The Open Umbrella Sensation (Part 3)

So now that you are “belly breathing” we need to take you into the sensation of breath support. This is a biggy.

What is actually happening is the muscles all around your body (back, ribs, stomach) are engaging to “hold back”,  “suspend” and control your breath. Again, this can be very tricky because I don’t want you to totally hold your breath, and in fact, that may cause a lot of wrong tension in the throat and neck area. Remember you should feel relaxed from the shoulders and up. The effort and energy is felt below. This is where visualizations will help you find the correct sensation.

Remember you are breathing from the bottom up now.

Now imagine there is an open umbrella (or parachute?) sitting in your belly. The bottom part (the handle) is at the groin area and this can represent the straw sensation as you are breathing in. Imagine the air you breath in is coming up under your ribs and upper stomach area and expanding the umbrella. Now, remember the umbrella is not rigid and non-flexible like a real umbrella that would lock into being fully open. But, rather your “belly” umbrella is more like a strong, flexible, thick, moving, flowing, and engaging umbrella that expands to its fullest under your ribs and around your back when you inhale for singing, and then relaxes a bit when you exhale….but NEVER collapses. It is always there when you are breathing….while you are talking….and while you are simply existing! This open, moving umbrella sensation is now an everyday part of your new sense of breathing. This umbrella does not need to be huge. If you feel imbalance or get lightheaded, then you are over-doing these sensations. Regroup, relax, and start over. It should start to feel normal in small, manageable steps.

Stay tuned as put these sensations into the correct coordination for singing.


Breath Support (Part 1)

Breath support is such an interesting feeling. When you tap into the exactness of this coordination with your body, your ability to sing better can explode. The ability to control your voice is what we are talking about here. The ability to manage volume changes, vibrato variations, and change tonal colors are under this umbrella of control that you can achieve from great breath support. Oh and yes, of course….sing high notes with power! We all want to do that!

There are tons of books and you tube videos about breathing and breath control during singing, so check out as much as you can.

The process needs to be broken down into 3 parts; the intake of air, the support of the air you just breathed in, and the output of the air (your singing)! These three steps must work together for optimum breath control. If one is out of sync, the entire process is unbalanced. That’s why you must TAKE YOUR TIME and be aware of the sensations in your body. I will try and describe what I feel through this process. Again, you need to take a step back, get in touch with your body, and stop focusing on the “sound” you want to make.  Focus on the feelings in your body.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and great breath control won’t instantly happen either. So be patient. When you learn what your body needs to do (and feel) to help you sing better, you can better your journey through this awareness.