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How to Take 10 Minutes a Day to Master Your Singing Breath

Learn how to master your breath in ten minutes a day from vocal coach Cari Cole in this Howcast singing tutorial.


Hi I'm Cari Cole. I'm a celebrity vocal coach and artist development expert. And I help artist find their voice, craft their music, and create successful music careers. I've worked with Donald Fagen from Steely Dan, Courtney Love from Hole, I've worked with the band Journey. I'm going to teach you how to be a better singer and performer

Hey, guys, I'm going to give you an exercise right now to master your breath in just ten minutes a day. Singing really has so much to do with the power of the breath. It's about controlling the breath. It's not about pushing the air out; it's about letting the air ring inside the mouth, and inside the resonating cavities. So getting control of the breath makes a huge difference. How you're going to do that, I'm going to teach you this breathing exercise, and you can do it in the morning for five minutes, and in the evening for five minutes before you go to bed.
So this exercise has to do with slowing the breath down in order to get control of it. I want you to sit in a comfortable chair. You can also lie down and do this exercise. If you're lying down, put your knees up and your feet flat on the floor. If you are sitting, just sit comfortably, put one hand on your belly and you can also put one hand on your ribcage. I'm going to have you blow the air out, and then you are going to inhale for ten counts. You're going to inhale slowly like this: One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten. And as you do that, if you notice, the middle of my stomach and my ribcage are slowly expanding, slowly expanding. So you don't want to fill too quickly. You want to slowly expand like you're blowing up a balloon inside your body. And then you're going to exhale with a hiss Ssssss -- for 15 counts.

So your goal is to be able to do do ten of these back-to-back comfortably. And when you can do that, you're on your way to mastering your breath. So let's give it a try.

So, hand on your ribcage, hand on your belly; you can be sitting or lying on the floor, blowing the air out gently. Inhaling slowly: one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten, and exhaling: Ssssssssssssssss six-seven-eight-nine-ten. Keep going 11-12-13-14-15 and relax.

Okay, let's try that again, and what I want you to do this time, is when you wrap that breath around and you come to that next inhale, I don't want you to gasp the air in. Because some of you will really feel like you're out of breath at 15 counts, but the goal of this exercise is to smooth it all out. So if you are pushing that air out too quickly on that exhale, you're going to feel like you want to gasp the air in, but that's not how to work the exercise. How to work the exercise is to actually don't push out so much air. Be comfortably exhaled so that you can inhale more easily. So when you come around to that inhale, I want you to take that inhale in very slow. That's how you start to control the breath.

So the way to do this exercise is to do it ten repetitions in a row. And I recommend doing it in the morning, when you first wake up. It energizes your body and gets you kind of focused. And at the same time, your are mastering your breath and controlling your breath. And I also recommend it at the end of the day, before you go to bed, a nice way to drift off to sleep.

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