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Resistance Breathing!

Singers! Resistance Breathing to get into your body, and instrument. Here is a progression for you to incorporate, enable, embody, and employ into your physicality, method/technique, and outlook. Hold your mouth with the lips in a pucker position, then as if you were taking a sip from a straw inhale for 8-10 slow counts. Hold the breath for 4-6 slow counts. Exhale through this straw-pucker for 10-12 slow counts. Resistance breathing will train the body to respond - a complete breathing machine will develop, the larynx will not bop up and down excessively, and the cords will stay relatively closed allowing only minimal air, at a measured time, out. Now place one hand on your sternum, to remind you to keep this area (I call this area the house) buoyant, (built), open, available, and try not to collapse on the exhale. With the other hand, put the second part of your pinky, palm side, on your navel and the thumb on the solar plexus (and diaphragm (you can’t feel that) behind. Take the soda-straw-inhale and feel the upper chest area proud and filled with air, and the expanse out of your other hand (from the displacement of the viscera) and the response of the musculature connected to the breath. Now, from the inhale(d) position blow out three imaginary candles — two small candles, and one bigger further away candle. The sternum area will stay up and noble, while the area behind the other hand will bounce, slightly, inward — there should be no tension, yes, an engagement but no tension. Now, before doing another soda-straw-inhale — keep the sternum hand where it is, but the thumb of the other hand onto the navel and where the ring/pinky finger is now below the navel near the pubis. Take another soda-straw-inhale, keep the sternum buoyant, and feel connection from the area in the hand on the navel, especially the area beneath the ring/pinky finger(s). Now, blow out your three candles. Especially on the third candle feel connection, and control from this lower involvement. The breath comes into the body, the upper area when the pinky was on the navel supports the breath, but the area below the navel where the pinky is now does the breath control. Now, go back to the first salute position - hand on sternum, other with pinky on navel and do a “Santa Claus” laugh - make sound like a ho, ho, ho (two short, one long - just like the candles). Feel a deep connection in the body, using the breath to help create the sound. Now, move your thumb to your navel and your ring finger/pinky below and do the same Santa Claus laugh but instead of ho, say hey. This is connecting breath with sound. Now, take out the soda straw breath (the soda straw breath is a very beneficial exercise, the instrument is prepared differently for singing); and go to the breath that prepares the instrument with the slight - up (space of palate and resonators), down (slight laryngeal release), fill (the body with breath), and sing with this connection, and this preparation. Enjoy!

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