Today we’re taking a look at this idea that we can somehow sing from the diaphragm.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but you can’t. Whether you are a singer, guitarist, singer guitarist, songwriter, or a musician that plays multiple instruments, you are going to discover that trying to sing from the diaphragm is a dead-end road.
First, what is the diaphragm?
The diaphragm is the primary muscle used in respiration, which is the process of breathing. This dome-shaped muscle is located just below the lungs and heart. It contracts continually as you breathe in and out. That is key to note, it only moves when we breathe. Trying to sing from the diaphragm is placing yourself on the never-ending hamster wheel. A whole lot of energy going nowhere. Now let’s talk about why we can’t sing from the diaphragm and what we need to do instead.
Have you ever heard the expression, “Sing from the Diaphragm?”
Well, you can’t because it is an involuntary muscle which means we have no direct control over the diaphragm. More on that in a minute. There is no such action as singing from the diaphragm, which is pre-kindergarten information. Years ago, my ears heard it for the first time. Naturally, I was trying to do something I was clueless about. To be honest, this is what sent me in a rage to find out the secret to the Italian method of breathing. Now, mind you, they were secretive about their technique overall.
The clear path to learning the Italian method of breathing was to read all of the material written. Over time, I was able to piece together the most efficient method of breathing like a puzzle. I literally went as far back as 1100 AD, but of course there was no information found.
What I recognized over the years is trying to get results without a road map is fruitless. Asking a singer to sing from the diaphragm is just that, trying to get results without a map.
What happened to me resulted in bad habits and tension when trying to figure out singing from the diaphragm. Upon more research, I uncovered that the diaphragm is an involuntary muscle which means no direct control. Anyone who says otherwise is on a path of misguided information. Like the air we breathe, there is no direct control over what it does, but harnessing the power of the air is possible. With that in mind, I learned there was no direct control over the diaphragm, meaning, you cannot sing from the diaphragm. A coordination of opposing muscle groups is needed to place a resistance against diaphragm. I cover that in my advanced teachings in breathing mastery.
The Italians discovered a method of breathing for singing that does just that, resistance against the diaphragm.
It took me time to figure out the details and coordination needed to accomplish such a feat. There are muscle groups that we coordinate that apply resistance against the diaphragm. The coordination results in a guiding resistance over the diaphragm, not direct control. The quicker the diaphragm ascends, the quicker the air is exhausted. The singer’s aim is to keep the diaphragm in a state of what I call resistance and suspension.
If you would like to learn more about the most efficient breathing method for singing, then visit the link in the description below.