Slow Leaky Tire

A healthy mind has an easy breath. ~ Author Unknown

Here is how you do the Slow Leaky Tire breathing to improve your singing voice.

  1. Shake out your shoulders, jaw and cheeks
  2. Relax your shoulder so they don’t go up when you breath in
  3. Take a deep breath and remember to make sure your shoulders don’t go up as you inhale
  4. Shape your lips like a fish
  5. Slowly let your breath out with an “sssss” sound, as though it is a golden thread going through your top front teeth
  6. Do this as long as you can until you think you’ll pass out if you continue
  7. Let go of your muscles
  8. Repeat #2-7
{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Orange_Melody January 27, 2010, 10:32 pm

    It was hard not to chuckle as I saw what my face looked like in the mirror, thus my air was gone and I got to repeat steps #2-7 more quickly than I anticipated.

    Thanks for the tip!

    • Joy January 28, 2010, 9:57 am

      Hey Orange Melody,

      I like your name, by the way. Makes me feel happy.

      If you do this simple breathing activity daily, you’ll be surprised how fast your breath capacity will improve.

      And breathing well, of course, helps singing and overall health, which keeps us happy in an orange sort of way!

      Keep me posted on your progress.

  • ♦Sophie ♦ May 18, 2010, 3:30 pm

    Hi! I tried it out, but I think the hardest part is stopping my shoulders from going up o.O also my air goes pretty fast lol but I’ll keep on trying :P!!!

    Thx for the tip!

    Regards n_n

    • Joy May 23, 2010, 8:56 am

      Sophie,

      Try standing in front of a mirror to help with the shoulders going up. Also, be sure your diaphragm is going out when you breath in. Often, when the shoulders go up it is an indication that there is tension in the belly area. Let me know if this helps.
      Joy

  • SRM January 17, 2013, 2:59 pm

    Well that wasn’t so bad. Felt like a weirdo but if it helps I will keep doing it everyday.

    • Joy January 18, 2013, 8:54 am

      Dear SRM,

      Thanks for commenting. By doing that you have taken the first step to getting more of my help because I believe in personally engaging with anyone who wants help with their voice.

      Yes, keep doing the exercise because it will help you. The feeling of being a “weirdo” will go away too, so no worries about that.

      Also, here is another thing for you can do to help your singing voice.

      If I can help you further, just keep commenting anywhere you like on the site, and if you have a Facebook account, you can use that too to like the pages or post or to ask questions!

      Be well, sing well,
      Joy

  • Beth March 1, 2013, 11:11 am

    I joined a choir a few months ago. I love singing but can’t do it if I know someone else can hear. I’ve been asked to do a solo, I ran through it with the choirmaster and it went fine. Problem is that I know when I have to do it in front of others I will open my mouth and either this tiny shaky voice squeaks out or nothing at all. I so want to do this, even if its just once. Does anyone have any ideas? This is about more than just singing, it’s a whole self esteem thing. When you constantly told how crap you are for years on end, you start to believe it. I want to be able to do this performance to show I’m worth more.

    • Joy March 4, 2013, 5:25 pm

      Hi Beth,

      Here’s an article I wrote about the very thing you are talking about: nervous singing in front of other people.

      Let me know what you think!

      Joy

  • secretzacefron August 26, 2013, 4:52 am

    Hi ..

    Im having trouble With How my Mouth is supposed to be in doing this exercise..

    Thanks.

    • Joy September 1, 2013, 9:04 am

      Hi,

      Yes, the mouth position. The most important thing is to think of a perfect balance between the muscles surrounding your mouth, your cheeks, your jaw and tongue. The balance I mention is about tension versus relaxation, rigidity versus fluidity.

      The facial muscles are complex and directed affect being able to get the sound out in such a way that we move others.

      Focus less on the “correct” position of your mouth and more on the “correct” balance between tense and relaxed, rigid and fluid. Trust your inner instincts. Especially pay attention to your singing mindset.

      Keep me posted on your progress.

    • Joy October 14, 2013, 2:35 pm

      Hi,

      For some reason your comment did not show up inside my dashboard when you sent it.

      But I saw it today and can tell you that your mouth and cheeks should sort of feel like a “fish kiss” for this singing breathing exercise.

      I often call it the “fishy fishy kissy kissy lip” look.

