This instructional vocal training video is part 2 of a series of Breathing Techniques for Singing instructed by Salvatore Spinelli.
In this video, Salvatore explains the importance of relaxing when singing, demonstrates methods for relaxing your chest and body during vocal practice and touches on a couple more ways to breathe by adding simple exercises to connect your breathing and creating tone.
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How-To Relax Your Shoulders, Chest, Face, and Jaw for Singing
To relax your head and shoulders while practicing breathing techniques for singing, try to visualize your head as if it’s a bowling ball on a stick. Imagine the bowling ball balancing on the stick and feel your neck start to relax and move down into your shoulders and chest.
To relax your chest for vocal training, try taking your thumb and middle finger and finding the point in your chest just under your collar bone. Apply pressure to point to alleviate tension and help your chest relax as you prepare for vocal practice or warmups.
Breathe in and out while your thumb and middle finger are applying pressure. Each time you exhale, you should feel the pressure point release tension and begin to calm your upper body.
It takes time and practice to center your mind and to tune your vocal instrument. When practicing vocal techniques, try to practice good posture to open the airways to and from your voice.
Practicing Clavicular Breathing for Singing
When you ask someone to take a deep breath, they inhale and their shoulders immediately raise up with their breath. Raising the shoulders when taking a breath while singing causes issues because it disrupts the posture and flow of air.
Salvatore demonstrates how to use clavicular breathing to take breaths from below the sternum and lower belly in order to avoid raising your shoulders. To further this exercise, try putting your hands on the underside of your belly and breathe in through your nose, past your sternum and clavicle and down into your belly.
Expand your lower abdomen while performing this breathing technique to enhance the amount of air you’re able to take in in each breath.
After practicing these breathing expansion techniques, try to take a few deep breathes in and slowly exhale the breath through your mouth. This exercise will train your body to use more of the air for producing tones and sounds while singing.
Practice inhaling and exhaling as far as possible on each exercise. The goal is to increase the amount of air you can inhale and the length at which you can exhale these deep breaths over time.
Exhaling Tones During Vocal Breathing Practice
Taking this exercise a step further, we’ll mix sounds and tones into our breathing technique practice. Using the sound of “oooh” and the key of C, practice taking deep breaths in, and exhaling the sound “ooooh” in the tone of C.
During the exercise, focus on keeping the tone consistent and rich. When you’re exhaling, if too much air is coming out, you’ll notice the tone and pitch increase and then fall flat. Too little air coming out, and you’ll notice a glottal fry or crackling of the tone.
When performing this breathing exercise correctly, the tone will be consistent and rich. Time yourself to see how long you can hold the tone consistently. Benchmark and log your progress and set goals for yourself.
Practicing Tonal Breathing with the Sound “Aaaahh”
The next progression of this breathing exercise is to use the sound “aaahhh” in the same tone of C. Practice this a few times and again, log your progress.
Combining the Sounds into a Single Exhaling Breath
The final step of this exercise is to combine the two sounds into one exhaling breath. Practice moving back and forth through the sounds consistently, using a keyboard or piano to stay on key.
View Part 1 of Breathing Techniques for Singing
Part 1 of this breathing technique series covers clavicular breathing, proper breathing posture during singing, and in-depth instruction on how to