Diaphragmatic breathing when singing, which is pitch

There are so many different techniques - you might think. But to be honest, there are just so many different expressions for the same thing. The three breaths (chest, flank and abdominal / diaphragmatic breathing) all hang together while singing. And here is another hidden, purely logical hint: you can breathe in your stomach anatomically Not. The lungs are in the chest, i.e. we always breathe into the lungs. So you might think we are using chest breathing while singing. However, that is not entirely true. DANGER! Now you have to be careful!

What happens anatomically when we breathe normally:

  1. We suck in air through our nose or mouth (preferably through our nose).
  2. The air fills our lungs. These expand as a result.
  3. Due to the expansion of the lungs, our flanks also expand (approx. 2 palm widths below the armpits)
  4. Our diaphragm also contracts downwards (contraction = lower / raise), i.e. our stomach expands.
  5. We breathe out: the diaphragm rises again (stomach falls back into its starting position), the remains of the air are pressed out of the lungs again and released into the world through the trachea to the mouth or nose. Of course, our flanks also fall back to their original position.

You can find a great video that illustrates this process very well here.

If from the Abdominal / diaphragmatic breathing the point is that the diaphragm is the engine of breathing and an important muscle for our vocal support (you can feel it very well when you pronounce consonants like P, K, T, S, Z, G, ... tonelessly or when you smile). This is about the idea of ​​deep inhalation, in which one mentally tries to let the air flow into the stomach (which is of course not anatomically possible). But it can definitely help to connect with the body and to learn to better feel our main breathing muscle, the diaphragm. When singing, it is very important that you feel your body and can perceive it correctly.

If one speaks of the Chest breathing (especially when exercising, when you need air quickly and regularly), one speaks of superficial breathing, in which the focus is more on ensuring that the body is supplied with breath quickly. We do not breathe in very deeply, but rather superficially, as already written. So less air, but much more often. Logically, the lungs do not expand fully if they are not completely filled with air. That's why we don't feel such intense tension in the diaphragm and flanks. You need this breathing less when singing, unless you need air very quickly and you hardly have time to breathe between the phrases. Or you have a job in which you want to revitalize. But here, too, breathing is combined with flank or diaphragmatic breathing.

If from the Flank breathing the focus is on the flanks. You breathe in and work with the flanks and their strength. You control your support apparatus via this access. When you breathe in, it is possible to control how fast you want to drop the flanks. You automatically press more or less air out of your lungs back outside. For example, if you hold your breath, it will remain firm and expanded until you exhale again. You can also control that while singing.

But no matter what type of breathing you use: the anatomical conditions always remain the same. This means that in every respiration, the lungs, flanks and diaphragm play a major role and function together.

Don't get confused because not all singing teachers and vocal experts speak of the same breathing. Basically, it's one and the same. The only difference is your own perspective, which is focused. Find out for yourself which access works best for you. 😀

Have fun!