How to breathe 2.0

I've previously written my top tip on how to find correct breathing for singing: 'How to Breath' This is a beginners guide that had you lying on the floor to try and find it. In this article, I'll get you actually standing up!

So, presuming you've now discovered that when you're lying down, your ribs naturally lift and separate when you breathe in, it's time to get up off the floor: 

  • Standing with your feet hip width apart, creating a straight line from the base of your spine, all the way through and out of the top of your head, keeping your eyeliner forward (imagine you have a piece of string pulling you up from the top of your head - this will create the feeling of truly standing up straight). If you practice Yoga: this is similar to the neutral position: If you do or have done Ballet: stand in first position and simply turn your feet so they are parallel. 
  • Once you have your standing position, place your hands on your rib cage, this way you can feel the movement here, with your breath. 
  • Now start to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. 

Send your breath down into your belly: to know if you're doing this right, you should start to feel movement in your hands as your rib cage lifts and separates as you breathe in. Your shoulders should never move in the exercise. If they do, it can mean a couple of things:

  1. Your breath is too shallow and you're only breathing as far in as the chest area. If this is the case, you may find it useful to revisit the first breathing exercise (click here for details) or you simply need further focus on this exercise.  
  2. You're breathing too much air in - this is actually a thing ... taking in too much air can actually have the same negative effect as not taking enough! In singing, there is always another opportunity to breathe coming up, so we will never run out (plus human nature will kick in and take one for you if you truly run out!) This tip here is to keep the air below the breast bone; this will keep any pressure out of the chest area and keep those shoulders 'quiet'.  

And there you have it - now you have this, you're ready to make some noise!