Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How the Diaphragm Affects Your Singing

Surrounding your lungs is a muscular system called the diaphragm which is attached to the lower, sides, bottom and back of your ribs. When you breathe in, the diaphragm muscle lowers and displace your internal organs. When you breathe out the diaphragm helps to bring in the muscles around the lungs (abdominal muscles) to control how quickly the breath is exhaled just like an accordion squeezing out air in a consistent way. 

If you breathe out fast, the diaphragm does nothing and just sits pretty.  When you breathe out very slowly, the diaphragm resists the contraction of the abdominal muscles. A good singer will then use this diaphragm muscular system to control the singing breath as it is being exhaled.

Hold your index finger about an inch from your lips and breathe out slowly and try to notice the action of the diaphragm as you exhale. This should be the amount of breath used when you sing. A singer does not need to 'push' or 'force' air through the vocal cords to produce a good strong or loud sound, doing this will create a lot of air pressure against the vocal folds and may damage the vocal cords.

This set of singing lessons cover the art (and science) of how your diaphragm affects your voice. If your singing were done by computer, you could click the mouse and correct the sounds and volume. However, you do not have a digital voice, just a human singing voice so you have to learn to control it from within. This article will help you achieve that goal.

If you've been singing any length of time, you have probably heard the phrase "sing with your diaphragm" already. But what does this really mean? What is your diaphragm and how does it work? How does the diaphragm help with singing? Let's explore what the word "diaphragm" really means and how it is connected to good singing. Read the article How the Diaphragm Affects Your Singing here.

Thanks for visiting,

Tony Joett
Vocal Coach - Pop, Soul, R&B, Jazz, Dance, Gospel

Friday, July 2, 2010

See Your Vocal Cords in Action

I thought it would be a good idea to let you see your vocal cords in action. According to Wikipedia, the vocal folds, also known commonly as vocal cords, are composed of twin infoldings of mucous membrane stretched horizontally across the larynx. They vibrate, modulating the flow of air being expelled from the lungs during phonation.

It goes on to say, open during inhalation, closed when holding one's breath, and vibrating for speech or singing (oscillating 440 times per second when singing A above middle C), the folds are controlled via the vagus nerve. They are white because of scant blood circulation.

The larynx is a major (but not the only) source of sound in speech, generating sound through the rhythmic opening and closing of the vocal folds. To oscillate, the vocal folds are brought near enough together such that air pressure builds up beneath the larynx. The folds are pushed apart by this increased subglottal pressure, with the inferior part of each fold leading the superior part. Under the correct conditions, this oscillation pattern will sustain itself. In essence, sound is generated in the larynx by chopping up a steady flow of air into little puffs of sound waves, called triygergonus. To read the full article on Wikipedia click here!

Thanks for dropping by,

tony joett