Learning to Breathe
We had a great time last night at our first ever “Monday Night Music Club”. More than 50 musicians from Church on the Move came together to fellowship and to learn how to become a better singer, player, and musical communicator. I had the privilege of leading the vocal workshop and I wanted to share with you what we discussed.
As a professional vocalist for nearly 25 years I’ve picked up on 3 key elements that I believe can turn a good singer into a great one: breath, pitch, and emotion. Each one of these builds upon the other. Emotion cannot be attained without breath control and pitch, and pitch cannot be attained without breath support. When I hear a singer for the first time, whether it’s on American Idol or in a worship audition, I immediately listen for proper breathing technique. Does he/she fill their lungs to capacity before each phrase? Is the singer pushing the notes out with a steady stream of air, finishing each phrase solidly with plenty of breath to spare? Is it obvious at the end of their song that they have worked hard, making sure they’ve pushed every note toward good pitch and proper emotion?
A mentor of mine many years ago taught me the art of “singing on the breath”. The idea is that we push the notes along a steady column of air, and although the sound of the note may stop, the air dies not. Listen to your favorite singer and hear how they end each phrase with a burst of air.
Learning to breathe properly while singing will help your pitch and ultimately your presentation.