I recently got a great question about breathing while talking with a voice teacher. Her student struggles when singing more than a few measures at a time, yet she starts with ample breath. So, is it possible to get a lot of breath and still run out of breath? Absolutely.
Enough Is Enough
Always taking in as much breath as you can get may leave you… short of breath, and here’s why: If you don’t use most of the breath you’ve taken you will be stuck with it when it’s time for your next breath. You will have no where to put that new breath which is literally suffocating.
The Solution: Less Breath, Better Tone
You should only take the breath you need for the next phrase
One of my favorite breathing principles is, “Less Is More.” Simply put, using less breath, but very efficient tone quality will get you better sound using only half the breath. It’s like getting twice the miles per gallon in your car. The goal is to get only the breath you need. No more; no less. Then, let acoustics and clear diction carry the sound. The results: Less work, better projected sound and a more relaxed voice overall.
Replace False Security With Good Technique
The bottom line is this: You should only take the breath you need for the next phrase. Taking more breath than you need will leave you anxious and less efficient. It will limit your ability to be free and expressive in your singing. Real security comes from owning good technique, not over-filling on breath. And, with that security comes confidence and freedom.
The Vocal Coach Complete Breathing and Complete Tone work through these principles in great detail with fun and effective exercises that you can do anywhere. Both are available on the Vocal Coach store