Jump to content

Question about a Diaphragmatic breathing exercise suggested by Tamplin

Rate this topic


fortheo
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am always doing a bit of research on diaphragmatic breathing, and I came across an exercise that confused me a bit. Ken Tamplin described it like this

"Another really good way to strengthening the diaphragm is to take in our breath laying on her back in a sit ups position and blowing out the air as we ascended to sit up and releasing the air as we descend the sit up. "

I don't know if it's the wording but I am slightly confused on how to execute this exercise. So I lay down with my back on the floor in sit up position. As I have my back on the floor I take my breath. Then as I start to sit up I blow out the air. I understand that much, but then he says "release the air as we descend the sit up". If I blew the air out while sitting up, how will I have air left to release when I sit down?

If anyone can elucidate some information on this exercise I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thats probably an error, and you are supposed to inhale while going back down.

I can see what it does, but it would fall in the realm of overkill... Is it already working well with your singing?

Anyways, mamals do diaphragmatic breathing from birth, what this does is forcing you to keep the exhalation muscles working strong through the whole inhale/exhale cycle... Can be good but without supervision you can hurt yourself. If you had any breathing/cardiovascular condition in the past, specially more serious ones, dont do it.

GL.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that must have been a typo. Take in air on the upward motion blow out on the way back down.

As you are starting the sit up your ribs will naturally expand,Take in the air ..... blow out while Laying back down, your abs are engaged and your back and stomache muscles control the descent back to a laying position. Seems like this would teach proper breathing support for singing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No it would not.

I am probably wrong. I can admit that, but just to say "No, it would not". Doesn't teach us anything.

Isn't part of the support for singing using the back and stomache muscle to help slow the exhalation of air?

Isn't exhailing as you are descending to a reclining position using those core muscles and slowing the rate that you can exhail?

If not let us know why.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thats how people do sit ups at gyms mdew, I assure you that it does not result in any improvement on singing. A video explaining the exercise, and the instructions regarding breathing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elMTCFH-zgQ

Now, I do understand how it could be used to create a reference for a certain coordination that may be useful, depending on what the person needs. You will not make your "diaphragm strong" and much less learn how to properly support doing this...

To create a reference, all you would need to do is execute it once or twice, the sit up, even if very well done will induce a lot of neck tensions that are opposite to what is necessary. A very bad idea in my opinion.

In order to clarify the info, the whole idea of back expansion is related to the use of the "6 pack" to increase the avaiable pressure during singing. IF you do this very cleverly, you COULD get an idea of how it feels. This is best achieved via postural alignment and good control of inhaling in the first place, it has nothing to do with strenght building.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really wasn't thinking anything about strengthening as far as musculature. More along the lines of having the breath be held back while at the same time exhaling, because of the engagement of the muscles.

When I do a sit up. the natural tendency for me is to exhale on the way to sitting position and inhale on the way to reclining. As is stated in this video. Doing the opposite would give the feeling of holding the ribcage in place while exhaling. Isn't that what we want? That is what I stated in my post.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Felipe. I guess my idea gives too much of the tension. Not really my idea anyway just trying to make sense from the original post. I don't mind being wrong or corrected if given a good reason. And you provided one. Thank you.

Fortheo, do you remember where you got the info about Ken Tamplins exercise? Was it a youtube video or his Program or from his forum? Maybe if we saw the original exercise someone could make more sense from it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah , I got it from Tamplins site here.

http://kentamplinvocalacademy.com/breathing-let-the-muscles-do-the-work/

He talks about it a bit more than half way down the page but he only discusses it briefly.

I am not overly concerned about this exercise, I am just always looking at new things about breath support.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless he was meaning to take in the breath while laying down and exhale throughout the situp motion up and back, Then take in the breath while laying down again, it was a typo and his true meaning will not be known until he fixes the typo. Otherwise disregard that one exercise. The rest of the article is correct.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks RowboCaup. That puts things in a little better perspective.

Expanding the rib cage has always been mentioned. Mainly to help keep the diaphagm from returning too quick to its resting position under normal circumstances. What has not been mentioned is how to keep the pressure needed to sustain pitch. You would often read about Breath Compression but not how to achieve it.

The normal thought about the "Dump" others speak of when addressing support gives the impression of "Lowering" the diaphragm more not "Pressing" on it and moving it upward to maintain the needed pressure.

Felipe said:

Information does not equal knowledge, and I will not feed the magic search for breath support .

I just thought it was interesting that I just read a quote.

Information does not equal knowledge.

Knowledge does not equal Wisdom.

Wisdom does not equal Truth.

Truth does not equal Love.

Love does not equal Music.

Music equals everything.

Supposedly quoted from Frank Zappa but I could not find the original source.

Rock on :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Us Zombies are created by getting the advice or critique of needing more support and the first thing after that is working on diaphramatic breathing. This is by the same people who laugh at us for chasing after it.

Either it is needed or inconsequential.

A famous Quote. "before I learned how to sing Singing was just singing. When learning to sing Singing was all about technique. Now singing is just singing." O.k. So I didn't quote it word for word but you get the jist.

Same with breathing. Breathing for singing is different than just breathing. You have all stated that. Why is it a point of jest when others are trying to make the proper connections?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good point, MDEW. I work on the breathing thingy every day so that it is not "work." I don't mean to make light of it but the zombie thing caught me off guard, which led to a mental image and then, I had to laugh at myself with the idea of dancing like MJ in the video I mentioned.

And I can't remember when I reversed field, i.e., decided that concentrating on the note and letting breathing take care of itself worked better for me. Just happened one day.

