What Are Some Breathing Exercises for Beginning Singers?
Breathing is the foundation of all singing. Breathing correctly is probably the most important factor in singing safely and sounding good. Whether you are new to singing or have been singing for years, it is important to review the basics of breathing. Here we have some exercises that focus on different aspects of breathing correctly. We recommend choosing one breathing exercise and completing it each time you practice, before your warm-ups. Also, make sure you rotate them throughout your practice routine. Ideally, if you are practicing 5 days a week, even for a short period of time, you will complete all five of these exercises by the end of the week.
Exercise One: Belly Book
If you want to sing loudly, you have to start by breathing to the bottom of your lungs with your diaphragm. This can be hard to practice standing up, so let us try it laying down. You will need a book or binder for this exercise. You are going to start by finding a flat surface, like your floor or sturdy couch. Lay down on your back with your book in hand. Place your book on top of your belly button, right above where your belt buckle would be. Then, begin breathing slowly and deeply. If you are breathing correctly to the bottom portion of your lungs, your book will rise and fall slowly. You want to move the book just with your breath. Breathing in and out slowly with the book rising and falling.
Exercise Two: The Superhero
For this exercise, you are going to need to take your hands and make your best superhero stance. Put your thumbs on your back and your fingers in front, and it should be right above your hips, just underneath your ribs. As you take a breath in, you want to make sure that you are breathing down to the lower portion of your abdomen and you are going to feel your hands expanding. If you are breathing correctly, you will feel even your thumbs expanding. This is also a great breathing exercise to practice while you are singing and doing your warm-ups to remind yourself of where to breathe.
Exercise Three: Lean on Me
For this exercise, you are going to need either a sturdy chair or a dresser that is up against a wall—something that you can lean on. You are going to place your feet back and then lean forward on your arms onto the dresser or chair. Your body will be at an angle with the floor. Once you are in that position, relax your abdominal muscles and take a breath in, allowing your tummy to fall towards the floor. When it is time to breathe out, contract your muscles and push the air out. This exercise helps you remember when to relax your abdominal muscles and when it is important to contract them.
Exercise Four: Timing Game
For this, you are going to need a stopwatch, such as the one on your phone. You are going to start by pulling out your stopwatch. Then, you are going to take a deep breath to your diaphragm. Once you start with your breath, you are going to blow out on a tiny little “S” sound and hold it as long as you can while timing yourself. When you get to the end and you are running out of air, you are going to stop your time and see how long you were able to hold your breath. The idea is that each time that you do this, you are able to hold your breath a little bit longer. Make sure to give yourself at least a two-minute break between these timing exercises, so do not run out of air.
Exercise Five: Sticky Paper
For this one, you are going to need a piece of paper. Put the tips of your feet up against the wall and place the paper in front of your mouth, close enough to when you could almost touch the paper with your lips. Then, take a deep diaphragmatic breath and blow as hard as you can on the paper, letting go with your fingers. The idea is to make the paper sticky and you are going to have it stick to the wall just by using the strength of your breath. This will be a short exercise. You are probably only going to be able to hold the paper there for a couple of seconds at best, but the idea is to practice using as much air and power to support and make that paper stick to the wall.
We hope these exercises helped you all learn a little more about breathing for singers. You can see these exercises being demonstrated in the YouTube video below.
We are a music school located in West Davie and Pembroke Pines, Florida. We help young musicians learn current songs in the fastest and easiest way for their age, while still making sure they use proper technique. We offer music lessons for piano, voice, guitar, drums, ukulele, and bass in the Weston - Pembroke Pines area.
Remember, in order to get better at breathing correctly for singing, you have to practice these regularly. Think of these exercises as a workout for your lungs and diaphragm. The more you “workout” by practicing these breathing techniques, the stronger you will sing! So, take a deep breath. You are going to be a great singer in no time!
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