Breathing, the bane of your existence. What we do for singing, especially for these different styles of music, is work on building enough air pressure in here so that these muscles can release and they're not working as hard or sometimes the speaking voice is like that and it's under supported with the air, so these muscles get tired. So I have, in my hand, your average dime store, if you know what that is, that's really dating me. Anyways, your average balloon and this represents your lungs, so watch what happens. I'm going to blow air into the balloon like you've done 1,000 times. So now if I let go of it, you know what's going to happen, because there's pressure inside here, the air is going to go out, and it made a sound. Let me do that again. So when you breathe in, your muscles expand, contract. Your diaphragm muscle contracts downward, your intercostal muscles in between your ribs, if you use them in that way, will stretch so that your chest cavity gets larger and that sucks air into your lungs. Your lungs are passive. So now here's my lung, it's full of air, but look at the mouth on this balloon. Well, how can I make it make sound? If I pull it a little longer, it makes a higher sound. That's about the size of your vocal folds. So if that's what's happening, how are they making a sound? The air is causing the two edges to vibrate together, and that's exactly what happens in your voice. Now imagine this isn't going to work without my fingers pulling on it, so within your larynx, where your vocal folds are located, the muscles are doing a similar thing. But if at the same time I were to really press hard, it wouldn't work very well, and if I didn't have very much air, there's not really a whole lot of pressure, so it would be more frustrating to sing. So that's an example, obviously, the balloon doesn't have any muscle around it, which you do in here and that is controlling a lot of the work of the release of air against your vocal folds. One way to practice breathing that some people like is to breathe through a straw because it's going to limit the amount of air that you can blow out at any one time. So you take in a breath and see how long you can last blowing through a straw. I like that, that's fun. Now let me explain a little bit about how this really works. These are my ribs, when I breathe into the middle of my chest, my ribs will expand, and you can see them moving. Now sometimes people talk about a belly breath, which is going to make it stick out, it's not very girly, but that's okay. So I'm going to breathe into my belly and that's good, that's low, it's more relaxed, but the problem is this, my belly doesn't really have the right muscles to manage the air pressure that I need coming back up against my voice. So I might have this kind of result, and I just ran out of breath and you probably heard that little flabby thing at the end. That's because my breath support was not good in that example. Now if I breathe high, which happens a lot of times when we're nervous, I'm still getting air, but it causes tension and now I don't have any kind of support so that my sound is not going to be what I want it to be. So if I plant my feet, and get strong in my legs, and think of my whole body as being what's holding me up, and even use wings, and we talk about opening, and then almost like you're a valve and you're slowly releasing the air with pressure. So it's really important to think about using your legs and your whole lower body and not just there. So now if I breathe in the middle, again, my hands are on my ribs so you can really see. Now I've used my upper abdominal muscle, my intercostal muscles, it's helping to keep the diaphragm muscle down so that I can use these muscles to slowly release back to rest so that the air pressure is steady. So we get this, I'm still on the same breath. Here's an exercise that you can practice along those lines, don't breath. I'm actually holding my breath, I still have not breathed in again. I think I've got one more in me. That that was all in one breath. So that's something that you can practice. I know people freak out about it. I'm not doing intense gripping with it, it's just a mild contraction up here to fill out in the middle. One other tip is to try breathing on the floor, lying down on your back and seeing if you can feel your ribs go into the floor, and you're also more relaxed when you lie there.