How to tell if you’re singing from your diaphragm, and not from your throat

Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Does your throat ache? Hurt? Feel hoarse? No? Good!
  2. Does your belly (and ideally lower back) expand, and then only slowly deflate as you start to sing? Yes? Good.
  3. Do you feel your tummy muscles (abdominals and intercostals) working, engaging, supporting your voice? Yes? Good.

In order for you to sing properly, without pain, and with freedom and ease, you must (at least) be able to answer these three questions.


  • In order for you to sing with ease your throat must be open.
  • In order for your throat to be open, you must breathe effortlessly through your nose (sometimes mouth), inflating your rib cage, tummy and lower back.
  • In order for your motor to do the work, instead of your throat, you must thenengage your tummy muscles and diaphragm.

So how do you rate your experience according to these guidelines? There you may have the start to an answer. Self-referral is a very powerful teacher.