I Have A Metal Bar In My Chest - I'm Running Out Of Breath

I'm not sure how to post a picture, so, hmm, ok, go to the www.thepancakesdiet.com until you can see several "transformation pictures." Check the one that looks like, well, a metal bar, x-ray, chest looking thing. 

I have that. Now, I did Volume One for 3 months and recently moved to Volume Two. Oh my God man, I'm so happy. I can do the whole thing, so much easier. I can move from chest to head voice like it's nothing.

I sent videos and recordings to my mom even; I was so happy. Haha. 

I was never even aware I was going to head voice actually. Like, I now understand the whole "see this as a leg; as something being just one thing." This whole time, I thought, oh well, I'm just doing my vowel modifications.

It wasn't until Ken, in Volume Two, said, "well, now you should be moving to your head voice," and that's when I was like, "wow, this is head voice?! I've been doing this all this time." Haha. 

Anyways. I have a metal bar in my chest. Now, everything is support and I don't think it affects that much in there because, I mainly use my abs to do everything. Like, thank God we're not supposed to use your chest, you know? I guess.

The thing is, I run out of breath super easily. Is this because of the metal bar? Yes, I can't breath deeply, expanding my chest at least; imagine like a super tight belt squeezing on your sternum and ribs. Just check the picture; that's my x-ray. 

And, in case you want to know, I had a surgery called Nuss procedure to fix my pectus excavatum. I will have the metal bar taken out when I'm 25. I'm 23 now. One last question! If I become good at singing, will this be so much easier after taking my bar out? : )


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    AnimalPyAnimalPy Pro Posts: 13
    I just realized I didn't ask my question. What can I do to be able to breath in deeper and/or be able to hold notes for longer? 
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    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357


    I think you will be able to sing much better when you have your bar taken out.

    Your bar most likely interferes with your ability to do ribcage expansion properly.  The thing about that is that with your pectus excavatum, you already had problems that would interfere with your ability to get the full benefits of ribcage expansion, anyway. 

    So you can't change that for now, not until you're 25.

    What can you do in the meantime to prevent being out of breath?  That's hard to say.  We can't know how much interference your metal bar may be introducing.  What you CAN do, however, is to make sure you are getting good vocal cord closure.  The less breathy your singing voice is  through good cord closure, the longer the breath you DO have will last. Get that bright, pingy sound that Ken uses when he demonstrates "It's the Lah!!! AH!!!!" Learn to close those cords and prevent breathy singing.

    To breathe in deeper, be sure to expand the belly and your lower back and sides.  The more you expand down there, the more your lower lobes of your lungs can inflate as your diaphragm goes down as low as possible.  That area below your ribs can expand to make more room in the larger part of your lungs.  The more you can work with expanding down low, pressing down on your insides to resist the diaphragm rising, and the more slowly you bring in your stomach when singing, the better.

    You may want to do some exercises where you inhale as deeply as is comfortable for you, expanding all the way around down low, and using a zzzz sound, see how long you can sustain that sound.  Time yourself and keep trying to increase the amount of time you make that sound last.  By better cord closure on the Z sound (or you could do AH, EE, or AA) you can make your notes last longer.  Do this exercise very quietly.  See if you can add significant amounts of time to how long you can hold out notes.  Try it on different notes and find something you can work on this comfortably, to spend some quality time on it.  If it hurts, stop.  It's not for you.

    When you get to Volume 3 you may be able to do the Ha-ha exercise, or your bar may inhibit that exercise.  If you are able, you may want to take a very long time to slowly build more strength with that exercise, as well, but be very careful.  If it hurts, then don't do it.  The idea is to use your lower diaphragmatic musculature, not your upper ribcage area, to build diaphragmatic strength.

    You want to be able to build some stamina without hurting yourself.  Whatever you do, if it hurts, STOP!  You'll have to try something a little more gentle, and possibly wait until after your bar removal has taken place as well as post-surgery healing.

    All the best.  I hope some of this is helpful.


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    AnimalPyAnimalPy Pro Posts: 13
    This is golden. Thank you Bob! Thank you for taking the time to answer this. : )
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    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357

    You're welcome, @sebaeguez!

    Good Singing to You!


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