Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method. Download All Things Vocal podcast on your fav app!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Singing And Playing Guitar... Breath Issues

Singers who play guitar sometimes have breath issues. Most of the time, especially if the singer has been playing for a while, they typically sing better with the instrument than without.  However, sometimes it's the opposite. Singers are all so interestingly unique!

I just got a great email inquiry about this: Andrea wrote...
I had a question about taking breaths when I sing. I noticed when I sing and play my guitar I seem to want to gasp for air versus when I sing with a CD. Do you have any suggestions or advice you could give me?
Here's what I told her:
Great question, and great awareness on your part. This is actually a common problem among people who play and sing. You are most probably hunched, with rounded back, over your guitar when you sing while playing. 

Try this: play your guitar while standing or sitting on a stool against a wall. Put your heel (if standing) or butt (if sitting) and your head against the wall. When you play and sing like this, it should make you feel much taller and more open in your chest. Be sure and don't freeze in this position, but keep your head against the wall.

If that works for you, then practice that way until you get used to 'wearing' your guitar rather than 'cradling' it while you sing. Keep your spine tall and flexible, and your head balanced on your tailbone. Let me know how this works for you.
 If you are a singer who plays guitar or other instrument and want to schedule a vocal lesson to clarify and get a little deeper into the practical issues that may be limiting you, let me know. In office, by phone or Skype, sometimes all it takes is a little tweak to make a huge difference for your voice.

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