Breath Support – Why?

July 20, 2012

Breathing is good for you. Here’s why:

With good breath support, the voice can be free, resonant, clear, open, loose and beautiful. Without it, all of these are compromised.

“Support” is a great word for this process; it is the foundation of good technique.

Something has to control the sound, create the pitch, and fill the room. If breath support isn’t doing it, something else will take over. This will always lead to tension in the tongue, but also the jaw and throat. If you try to loosen the tongue without replacing that tongue control with breath, something else will just get tight.  Your range won’t be what it should be, dynamics and color will be monotonous, and vibrato will be out of control.

With good support, the larynx can relax open, giving the voice a clear, resonant sound. The open larynx (space between the hyoid bone and the thyroid cartilage) is what gives the voice that extra overtone (the singer’s formant, around 2800 cycles/second) that fills the theater over an orchestra. You may feel it in the “mask” but it comes from the open larynx.

With proper support, the tongue and lips are free to clearly articulate the vowels and consonants. Singing must be communication, otherwise, play the kazoo!

When the vocal apparatus is loose, it will respond to and express the emotions in the text and the music. You will then be able to fully engage your audience in the story, rather than the process.

That’s why. How is next time!

Sing well,


BTW, I can give footnotes, if you wish…

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