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Hissing Exercise Mastery

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Hey all, for those of you who feel like breath support and control have TRULY become second nature I ask for your advice...

When doing hissing exercises should you think of HEARING the breath escaping or should you be FEELING the breath leave the lower support system? The way I like to think of hissing exercises is to pretend to be a snake and hiss at a constant volume. But when is the snake most deadly? When you CAN'T hear it ofcourse. As soon as i started trying to feel the breath instead of hearing this actual "sss" or "shh" my voice feels so easy and natural if only I can relax/maintain such a "thimble full of breathe." When doing some semi-occluded vocal exercises after or even singing lightly, the voice feels much more flexible. Am I on the right track? How much air is too much air?

What is the most effective approach to manage breath control and support? What exercises/mindsets have worked for you? Please feel free to share your success in mastering breathing :D

- JayMC

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I don't know if there are exact instructions for certain exercises as I am not very much the technical type. But I do have my thoughts! Surprise, surprise :D If I do hissing type exercises for me it is always about feel over sound. The hiss works because of the mechanics involved (for me). Somewhat clenched (or at least closed, biting down) front teeth and a focused breath. The breath is focused because of the configuration of the mouth/teeth/tongue.

This all cause pressure in the ribs and diaphragm. However you can loosen up the tongue and open the teeth a little and now there is less pressure. Push the tongue against the teeth more and restrict airflow and you have more pressure. The sound for me isn't important although with more pressure there may be more sound. What is important is the pressure (support) and airflow. So now that I have control over airflow I can practice support and breath control by holding a hiss for as long as possible. This gives me the idea (I guess it is being burned into my muscle memory (CNS ?) by repetition) of how to use/add support to my airflow and in turn add power and longevity to the note that would be the result. Or I can hiss with more back pressure (a more focused hiss) to train support.

It isn't about just making a hissing sound. It is about the focused stream of air that creates the feeling of support and the pushing down of the diaphragm.

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