Ep.15: How to Sing-Breath with Diaphragm

When you sing do you run out of air when you breath? Does it feel like your high notes don’t have quite enough air? Are you straining to get through the long phrases?


We breath about 23,000 times a day! So why is breathing so hard when we sing?


Inside this video I’ll show you a simple way correct these and other breathing problems.


Hi! I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power to Sing.


Here’s some common breathing problems many singers are fighting.


  • Running out of air in the middle of a phrase
  • Running out of air in the middle of a word holding out a long note
  • Going flat because there isn’t enough air to support your voice
  • Going sharp because there is too much air being pushed out on the note
  • Sounding too breathy


It’s wrong to blame all or most of our singing problems on breathing.


A major cause of breathing problems may be vocal cords not coming together appropriately.


This might be caused by the vocal cords coming together too tight or too loose. Get help with vocal cords by watching Ep.9 and 10.


High Chest Breathing is Bad for Singing

A major cause of breathing problems when singing is high chest breathing instead of low diaphragmatic breathing.


Here’s what high Chest breathing looks like [Demo]. Notice how my chest is heaving up and down. That’s high chest breathing. That’s bad!


Your shoulders and neck tighten up and the larynx goes up. Extra tension in the muscles around the neck causes tension in the vocal cords and the voice.


The high breath often doesn’t give you enough air to sing musical phrases and you run out.


Then you take another high breath and introduce more tension. The larynx keeps rising. You still don’t get enough air.  


Since you are running out of air you often push what little air you have, going sharp or flat and getting more and more frustrated and even panicked!


How to Sing by Breathing “With” Your Diaphragm

We don’t breath with the diaphragm. We breath with our lungs. However, the diaphragm is the muscle that helps it all happen.


This is something physical therapists talk about, yoga instructors, athletic coaches, life coaches, singing teachers and many others.


What’s the Diaphragm?

The diaphragm is an umbrella shaped muscle at the bottom of your rib cage that separates your chest from your abdomen.

How to Sing-Breath with Diaphragm the muscle just below the lungs

When it flattens it creates more space around your lungs which helps fill your lungs with lots of air to sing with! When the diaphragm flattens it’s pushing stuff down and out so your stomach swells outward. It’s at this moment that your lungs fill with air.


As you use up the air while you sing, your stomach returns to where it started.


Your first task is to learn to breath using the diaphragm. A quick way to feel the diaphragm working is to bend at the waist and put your hand on your tummy and breath.


Feel it your stomach move outward..as if there was a balloon inside filling with air. That’s caused by the diaphragm flattening and moving your stomach outward as your lungs fill with air.


While you’re singing, pretend there’s a small string attached to the back of your belly button, and gently pull your belly button inward toward your back. As you breath in again, your stomach moves outward again.


This is breathing with the diaphragm. Now you must do the same thing standing up and singing. Practice this until it becomes a habit. Practice laying down, sitting in the car, in the school room, at work..everywhere.

How to Sing-Breath with Diaphragm the muscle just below the lungs.

Your goal is to breath this way when you sing.


It goes like this. Take a breath, and sing your phrase, or do your exercise. [Vocal Demo]


As you use the air, you are gently pulling the imaginary string inward. This really helps control the air you use when you sing.


And, by pulling your belly button gently inward, you are able to send a steady stream of air to the vocal cords which helps improve the pitch as well as give you enough air to hold the long notes.


With practice this will become a habit.

You will have plenty of air when you sing

You will feel the support of a constant column of air against the vocal cords

You will have extra help to sing the high and the low notes

You will be more relaxed when you sing

Your neck, shoulders and larynx will be free from tension

You won’t have to “force” more air

Your confidence will increase


Do you know your vocal type? I’m not talking about whether you’re soprano, alto, tenor or bass. Your vocal type is what you tend to do when you sing.  Go to powertosing.com and take the Vocal Test which I call the PowerTest and immediately discover your vocal type.


Once you know your vocal type, you can download the exercises designed specifically for you. This will speed up your results and give you the voice you’ve always dreamed of quickly.


I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing. With the help of the diaphragm you will have all the air you need to sing. You can sing higher, with beauty, confidence and power.


I’ll see you inside the next video.


Background music: Back To The Wood by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Artist: http://audionautix.com/


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Chuck Gilmore

Chuck Gilmore

If you want to do more with your singing voice it is possible. This is the first and most important message. It is possible to achieve your dreams to sing better, to sing higher, and to add beauty, confidence and power to your voice!

I know this because I’ve experienced a real change in my voice. I am reaching my dreams to sing and perform. You can find happiness and fulfillment with your singing too!!


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