed and controlled manner.  Upon exhaling, the diaphragm will move back to its position below the lungs.  Due to the diaphragm controlling how quickly one exhales breath, the goal is to slow the procedure down.  If exhalation occurs too quickly, tension will form and the sound will not be consistent.  This is where many vocal problems occur and the issue is termed a “lack of support”.

Final Words

As you can see, learning how to control your breathing through circular breathing singing is important when training as a vocalist.  Using the tips above, you can become a controlled and successful singer.