BREATH SUPPORT FOR SINGING (Lesson 2): Managing Subglottal Pressures

What is subglottal (or subglottic) pressure? How do singers generate and manage their subglottal pressures? In this video, I answer these questions.

17 thoughts on “BREATH SUPPORT FOR SINGING (Lesson 2): Managing Subglottal Pressures”

  1. Liked this not even half way through! This was a wonderful explanation. You have been showing me more and more how to release my vocal tension throughout my learning journey. Take as long as you need to post any video! 🙂

  2. but wait if I’m trying to hold the position of inspiration doesn’t that mean I’m trying to hold my breath and if so then isn’t that backing off the sound? underengaging

  3. にやんこななこ


    This video helped me so so much. Breath support was so confusing that it became difficult, and sometimes painful, to speak. After implementing appogio I immediately notice less tension when I speak. Now I am attempting to implement it into my speaking without thinking hard about it. Is this ‘normal’?

    Another note: you do NOT owe it to us to post videos. Life happens. Your videos are a gift. We appreciate it when you post when it is convenient for you.

    Thank you for your generosity and enthusiasm <3

  4. Hi Karyn! Could you clarify in your next video on what part of the ribs to expand and how to make sure you’re engaging the right part? All of my voice teachers and choir directors really emphasized round ribs and now that I’ve been studying on my own I realized I have been locking them. I used to get headaches and dizziness from trying so hard to keep my ribs round. I was reading on the David Jones studio page about how a forward swing of the ribs is overengaging and locking the ribs and that we should try to expand up into our armpits. One person even said imagine holding large boards under the armpits. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what this means. thank you!

  5. Eleesia's Portraits

    thanks sooo much for doing shorter videos!
    as much as I got excited whenever I saw a new 20+ minute video from you, it would be a lot to ‘digest’ all at once.
    you have so much helpful and insightful information to give the ‘bite sized’ chunks seem to be the best way to offer them.

  6. Eleesia's Portraits

    just a (hopefully helpful) request. would it be possible for you to have a picture or a chart that highlights which parts of the body your referring to at any given moment.
    usually I can keep up but with the specific names of the lower body muscles, ( around the ribs and pelvis) I can get them a little confused.

    I know that this would take more time to do as far as editing the videos, so I understand if you don’t have time.

  7. Hi Karyn, the “outtakes” are funny. They let us get to know you as a person…
    I think they certainly add to your approach-ability and show a sense of humor and openness. To make them even more awesome maybe you could “announce” them in some way so we know what’s coming and we can anticipate it. Also, about a minute and half outtakes in an about 11 minutes video (little over 10%) might be a bit too long. Maybe you can show just a few (in the same theme, like cut together all the ones where the lamp is falling, or all those together with your cute daughter… etc) and show only those in one “topic” in one video… (and then show the next “topic” at the end of another of your videos)

    I love your videos because they are very informative and they helped me understand a lot about my own singing. I know you are also putting in extra energy to make your videos even more enjoyable and I just thought maybe my comments can help you with that.
    It is very generous of you to offer all your knowledge to all of us!
    Thanks! 🙂

  8. Patricia Podolyak

    This is such a great video and your explanatios are so clean and technically based! I have a question about the dynamics of the appoggio when reaching the end of the phrase if you may allow me to post. Basically, we start with the deep inhalation that, in a well aligned and tension free body, opens up the vocal tract and also the ribs (so far, this would be an automatic action). Thus creating a low breathing condition ideal for singing. We then consiously keep this expansion at the laterals and back by using our support muscles while singing our phrase but, and here goes my question : when we are almost using up our tank of air because we are reaching the two thirds of our phrase , do we adjust the ideal subglottal pressure by letting the ribs and muscles go back in to the initial position, or do we REINFORCE and open EVEN MORE this area? (ribs and muscles firmness). Thanks!

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