Although using abdominal breathing during singing is best, many people do not breathe like that in everyday life. There are different ways of breathing; abdominal (belly), chest, or a combination of the two. In everyday life it doesn’t matter very much how you breathe as long as you allow your lungs to fill themselves with air and use your diaphragm in the process.
Poor breathing techniques can lead to all sorts of physical problems though, like hyper ventilating, fatigue, dizzyness, etc.
When you sing, the abdominal breathing technique is most effective. This has everything to do with the function of your diaphragm during singing.
Abdominal breathing allows the diaphragm to reach it’s lowest position. By doing so, it pushes your organs down and a little forward. That is why your belly becomes bigger when you inhail.
When you start singing, the diaphragm will move upwards. By using breath support (abdominal muscles become active) you will slow the diaphragm down which gives you the opportunity to control the airpressure and -flow longer and better. The result of this is a free sound and the possibility to sing long lines.
Next video shows you how the diaphragm moves during breathing.
For some people training abdominal breathing is not easy at all! If your body tends to breathe abdominally, you are lucky! But the singers who tend to breathe more in the chest will have a harder time learning to use this abdominal technique.
The best way to learn this technique is study with a good voice teacher. It’s worth your money, because a good breathing technique is one of the most important elements of good and healthy singing!There are some great exercises to help you develop abdominal breathing. The liptrill is one of them.
You can check your abdominal breathing by putting your hand on your belly and feel it moving in when you are singing. As soon as you breathe, your belly will expand again.
There are some ways of singing that will not benefit from low abdominal breathing. Belting for example needs a higher breathing in the chest. This is not bad for your voice as long as you know how to do it. Ask a voice teacher to help you find the right balance!