SINGING TIP #1
Breath energy is your power. When you sing, know that there is plenty of air available for you — it’s all around you — and having confidence and comfort about your intake makes all the difference in singing.
Take a breath, use it all up and get another one. Never worry about running out of air in a song. You can fix it later. It is easier to relax if you know that you can always get more air when you need it, and if you know that you have plenty of time to figure it all out.
So, when you practice a new song, if you need another breath, just take one, even if you “shouldn’t” and make a mental note about that phrase. Notice (and/or mark) the places where you tend to run out of breath in the song, so you can go back and figure out the best places to breathe. Use check marks on your music to indicate where it works to take a breath. As you practice and get more comfortable with the song, you may notice that your breathing patterns change. So go with the flow.
William Hanrahan, my dear voice teacher in Los Angeles, and his partner Paul Baker (accompanist extraordinaire, singer, harpist) always gave us the following hint. At the end of many songs, there is a “money note” meaning the big finish note. Do professional singers sing the whole final phrase on one breath? Nope. They usually take a breath before that last note or last few notes. After a pause for emphasis, take a breath and then hold the money note for as long as you please.