How to Sing Without Straining: Start with Silent Inhalation

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

Singing with straining affects the voice quality
and ease of singing but it can also lead to vocal damage in the long run. Naturally, singers want to know how to sing
without straining. There may be many reasons why singers strain
but in this video, I am going to talk about one specific aspect of singing that can lead
to straining when singing. I’ll talk about inhalation and more specifically
about audible inhalation. Stay tuned. Hi, if you are seeing me for the first time,
I am Katarina from How 2 Improve Singing. You may have heard some famous and less famous
singers inhale audibly when singing. Like this one, or this one. Or this one. It seems to be fashionable these days to inhale
with an audible noise but don’t be fooled. Audible inhalations can be used sparingly
as a way of expressing emotions but usually audible inhalations are unintentional and
they are signs of inefficient breathing. Let me explain why inhaling audibly is not
a good practice. Audible inhalations are unpleasant and distracting,
to say the least. But here is the thing, audible inhalations
are indicators of possible tension. The audible noise that you hear is created
by air passing by an obstacle or through a narrowing somewhere in the vocal tract. It can be the position of the tongue, tight
or closed throat, narrow nasal passages, not fully opened vocal cords. Anything that stands in the way of air entering
the lungs. Audible inhalation
is usually a sign of shallow breathing, during which the diaphragm does not descend
fully and only the upper parts of your lungs are filled up. Shallow breathing uses these small muscles
of the neck and shoulders that have to work very hard unnecessarily. Tension from this area is then transferred
onto your larynx, which negatively affects the produced sound. Also, shallow breaths don’t supply sufficient
amounts of air so singers may strain in order to finish singing a phrase. If there is not enough air, the tendency is
to compensate by pushing or straining. If you inhale audibly, the vocal tract is
already constricted or strained even before you start singing. And the chances are that if the vocal tract
is constricted on inhalation, it will be most likely constricted on exhalation or during
singing. If you watch singers who inhale audibly, you
may even notice visible signs of tension, for example tension on the neck, moving the
head or chin during inhalation, lifting and collapsing of the chest, lifting of the shoulders
and other signs. These are all unnecessary movements that create
tension. If you observe these singers, it really looks
like they are sucking air in, which requires a lot of effort. On the other hand, inhaling silently is an
efficient way of breathing and it supports a low and deep breath, which allows not only
the diaphragm but the whole breathing mechanism to function most efficiently. Good inhale takes advantage of the natural
need of the body for air. So, you don’t need to work hard, you just
need to open your vocal tract and allow the air to enter the lungs. So, what can YOU do? First step is to recognize, weather you inhale
audibly or not. Many singers are not aware of this bad habit. I challenge you to make a recording of your
singing or breathing. Then, watch the recording and listen for audible
inhalations. If you don’t observe or hear anything, you
are good to go. If you notice audible inhalations in your
own singing, you can start changing the way you inhale. Becoming aware of audible inhalations usually
improves breathing and singing drastically. This video is a part of a free training I
call “So, You Think You Can Breathe when Singing?” If you want to learn what is holding you back
from breathing efficiently, click the link either here or down there and join
me and other singers on this journey. That’s all for now. Thank you for watching and I’ll see you
in the next video. But of course, don’t forget to click the like button and subscribe for more videos. Bye now.

16 thoughts on “How to Sing Without Straining: Start with Silent Inhalation

  1. Thank you for checking out my video. What do you think about audible inhalations? Are they distracting? Let me know in the comments below.

  2. I’ve always wondered this…how great singers make it look so effortless, when it’s a lot of work to sing. I guess it’s no different than anything else.

  3. very interesting. I know I was taught in high school and college not to inhale audibly but not sure if I still do that. Ill definitely pay attention now.

  4. Great video !!! Kay has been playing piano now for 3 years and is just now wanting to learn to sing. Glad to see your videos.👍😊

  5. Katarina, I loved these tips about how to sing without straining. Staring with silent inhalation. This is so good.

  6. This is so helpful. I just had an ENT exam and have small nodules. Gotta learn how to sing better!

  7. Thank goodness I am not guilty of it but I do need more practice breathing. Thank you for this helpful video.

  8. Katarina – I had no idea all the different breathing factors involved with singing. Great insights into how to avoid straining! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Another great video. Katarina, I have a question for you. Wouldn't you say that strained inhalation often comes after you hold a note for too long and completely run out of breath? How do you deal with this?

  10. Thank you for this great video . I am a Radio Announcer . I host two daily music programs at WSOL radio station. And I do breathing noises over the microphone . I am aware of it ; and try to minimize it . It also happens when I am singing .

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