Magic Choral Trick #2 Breathing Through an 8 foot Straw

One of the things that I really love about experimenting on choirs with any singing techniques is that the results are so dramatic. Even if what you’re doing makes only a slight difference with each individual singer – the collective result can be stunning.

This is just another of those techniques – and this one is almost like the inverse of the Brass Buzz.

Imagine that you’re standing about 8 feet underwater (I’m guessing that at even just 8 feet, you’d probably need some weights to hold you down)

Now imagine that the way you are having to get air is through a very long, thin straw – so the pressure as you try to suck in the air is tremendous. This may remind some of you of the mid 1970’s – but for others, you’ll know you are doing it right when your neck tendons become more visible.

Try this exercise, then sing a phrase, or part of a warm up exercise.

If you try to do this sort of breath in the middle of a song, one short ditty could take all night. So this is best used during the warm up.

This is a great trick for placing the voice forward in the mouth – where you want it to be for clarity, ease and richness of sound. This one – like the Brass Buzz can act like a reset, or refresh button at any point in your rehearsal.


About janetkidd

I've been waving my arms in front of choirs now for more than 35 years - and these are descriptions of all the very best things I've learned. I direct a Women's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Men's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Med School choir, and for a few weeks each year - Big Choir (about 100 voices) - which performs at an annual fundraising concert. Hope at least some of these Choral Magic Tricks will be useful to you - and thanks for reading. Janet

Posted on November 19, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. WowI will give this one a try too.

  2. I know nothing about singing Janet but I like that you are blogging about it!

    • Wonderful to hear from you Tracy!

      This is the sort of thing I’ve always charged choirs money for – in my workshops – but I figured that the best way to help out the maximum number of singers and choirs is just to blast it off into the ethers.

      Love to you both

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