But certainly these debates will continue. And I may learn something new and it will create an evolution that gets me somewhere else until it is, too, absorbed into my redneck mantra.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Us Zombies are created by getting the advice or critique of needing more support and the first thing after that is working on diaphramatic breathing. This is by the same people who laugh at us for chasing after it.

Either it is needed or inconsequential.

A famous Quote. "before I learned how to sing Singing was just singing. When learning to sing Singing was all about technique. Now singing is just singing." O.k. So I didn't quote it word for word but you get the jist.

Same with breathing. Breathing for singing is different than just breathing. You have all stated that. Why is it a point of jest when others are trying to make the proper connections?

I was thinking the same thing while reading this thread. Even SLS describes correct breathing technique as "When you breathe in, the diaphragm descends and the belly extends. When you exhale, the diaphragm raises and the belly falls back into place". Is that not the essence of "correct" breathing in a nutshell?

All the other terms like "taking a dump", "power push", "bear down" just seem to confuse me. To do any of those sensations, one must strain, which we always read is not a good thing.

I bought a PTD-1, which has helped me immensely to get the correct breathing technique, but the release of the breath correctly continues to be elusive to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was thinking the same thing while reading this thread. Even SLS describes correct breathing technique as "When you breathe in, the diaphragm descends and the belly extends. When you exhale, the diaphragm raises and the belly falls back into place". Is that not the essence of "correct" breathing in a nutshell?

To all: I apologize for the length of this post. It seemed to me to be useful to address multiple aspects of this.

Willise: It is, as far as it goes. IMO one of the problems with this sort of phraseology is that it obscures cause and effect, and other involved parts of the body are not referenced at all. Its just part of the story.

For example, the sentence 'When you breathe in, the diaphragm descends and the belly extends.' can be re-worded to illuminate the mechanism of the inhale this way 'As your diaphragm descends, you breathe in, and your belly extends.' The prime-mover in the inhalation is the descent of the diaphragm. The inhalation and the belly extension are results of the descent.

Similarly, the second sentence, which now says 'When you exhale, the diaphragm raises and the belly falls back into place.' can be re-worded to 'When your diaphragm raises, you exhale and your belly returns to its original (pre-breath) position.'

As to the missing references to other body parts involved in breathing, any other motion which expands (enlarges) the chest cavity, for example, raising of the sternum, or raising the rib cage, or raising the shoulders, will cause an inhalation. Conversely, after an inhalation, any other motion which makes the chest cavity smaller will cause an exhalation.

So far, all this is basic breathing mechanics for life. However, what is of some interest to us as singers is the special use-case of breathing to enable singing of a certain description, an aesthetic, with its own tonal values and preferences. For us, the character of exhalation has substantial effect on phonation. Of particular interest is the interaction of the forces powering the exhale with the configuration of the laryngeal musculature.

The judgment of propriety for any particular breath action for singing ('Good', 'Proper', 'Bad', 'Useful', 'Better', etc.) is made in the context of the aesthetic applied to the singing. It is not sufficient just to get air in and out of the body. The singer must also exhale in such a way as to provide breath energy coordinated with the laryngeal muscle actions that give the kind of phonation desired, and to do so in a manner that can be sustained for some period of time. Further consideration is made to how the singer 'looks' while doing this, at least in live, real-time public performance.

For exhalation to be 'supportive' of singing within the constraints of the aesthetic, the massive overability of the breath system to move air to sustain other life activities, i.e., athletic endeavors, escape, etc., has to be managed (directly or indirectly) so that the physical limits of the laryngeal musculature are not overwhelmed by the forces of exhalation. Additionally, since some of these forces naturally decline during the course of an exhalation, the management must include regulation that compensates the decline in one type of exhale force with the increase in another. Other forces may need to be prevented entirely.

How one accomplishes this is a matter of singing technique. For the lucky, life experiences lead to the habits, so the technique is so firmly combined with the desire to sing that they happen together. These folks are often called 'Natural' singers. For the rest of us, and I include myself here, one or multiple aspects of exhalation management must be stimulated and trained to the point of habit.

Body posture, especially the positional stability of the bones of the chest and shoulders, will largely remove gravity as a factor in the exhalation. When this is done, the exhalation force is limited to the sum of: 1) the elastic property of the lung tissue, 2) the surface tension in the small air sacs of the lungs (aveolae), 3) abdominal wall elasticity and 4) abdominal muscle contraction.

Even with the limitation of exhalation force to these sources, there is still the potential for breath oversupply. It turns out that a simple, effective way to handle this is by retaining some diaphragm contraction during phonation so that the combined forces of exhalation are reduced into the range that the desired phonation requires. How this action is accomplished is a matter of technique. There are many approaches that work, lots of ways to provoke the desired muscular action, many ways to describe how it feels to do.

I hope this is helpful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

mdew, support is necessary. Diaphragmatic breathing is the way all humans and mamals breath, if you are not using your diaphragm you are dead (thus I figure zombies, dead people asking for info).

There is a difference. To sing, you need a stable and controlled air collum. The "low" or "diaphragmatic", or "abdominal expansion" breathing reduces the exhalation pressure and allows for more control.

The air does not go down, you are using your diaphragm normally and its not about pushing your belly out. Its a combination of postural alignment, relaxation and exercise of awareness over the process.

If you do the later properly, the name does not matter. Saying that the diaphragm contract to breath is redundant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wrote a longer responce but felt it was necessary to amend it.

It is true that no matter how you breathe, if breathing at all you are using your diaphragm. I don't think that anyone is questioning that. But it is also at least alluded to that breathing for singing is different from breathing to live. It is this allusion that causes the trouble.

It seems that most people miss the point of the Diaphragmatic exercises. They are not necessarily to build strength but to get a person to feel the muscles that come into play and help control the expulsion of breath or apply the proper breath pressure during singing. Condition you to use them correctly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...