      Hope that helps.
      Joy

  • LaMontriel Irby January 10, 2015, 6:55 pm

    I’m 16 I was singing every since I was 6yrs old my voice started to sound weird since my adamsappel camed around now when I try to hit high notes it sounds like i’m straining n trying too hard but the thing about it is that I can sing the high notes because I feel it n me but when I try to hit them I can’t. IS THERR ANY WAY THAT I CAN GET MY SINGING VOICE BACK.

    • Joy January 11, 2015, 11:29 am

      Hi LaMontriel,

      The voice situation you describe is not unusual, so first let me assure you that there is nothing wrong with your voice. For guys, this is what happens:

      • The Adam’s apple, in conjunction with the thyroid cartilage which forms it, helps to protect the walls and the frontal part of the larynx, including the vocal cords (which are located directly behind it).
        Another function of the laryngeal prominence is related to the deepening of the voice. During adolescence, the thyroid cartilage grows together with the larynx. Consequently, the laryngeal prominence grows in size mainly in men. Together, a larger soundboard is made up in phonation apparatus and, as a result, the man gets a deeper voice note. (Wikipedia)

      What this means for your specific question is that the power of your voice has gotten bigger and the pitches of it have become lower as part of the natural growth in becoming a man. It was easier to sing the high notes before the change in your larynx and Adam’s Apple for lots of reasons, but I don’t want to get too technical here. Check out my article about the Adam’s Apple.

      However, I want you to know that there are ways to sing the high notes without straining your voice, and even though you will never have the same sound that you had when you were a little boy, you can learn how to empower yourself with the more mature voice that you have now.

      The real clue is in your tongue, or what I call your Singing Tongue. I don’t know if you have looked at this article yet about the singing tongue, but I urge you to read it and then check out the FREE Affordable Singing Lessons Quick Tips videos.

      Sing well, be well,
      Joy

  • Arielle June 15, 2015, 5:20 pm

    Hi Joy,

    I get out of breath and my voice gets shaky when I need to sing standing up or fast songs. I read your article about nervous singing and tried the leaky tire. However, I only feel even more out of breath after practicing it.
    Do you have any idea what I could do to win my voice back?

    Thanks in advance, I have a gig coming up this week and I’m pretty nervous about it because of my “lack of oxygen” !

    • Joy June 26, 2015, 5:55 pm

      Arielle,

      I apologize for not responding to your questions in time for your gig. How did the gig go?
      Also, I encourage you to read this article and then get back to me after you read it.

      Joy

  • Stella November 12, 2015, 4:24 am

    I need help too. I know how to sing but whenever i am going to sing or lead a song , sometimes my heart starts beating very fast , then shaking come . I grab the mike and the hand starts checking then my voice too , the legs . Please help.

    • Singing Master May 24, 2016, 1:25 pm

      Hi Stella,

      It’s taken me way too long to get back to you but that is because my websites were horribly hacked and that delayed things.

      But now I’m happy to be back and ready to help you.

      The things you describe are caused by fear, of course, which is totally natural and common to all of us.

      Ah, but learning to let go of the fear is the key to your success in singing.

      So here is an article that may help you to begin to learn how to overcome your fear in singing and replace it with confident singing.

      Keep me posted,
      Joy

    • Singing Master May 24, 2016, 2:31 pm

      Hi Stella,

      Have you read my article on Nervous Singing?

      If not, do that first.

      Then check out Singing Mindsets too.

      And more about what can cause nervous singing because of the root causes of our singing mindsets.

      Then get back to me.

      Thanks,
      Joy

  • Raluca July 26, 2016, 9:37 pm

    Hello! Thank you for this technique! I am having my first ever singing lesson in one hour and I am so incredibly nervous! This helped me. I hope all goes well!

    • Singing Master August 2, 2016, 11:44 am

      Hi Raluca,

      I’m so glad that the Slow Leaky Tire helped you.

      Here’s another article about nervousness too, Nervous Singing, Nervous Shaking, so that whatever happens in your lessons, you know that I’m here to help you.

      Sing well, be well,
      Joy

  • Jisac October 9, 2016, 10:11 pm

    How times do i have to do this

    • Singing Master December 27, 2016, 7:50 am

      Hi Jisac,

      Sorry to take so long to answer your question. I have been off of all my websites for several months due to a major move.

      But the quick answer about how many times to help your singing breath power by using the Slow Leaky Tire exercise is as often and as long as possible. It cannot do any damage, but can build up your singing lung capacity, which is very important for quality singing.

      Kindly,
      Joy

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