|Originally published: April 7, 2020|
Updated: December 11, 2020
Too Much Breath?
Singers often ask, how much breath do I need? The short answer is “enough”. You don’t necessarily always need a deep breath. We may exercise with deep breaths in lessons and vocal workouts, but sometimes you don’t want a deep breath when you are in a song.
Sometimes, rather, we simply need the right breath for the right job. In other words, we need the amount of breath that is “right” for the tone quality we want, the vocal register we are using, the length of the phrase. For classical repertoire, we generally need a much deeper breath for long, legato phrases, but for pop and contemporary genres we often use variable patterns of breathing.
All those challenging breathing exercises you as a singer serve the purpose of exercising all the muscles involved and increasing your awareness of your breathing so that you know as a singer, your breathing mechanism will support your creative choices.
Quote of the Week
We just love this thought from Vocal Coach Mark Baxter: ‘Singers are nothing less than medics distributing wholesome medication for a needy group of patients.” Mark is one of our instructors at Singdaptive – see his instructor page for more of his teaching.
Dogs & Singing
“When we want to check that we definitely know our parts, we get one of our choir member’s dogs to come up onto our lap as an extra distraction as we sing! If you can keep singing when a puppy is threatening to lick your face, you’ve definitely learned it!” – see the interview with the ensemble, Aria Cappella
Singing in the Pandemic
“It’s of the utmost importance now to make sure your days and evenings have a semblance of regularity. You’ll want to…” See Jaime Babbitt’s article on singers in isolation
Kathy Alexander is VP of Curriculum for Singdaptive. She was a staff writer for 6 years at VoiceCouncil Magazine and works for the University of Victoria as a practicum supervisor. Kathy is also a singer, vocal coach and choir director. Career highlights include guest appearances in Europe with Quannah Parker jazz fusion band in Norway, and back on the West Coast with Vision TV’s Let’s Sing Again, The Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and the Victoria International Jazz Festival.