Vocal Straw Exercises

Straw phonation, vocal straw exercises, straw singing… they all mean the same thing: semi-occluding, or partially blocking, your vocal tract while you sing or speak. 

By doing the vocal exercises below with an OOVO Straw, you can balance the air pressure above and below the vocal folds and reduce vocal cord impact. Singers and speakers use this technique to alleviate vocal strain, eliminate vocal breaks, and develop a more powerful voice. 

Q: What are vocal straw exercises?

Set Your Goals

  • Practice in 5 minute sessions, up to 5 times per day.
  • Fit in a session whenever you’re feeling vocal strain and need a reset.
  • Keep your voice healthy and strengthen it safely by balancing air pressure in the vocal tract during vocal exercises.
  • Choose an exercise that addresses your personal goals, like expanding your range or smoothing a vocal break.

Before You Start

  • Breathe in normally. Don’t breathe in through the straw.
  • Put your OOVO Straw to your lips and sing through it. 
  • Air should only flow through the straw, not through your nose. 
  • Not sure if you’re doing it right? Hold your nose to test your form.
  • Relax your face and neck muscles. It’s ok if your cheeks puff out.
  • Clean your OOVO Straw occasionally using the included care kit.

Ok, you’re ready. Let’s do this!

OOVO Exercises

Work through a variety of exercises each day, focusing on your personal voice goals. You can practice safely knowing that OOVO Straw balances the pressure on your vocal cords, reducing the forces that can cause injury.

Easy

A super simple start to vocal straw exercises. Start by breathing out through the OOVO Straw without making noise. Then add your voice at a comfortable note in the middle of your natural range. Do this back and forth on one long breath out. This is a great morning exercise for both speakers and singers that wakes up your voice, especially if you’re feeling a bit hoarse.

Another great wake up and voice-mending exercise for speakers and singers. It’s named this way because you make a sound like you’re going over speed bumps or revving up your voice: quiet-LOUD-quiet-LOUD singing on two close pitches. 

This is emphatically vocalizing all positive thoughts, high in your speaking register. Imagine saying “What a great day!” “I love vocal warm ups!” This exercise is great for speakers. No musical background needed. It gets your voice in shape for healthy speaking at varying levels.

Intermediate

From your favorite karaoke song to a particularly challenging run, this exercise is all about working through tough spots, building up to big moments, and developing vocal muscle memory. (It’s also your chance to let loose a little. Go big!) When in doubt, sing your National Anthem.

As you might expect, this exercise is great for singers honing your belt. 

Laugh your way up through the top of your register. We know, we know…  it sounds funny.

Do this exercise to safely find and warm up the highest ends of your range without worrying about proper “singing” tones.

Major. Minor. Whole Tone. Blues. Go nuts!

By all means, get as complicated as you’d like. Focus on expanding your range and supporting with your breath, without straining. Keep your muscles relaxed and all of the air moving through the straw, not your nose. 

Advanced

Low to high. High to low. All the way up. All the way down, like a fire truck siren. As smoothly as you can. This exercise helps to smooth out your vocal break. 

Sing sustained notes especially focusing on controlling the coming and going of vibrato. Vibrato (wax) on. Vibrato (wax) off. Work this exercise in the same way around different registers of your voice.

Perhaps the most advanced of these vocal straw exercises, this is Italian for “placement of voice” practice. Take a comfortable breath, then sing on one long note. Start softly and grow to full voice, and subsequently continue back down to soft voice. First do this exercise on one comfortable low note. When you feel good on that note, work your way up to the next note on the scale. This is great for working specifically on your mix transitions. Master this so you can transition through all the various colors that your incredible versatile voice can produce. (Don’t worry if you struggle with this one. It’s very hard, especially when adding OOVO resistance!)