Let's look at the #diaphragm and its vital importance to the singer.
"The diaphragm is a thin skeletal muscle that sits at the base of the chest and separates the abdomen from the chest. It contracts and flattens when you inhale. This creates a vacuum effect that pulls air into the lungs. When you exhale, the diaphragm relaxes and the air is pushed out of the lungs."
“The phrenic nerve, which runs from the neck to the diaphragm, controls the movement of the diaphragm."
"The diaphragm is the primary muscle of respiration. During inspiration, it contracts and flattens, increasing the vertical diameter of the thoracic cavity. This produces lung expansion, and air is drawn in. During expiration, the diaphragm passively relaxes and returns to its original dome shape. This reduces the volume of the thoracic cavity."
In short, the diaphragm can be related to a #balloon! When we breath in we pump up the balloon and when we breath out, we deflate the balloon (release the air).
The reason diaphragm breathing is so important for a singer:
You can store more air than you can simply breathing shallow.
It releases tension when you ground yourself and breath deeply.
It provides you with the ability to have more control because you’ll have the capability to provide more support to each note.
3 Practical Tips:
Identify + activate your diaphragm with a simple “HA HA!” - don't yell it!
Try lying down flat on the floor on your back at first so you don’t cheat! Put your hands right under your last rib and when you breath in, the balloon should fill up (expand against your hand) and when you breath out, it should deflate. Try first with “HA HA” then puff in and puff out.
Make sure your shoulders are not moving up and down in the process. Roll your shoulders back and focus on breathing deep (the chest will move slightly of course).
*You might feel like you’re getting “less air” than normal, but your diaphragm will get stronger the more you intentionally use it while singing and you won’t have to think about it so hard as it will become more habit based! Also, you already naturally breathe with the diaphragm so don’t let this concept confuse you! Remember “HA HA!” and balloon!
See you soon + stay warm! Cx