“Take a big breath” – don’t

Posted: April 16th, 2021

That single most fallacious and misunderstood statement is probably what most of us think, or unconsciously assume, describes what’s needed before bursting into song.

In fact, we have plenty of breath in our system in the first place, or we’d be flat on the floor.

Our first job is not to discover how big a breath we can take, but how well, how efficiently and easily, we can use the breath we’ve got. This means looking for exercises that will highlight how we breathe, rather than how long we breathe.  This means looking for exercises that draw our own attention to how we are using our body and how we can allow freer movement – because here is the crux –our body has to move our breath in order to create sound.  “Allow freer movement” is a very different phrase from “make more movement’.  The latter can cause us to actually create tension (especially if we are keen!).  So how do we ‘allow’ freer movement?

We have a big friend here: gravity.  In more blogs I will talk a lot about the effect of gravity on singing.

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