Techniques for Breathy Singers

While breathiness is a trademark of many performers and is a way to sing many popular types of music, it is not for everyone. In fact, it tends to be a problem that singers, especially beginners, cannot get rid of and use improperly. There are countless ways for each unique voice to sing any particular song, but overall, there are several techniques and guidelines you can follow in order to train both your ears and your voice to sound pleasing every time you perform.

  1. Listening

    • The first step to dealing with a breathy voice is listening while singing. If the singer is too breathy, that means that she is forcing large amounts of air through through her throat to get the right pitch. She may be damaging her vocal cords and is certainly singing incorrectly by doing this. They are overworking their throat muscles by allowing too much air to pass through them, causing inflammation and swelling. By listening and observing, and by paying attention to bodily signs, such as pain and hoarseness in the throat when singing, they can begin to rectify their habits.

    Using the Diaphragm

    • The singer should lay on his back and place a book on his stomach. He should breathe in and out slowly while trying to get the book to raise up into the air as he does so. If the book is not moving, he is breathing improperly. He must get the air to come from his diaphragm, the muscle that moves and allows air into and out of the lungs. Practicing this daily will strengthen this muscle and correct breathy singing.

    Stabilizing Breathing

    • Singers must also learn how to stabilize their breathing in order to eliminate breathy notes. A singer should stand with both feet planted on the ground and her shoulders straight. After inhaling, she must exhale by making a hissing sound. The singer should be careful not to make the "shhh" sound, as this means too much air is escaping. By keeping the hissing noise stable, she is learning to control her muscles and her vocal cords, which will help in controlling breathy singing.

    Correcting Posture

    • Posture plays an important role in breathing while singing. Incorrect psoture allows the air to come from places other than the diaphragm. The singer should stand with both fleet planted and his shoulders straight, but relaxed. If sitting, his back should be straight and relaxed as well. When the singer inhales, his chest, shoulders and head should remain still; only his stomach should inflate. The same is true for exhalation. If the chest, head or shoulders are moving, the breathing is wrong and singing may be dangerously breathy.

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