A lot of singers are confused about the difference between singing while sitting and while standing up. Some teachers will say that you as a singer should sing in whatever way you feel comfortable, but what if I told you that your comfort can hinder your progress as a singer. The main problem with new and even some established singers is that they lack direction, not only in terms of their voice but how they can maximize the quality of their voice.
When comparing singing while sitting and standing the standing position for singing is definitely better. The main reason for this is because while you are standing and singing you will be able to use your diaphragm without any obstructions. On the other hand, if you are sitting down while singing then your diaphragm will be obstructed by your organs and you will simply not be able to correctly use your diaphragm for singing.
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There are some singers who sing sitting down, usually when they play an instrument like a guitar or a piano, but the vast majority of singers are standing while singing as this is not only the correct body posture for singing but it makes singing extremely easy. If you are a beginner singer and you have only sung sitting down then you probably have difficulty breathing while you are singing.
On the other hand, there are some singers who stand up while singing and they still have difficulties breathing. Standing upright is definitely the best position to sing, although there are some singers who manage to sing extremely well even while sitting down. It is all about control, the more you know how to control your body the easier time you will have singing. The diaphragm plays a big role in singing as it has to expand to allow as much air as possible.
This can be achieved both while sitting down and while standing up, but expanding your diaphragm is a lot easier while standing up, as this is your body’s natural position. Believe it or not but the human body has evolved to stand up most of the time, and sitting was only for resting, although in today’s world most of our lives are spent sitting down. If you want to know the importance of breathing for singing then check out my recent article Why is breathing important in singing? ( Top 6 Reasons ).
Standing while singing
Standing straight up will allow your diaphragm to expand easily, your organs and stomach will not be in the way of your diaphragm and this is why it is a lot easier to breathe while standing up. Most singers who sing do it standing up, if you have only sung while sitting down then you should definitely try out singing while standing up, the results will be noticeable immediately. If you have ever played a handheld instrument then you have probably done it while standing up.
You would definitely not grab something like a string instrument and play it upside down or holding it tightly. Your body is your own musical instrument and you will have to treat it like that. If you use it incorrectly then you will only limit how your voice will perform. There is a lot more at play when you are singing than just the quality of your voice. Singing is like a puzzle, and one of its bigger pice is your ability to breathe which you can not do correctly while sitting down.
There are some singers who due to some medical conditions find it difficult to stand up for longer periods of time. These singers know that they are at a disadvantage when they are singing, so their only option is to learn how to control their diaphragm as efficiently as possible. If you have ever seen a singer singing while sitting down you have probably noticed one thing, that their backs are straight as an arrow.
If you are sitting down with a hunched back, and you try to sing like that you will immediately notice how difficult it is, not just to sing the high notes but to inhale enough air to hold any other note, this is especially difficult if you have a forward head posture. If you want to know how sitting down or standing up affects your own voice, then sit down, hunch your back, lean forward your head, and start singing, your voice will be unrecognizable. If you want to check out some of the best breathing exercises for singers then check out my recent article Breathing exercises for singing ( Top 11 Exercises ).
Sitting down while singing
There are a lot of problems with sitting down and singing, and the biggest problem is not letting your diaphragm expand as much as you need to. Generally speaking the more air you can inhale the longer time you can hold a note, although you can inhale way too much air if you are not careful which will definitely impact the quality of your singing. While you are sitting down your organs and stomach are somewhat compressed.
This will not allow your diaphragm to do its job, if you are standing up then your diaphragm has no problem pushing down on your stomach for a bit. While sitting down this is not possible as your stomach is already compressed by the position. This is why your stomach starts to hurt if you sing from a sitting position. If you have even a slightly hunched back position while sitting down then this will not only limit your diaphragm but your lungs as well.
Your diaphragm and lungs go hand in hand when it comes to breathing and singing if you limit one of them then you will indirectly limit both of them. If you are sitting down not only your breathing is affected but your entire chest voice as well. Having a powerful chest voice means that you can inhale plenty of air and you can control the airflow when it is coming out. As you are sitting down you can inhale less air and when you are exhaling while singing the air will be a lot more compressed.
This compression or increased pressure is because you will try to inhale as much air as you can, in order to compensate for the bad singing posture. Just imagine yourself inflating a balloon, it is extremely easy if there is nothing obstructing the balloon to expand. Now imagine yourself sitting on the ballon and inflating it, even with less air in the ballon the pressure will still be greater than in its natural state.
As you can see there isn’t a debate if sitting or standing up while singing is better. If you look at all the different aspects of singing then you will notice that standing up while singing is by far the best position which will allow you to inhale as much air as you need, which makes singing definitely easier.