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Why do I always run out of breath when I sing?

Asked 2013-02-26T18:52:54.0Z by Jefe1,498
  • V.I.P.

Why do I always run out of breath when I sing? Any technique tips to save breath?


  • I think the best way to conserve your breath is to get in the best physical shape as possible.Mac M 2013-02-26T19:41:55.0Z

4 Answers

Date | Votes
Reply — Posted 2013-02-27T06:09:49.0Z
Jeff B1,660
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  • Teacher

I would need a bit more information about the way you use your breath, but I'm guessing there's a hitch in the way you breath.  There are many things that can go wrong with your breathing when you're singing.  Not breathing diaphragmatically, not supporting the breath once it's all tanked up, not exhaling completely between breaths, the list could go on.  Start with learning proper breathing technique and you'll be well on your way.  Many books have been written just on the topic of breathing properly.  As far as a technique tip goes, I always tell my students to be prepared to take a punch to the stomach.  This will ensure that you're core is engaged on the breath in and while singing!  Good luck!


  • Thanks, any videos you recommend on proper breathing technique?Ghost R 2013-02-27T15:51:11.0Z
Reply — Posted 2013-02-27T15:56:19.0Z
Ghost R1,526
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What do you think about this teachers advice?


Reply — Posted 2013-03-13T16:50:17.0Z
Jeff B1,660
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  • Teacher

Ghost R-

I think she's been well trained... which is great.  She seems to have taken everything she's learned to heart and it probably works for her.  She's right that breathing is one of the first steps to becoming a better singer.  The food and beverage consumption is something I'd like to touch on.  Bodies are all different.  What works for one person may not work for another.  For years I tried all these different methods of helping my voice: Thayer's lozenges, honey, lemon and warm water, the list goes on.  Most of the stuff I tried put gunk in my throat or dried me out too much.  Water will always be your friend.  But even drinking too much water can create issues with my voice.  You have to find what works for you.  Her advice is a good place to start, but sometimes what you really need to help your voice is a sip of beer.  Ella Fitzgerald would take a sip of beer before her performances to help clean out her vocal pipes.  Find what works for you.  

Now, her breathing technique is what you will hear from most vocal coaches.  Her expansion, in my opinion is right on.  But I don't find the contraction necessary.  This occurred to me when I was training a dancer to sing.  She didn't understand how to dance properly if she had to keep sticking out her gut then sucking it back in.  This led me to the ready-to-take-a-punch-to-the-gut method.  If you engage your core both while you're breathing in and while you're using it to sing, it'll always be ready for you.  Breathe through your back, like she said, then always be ready to take a punch and you'll find all the power you need!


Reply — Posted 2013-05-01T08:16:09.0Z
  • V.I.P.
  • Teacher

This is how I teach diaphragmatic breathing to saxophone students, it works wonders:

Take a deep breath and then imagine you are frosting up a mirror while you breath out. The air that comes out should be hotter than normal and you should feel a muscle at the bottom of your stomach moving. Now try and do this while singing. 

Hope this helps :)



  • How does that change saxophone tone as opposed to playing sax with "head voice"? is it a similar change as singing?Jefe 2013-05-02T15:41:42.0Z

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