How to Improvise a Song Part 4, by Ian Mclaughlin

Updated: Jan 19








You have followed the previous three steps (the Loins the Heart and the Head) and are now ready to make a sound. But how do you make it powerful enough to shatter a pair of thick spectacles from fifty paces? Let’s talk about the Lungs.


Anyone for Tennis?














Above is some ‘borrowed’ Clipart of the Lungs, or as I like to call them, The Williams Sisters. It is from here that the Hurricane required to project your song is launched.

Breathing is a natural process that we don’t really think about much (unless you are under water for to long) We are going to need to understand how they work if we are to hit the back of the room with our Sound Balls.


There is something missing from this diagram – any ideas? Yes! Well done. It’s the Diaphragm.


Dia-what! I know it sounds like a Heavy Metal Band but our Diaphragm is the Tennis Racquet that the Sound Balls are fired with. It’s a dome shaped sheet of muscle that is found at the base of the chest and works in tandem with the ribs to control the air you use.















There it is. X marks the spot.

Try this – Pant really quickly like a dog that’s been running around the park for hours.


Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha…


Can you feel the top of your stomach bouncing? No! (Call an Ambulance) Yes? Good.


Now Turn the panting into a slow sarcastic laugh HA! HA! HA! HA!…


Now turn the sarcastic laugh into an Evil Genius Laugh.


HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!……HA! HA! HA! HA! e.t.c.


Your Tennis Racquet is now firing powerful Sound Balls.


Next, go into Slow Motion. Extend the length of the HA’s (with a quick deep breath in between) so each one last three seconds, then five then ten (Stop if you feel dizzy or your face turns red)


It is most likely that as you reached the end of your breath the volume faded away.

Try this – Turn your Ha’s into AH’s. Load up your lungs and start gently, increasing your volume as you start to run out of air. Boom!


You have now used the extra reservoir of the ‘Secret Lung’ – Three Lungs? Well not really, but by imaging you have the Williams Triplets in your chest you can begin to control the flow of air much more smoothly.


Another exercise: Sing the following numbers. The BLACK numbers are short, the RED numbers long. Take a quick breath when you need to. Don’t worry about the tune. GO!




You are getting there. Now practice singing any song you know. Think about where you breath and the amount of air needed. Reload the Sound Balls with each breath so you are ready to fire a lobbing soft shot or drive home an ace.


Now sing in the shower, on the bus, in the park – in fact everywhere you can (maybe not a funeral or while your playing Tennis!)

Next Post – The Tip of the Tongue.

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