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Breathing: Nose vs Mouth breathing

This week we are going to look at nose vs mouth breathing and what the differences are. If you haven’t seen my other breathing blogs or videos, it might be worth having a sneak peek before ploughing on with this one.

And now onto the topic at hand: the nose versus the mouth.

Nose vs mouth breathing

How do you breathe? Are you a nose breather or are you a mouth breather? Perhaps you do a bit of both. It doesn’t actually matter as long as you’re getting the air in to be able to breathe.

However, it does matter if you’re trying to deliver and if you are trying to sing. Here are the headlines:

It’s quicker to breathe in through your mouth than your nose
It’s more calming to breathe through you nose because you have to take more time
🗣It’s more noisy to breathe in through your nose

When you sing, you need to take into consideration whether you are working with a microphone. If you are breathing in through your nose and you are close to the microphone that can be picked up on the microphone, especially condenser microphones. It’s best to mouth-breathe in this situation.

Working with microphones

The other thing to consider is the idea of plosives.

Plosives are going back to our consonants of a few months ago and they really pop on a microphone. If you’re working with a condensed mic or working with a mic on stage or a studio mic, be aware of those. The easiest way to avoid that pop is to pull back from the microphone when delivering plosives.

Air volume

Finally, a quick thought on volume of air.

I suffered with asthma as a child. I still have it a little bit, but it’s much more under control. The game changer for me was in my mid twenties when I read somewhere that for asthma, we take in a lot of air, but we don’t get rid of it again. So we feel like we can’t breathe. Often we already have so much air in our lungs that we are tensing up. So we need to get that air out.

Again, if you are delivering or if you’re singing and you’re a bit nervous, you can have a tendency to want to take deep breaths. That’s fine if you’re using all of that air, but you’ll actually find a lot of the time you don’t need as much air as you’re taking in, which means you start getting a build-up of air. Before you know it, your body’s tense, you’re full of air and you feel like you can’t breathe.

You need to take a moment and breathe everything out. Take a pause at some point, to see how much air you have in your lungs. And take that moment to breathe in and breathe it all out again. All of it. And then just take in a small amount of air that you need.

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