I am playing with a few new support ideas lately that I want to describe in brief. Since becoming a tenor, I have had to really “up” the amount of breath support I give myself. Realize though, that this does not entirely mean pushing the breath out with a strong abdominal action. Instead, it means a regulation of air.
- Wide lower ribs. I have always believed in wide ribs, but lately I have been focusing more on the floating ribs at the bottom of the rib cage. In inhalation, I widen the lower ribs as much as I can. As I sing, I make sure that they never collapse no matter how strenuous the passage.
- Back breathing. Along with the wide lower ribs, I have focused more on the area between the bottom of my ribs (in the back) and the top of my hip bone. In inhalation, I stretch this area out and feel as if I am filling that up with air.
- Singing through my belly button. This is one I sometimes forget about but wish I hadn’t. While ascending, it is habitual for most of us to raise our larynx. If we think about keeping the larynx low, however, we may force it down by depressing our tongues. By thinking about singing through one’s belly button, one can “trick” the larynx into remaining low on its own.
If you are currently working on your breath support techniques, I would love to hear about them.