How to Breathe for Singing

Many singers are told to breathe from their diaphragm and to use breath control, but a simple explanation of  what exactly the diaphragm is and how breath control works is often left forgotten.

Even singers who have been taking lessons for a few years are often not sure of exactly how breathing for singing and using your breath effectively for singing actually works and so they continue to sing without tapping into their full lung capacity.

This video will hopefully clear everything up for you. I will explain what the diaphragm actually is, how it is used in singing, what breath support is and how it all ties in together.

If you want exercises to make sure your diaphragm is working properly, watch this vid next.

Nicola xx


Video Summary


The diaphragm

To breathe effectively for singing you need to learn to operate your diaphragm – the ‘breathing muscle’.

Your diaphragm is a thin, muscular dome that sits underneath your rib cage. When you breathe in, your diaphragm contracts and pulls downwards giving you more lung capacity.

(More lung capacity = more air inside your instrument to use = better airflow = better sound.)

To get your diaphragm doing its job follow these steps:

  1. If you do a lot of exercise you may be tight in the muscles surrounding your diaphragm and the first thing you’ll need to do is loosen off these muscles to give your diaphragm a fighting chance. 
  2. Relax your pelvic floor and your stomach muscles.
  3. Now breathe in and imagine that you are breathing from deep down inside your lower belly.
  4. Keep your shoulders still.



Once you have air inside your instrument, you need to learn to use that air effectively. This is called Air Flow.

You want to expel just the right amount of air as you sing in order to support your notes and this does take practice. Many singers hold onto their air too much and it results in a hard sounding tone.

Correct air flow is the key to singing on pitch, singing high notes and achieving a beautiful tone.

Nicola xx

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