As a singer, you’ve probably been told to “breathe with your diaphragm.” Huh? What does that even mean? “Breathing with your diaphragm” is a vocal term tossed around that is actually one of the biggest misnomers of all time. In this tutorial, Coach Tara and Coach Jeremie explain the true function of the diaphragm and what you should be doing for proper breath technique.

That’s Bologna

Crazy as it sounds, your diaphragm is kind of like a piece of bologna that separates the bottom of your lungs from your abdomen. It is lowered when you breathe in and then raises when you utilize the breath. Air is not going into the diaphragm itself nor are you engaging your diaphragm…it’s an involuntary mechanism.

The breath goes into your lungs and is rationed by your abdominal engagement. If you’re running out of air, you’re likely taking a shallow breath and not filling your lungs to capacity. This is often identified by chest heaves, raised shoulders, and throat strain.

Front-Side-Back Breath

For a proper low, deep breath, imagine an inflatable tube wrapped around the center of your body. As you breathe in, think about that tube filling up with air all the way around. You should feel expansion in your stomach, rib cage, and even a little bit in your back.

Pro Tip: Breath is the foundation of singing.

Knowing how to fully fill up your lungs is essential in doing longer phrases, adding more tone, and being more musical overall. Proper breath technique is key to “the last measure that lasts,” unlocking your ability to bring it home to the very end.

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