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  • Singers, Stop Trying to ‘Use Your Diaphragm’

    How many of you have been told to “use your diaphragm!” by a voice professional? I want to let you in on a little secret…you can’t actually “use” your diaphragm. It’s a futile request. 
    While the diaphragm is an essential muscle for breath support and for the production of sound, you can’t actually direct your diaphragm to do anything because it is an involuntary muscle. Just like another very important involuntary muscle in our body, the heart, the diaphragm has an essential job to do, but we cannot directly control it. Telling a singer to “use your diaphragm!” is like telling an athlete to “pump your heart!” It’s an impossible request and contributes to much confusion around the nature of breath support for singing. 
    The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle at the bottom of your ribcage that separates your thorax (where your heart and lungs live) from your abdomen (where your digestive organs live). When you inhale, this dome-shaped diaphragm contracts downwards, inverting to become a bowl shape. When this happens, the volume of the thoracic cavity increases, a vacuum is activated, and air is then drawn into the lungs. It’s the slow

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