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Diaphragm: The Singing Muscle

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Diaphragm: The Singing Muscle

What is the diaphragm?  The diaphragm is commonly called the “singing muscle” but we use it when we speak as well.  It is a sheet of muscle that extends across the bottom of the rib cage.  When you take a breath, the diaphragm contracts (shrinks and moves downwards), allowing for your lungs to expand and to allow air to flow.  As it contracts, it kind of squishes the intestine and internal organs down a bit.   Depending on how stretchy your diaphragm is, pretty much determines how much air you can take in.  When singing, it is important to remember that air and support are different.  The diaphragm is very important when supporting/controlling your sound.  Once air is taken in, support is used to sustain and control the tone.  This has everything to do with breath or air control.  The diaphragm along with your abdominal muscles are critical to controlling air.

To practice feeling support, try singing one of your songs on a percussive consonant sound like CH, T, K, SH, or F.  Make sure you are using only air. Your vocal cords should not be engaged.

Diaphragm

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