How to Control Exhalation for Better Singing - dummies

How to Control Exhalation for Better Singing

By Pamelia S. Phillips

The object of this singing exercise is to make a candle flame flicker by exhaling and not blowing it oout. This breathing exercise helps you develop control of your exhalation, which is critical when you sing a long phrase of music. Make sure that you exhale with a steady, slow stream of air — just enough to bend the flame.

If you don’t have a candle handy, you can blow air across the top of a hot cup of cocoa or tea, or just use your imagination. You can work this exercise with your imagination, or you can actually light a candle.

Please be careful with the candle if you use a real one. Hold or set down the candle in a holder that’s at least 8 inches from your mouth so you don’t burn your eyebrows.

Follow these steps:

  1. Light a candle and hold it 8 inches from your face.

  2. Take a deep breath, keeping your shoulders and your chest nice and steady.

  3. As you exhale, blow gently on the flame to make it bend but not flicker wildly.

  4. Continue the steady stream of air to keep the flame bent, counting silently to see how long you can bend the flame.

Be careful that your body doesn’t collapse quickly as you exhale during this exercise. Instead, feel a steady movement in your body during the exhalation. If you can bend the flame for the count of five the first time, try to make it to six the next time.

Bend the flame for six counts several times in a row before you try for seven. Each time, make sure that you notice what’s happening in your body.