Step 3: Sing Supported
To breathe for singing we need to use the whole of our lungs to make as much available air as possible. We can control the amount of air that is exhaled by using the natural movement of the diaphragm and our abdominal muscles. Engage your pelvic floor (as done in pilates) and for balance you must also engage your lats - imagine you are holding ski poles and push you elbows down; imagine holding heavy bags of shopping in each hand. Remember not to engage support before you breathe in as this leads to constriction.
‘Ooh’ opening to ‘ahh’: This exercise requires a steady airflow, keeping your shoulders relaxed and down. Use this exercise to practise controlling the speed, quantity and consistency of airflow released. You may wish to sing without the accompaniment to challenge yourself further!
See-aw: Remember to stop the sound after each short phrase but do not take a breath. Maintain your support, thinking of each two-note phrase as a fresh start.
Legato intervals: This exercise will take you through your entire range. Return to the bottom note carefully each time, making sure you use support to ensure it is correctly placed. Try and get a smooth connection from note to note. Stay relaxed.
Variation 1: you may need to breathe in the middle. Challenge yourself to sing the whole exercise in one breath (both examples are given on the sound clip).
Variation 2: vary the vowel sound that you use to sing this exercise.