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Breath Control Mastery 101

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This is such an underrated and underworked part of singing that I feel I need to ask about it lol :) I'm not sure how to feel the breath. What exactly are the feelings associated with proper breath management? How do you know when you are managing the breath correctly for singing?

Some exercises that I have found useful (which were shared by some very helpful members of this forum) include:

The dog pant (starting off fast, faster, then when tired slowing it down to a slow-mo breath)

In order of ascending resistance

The SHHHHH exercise (starting off loud and then going quiet is fun to do)

The FFFFFFF exercise

The SSSSSS exercise

Also an exercise called the Farinelli exercise in which one inhales for a 1 count, hold for 1, exhale for 1. Then keep moving up (2 count, 2 count, 2 count) etc. Keeping the mouth open the whole time, feeling the air in the diaphragm.

Now when doing these exercises I can feel actual muscles helping to resist the air. However I don't know what the point of these exercises are or anything about the nature of breath management.

What is the point of keeping the breath low? What are the correct sensations to feel when correctly "budgeting" the breath? What is your personal story with breath control mastery, if anything specific has helped you feel free to share ;) (Also I know I sound like a curious cat, that's because I am LOL)

- JayMC

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I'm a simple guy. I find I do better without a bunch of technically finer gradations, explanations, ad nauseum. I don't think of holding air next to my spleen, while standing on one foot, and holding one nostril closed while holding my head to the side.

Breathe in freely, letting the belly expand so that your breath pulls into the bottom. Or, just as accurately, don't breathe and sing with your chest. Ever.

Motion in the abs. By the way, the backbone doesn't move and feeling breath in your back is just a description.

When you sing, you will compress with the abs. You have control over those muscles. How much compression and how fast.

Now, we may begin the thousand and one divisions of which muscles and exactly where and in what order and "percentage." And let's not forget how much to "keep the ribs expanded" when if you simply stand up and do all of your breathing with the belly, the chest will "keep itself open."

Of course, that's not as involved as making it difficult for oneself.

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