How To Sing Better – Connect The Diaphragm (3 Key Singing Muscles – Pt 1) – LESSON 28
:11 Hi, this is Craig Shimizu. And today’s lesson is how to sing better by connecting the diaphragm to your voice. Also it’s part one in learning about three muscles that all singers should be able to control.
:26 This lesson will assume that you already know how to breathe diaphragmatically. Because if you don’t inhale diaphragmatically then you won’t be able to control the diaphragm after that. But just very quickly about diaphragmatic breathing, all you have to do is breathe in way that your shoulders and upper chest doesn’t move.
:47 As in this…
:55 What has to be done when you sing is that you need to control the ascent of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is like this big bowl that you have inside your body…upside down.
1:20 So, when we sing, the diaphragm likes to do the same thing. The diaphragm works hard, it contracts. The diaphragm exerts energy as it lowers itself to allow air to be pulled into your body. And when it’s time to exhale, the diaphragm like to relax and release the air. The lungs are sitting right on top of this bowl, right on top of the diaphragm, so when the diaphragm comes down, a vacuum is created and air is sucked into the body. That’s how it works. And when it’s time to exhale, the diaphragm merely relaxes and the air is released.
1:59 When we start to sing, this is what the problem is. After we inhale, (inhale) ahhh, the diaphragm likes to relax. And more air will be released than you really want. So we want to control how the diaphragm comes up.
2:37 And the diaphragm is not really connected to your voice. What is a connected diaphragm?
3:14 Now, this is a connected diaphragm. (inhale) ahhh… (inhale) ahhh… What I did was I held my diaphragm down. And that’s it. That’s how to sing. Just connect your diaphragm. You hold your diaphragm down and that’s it. It’s connected to your voice. Great.
3:40 And then my diaphragm would push my fist out and I would sing. Ahh…ahh. But a lot of people when they do that, can’t feel the diaphragm.
4:00 So I invented this diaphragm training device. Voila! Diaphragm training device. Looks just like a microphone. But it is well-designed for training the diaphragm. What you do with it, is you stick it into the solar plexus. And you push it out while you make a sound. Ah…ah…ah…ahhhh….ahhhh. And that’s how you connect your diaphragm to your voice.
4:45 I’m having a little bit of a hard time because I always try to keep my voice connected to the diaphragm.
5:54 So, I think all those exercises…that’s why I’ve got this, uh, I’ve got this really freaky big diaphragm from doing all those exercises.
6:30 And that’s one thing hard about training the diaphragm is that you don’t want your rectus abdominis to tighten as you’re pushing the diaphragm down. Because then it’s going to tighten your throat. And so, most of the diaphragm exercises I was doing before was causing my stomach to tighten, especially if I’m trying to push myself off something, the rectus abdominis is going to want to protect me.
6:55 That’s why a lot of people mistakenly think that the diaphragm looks like this. It’s this muscle that’s shaped like that. Most who don’t know any anatomy. They think it’s like that because that’s what you’re judging the diaphragm by.
7:18 In my other video I did show an alternate way to feel whether the diaphragm is working or not.
8:09 Whenever I am singing, I do feel that feeling of pushing something down. Even if I’m singing lighter, I’m still going to still feel the diaphragm being held down to some degree. But more accurately as I said in the other video, to control the ascent of the diaphragm.
8:25 Maybe some people out there know the scientific thing that goes on. But I suspect when you let your diaphragm go, as in exhalation, it communicates to the vocal folds to open. Is that too far-fetched? The diaphragm relaxes.
8:51 And so, when we’re singing, we don’t want that communication. We want the diaphragm to stay down so we can control the air that’s coming out.
9:26 And that’s one reason I like “Inhalare La Voce” because that one command to inhale while you’re singing will accomplish both. “Inhalare La Voce” is inhaling the voice. Ahh. Ahh. Ahh
You can see my ribcage expanding and my diaphragmatic area getting larger. And that’s what makes the voice louder too. That’ll probably be another video.
10:18 So this is how to sing better by connecting your voice to your diaphragm. And it’s part one of three muscles that all singers should be able to control. The diaphragm is the first and most important. So, all singers should be able to do things like…like this.
10:46 When you’re having a big problem with something, belting a high note, trying to sing louder or you’re just feeling too much throat activity, that will help you.