Breath: An Essential Pillar of Voice Production
I am often asked in voice lessons about what I feel the essentials of vocal production are, and it always inevitably comes back to the same three things: Breath, Posture, and Vowel Placement. If I had to narrow down any problems that vocalists face, it is usually one of those three things. To me, they have the biggest impact on how you produce your sound and the strength of that sound. I am hoping to give students that are trying to maneuver voice lessons from home the same tools to use while they are practicing as those who are still studying in person.
The following website, Breathing Techniques for Singing - Vocals in Tune, will address some main points that can affect proper breathing and breath control. It covers breathing while singing and breath management. It also discusses the importance of learning muscle control. Many of us do not realize that there are many more muscles that are involved with singing and breathing than we think. How many knew that the tongue is a major muscle and can be the biggest factor in the sound that we produce? How many have paid attention to all the muscles that are in our neck and or attached to our jaw? All of these can affect our singing, especially if they are full of tension. And just as I wrote in the last blog, this article discusses the importance of protecting your vocal cords and how to increase your lung capacity so that you can sustain your sound while you sing. Take a little time and read through it - I promise you will not be disappointed. Additionally, here is a wonderful video for you to use to help improve your breath and understanding of the breath!
Overall good breath, relaxed musculature, and proper tension release directly translates to healthy vocal production. We need to take care of ourselves so that we can have an instrument in good working order. When we understand how the voice and breath work, we can practice, rehearse, and perform to the best of our abilities! We NEED to take the time and listen to our bodies when we feel something is not right and learn how to fix it. Always let your voice teacher know when something doesn't feel right in your voice lessons. We need to know how to create new habits that are healthy and that will continually propel us forward in our learning and performing. Good luck and happy breathing!