Breathing Techniques for Rapping

Updated March 23, 2017

Breath control techniques are commonly used in singing, but are equally beneficial for rappers. The proper breathing techniques can affect everything from how you pronounce your words to increasing your vocal speed and staying on beat. There are several exercises that train you to breathe from your lungs instead of your nose. These exercises will make proper breathing second nature when it's time to perform.

Standing Exercise

With your hands against your sides, stand straight and slowly breathe in deeply. Focus on taking full breaths through your nose and filling up the lower half of your lungs with air. The purpose of this exercise is to expand your lung capacity and learn to breathe deeply. You can also try this exercise lying down on your back. This will allow you to feel the movement of your muscles as you breathe deeply.

Seated Exercise

While sitting in a chair with your arms hanging down, move your elbows away from your chest as you take a deep breath. Make sure your back is still touching the back of the chair. You'll find this exercise more helpful if you focus on creating resistance by pushing your back against the chair.

Lying Down Exercise

This next exercise will help you feel the difference between breathing from your chest and breathing from your lungs so that you can breathe correctly. While lying on your back, put your hands on your waist and aim your fingers towards your navel. Concentrate on breathing deeply and taking in air from the bottom of your stomach to the top. Your stomach and your hands should rise as your chest expands. Exhale slowly as you count to five. Do 10 repetitions of this exercise.

Additional Tips

Learn to take more air into your lungs by practicing your lines while doing cardio exercise. Rapping while jogging can help expand your lung capacity, allowing you to deliver more words without pausing for a breath. This will not only improve your breath control, but improve your rap skills as well. Another trick is to practice reading out loud at a high volume. This will improve not only your breathing, but your vocal delivery and command of the mic.

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About the Author

Michelle Gordon has been writing professionally since 2004. Gordon has written advertising copy for clients such as Nestle, Safeway, BB&T and Hanes. She holds a Master of Science in advertising from Virginia Commonwealth University.