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Just The Right Amount of Air

Not Enough Breath To Get The Job Done?


When a singer begins performing publicly there is a tendency to push too much air. It is often the result of adrenaline, combined with the unfamiliar feedback from monitors and house speakers.  If you take in too much air, then push it out too fast, it can compromise pitch, tone quality and more.


Then, there are those who suddenly get timid as they hear their own voices through the sound system and are unsure of how to react.  Some singers are so distracted they actually forget to breathe and find themselves panicking as a result.


The goal is to provide the larynx with just the right amount of air, and air pressure to get the job done. That means, of course, that the brain has to know what the demands of the phrase are.  The vocal range, length of each note, volume and even the style. Once that is understood, as a result of studying the song, the brain can tell the respiratory system exactly what to provide. As long as the breathing mechanism has been exercised the right way it will have the agility and stamina to do the job.

Sound complicated?  It is.  But, most of this will happen automatically if you will spend some time training and exercising the different parts of your singing mechanism. It also requires that you spend some time working with and analyzing what you want to do with the song.

60' Tall Inflatable Slide. Just the right amount of air brings joy to all!


“But,” you might say, “some people seem to do it so easily and naturally.”  True, but it probably took them a few years for it to become “easy and natural.”  Many artists and athletes appear to become overnight successes, but it seldom happens over night.  You just hadn’t heard about them while they were struggling through the training periods.


  • First, remember that the voice is a  wind instrument.  A moving column of air, traveling between the vocal folds is what makes the sound. Therefore, the way you move the air has everything to do with your success.  As you look at the pictures of the 60′ tall inflatable slide it becomes clear that the right about of air is necessary if it is to serve its purpose.  Too little will collapse it.  Too much could pop.  But, just the right amount brings joy to hundreds, just like good singing.
  • Balanced posture allows you free, efficient breathing. Slouching, or sticking the head out over your toes will limit your chances for success.
  • Practicing breathing as its own skill, using sipping and hissing exercises while watching for a still posture gets the muscles ready. That, in turn, leads to good muscle memory.
  • As you inhale, remember to feel it down and out. That is, feel your inhalations expanding fully around the waist area, front, sides and into the lower back.
  • As you exhale, keep the back and sides stable. Allow the frontal abdominal wall to come in as needed but keep the back and sides comfortably expanding.


REMEMBER: Even with  singers who seem to have an almost “magical” touch when they perform it’s really a matter of Preparation, combined with Inspiration and experience. Do the work . . . the right way . . . and you, too, will get good results.


Don’t forget to check the Vocal Coach Store for current special offers and make the most of your instrument. If you’re looking for a tool to get your breathing squared away take a look at the COMPLETE BREATHING CD.  To see other special offers check out the HOME PAGE.

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