Vocalist.org archive

From:  Margaret Harrison <peggyh@i...>
Date:  Sat Feb 2, 2002  7:35 pm
Subject:  Re: [vocalist] Amount of air used in singing

Mirko Ruckels wrote:

> I had an interesting lesson yesterday. We deduced that I generally use to
> much air during singing. I tend to consciously breath in after phrases,
> instead of just letting the diaphragm lower and the breath be sucked in
> automatically. I often fill up on way to much air (a feeling of security I
> guess) and then there is a leakage of air at the end of the phrase. Problem
> is, when I don't breathe in, I feel slightly nauseated or dizzy, like i'm
> not getting enough air.
> Has anybody else encountered this prob?

I think most of us as "tanked up" to a greater or lesser
degree. The way my teacher explains it, if you take in too
much air (1) you're probably taking that last bit in with a
high breath and/or (2) with too much breath pressure just
wanting to come out but you don't let it out because you
psychologically like that nice feeling of fullness with a
long phrase coming, your larynx is forced to do the valve
thing to hold it in. Neither thing is good for singing. My
best breath intake is as you said, let the diaphragm lower
and the air rush in, all by itself. That's more than
enough. When I find myself feeling "out of breath" before I
want to be, it isn't because I haven't taken in enough air.
It's because I'm not managing the release of my breath
efficiently for one reason or another.

I'm not sure about your last sentence. It's nothing I've
ever experienced. Perhaps something is tensing up that's
interfering with the air getting where it needs to be?

Margaret Harrison, Alexandria, Virginia, USA
"Music for a While Shall All Your Cares Beguile"