Lesson 2: Breathing For Singing

How to Breathe Properly for Singing?

The key to effective breathing for singing is in the breath. The most important aspect of breathing is breathing with your diaphragm, the muscles underneath your lungs that help them to move air in and out.



  • Using your Diaphragm for Breathing

  • Inhale by filling your lower lungs with air

  •  Exhale by allowing your stomach to contract

  • Do not move your chest

Using your Diaphragm for Breathing

1. Place one hand on your lower back and one on your abdomen.

Before you even begin to sing or practice breathing, place your hands on your back and abdomen, near waist-level. This will help you feel your body’s movement as you inhale and exhale deeply. You will feel your body expand as you breathe in and contract as you breathe out.


2. Inhale by filling your lower lungs with air.

As you inhale with a deep breath, visualize yourself filling the lower portion of your lungs with air. This will feel different from your normal breathing because our relaxed, daily breathing is usually quite shallow. As you breathe in, your hands on your back and abdoment should move outward.

It may help to visualize yourself filling your stomach with air, as it if is a balloon.


3. Exhale by allowing your stomach to contract.

As you exhale, try to exhale all of the air in your lungs, so that the next time you inhale, you will be starting with all new air. Imagine that your stomach is a balloon and you are deflating it. Your abdomen will contract at this point, moving your hands inward.


4. Do not move your chest.

 As you breathe, do not allow your chest to move. Your chest and shoulders normally move up and down in your daily breathing, but when you are singing, you will want to always breathe from the deepest part of your lungs. When you are breathing from the lower part of your lungs (your diaphragm), your chest should very little, if at all.

Focus on breathing horizontally, rather than vertically. Breathing horizontally means that your diaphragm and abdoment should move outward instead of the usual up-and-down movement that accompanies shallower breathing.