When you have a growing interest in developing your singing voice, you naturally make your first research online.
Google knows it all and soon you figure out, that breathing is an essential part of a proper singing technique.
Diving deeper into the topic of breathing technique, you become aware that an aspiring singers’ ultimate goal should be to sing from the diaphragm.
The only problem is, you have no clue, what that really means and how it should be done correctly.
Lend me your attention for the next 5 minutes and I give you my best piece of advice on how to sing from the diaphragm.
Ready? Set. Go.
Quick Intro To The Thing Called Diaphragm?
You efficiently want to experience, where your diaphragm is and what it does? Then go ahead and punch yourself hard in your upper stomach, right beneath your rib cage.
If you feel a blunt pain and are craving for air for around 20-30 seconds, you just found your diaphragm.
The diaphragm is a muscle and used in the process of respiration aka breathing. Period.
That’s all I want you to know, about what the diaphragm is.
Singing is much more about feeling than knowing, so don’t do any further research on the anatomy and functions of the diaphragm. It’s as plain as this.
Before You Learn To Sing, You Have To Learn To Breathe
In order to lead you to diaphragmatic singing, you first have to experience how diaphragmatic breathing feels like.
It’s actually pretty easy. I’ve also talked about my best 3 breathing exercises in another article.
In my opinion you can use this one to experience, what diaphragmatic breathing is all about:
1. Stand up straight
2. Put your hands to your hips. (No we don’t do the time warp now)
3. Breath in deeply, so that your belly expands sideways
4. Hold your breath for about 10 seconds
5. Slowly release the air, while holding your tongue placed at your lower front teeth. If executed correctly, you should produce the sound of a snake.
6. While doing so, the expanded position of your belly should remain unchanged.
If you are familiar with the coordination, you can extend the time of air release up to 30,40, 50 or 60 seconds.
Singing is Coordination
After you have mastered the diaphragmatic breathing technique, I bet you already see a difference in your singing as well.
To fine tune that even further, we have to directly connect the diaphragmatic breathing with the mechanism of sound production.
But before we do that, Let’s have a look at a perfect diaphragmatic sound operator: A crying baby
Are you totally insane, Felix, you might think right now. I want to learn to become a better singer and you point me to a newborn as an example.
Let’s have a closer look at what happens, when an infant cries. He breathes in, belly expands widely outwards, than comes the penetrating sound. It’s a perfect, natural coordination of breath and sound.
And it shows what power lies within it. What a massive volume can be produced by a human, that fits in two hands.
The reason why that works is, because nothing is in the way. In one of my first articles, I explained the most common problem with singing – muscular tensions. Tensions come from bad speaking habits or from sad emotional events in the past.
A baby doesn’t have neither of them.
How To Approach Diaphragmatic Singing
I tell, it’s hard to describe. Even if you hear someone demonstrate it to you, you won’t be able to reproduce it at the first time. But Let’s give it a try.
I give you 2 steps for diaphragmatic sound production and we’ll see, how you can work from there.
1) Moaning or Weeping
If you want to make your first steps toward singing from the diaphragm, start with approaching it from moaning or weeping.
Do it, like you know it from yourself, 5 times and try to catch the feeling before the first sound appears. You then have to sustain the sound and turn it into a vowel.
If you do it properly, you most likely will experience, that your vowels are produced differently to how you did it before.
2) Lets go back to the breathing exercise, I’ve already told you about. After you’ve mastered the diaphragmatic onset, you have to connect it with the right breathing. Make sure, that while singing through a phrase, your position with your belly outside (like you’ve just breathed in deeply) remains .
That will challenge your diaphragm even more and is essential to keep the right inner position.
Beware, not to create any tension, though.
As I said, it’s all muscular coordination. Like shooting a 3 pointer at basketball.
Practice it for a month and you will see significant results.
When I first discovered this approach, a song phrase I must have sung already 100 times, was suddenly so much easier and just felt different instantly.
To really get beyond your personal vocal limitations, learning diaphragmatic singing is key.
A smooth coordination between breathing and direct diaphragmatic sound production gives your voice much more power and feels much easier.
Although the theory behind seems quite simple, mastering it will take a while. As always.
Keep up the good work and share your thoughts about this topic with me!