#1
I've been writing and singing for 3 years now. I have improved a TON in the past years, but I am still not singing with my "full voice." My guitar/voice teacher is working with me on my voice and tried to explain that you want to have as much air in you as possible and to sing with your diaphragm. I've noticed that breathing where your stomach goes out (aka breathing more w diaphragm, less with upper lung area something or another) you do have more air in you.

I need tips because I have a limited amount of time with my teacher. I have a true passion for playing and writing, I just want to get to my full voice soon.

Cheers!
Grace
#2
I've never understood the either/or mentality. Your chest is a resonance chamber and so expanding it is crucial as well to developing a beefy 'low end.' Yes, breathe in with your diaphragm but continue to expand into the intercostal muscles (rib cage area) as well.

The problem gets into when you go extreme with it when you aren't ready. For now, just take in a decently deep breath through your belly and when you practice, work on expanding the amount of air you can comfortably contain.

The real trick is though, is what do you do with all this air? Well, for the most part, you hold it. Singing doesn't take near the effort you may think it does and it certainly doesn't take that much air. You are pulling in all that "extra" air as a means to enhance your resonance chamber.

Tips for accessing this easily: Lay on the floor. Stack books on your belly and then breathe out and see how high you can raise the books. This is isolated diaphragmatic breathing. Meditation helps as well as you can really focus on the area. In a very short period of time, this will become natural and your instructor will fix any problems you develop (if they don't suck).
#3
I've been trying to work with it today a little and I'm getting aggravated because I really don't know how it's supposed to "feel" and work and sound and I JUST CANT EGUAHEAIOGIJEGAJIEOAG I want to get it so bad but I literally have no time with my teacher. I really appreciate everything that the previous post said-- thank you. It DID help. I'm very hard on myself it's just that I want to get better and I have such limited time with my teacher who is my main resource for getting better at the thing I love.
#4
Do you know an exercise called messa di voce.
It might help. Take a breath. Sing a single note. Start quietly getting louder and louder and then quieter and quieter. Do each note in a comfortable range (don't go to the end of your range high or low just keep it comfortable but cover the different registers). You can probably find this exercise on youtube...I haven't looked.

Before you do this exercise though ensure you've done some vocal warmups.

At the very least for a warm up do lip rolls through the first five notes of the major scale every semitone starting at the bottom of your range up to the top of your range then back down to the bottom, then do the same thing using tongue rolls.

If you do warmups everyday and include the messa di voce in your daily practice you should see some improvements in the power of your voice.

If your issue is diaphragm control and breathing then incorporate some breathing exercises into your daily routine before your warmup. There are a ton of breathing exercises for singers out there that will help. Youtube will have bunch.

One is to take a deep breath and make a "SH" sound as loud as possible and keep it that loud for as long as possible and keep going until you have no air left at all. Your reflex will then be to take a large breath. That breath will be with your diaphragm and take breath all the way down. Do this exercise a few times. Don't short yourself of oxygen though if you need to take a few breaths before you do it again that is fine but remember how that reflex breath felt.

Another exercise, to work on exhaling. Light a candle. Stand about 8 inches away from the candle. Take a deep breath and blow slowly at the candle. Don't blow the flame out though and try not to let it flicker blow just enough to bend the flame.

Another exercise. Inhale slowly and count as high as you can as you inhale slowly expanding your stomach. When your are full of air hold it for a few seconds - but don't hold it by closing off your air passage use your diaphragm to hold the air in while keeping your airway open. Then let the air out as slowly as possible Keep counting for the entire breath over time try to build the count higher. Also do the samething inhaling with the quick "reflex breath" (don't close off your air passage at any point but slowly exhale completely until there is no air left counting the whole time. (You can use a clock or watch to keep the count steady).

