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Breathing Techniques For Singers: How Deborah Transformed Her Understanding Of The Breath and Was Nominated Amazing Female Voice Of The Year.

breathing May 10, 2021

 

Deborah is a member of the Star Singer Green Room, a paid community for singers, singer-songwriters and independent artists who want to give performances that they are proud of.
Deborah was nominated for Amazing Female Voice 2020 in 2 categories!
 You can find Deborah's music on all streaming platforms, or on her website, deborahhenriksson.com

 

I sat down to chat with Deborah about: 
  • Deborah's musical journey and why she chose to join the Green Room.
  • How, even after working with 10 voice teachers, Deborah didn't feel like she had a great understanding of the breath and how to use it.
  • What Deborah discovered about the breath and how it helps her to sing higher and feel more confident.
  • Why the external intercostals should be focused on instead of the diaphragm.
  • Releasing the breath vs. conserving the breath.
 
Want to see if you are a good fit for the Green Room? Watch this free training over how to give performances that you are proud of > www.starsinger.co/singnow
Want to skip the training and join the Green Room now? DM me @TiffanyVanBoxtel - just say "Green Room." I'll ask you a few questions to make sure that you are a great fit for the Green Room and then send you the link to join!

 

Breathing Techniques For Singers: Why Deborah chose the Star Singer Green Room

 

Deborah started out in classical music, but always knew her heart lied in folk music. As an adult, she moved to Sweden and started making recordings. She quickly realized that she had a whole other voice that she hadn’t been using and decided to start getting serious!
When she decided to start getting serious, she figured out that she had already had a total of TEN voice teachers. She started working with a producer when she started recording that suggested she take her songs down to a lower key, which led her to discover her unused voice that had been hidden by her classical training. But, after singing and recording in this new, lower voice for so long, she began to lose her higher range! 
Deborah decided that she needed help to get her head voice back, so she began shopping around for a vocal coach. After stumbling upon my free training, she knew The Star Singer Green Room was the right fit for her!
 

Breathing Techniques For Singers:  Farinelli Exercises 

 

When Deborah started working in the Green Room, she was shocked at how much she was learning that her last 10 teachers hadn’t taught her! 
Before joining the Green Room, none of her teachers taught her any breathing techniques for singers. If they did talk about breathing techniques for singers, they were confusing, not useful, or just plain wrong. 
One exercise in the Green Room, the Farinelli Exercise, really helped Deborah. In the Farinelli Exercise, you are training your external intercostal muscles so that you can control your breath. This is a timed training using inhales and exhales, starting out with 4 beats in and 4 beats out, and then changing this ratio as you go. 
SO many singers are taught that they can control their diaphragm directly, but this is not true! The only way you can control it is by using your external intercostals,  so training these muscles is a must! 
 

Breathing Techniques For Singers:  The importance of warming up

 

Deborah noticed that when she was warmed up and comfortable, she was aware of her intercostal muscles, knew she was using them, and felt completely different than when she wasn’t warmed up. She noticed these same issues when she’s nervous before a performance!
Without warming up, her phonation would cut off in the middle of her singing because there was no airflow. To get around this, most singers try to push the air out, causing them to go sharp, crack, etc. The other thing singers try to do to get around this is decrescendo on these high notes, thinking it’ll be easier. While this has some truth to it, it can also mess with so many other things! 


Breathing Techniques For Singers:  Back to the basics

 

Remember when Deborah said that she joined the Green Room with the goal of getting her head voice back? Well shortly after starting the lessons inside the Green Room, she became fascinated with the breathing exercises, and realized that there was no point in trying to sing higher if she didn’t have the basics down! 
Singing higher takes more airflow because it causes your vocal cords to abduct and stretch. Here are some of the breathing techniques for singing that Deborah loves! 
 
Timing of the breath 
So many singers have a misconception that you have to save your breath and try to make it last as long as possible when singing. But the reality is that in order to keep your airflow consistent, you need to release your breath starting at the beginning of the phrase, so that you do not have any air left by the end of the phrase! 
 
Lip buzzes
Lip buzzes are such an important tool to help clue you in to what your airflow is doing! For a deeper dive into lip buzzes, check out the Star Singer Podcast episode over how to manage vocal fatigue!

 

 

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