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What does high chest breathing do?

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The proud peacock posture is to keep the ribs expanding and prevent them from collapsing. Breath should still come from the belly.

If you are not supporting from the belly, you are doing it wrong.

Period, paragraph, new book.

Man, I thought you were going to ask a hard question.

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Hi Ron,

So, are you also saying the high chest provides no support?

And, are you saying lateral expansion makes no difference in attitude or sound? How about uplift expansion?

I can relax my high chest, but if my belly support is still there, by your explanation above, the only difference should be a minor degree of air exhalation between proud peacock and a comfortable high chest. Is this true?

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How about answering the questions?

Mutations of words happen so often in various industries. The word "support", to me means physical support. In vocals, it could mean-- belly support, air support, diaphragm support, etc.

My question remains-- what exactly does high chest breathing do? In terms of the overall tone, power, attitude, expression, etc.

By high chest, I'm not referring to the mid ribs, which provide plenty of power. I mean the area immediately underneath the clavicles. Provides very little air power, but creates most of the proud peacock posture. Is it just a coincidence that proud peacock posture is a hallmark posture of many great singers?

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Obviously I'm not a doctor or know very much medical information but I googled and found these sources.

Chest Breathing

Breathing is the most natural action for humans and other living creatures. According to the American Medical Student Association, chest breathing involves using only the top lobes of the lungs. It is inefficient, does not fully engage the lungs, results in less oxygen transfer to the lungs, and poorer nutrient delivery to the body.

Stomach Breathing

Stomach breathing, belly breathing, or abdominal breathing, is also known as diaphragmatic building. The diaphragm is a large muscle between the chest and stomach. According to American Medical Student Association, when the diaphragm is contracted, it is forced downward, causing your stomach to expand. The resultant pressure forces air into your lungs, engaging lower, middle and upper lobes.

Taken from http://www.livestrong.com/article/310564-chest-vs-stomach-breathing/

http://www.normalbreathing.com/index-chest-breathing.php

I naturally slouch because I won't lie I'm lazy. So I remind myself to keep a noble chest, this also helps me expand my intercostals, obliques and stomach much easier. Kind of an umbrella effect.

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That's interesting Owen. My impression with high chest positioning is that it relaxes the side of throat muscles (sternomastoids and others), thereby, enabling the larynx to move easier. That is, a high larynx actually uplifts the head, so that the throat muscles can relax more.

My opinion is that the proud peacock posture laterally and vertically expands the ribs and this also affects the overall tone--creating a softer feel, with slightly more power as needed. This is true only if the myofascia has been stretched.

Thank you for your references.

Correction-- the ribs don't create much power; but they're doing something more than air volume, I believe.

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For me, raising my chest position has been something that happened as I have been improving. I agree with Ron that it serves to help keep my rib expansion, which allows me to be more in control of the air pressure I want to use.

I had always heard guidance given to avoid having chest too high up and probably overcorrected in the past. Another one of those ubiquitous reminders that giving descriptions of vocal configuration and characteristics can be so tricky as folks have different levels of kinesthetic sense/awareness.

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How about answering the questions?

So, that would be a "no" on the sound file? The reason I was asking for one is that it can be easier to understand by hearing it then endless words on the subject.

I guess I put you on the spot. If you are not able to sing or record a sound file, I apologize for pressuring you to do so. The only time I heard you do something was that video of you with Molly and the Ringwalds doing "Time Warp" from Rocky Horror Picture Show and I think that thing is like 3 or 4 years old.

I wanted to hear something more recent, to hear how you have progressed.

And I already answered your question, perhaps by not going into excruciating detail of each particular muscle involved. Even the teachers of singing, way more adept at anatomy than I am, do not bother with that.

Nor do I think they are lacking. One of the best presentations on breathing is Lunte's vid on breathing in Pillars 2.0. And he does not go into picayune bits of exactly this muscle and exactly that muscle.

You watch and see the belly expand to inhale, compress slowly to exhale.

But, if you are able to sing well using your high chest breathing, it would be nice to hear an example of that. But, evidently, I was wrong to ask for that.

