Taking in too much air. A common fault? Is it even possible? Don’t we want to have a lots of air so that we can sing long musical notes and phrases?
Maybe we have even heard that we need to do some breathing exercises like hissing out the “s” consonant for longer and longer periods of time so we can increase how much air our lungs will hold.
Well, in the attempt to stuff oneself with air, what happens is not that we get bigger lungs and have more air to sing with. What happens is that the muscles in our chest and abdomen get tense and become rigid.
As a little experiment, we breathe in as deep as possible and hold it. We don’t let go. Now, feel the tension in the body. While holding all that air in, we try to speak and not let the breath go. This will most likely not be a pleasant sensation nor offer a pleasant tone of speaking voice.
Singing is not about how much air we can breathe in and hold. Singing is about healthy muscular function. The air passes out of the lungs through the vocal cords when we sing. When the muscles in our larynx are working well, then they do not waste any air but let out however much air needs to be let out.
The primary focus in vocal training should be upon the larynx and how the muscles contained within are adjusted. With proper muscular adjustments made within the larynx, we do not need to stuff ourselves with air and hold on for dear life.