Can you give me the specifics of singing from the diaphragm? I feel as if I am doing something wrong because my throat will start to hurt even if I think I am singing from my diaphragm. ~ Alexis
You throat can still hurt if you’re breathing “properly” from your diaphragm. Diaphragmatic breathing isn’t the solution to good singing, but rather a tool that helps you create a steady flow of air that’s necessary for good singing. However, creating that “steady flow of air” is only an ingredient in the recipe of good singing (if that makes sense).
My guess is if you’re throat’s hurting and you’re focusing too much on breathing, that you’re creating way too much air pressure underneath the cords. This is likely happening because you’re breathing in too much air when singing, or you’re pressing too firmly with the diaphragm, trying to push out too much air against tightly closed cords.
If this isn’t 100% clear, don’t worry. Just try this…
First off, when you breathe in, don’t breathe in so much air that you feel a little pinch in your throat. If you do, you’ve got too much air pressure built up before you sing, making effortless singing nearly impossible.
Secondly, when you’re warming up your voice, start our your sound with an “f” or an “s” sound. This will allow a little bit more air to pass through the cords, ensuring that you’re not being too aggressive with cord closure.
Finally, you can check out the video on my Breathing and Singing page and see what other guidance I give in it helps. In that video, I sum up all a beginner to intermediate singer needs to know about breathing in less than 7 minutes.
Anyway, I hope that this helps, and best of luck finding the path to effortless singing!
Vocal Coach Ken Taylor