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Natural Breath Support.

Working ‘with’ rather than ‘against’ your body always reaps the best results – says Celebrity Vocal Coach Jeannie Deva.

Vocal Coach Residency Week Three: 27 Sept. 2010 – by Jeannie Deva

Greetings! This week I listened to the Peer Review submission by Sarah Bellah singing her original “Time Hasn’t Moved.”

Kudos: I would like to give Sarah a special acknowledgement for not only writing her own material but for utilizing YouTube to create an audience. In this song I hear an emerging vocal style backed by passion. Increased vocal technique will help to release the expressivity that she obviously has within her.

Here is a simple approach that helps any singer in the achievement of freer, expressive and versatile vocals.

Breathe Into Your Back.

Even non-singers have heard that “breath support” is a fundamental part of singing. Nonetheless, how this is achieved is the complaint and confusion of many.

Do you push your stomach forward when you take a breath and then push it in when you sing? This can cause melodic and pitch inaccuracies as well as unintended tonal fluctuations and a lack of control.

Instead, try this:

Put your hands on the back of your sides (not the front, the back). Take a breath letting your ribs in back expand out and up from the sides. You will probably feel the air coming into your back. Now sing. As you do, let your stomach remain relaxed and muscularly maintain the open position of your back from the sides of your back). Do this a few times so you can really test it out.

Explanation: Many singers have been told to “breathe into your stomach.” However, that’s not where the air goes. Many singers have been told to push out the air from the belly. This will force out too much air. Focusing on “filling the belly” with air can backfire on a singer by creating muscular tension in the throat. The singer then uses compensation techniques to accomplish powerful and expressive singing.

The Key to Natural Breath Support

The key to natural breath support lies in knowing that the largest part of your lungs – where the air goes when you inhale – is in your back. There are no lungs in your belly; your rib cage is what opens your lungs and so brings in your air. Working with rather than against your body always reaps the best results. Knowledge is power.

Looking forward to your comments!

‘Til next week,

—Jeannie Deva

VoiceCouncil’s Interview with Jeannie Deva

Jeannie Deva is a celebrity master voice and performance coach as well as a recording studio vocal specialist. She has worked with and been endorsed by engineers and producers of Aerosmith, Elton John, Bette Midler, Fleetwood Mac and the Rolling Stones. Seen on E! Entertainment and TV Guide Channels, Jeannie has been interviewed as a celebrity guest on talk shows internationally. She is the author of the globally acclaimed “Contemporary Vocalist” series and “Deva Method Vocal Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs” CD. Certified Deva Method® teachers are located on east and west coasts of the U.S. and in Sydney, Australia. Deva’s private voice studio is located in Los Angeles where she teaches in-person as well as singers around the world via Internet web cam. Clients include Grammy award winners, American Idol Finalists, singers for Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, Sting, Pink, Christina Aguilera and more. www.JeannieDeva.comwww.Facebook.com/JeannieDevawww.Twitter.com/JeannieDeva

  • Yes I've tried the 'stomach' thing and it never made sense to me. Not only that but it felt like I was unnaturally straining to push out air rather than it being released in a controlled manner… hey, thanx alot!

  • Jeannie Deva

    So glad to be of help! It’s amazing how much easier it is to work WITH the body. But you have to know how it works. Then you can be sure of what’s really “right.”