Vocalist.org archive

From:  "Lea Ann Martin" <LeaAnn@k...>
Date:  Mon Feb 11, 2002  1:24 am
Subject:  Re: [vocalist] An Introduction, A Hello, And Some Questions.......

> Do Any Of You Have Any Unique, Or Interesting Breathing Techniques
>Or Exercises You Could Share? My Problem Is Sustaining The Very
>Highest Notes For More Than 25/30 Seconds.......

My opinion is this (and I am not a voice teacher...just a student) that
breathing is the basis for everything...if you don't breathe correctly
everything breaks down...I have had trouble sustaining long phrases etc myself.
I have been doing a few exercises that really do seem to help. If you practice
taking short deep breaths you may notice your tummy and breasts bounce (if you
have breasts that is...excuse me gentlemen) The exercise my voice teacher gave
me using this technique was taught to her by a German instructor in Italy who
teaches nothing but breath...okay this is the exercise: take a very deep low
breath...and then exhale in measured bursts..keep the bursts even....you are
exhaling the tune jingle bells...you will want to try to get all the way through
to the first chorus. This has helped me learn to measure my exhale...and keep
it even...and not blow it all out in the first few seconds and have nothing

The other exercise I do is laying flat on the floor...you will be able to feel
your lower back expand as well as your stomach...breath in for 5 seconds..exhale
for 10....breathe in for 5 seconds exhale for 15..or 20 and so forth....again
the object is to take a low breath and feel the expansion even in your lower
back, and to be able to evenly expel that breath. I make a shhhh noise to help
me listen to how evenly I am breathing in and out.

People can say what they want to about never giving a thought to
breathing...or taking no more than a normal speaking breath...but learning to
breathe correctly is the corner stone of singing...I am sure after a few years
it becomes something you don't think about but you have to learn to do it
correctly first.

Lea Ann