As mentioned before I'm sure there are a lot of breathing exercises on youtube. If you can get your hands on a course like "singing success" or something similar then there are a lot of exercises in those programmes. Your local library might have some "how to sing" books and resources that come with CDs that have examples.
Si
#5
Singing is mostly about coordination, learning the muscles coordinations to sing through your entire range. If you just use air, you'll eventually get the musical theatre sickness. That one where people with bad technique over belt in musical theatre and damage their voices.
#6
Quote by GoldenGuitar
Singing is mostly about coordination, learning the muscles coordinations to sing through your entire range. If you just use air, you'll eventually get the musical theatre sickness. That one where people with bad technique over belt in musical theatre and damage their voices.


While that is true, OP really isn't there yet for a discussion on coordination is he? He seems to be having a problem at a more basic level. Still, good information for him for a later time I think.

Edit: I'm most concerned that this teacher isn't actually teaching much.
#7
Quote by merriman44
While that is true, OP really isn't there yet for a discussion on coordination is he? He seems to be having a problem at a more basic level. Still, good information for him for a later time I think.

Edit: I'm most concerned that this teacher isn't actually teaching much.


I can see that. I work with her for (I believe) an hour a week on Wednesdays. It isn't enough. She knows I want help and she is trying to give it to me. Because we have to get the guitar lesson done, singing only comes every once in awhile-- whenever I have written something suitable or have something good I'd like to play. I just finished a couple hour session today at home and I tried playing/singing while standing up. It seemed to help and I think I am getting there. I have noticed from me playing while sitting that I am a little crouched which doesn't help the whole diaphragm thing.

I played for my teacher this week (I was sitting) and I noticed how she was looking behind the back of the guitar probably to see if I was breathing with my stomach going in/out or something like that.

Grace
#9
The easiest way that i found to breathe with my diaphragm, is to just keep your shoulders from raising up when you breathe in (standing up of course). If you keep them stationary, there is no other way to breathe in but with your gut. It works for me and for my sister who also sings.

But singing with propper support is way more than just breathing with your diaphragm. The entire gut is involved, hell, the entire body, and a little chest breathing is not bad. If you combine your chest and diaphragm breathing and maintain propper support, you can sing out reeeealy long phrases without runing out of air. Just last week me and my teacher compared who can sing a longer phrase, and i managed to beat her like that, and she is a trained opera singer

As for lessons, you really should focus on one thing or another. A full hour of singing lessons isnt even that long, because you have to do warmups, vocalisations and then some actual songs. You shouldnt just halfass it into a guitar lesson somewhere. Either get an aditional hour a week just for singing, or focus on one thing each lesson. If your teacher is any good, you will notice a lot of improvement pretty fast.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#10
Quote by gorkyporky
The easiest way that i found to breathe with my diaphragm, is to just keep your shoulders from raising up when you breathe in (standing up of course). If you keep them stationary, there is no other way to breathe in but with your gut. It works for me and for my sister who also sings.

But singing with propper support is way more than just breathing with your diaphragm. The entire gut is involved, hell, the entire body, and a little chest breathing is not bad. If you combine your chest and diaphragm breathing and maintain propper support, you can sing out reeeealy long phrases without runing out of air. Just last week me and my teacher compared who can sing a longer phrase, and i managed to beat her like that, and she is a trained opera singer

As for lessons, you really should focus on one thing or another. A full hour of singing lessons isnt even that long, because you have to do warmups, vocalisations and then some actual songs. You shouldnt just halfass it into a guitar lesson somewhere. Either get an aditional hour a week just for singing, or focus on one thing each lesson. If your teacher is any good, you will notice a lot of improvement pretty fast.


Thank you. Everyone helped tremendously!! My throat nor chest nor anything else ever hurt after singing-- but I know there is some tension. I feel like I am getting there I just need more input and time with my teacher. Technically, I am paying for her time not just specifically guitar lessons so I can do whatever I want to with her time. I sometimes feel as though it's supposed to feel different, not just sound different. To me, I do sound louder and fuller but of course I'm not all the way there yet.