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What is the diaphragm?
How do you sing from the diaphragm?
Explore the importance of diaphragmatic breathing during singing.
When you’re learning to sing, you most likely have heard of the word “diaphragm” and wonder what exactly it is. The diaphragm is actually a muscle in your body that helps you sing clearly and properly. You often would be advised to learn to sing from your diaphragm to become a better singer.
Being able to use your diaphragm when you’re singing is really important. In this article, we’ll be exploring the function of the diaphragm and going over a few techniques to develop it for singing.
What Is the Diaphragm?
How Does the Diaphragm Work?
Your diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that sits below your lungs and above your stomach. This muscle plays a crucial role in breathing as it contracts and flattens whenever you inhale oxygen.
Singing well and proper breathing are directly connected, so it’s only natural the diaphragm plays an important role in the act of singing. A flat diaphragm helps you control the air supply to your vocal cords efficiently and increases support to the airstream when you’re singing.
When you inhale at the start of a vocal phrase, the diaphragm muscle contracts to draw air into your lungs. Then, as you exhale to sing, the diaphragm contracts and returns to its original shape.
In short, your diaphragm can hold the air in your lungs and allow you to control the amount of air for your vocal cords.
If you want to further your singing abilities, knowing the right breathing techniques and developing your diaphragm are important.
Breathing in Singing
Does Breathing Help in Singing?
Breathing is important in singing because it decides the quality of the sound you make and the volume level. If the right amount of air doesn’t pass through your throat, making a sound isn’t possible. Without the correct breath, your singing might not sound as pleasant and consistent as you want it to.
Why Is Breathing Control Important in Singing?
The basics of breathing control rely heavily on being able to fill your lungs up with air using your diaphragm before gradually releasing it. Breathing control is important in singing because it helps develop your quality of tone, vocal range, and ability to hold high notes.
Practicing breathing control exercises improves your lung capacity and the power of your high notes so you won’t lose your breath on one note.
Is Diaphragmatic Breathing Good for Singing?
Diaphragmatic breathing is essential in singing because it helps supply the air necessary for singing. Diaphragmatic singing ensures your voice is clear and powerful and prevents loss of breath while you’re singing.
How Does Diaphragmatic Breathing Affect Singing?
Diaphragmatic breathing actually results in a more powerful voice, leading to a higher quality of singing. When you use diaphragmatic breathing, you maximize the air supply in your lungs, allowing enough air to blow out the vocal cords without straining any muscles.
When there is enough air coming out of your vocal cords, your voice will project out of your throat smoothly.
Diaphragmatic breathing also gives you more control over your voice, which helps you when you want to hit higher or lower notes.
Singing from the Diaphragm
Should You Sing from the Diaphragm?
If you want to succeed as a singer or improve your singing voice, it’s highly recommended that you sing from the diaphragm.
Singing from the diaphragm helps protect your vocal cords and improve your vocal range to achieve a fuller, louder sound. This vocal technique gives you more control over your voice and regulates your breathing so you don’t run out of breath when you’re singing.
What Is the Difference Between Singing from the Throat and the Diaphragm?
Logically, you cannot sing without the throat or the diaphragm. To produce a sound, you need to use both of these features together. However, you’re often advised to make proper use of and control your diaphragm so you don’t put too much strain and pressure on your throat, especially in cases when you want to sing louder.
You will sound all right when you’re singing from the throat at first, but once you try to hit high or low notes, your throat will feel painful, and reaching those notes will be difficult.
On the other hand, singing from the diaphragm makes you breathe in lots of air and exhale deeply to control the air supply in your lungs. It would feel as if you’re singing from your stomach, with the sound resonating from your ribcage.
How Do You Practice Singing from Your Diaphragm?
Locate Your Diaphragm Muscle
Unlike your external muscles, locating your diaphragm muscle requires a little practice since it’s inside your body. To find the diaphragm, you have to stand straight and feel around with your hands for the bottom of your ribcage as it attaches there all the way around your torso.
Practice Breathing into Your Diaphragm
To breathe into your diaphragm, inhale as deeply until your lungs are full. While you’re doing this, make sure your stomach is pushed out as possible while keeping the rest of your body still. Then exhale and pull your stomach back in.
It’s important to keep your chest, shoulder, and face muscles relaxed during this step. It might be difficult at first, but with enough practice, it will soon become easier.
Perform Breathing Exercises
After you learn to breathe correctly, you have to exercise your diaphragm to increase your stamina and strengthen your diaphragm. You can do that by taking a deep breath with your diaphragm and counting as high up as possible while exhaling. Make sure to count slowly and evenly and record your daily improvements.
Do Breathing Exercises Regularly
Once you know how to breathe from your diaphragm, you have to apply them to real singing scenarios. Focus on your diaphragm while you sing, and make sure to include a few diaphragm-strengthening exercises into your singing practice schedule.
Practice Singing Using Lip Trills
Lip trills are exercises that help you control the amount of air that travels from your diaphragm to your vocal cords. To do a lip trill, close your lips and try blowing out air at a steady pace while singing on pitch. It sounds simple, but it’ll take practice before you’re able to do it right.
How Do I Strengthen My Diaphragm?
Like any muscle, your diaphragm needs to be developed and strengthened to function at its best.
There are many great diaphragmatic breathing exercises you can do, but here’s one example to get you started:
Pretend you have a straw in your mouth.
Place a hand on your stomach and inhale slowly through that straw.
Focus on the air in your stomach as you keep your shoulders relaxed.
Exhale slowly through that straw.
Singing from your diaphragm is the most efficient way to breathe while singing. It regulates the airflow in your lungs and allows you more control over your vocal range to produce a fuller and clearer sound.
Diaphragmatic breathing ensures enough air goes through your vocal cords, preventing loss of breath. Through this method of breathing, you will be able to hit higher or lower notes without straining your throat.
Diaphragmatic breathing requires breathing from your lungs while you sing. Though it’s hard to grasp at first, you’ll be able to do it right after lots of practice. Once you mastered singing from your diaphragm, you’ll be able to develop your range and successfully hit any note without putting too much tension on your vocal cords.