Why is breathing important in singing? ( Top 6 Reasons )

Your ability to breathe properly will determine what kind of singer you are, without proper breathing management you will never be able to achieve your full potential as a singer. While most beginner singers make the mistake of not trying to improve their breathing for singing, you should be smarter and directly focus on it as there are only benefits to being able to breathe properly when singing.

Breathing is the most important part of singing, without it the quality of your voice doesn’t really matter. Breathing allows you to inhale as much air as you need in order to keep singing, in addition to this with proper breath control you will also be able to control your pitch, tone, and most importantly the quality of your voice. Breathing is the pillar of singing, and if you focus on improving your breathing technique you will become a better singer eventually.

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A lot of beginner singers think that the quality of their voice is mainly due to their vocal cords, although this is true, but the ability to breathe properly while singing is even more important. The truth is that if you can not breathe correctly while singing you will never be able to use your voice to its full potential, no matter how talented you might be. Generally speaking, most beginner singers do not focus on breathing almost at all, they would rather focus on improving their voice and singing high notes.

The problem occurs when their ability to sing is impaired by their bad breathing practice, and in some cases, they can not even identify the problem. Most people when they think of someone not being able to breathe properly while singing they imagine them gasping for air. This gasping for air is fairly common amongst beginner singers, although this doesn’t mean that even advanced or professional singers do not have this problem, especially if they do not know how to sing high notes properly.

In some cases a bad breathing technique can be fairly difficult to notice, as some singers do not have a bad breathing technique, they actually have bad timing while they breathe. That split second when the singer inhales air while they are singing needs to be spot on, otherwise the singer will have a shortness of breath at a later point during the song, and this will make the singer either gasp for air or to sound out of tune.

Breathing or more precisely the lack of a good breathing technique is also what makes vocal fry, while some singers adopt their vocal fry as their singing voice, they do in fact expose themselves to a lot of injury down the line. If you want to know about what is vocal fry and how do you get rid of it, then check out my recent article What causes vocal fry? ( How to get rid of vocal fry? ). If you are new to singing then I highly recommend you to search on my site for singing breathing exercises for beginners, I have written a couple of in-depth articles both for beginner and advanced breathing exercises for singers.

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Breathing is the pillar of singing

Breath management for singers is just as simple as it sounds, basically, you have to manage your breath while you are singing, with bad breathe management you will only limit yourself no matter how good of a voice you might actually have. On the other hand, singers who have good breath management can and will outperform you with their singing even if they do not have a better voice than you. What you as a singer need to understand is that when you are singing you are combining different muscles, techniques, and voices to make your unique sound.

Consider you breathe as being the fuel of your voice, if you do not have enough fuel no matter how well developed your singing muscles, vocal cords, and technique might be, at that point it just a Ferrari without gas. If you are a singer who has been struggling to improve their voice for a long time, my personal recommendation is to try and focus on breathing techniques, as in most cases this is what limits a singer’s ability to actually improve.

There are a lot of breathing techniques which you as a singer can use, my recommendation is to try out a couple and stick to one or two techniques. Just keep in mind that these breathing techniques are not personalized and what works for one person might not work for you, if you need more info on breathing techniques, then check out my article Proper breathing technique for singing ( Top 12 Techniques ).

Breathing is extremely important for singing high notes

Another reason why breathing is important for singing is that it will actually let you sing high notes. Most people can be taught how to sing high notes, the problem will not come from the inability to sing the notes themselves, but from how they are breathing before and during the singing of the high notes. A lot of singers focus way too hard on singing high notes, generally speaking, most beginner singers think that the higher they can sing the better singer they are, this is far from the truth.

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Most singers lack the proper breathing technique to sing high notes for a longer period of time, this is mostly due to the fact that singing high notes actually needs a lot more volume of air than the other notes. If the singer can not inhale enough air to hold the high notes for as long as it needs to be they will either switch to their falsetto voice or they simply inhale during the note, neither of these are valid options unless you can actually use your falsetto voice properly.

If you want to sing high notes properly or if you just want to make your voice higher, then check out my article How to make your voice higher permanently ( Fast & Easy ).

