I’d have to say that THE most common breathing problem I encounter in one-on-one vocal lessons (and quartet coaching) is overly conscious inhalation. People seem forget that breathing is a natural process once they start singing. In fact, people work so hard on breathing that the breaths they take get more muscle-bound than ever and getting them to release all that tension and remember to take a natural breath is hard work!

Do you fall into that category? If you’ve been practicing your ‘catch breath’ and not practicing the relax-and-spring-open feeling of taking a natural breath, you’re probably missing out on air, taking too much and blowing out your vocal chords, and all in all, working far too hard to do it.

Go swimming and do some breast stroke with your head going under at every 2nd stroke, breathing out through the mouth while you’re underwater – you’ll find you take a lovely, full breath very quickly and without muscular strain. That’s just what you need to be going for when singing.  Do you plan your breathing when you are in conversation with your friends? No! So why do you need to do so when vocalising in song? The more you think, the more your brain gets in the way.

The Lost Art of Breathing In
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