Canadian Musician


Angela Kelman

Breathing Exercises For Spectacular Success

Quote of the Day:

“I’ve got to keep breathing. It’ll be my worst business mistake if I don’t.”
Steve Martin

Seems Comedians and Singers have the same modus operandi. If you don’t breathe, your business will go flat and if you are a singer, I mean that in the literal sense. I promise to stop blah, blah, blahing (or blog, blog, blogging) about breathing soon, but until then, do this exercise to get in touch with the proper way to take a singer’s breath.
Breathing Exercise 1- Book On Tummy Exercise
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced singer, this exercise will teach or remind you of the proper movement of the air in/tummy out principal. This exercise is perfect for understanding the movement of the singer’s breath, when following the directions below.
a) Lie on your back with a heavy book on your tummy, just below the junction of your ribs and over your bellybutton.
b) Through your mouth, suck in a breath while counting to 4 in your head, making the book rise up as high as possible by filling up your tank within the 4 counts.
c) Now release the air through your mouth making an elongated “huh” sound on one note. Let the book drop towards your backbone in a controlled manner, letting out all your air by the time you hit the 4 count in your head. This will be a fairly quick release of the breath. This is the proper movement for a singer’s breath. Once again, think as if your tummy were a balloon. As you suck air into it (inhaling), it fills up and rounds out. As you release the air (exhaling), it becomes flat.
d) Repeat the exercise a couple of times with the 4 count breath in to fill up your tank and the 4 count breath out on “huh,” always being aware of the controlled exhalation.
e) Repeat a 4 count breath in and a 6 count breath out on “huh,” depleting all your air and flattening out your tummy by the “6” count. You are now manipulating your diaphragm muscle to resist the urge to just let your tummy fall quickly back towards the backbone and are learning to regulate the exhalation, or phrase, just as if you were singing it in the context of a song.
f) Repeat a 4 count breath in and an 8 count breath out on “huh,” depleting all your air and flattening out your tummy by the “8” count. Again, the controlled, elongated exhalation will allow you to achieve the desired effect.
g) Finally, take a 4 count breath in and a 10 count breath out on “huh,” depleting all your air and flattening out your tummy by the “10” count using control to lengthen the exhalation. The inhalation will remain a 4 count as breathing “in” is, more often than not, in a smaller space of time in a song. This practice in balancing inhalation with differing lengths of exhalation is helping you create a sense of phrasing which you will eventually use in the performance of a song as the notes “float out” on the breath.
Following the above direction will give you the feel of how to take a singer’s breath properly, and manipulate diaphragm support for successful phrasing, guaranteeing spectacular vocal results.

Until next time…Breathe and Happy Singing!


One Response to “Breathing Exercises For Spectacular Success”

  1. jeff Says:

    how do female singers catch breath after concert and why do they gasp out in on mic breaking? how do you catch your breath after show and not gasp on mic at break? what is this term called gasping on the mic?

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