Famous Singers who all use Breath Control Differently
If you’ve ever signed up for any kind of singing class, you were probably told that the first step in learning to sing is learning to breathe correctly. That isn’t wrong, but it isn’t nearly as simple and concrete as they make it sound. Why? Because different types of singing require you to use air entirely differently! There are some commonalities–like that controlling your exhalation in some form is important. But each style has different demands. Here’s a video collection of famous singers using breath control in completely different ways.
Here’s Haley Reinhart doing her famous cover of Elvis’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” She’s exhaling a lot of air through these notes, something you hear a lot of voice teachers tell you never to do because your vocal folds won’t close all the way. But it’s working for her: she sounds gorgeous, and all the aspirate offsets give the song an intimate, vulnerable quality.
Aurora Surgit and Alessio Randon
You may not have heard of Aurora Surgit and Alessio Randon, but I included this Gregorian chant to demonstrate that it isn’t just an indie pop invention to release a lot of air and sing with unappoximated vocal folds (i.e. ones that don’t fully come together). You hear this in early music, from modern-day countertenors, from 1960’s bands singing in falsetto, in jazz, and yes, in modern pop.
On top of that, inhalations are a little different from operatic inhalations. A low breath will help lower the larynx, something you don’t want for a comfortable belt (unless your larynx is so high that you need to counteract the tendency). To keep your larynx in a higher belt position, inhalations should feel a little higher and less full.
The point I’m trying to make is that, yes, breath control is incredibly important for singing. It’s just not a one-size-fits-all kind of technique. Some styles use more air, some less. Some require fuller breaths, others, not so much. There’s nothing wrong with any of these types of breathing as long as your throat is feeling good and you’re getting the aesthetic you want.