5 Ways To Check: Am I Breathing Correctly?
As a singer, your breath is the first step to making a good sound. If your breathing is tight, your voice will be tight. The most frustrating part of it all: there is no black and white, a + b= c approach to breathing well. 🤷🏼
IT IS YOUR JOB TO PLAY BODY DETECTIVE.
Your body goes with you everywhere. No surprise, it is there with you when you sing.Your daily posture; the way you pull your neck forward to read and text; the weight you relax into one hip on the subway everyday to work. These movements pull your body out of alignment and into tension.
THE FIRST STEP TO FREEING YOUR BREATH IS TO IDENTIFY WHERE IT IS GETTING STUCK.
The following are directions to aid you in learning how to identify whether you need to improve your breathing. If breathing is halting your progress as a singer- you're about to know it!
1) When you breathe in, take a deep breath, do you feel a tension in your chest or between your collar bones?
2) When you breathe in and sing a single note or sound, do your hip sockets tighten?
3) Look in a mirror. When you breathe in, do your shoulders rise?
4) During your inhale or sound production, does your jaw tighten?
5) Lay on the floor with your knees up and feet flat on the ground. When you inhale, does your back widen or simply tighten?
If you answered yes to any of these tests, your body is not free to take in air and support your sound with its full strength and colour. When you are ready to take the next step, reach out to a voice teacher- preferably one with training in alexander technique- and change the way you sing.