Many singers with problems, the first time a voice teacher watches them, they immediately notice high chest breathing. And seek to correct that. And every voice teacher for the past 100 years or so has been saying that and dealing with it.

You could be the one that is different. And it would be nice to hear and see that but I was wrong for asking for that.

Daniel has no problem presenting a vid of what he means in a discussion. Felipe, likewise, will do his best, crossing a language barrier that can be formiddable.

Again, I apologize for asking you to provide a sound sample of what you mean. Sometimes, my manners fail me.

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"The Voice Book" by Kate Devore gives the following reasons for why lower breathing is better.

(http://www.amazon.com/Voice-Book-Caring-Protecting-Improving/dp/1556528299/)

• Lungs are pear shaped (bigger at the bottom than at the top). There are more air sacs in the lower lungs, thus more room for air than in the upper lungs.

• The lower rib cage has more expandability than the upper rib cage because of the floating ribs and the flexible cartilage. It can therefore create more space for air.

• The lungs expand primarily in a downward direction when they inflate.

• When the diaphragm (the floor of the thorax) contracts, it lowers and flattens. It also pushes the abdominal contents down and out, giving the impression of “breathing into the stomach.” The belly is designed to soften,

allowing for this expansion. This makes room for the lower lungs to expand more than the upper lungs.

• Expanding the upper thorax involves using the chest, shoulder, neck, and jaw muscles to try to lift the entire

upper rib cage, resulting in a minuscule amount of room for the tiny upper lungs to expand.

• The back muscles over the kidneys are able to give slightly when the diaphragm lowers. Therefore, when

one breathes deeply, the lower lungs are able to expand in all directions.

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I wasn't talking about posture. Nothing wrong with a high chest position although I've heard too high is bad. I'm talking about clavicular breathing...breathing by raising and dropping the chest, with less diaphragm activity...that is where it becomes a problem.

Hi Owen,

What I thought was interesting was the statement... "For everyday singing the problem with it is it transfers unnecessary tension up to the neck, where the larynx is. " I'm suggesting the neck tension decreases, when myofascia is released.

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What does very high chest portion of breathing do? What about uplifting the high chest and laterally expanding the high chest? Why is it that many great singers have a proud peacock posture?

I think most responses are responding to "high chest breathing". My question was "high chest PORTION of breathing". In another word, if breathing is already proper at diaphragm and belly, WHY do many great singers have a proud peacock posture (that is, ADDITIONALLY, have a proud chest)? Is it coincidence, or are there other reasons?

Some responses did answer "high chest PORTION of breathing", but said it's insignificant in its effects. If so, is the proud peacock phenomenon fully explained?

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That's cool, come back when you can, maybe with a sound file of what you are talking about.

I really want to hear, as the words are just not painting a clear enough picture for me, so to speak.

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I think most responses are responding to "high chest breathing". My question was "high chest PORTION of breathing". In another word, if breathing is already proper at diaphragm and belly, WHY do many great singers have a proud peacock posture (that is, ADDITIONALLY, have a proud chest)? Is it coincidence, or are there other reasons?

Some responses did answer "high chest PORTION of breathing", but said it's insignificant in its effects. If so, is the proud peacock phenomenon fully explained?

I did not read all of this post so forgive me if this has already been addressed.

The proud Peacock posture basically keeps the chest high and allows more room in the abdomen for expansion.

Also when your chest is lifted your core muscles are already involved in keeping it lifted.

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A posture with the chest open, expands the rib cage increasing its internal volume, releases tensions from shoulders and neck areas and it also looks better, confident, open. No need for super proud, just letting your shoulders fall in place and keeping your head looking forward will take care of the posture.

Not the same as clavicular breathing. Which is just using the muscles of the upper torso to expand the ribcage and assist inhaling. A comfortable resting posture that has expansion vs coordinating the inhaling process based on this movement.

Depending on the ammount of pressure you need to do something, you can feel expansion in your back up to the base of the neck, strong expansion that will tire you a lot to maintain. The area is high but I dont see how to relate the two actions, and really, during study it should not even get close to this.

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