For Strain Free Singing, Squeeze Low to Keep From Squeezing High

Have you ever heard the phrase, “sing your butt off”? Funny but true, this phrase points out the place you should squeeze for vocal power that doesn’t cause vocal strain.

If you squeeze your butt properly at the right time, you can find yourself with great breath for singing and speaking:

Here’s what  this low squeeze does for breath support: 

  • When you tighten your butt, notice a correlating tightening of your lower abs. This will cause a shifting of your abdominal contents upwards which supports the diaphragm lifting air to your vocal cords.

Here’s what it does for breath control:

  • Limiting the squeeze to below your navel can, if your posture is correct, cause the ribcage to expand, widening the diaphragm so it can hold back excessive breath pressure.

Two cautions:

1. Don’t let the squeeze move upwards to your high abdominal area and lower ribcage.

Squeezing at the wrong place- your ribcage- directly causes squeezing in your larynx. Try this: Press your elbows into the sides of your ribcage and slump forward so you get a real good squeeze there. Feel it in your throat? This is why you shouldn’t let the tension creep high in your body when you use your voice.

2. Don’t keep your butt tense.

In fact, never freeze anything when you speak or sing. Just squeeze low when you need some vocal power and control.

How to make it a natural instinct to keep your vocal power low:

Think about what the butt does for horseback riding, golf, baseball, wrestling, weight lifting, soccer, dance, tennis, volleyball, swimming, skating and most any other sport you could name. If you do any of these things, use the feeling of where your power is centered when you play that sport and try to “come from there” when you sing. Realize that great singing is truly an athletic event. For most athletic endeavors the power base should be centered right in front of the tailbone, in the pelvic floor, the hips… the butt.

I call this low source of squeeze the “power of the pelvic floor”.  However, for many it’s just easier to use the more common phrase.  “Sing your butt off” — not your throat!

For more practical vocal training that has been proven best for studio and stage singing, contact:

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