Breathing is important for the vocal transition while singing

If you are a beginner singer, you might start scratching your head, do not worry my friend I will explain what transitioning from one voice to another actually means. While you are singing you will have to transition from your chest voice to your head voice if you are singing high notes, as this is the correct method. Believe it or not, there are a lot of beginner singers who actually want to sing high notes with their chest voice, although you can sing them with your chest voice, the correct voice to use would be their head voice.

Transitioning from one voice to another is fairly difficult for beginner singers, as it takes a lot of time while the body adjusts to the constant switching of your chest voice to your head voice. The problem is that improper vocal transition will ruin your singing, proper breathing and vocal transition is what actually will make or break you as a singer, you either know how to use them or you are just one of the millions of mediocre singers.

As I have previously mentioned, the airflow which you can inhale is vital for singing, and you will have to control it effectively. For easier vocal transition there are some advanced breathing exercises for singers on my site so feel free to search around.

Breathing improves your stamina for singing

A lot of people do not think that singing can actually be exhausting, this is far from the truth as singing is fairly exhausting for the entire body. Singing is not like any other physical activity, where once your stamina is getting low you start breathing faster and your heart also pumps a lot faster. The problem for singers is that the process of singing is not only physically exhausting but they can not rely on breathing faster for more air.

This is mainly because singing is mostly powered by the actual airflow from your diaphragm and chest. Now imagine yourself doing 100 situps and once you start getting tired when your body kicks into breathing faster and then actively try to control how you breathe in and out just to sound better, just give it a try and let me know how well it went in the comment section. While singing you will have to hold your breath when singing at certain points of the song, and this can be rather difficult if you do not have enough air in your lungs.

Diaphragmatic breathing is vital for singing

Diaphragmatic breathing is vital for every singer to learn, it is not only the correct way to sing but also the easiest way to do it. Although most beginner singers will not agree with the easy part, which is fair as most people have actually forgotten how to breathe from their diaphragm over the years. The truth is that the diaphragm of beginner singers are not well developed and adapted for singing yet.

Consider diaphragm breathing as being your singing breath support, without it, you wouldn’t be able to sing properly. If you want to know why to sing from the diaphragm, then you just have to listen to a singer who is not using diaphragm breathing for singing and compare him to one that is actually using their diaphragm for singing, the difference between the two will be massive. If you are a beginner singer and you still struggle with your diaphragm breathing for singing, then do not worry as this is common for beginner singers.

You will need to keep on practicing to breathe and sing with your diaphragm, this way you will strengthen it and this will allow you to actually sing better. Just keep in mind that it might take some while till your diaphragm gets strong enough to the point where you can sing from your diaphragm naturally.

Breathing gives power to your voice

Most people think that the power of their voice either comes from their throat, head, or from their vocal cords. The truth is that the power of your voice is determined by the amount of air which you can breathe in. Although there are some singing techniques that also make your voice powerful, but in general your ability to inhale as much air as possible is what gives your voice power. If you want to know how much power the inhaled air actually gives to your voice, then go in front of a mirror and sing a song, my recommendation is to also record yourself.

Then make some pushups or jumps, anything physical for 5-10 minutes which raises your heart rate, and then try to sing the same song. When you will compare the two recordings you will notice that after the short workout your voice is not as powerful as before, this is mainly due to the fact that your body’s primary goal is to get you back to a normal and calm state which will need a lot more air due to the physical activity.

Another way on how breathing gives you a more powerful voice is by incremental breathing, which is a short, quick burst of inhaled air. Most successful singers actually make quick short breaths while they are singing, while this makes their voice more powerful, but this also depends on the type of song which they are singing. Simply put some songs are best with powerful voices and some are not.

In conclusion

Breathing is extremely important for singing, and most singers fail with their singing career because they actually limit themselves by never learning how to breathe properly while they sing. The problem is that most singers are not that focused on learning how to breathe while they sing, and who can blame them, singing is way more fun than doing some boring breathing exercises. If you are a beginner singer, my recommendation is not to underestimate the power of breathing for singing, start practicing as soon as possible and you will notice significant improvements in your voice after just a couple of weeks.