I am a beginner singer, and during some singing classes I took the teacher showed me that when the air is coming from the diaphragm, it is a little cold. She showed me some exercises and I learned how to take out that cold air flow. But later at home, when singing, I noticed my air is not cold at all, even when I am completely sure I am using my diaphragm to take the air out. Am I doing something wrong or have some wrong info?

3 Answers 3


The "cool air" vs. "warm air" question is a valid one, but doesn't have anything to do with your diaphragm.

Diaphragmatic breathing is all about supporting your breath and airstream properly. The issue here is that when your lungs expand, they need room to do so, and expanding down into negative space created by your diaphragm will allow the diaphragm to do its job when you need to exhale. The alternative would be to expand out into your upper chest, where the musculature is not designed to move air in and out of your body. I disagree that you cannot control your diaphragm -- it may not be a directly controlled muscle, but I can certainly feel and influence where my air is going when I inhale--and this takes practice.

When a voice teacher is talking about cool air or warm air, they are probably (at least if they have any hope of making sense) talking about your oral cavity.

Try breathing on your hands as if to warm them up. Now, try blowing across across a spoon of hot soup to cool it down. Bingo: instant warm air/cool air. Now, do the same while paying attention to the shape of your oral cavity, in particular with regard to the placement of your soft palate. You should notice that the soft palate is very high when blowing "cool air". That is the point of this exercise in the context of training a voice--to raise the soft palate.

  • With due respect, you basically just re-worded my answer and posted as your own. I will re-iterate that you cannot control your diaphragm just like you cannot control your liver or your stomach. If you believe you can control your diaphragm, then you would be able to make it move independently of your lungs, which is impossible. You cannot feel your diaphragm - what you are feeling are your expanding lungs. At best, "using" your diaphragm is a visualization exercise to help musicians picture filling their lungs completely with air, taking large, open breaths. Feb 16, 2014 at 17:47
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    @jjmusicnotes I read your answer first and decided it did not sufficiently answer the question. You did not talk about the soft palate, and in particular how the hot air and cold air metaphors apply to the physiology of singing. You also only explained the mechanics of proper diaphragmatic breathing, whereas my aim was to address why this is an issue for vocal technique in the first place.
    – NReilingh
    Feb 16, 2014 at 17:52
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    To the control of the diaphragm point... I'm sure we agree that we have conscious control over breathing in and out, yes? Is the lung a muscle?
    – NReilingh
    Feb 16, 2014 at 17:57
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    Holding your breath by holding your diaprhagm in a certian position (so air could travel in/out your lungs and isn't blocked, but doens't because you're holding still) = controlling your diaphragm. Breathing = controlling your diaphragm. Coughing = controlling your diaphragm. Feb 17, 2014 at 17:46

You can't control you're diaphragm; it moves involuntarily. Your teacher has given you incorrect information, which I will outline and correct below.

Also, air cannot "come from the diaphragm". That is physiologically impossible. Your air comes from your lungs; nowhere else. Your diaphragm is a muscular membrane that sits below your lungs and above your stomach. When you inhale, the diaphragm is pulled downward creating negative pressure in your lungs, causing them to expand and intake air. The opposite process happens for exhaling. So, all the air that you have comes from your lungs. You can't choose where it comes from.

Quality of tone production depends on how well your vocal cords resonate. Cold vocal cords do not resonate just like cold hands make it hard to play an instrument. Therefore passing cold air through your vocal cords is actually the opposite of what you want. This is one reason why people say, "I need to go warm up."

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    I feel like you are confusing a pedagogical approach with a literal thought, as well as what is meant by 'cold'. It sounds like this teacher was trying to give guidance as to how to encourage singing with strong breath support. Everyone knows that air goes to the lungs... but trying to find a way of feeling proper breath support is hard, so we use terms and feelings to help students understand and gain confirmation that they are doing it correct. I'm guessing the 'cold air' (not cold vocal chords) is indicative of quickly taking air in and resulting from evaporation of saliva. Mar 14, 2014 at 13:54

I don't think there is any kind of problem with air.

  • All human beings same kind of diaphragm and the heat absorbed by the air inhaled is completely dependent on your body temperature.

  • so I don't think you need to worry about it.

  • All you need to do is practice on regular basis

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