Singing For Dummies
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The goal of proper inhalation for singing is to open the body quickly so the air drops in quietly. If your muscles don’t know how to open quickly, you can slow down with this exercise and find how to open the muscles.

When you were a kid, your mom probably told you not to suck air through your straw, right? It makes that horrible slurping noise after all the liquid is drained from your glass. Now you need a dry straw that doesn’t have any leftover milkshake stuck inside.

Breathing through a straw helps the air that you breathe drop into your body, making it easy to feel your body expand as you breathe. You also can’t gasp or suck in air too quickly with a straw.

  1. Find a straw and cut it down to 3 inches.

  2. Insert one end of the straw into your mouth.

  3. Breathe through the straw, making sure that you don’t raise your chest or shoulders, and notice how your body opens as the air drops into your lungs.

  4. Inhale for three slow counts and exhale for three slow counts.

    Repeat this step five times. Remember to keep your alignment.

  5. Inhale for four slow counts and exhale for four slow counts.

    As you inhale, notice what’s moving in your body. You want your ribs to open, your sides and back to expand, and your abs to release and drop. If the motion is still unsteady, keep practicing until you really feel the movement in your body. It may take a couple of weeks to feel the movement enough that it becomes familiar.

About This Article

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Pamelia S. Phillips is a professional singer with over 35 years of teaching experience. She has designed curriculum for high school students, college BFA programs, and professional training programs, helping thousands of singers refine their singing technique.

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