Should I Breathe Through Mouth, Nose or Both? Pt 1

Today we’re going to discover whether we should breathe in through our mouth, nose or both. 

Second, we’re going to discover when we should breathe in through our mouth, nose or both.  Lastly, I’m going to share which one do I use, and which one do I think is the winner takes all.

Okay, I heard it a million times, breath in through the mouth, the nose, which one should I use?

I’m Daniel and I have 40 plus years of singing and playing guitar. Today I want to share with you some important things about how we should take a breath, when should we take it, and through what should we take it.

Over the years while working with many new clients, I noticed something interesting while vocalizing them. Upon every breath taken, the client would only be breathing I through their nose. I would stop and ask, why are you breathing through nose alone? The client responded that it was the way they were told to do. I agree, breathing through the nose is what the lungs loves most. It helps clear any pollutants that might try to sneak by and brings the temperature of the air to what the lungs requires.

There is a challenge with just breathing in through the nose, let me explain.

I do not rely on breathing in through the nose because I do not have clear nasal passages. Like most, we always have some type of restriction in our nasal passages. For example, if I have to take a quick breath, you hear some form of tension happening. In fact, take a quick breath in through the nose and observe what happens. Breathing in through the nose alone is not the most efficient way to breath for a song and singing. On top of that, you may not have time to breathe in through the nose. You are going to need something else, which I am going to cover in a moment.

So, strictly breathing I through the nose, I would not recommend. If there is some time within the song that you are singing, meaning an instrumental time, then taking a breath through the nose would be fine. If I have to take a quick breath, that is going to be a challenge and a problem. Again, breathing through the nose is great for the lungs, but not the most efficient way for singing.

Next, we have breathing in through the mouth.

I asked my new clients to breathe in through the mouth rather than nose, and they had a difficult time because they were so used to breathing in through the nose. Breathing I through the mouth is going to make me more efficient and quicker in my singing delivery. Is it important that a singer be quick in their singing? Absolutely, because the slower we are in our emission of tones, the more tired and out of rhythm with the song.

If my breathing is not in sync with the piece that I am singing, then either one of them are not going to be good enough.

There are some wonderful insights by other vocal coaches regarding the subject of breathing in through mouth or nose, but I would like to take that one step further. If my breathing is not in sync with the piece that I am singing, then either one of them are not going to be good enough.

Here is what I mean. Let’s take the beautiful hymn “Amazing Grace.” If I have to take a breath between the words “Grace” and “How,” in most cases what I observe from most singers is what I call the hiccup breath. The hiccup breath is exactly how it sounds. It is the quick gasp right before “How.”

At this point, I recommend going to the video I created and chime in 3:00 minutes in and watch the demonstration for clarification. Check it out HERE.

We have heard many a time to take a quick breath and then let it out slowly. Absolutely not! What I train my clients to perform is taking a breath based upon the allotted time that is given you. For example, if I have a quarter note rest, it is not a time to take a rest, but rather take a rhythmic breath leading into the next phrase or sentence. In other words, whatever time value I have in the song, I aim to use that amount of time. I don’t want to turn my quarter note into a sixteenth note rest. The challenge is not just breathing correctly but being rhythmically set with the song you are singing. Once you can acquire good breathing technique and be rhythmically set with the song you are singing, watch out, it changes everything in your singing. In your delivery, you’ll be able to show more emotion and sustain longer notes because you are efficiently using your breath. So, breathing is not just about taking breath’s, it is about efficiently coordinating the muscles involved during the singing process.

As singers what we need to have ingrained is to take the time allotted for my breath. I know, as singers we have this imprint in our minds that we don’t have enough time to take the breath. Singers don’t view it as in I have to hurry up and take my breath for the next line because if you take a breath I haste, it is waste. Besides, taking a breath in haste is actually a shallow breath. Unless you are taking breaths with a more efficient method that I speak about in Breathing Mastery. Click HERE to learn more.

Let me know if you are able to acquire this method or ask question on its application.

Remember, Keep Singing and Playing Guitar.

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