New, excited, and bearing a question!

DiogenesDiogenes 2.0 ENROLLED Posts: 4
Yo! My name is Duane and I'm stoked to start improving my voice. I'm a guitarist first (of 15 years or so) and I've been singing for a while, but I've never really treated voice as a proper craft until recently. I love practicing things in general and love learning better methods. In the past 2 years I've really come to respect the idea of building a proper foundation for anything you wish to be good at. So, here I am.

In the past I always stuck to singing soft indie type stuff because I suppose it's less demanding maybe? I belt sometimes, but I think I lack a good tone and I certainly have bad control when it comes to hitting notes accurately. I'm currently in a rock band and both play guitar and sing. I'm surprised my band lets me sing sometimes, but in this position I feel extra motivation to improve for everyone's sake. We're only as good as the worst of us or something like that! The main singer that has motivated me in this specific realm is Chris Cornell, but of course there are many others. Also, I'm pretty sure I hurt myself attempting to sing Cochise which is something I'd like to avoid :D

Anyway, I'm excited to see where this takes me. One question though: I just started lesson 1 and I'm definitely experiencing discomfort in my abdomen from inhaling and tensing up over and over. Is it a common error for someone to push their stomach out too much when inhaling? Or is this just something I'll adapt to and the discomfort will go away? The specific lesson that caused this was the huffing exercise. I train in mma and I've learned many discomforts only exist early on (I suppose that's true with most things, such as finger pain when learning guitar) but go away after your body adapts. Is this one of those things?

Sorry for the lengthy introduction and thanks for reading if you did!


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    jaclynserjaclynser Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 262
    Hi @Diogenes,

    Welcome! That is great that you are inspired to work towards strengthening your vocals! As Ken has said in the past, musicians tend to do the best with his program because they understand the time, dedication and hard work it takes to study an instrument.

    When you are practicing your inhaling, try to keep in mind that we aren't actively trying to push our stomach out, rather it is just what happens naturally when we take a proper diaphragmatic breath. The diaphragm contracts, down into our abdomin, causing our stomach and other organs to be pushed outward. So when you inhale, don't try to force the stomach outward as that will create tension that you don't want.

    That being said, when you practice the huffing exercise it is common to feel a bit of a cramp after doing it for a while. This is just because your body isn't used to doing it yet. When this happens, give yourself a second to stop and relax and even use your fingers to dig into and massage your abdomin.

    Hope this helps and happy singing!
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    Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,421
    I can relate, as I spent about 25+ years in the martial arts, and am also a guitarist for allot longer than that! So welcome aboard mate, its time to make your band's singer nervous lol!
    The abdomen is a muscle group like any other, so imagine what your shoulders would feel like if you rained out 1000 non-stop heavybag strikes each side... I bet they'd be a little waffled, yeah? The abs are no different, and for most of us, even more susceptible to getting tired, especially from things like the huffing exercises, as it works inner abdominal muscles that just aren't used to it.
    One way to feel diaphragmatic (God I hate spelling that out!!!) breathing is to exhale all of your air out as your stomach pulls into your spine... then suddenly just quickly let your stomach muscles release. You should see you belly naturally snap out. That is the diaphragm pushing down and pushing your belly forward. Nothing is forced, you're kind of just using your body's internal pressures to your advantage as a singer (also called a snap-breath)... eventually, breathing sort of become almost like a separate action/function.
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