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Shaping and Singing Lip Consonants

Singing Slowly

Think of a song that gives you trouble when it comes to managing the long phrases. It can be a hymn or familiar tune in which you just can’t quite conquer the phrases. Some familiar tunes with long phrases are “Danny Boy”; “Come Unto Him” from The Messiah; and “Over the Rainbow.” Sing through the song to refresh your memory of the words and the tune.

When you’re ready, sing through the song at a slow pace. You want to sing more slowly so you extend your exhalation. By singing more slowly, you have to figure out how to extend your breath over a longer period of time. Singing faster songs with short phrases doesn’t require a long exhalation, and it doesn’t require that you control your exhalation over long phrases.

Practice the exercise that follows to move on to the next level of breath control so that you can manage your breath easily during longer phrases.

  1. Sing the song slowly.

    If you’ve chosen a long song, sing through part of it. If you’ve chosen a shorter song, sing it all the way through.

  2. Sing through each phrase with a consistent exhalation for a smooth, connected line.

    Make sure that you inhale slowly before the beginning of each phrase.

  3. Sing through the song again slowly, but inhale quickly, while taking in the same amount of air that you did when you were inhaling slowly.

Be careful not to gasp when you’re singing through this exercise; open your throat and allow the air to come in. Gasping prevents you from getting the air in quick enough.

In exhaling, your ribs and abs must be moving in. Then try letting the abs move while the ribs stay open.

Gaining weight or losing weight quickly can totally confuse your body. If your body is used to moving a certain amount of weight around, it affects your breathing. You have to slowly get used to your body being a different size after the weight change, especially if you’ve gained weight. Take your time when you lose weight to allow your body to slowly adjust.

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