Breath Management: The Appoggio Breathing Technique (Part 1)

What Is Appoggio?

While the word appoggio may be completely foreign to you right now, it won’t be by the end of this blog. I want to give you some idea about what appoggio is and how it can improve your singing by working on you breathing technique, your breath management, which is one of the most important factors of good singing.

Appoggio is sometimes seen as related only to the management of airflow while singing, which it basically is, but it is more than that. It is a support system that holds in balance the muscles engaged during inhalation (taking in a breath) and exhalation (letting the breath out) and the muscles of the larynx. The goal is to allow the abdominal wall muscles to control the airflow of exiting air, not letting it out to quickly, while making sure that the larynx remains steady or even slightly lowered.

I know for some of my readers that is either boring or confusing, but bear with me for a second. This method starts out as a fog, but the more you know about it, the clearer it gets. And in my next blog I’m going to give some very practical methods to getting it that you can apply right away. First, I’m going to do my best to explain what it is.

Here is an article I wrote on how to become a better singer

In appoggio technique, the chest and sternum remain relatively stationary, not rising or falling very much, and start in a high, good posture (“noble” position— keeping your head, neck and torso in alignment) type position. And the ribs stay pretty much in the position they were placed after inhalation (inspiration).

During inhalation there will be expansion felt in the lower rib cage and on the front and sides of the lower torso. In fact, lateral abdominal expansion should equal, or even exceed, forward expansion. The main point of the appoggio breath-management system is to remain in the position of inspiration for as long as possible. This is the desired position for singing, in the appoggio method.

Appoggio is a breathing technique, technically, but it depends heavily on posture, body position and the interplay of the different muscles used for singing. In fact, the word appoggiare means “to lean against, to be in contact with, to support.” This is an accurate description of what’s going on with the main muscles in the abdominal wall. The stomach doesn’t push out or pull in when singing a phrase. The key here is maintaining torso stability—good, noble posture

I know that was a lot, but hopefully it gives you a good introduction to appoggio or adds a few things to your understanding of it. Like I said, I’ll give some practical examples of how to do this in my next post.

Hope this is helpful.

Best,

Aaron

Feel free to leave your comments below and let me know what you think of Part 1 of this blog series!

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