The Voice Straw
It’s Super Nerdy + Super Effective.
Anyone who has stepped foot into my studio knows that at some stage they are going to do straw work. The Voice Straw is a vocal training tool for singers, actors, and speakers. It helps relieve tension, strain, breathiness, cracking and flipping in the voice. Scientifically shown to improve singing technique. A must have tool for anyone looking for vocal success!
These straws are stainless steel, reusable and they come in different sizes, which is great support your developing voice. The sweetest element to this pack is the added cup component: You attach the cup to the straw and put the cup over over your mouth which will help develop your acoustical pressure.
An introduction to using straw phonation using the voice straw system
The Voice Straw and Cup Combo
Your complete vocal tool kit! The Whole Shebang! Everything you need to complete your vocal toolkit!
Don’t just take my word for it, take a look at the science behind this product.
Why a straw?
Based on exceptional science and peer-reviewed studies, including pioneering work by voice scientist, Dr. Ingo Titze, we realized the Voice Straw would be the most important tool in a singer’s toolbox.
The straw is a training and rehabilitation tool. It is all about pressure and resistance in the throat. There are plenty of straws out there but The Voice Straw offers a few unique features that truly leverage the science it is founded on.
What does the straw do?
- Trains the posturing of the vocal folds
- What does the straw do to change the posture of the Vocal Tube – It lengthens the Epi Laryngeal Space.
Why does this matter?
The straw is all about pressure equalization. The opening of the straw diameter is just smaller than the approximation of the average opening of the vocal folds. The smaller the opening the more resistance (aerodynamic pressure) you are getting.
When the vocal folds vibrate there are varying ranges of open phases and close phases. What we want is to get the average of the opening of the vocal fold movements. Whatever that average opening your vocal folds are doing it should be very similar to the diameter of the straw, which is why you need to play around with the size. The idea is that you wouldn’t want a huge diameter in the straw because that would not help with your vocal efficiency. That is why graduating to smaller straw sizes make sense because you are actually closing the vocal folds and putting them in a squared-up position.
Because there is so much back pressure happening it makes it so you cannot over squeeze. What you are doing is targeting the muscles that put the vocal folds in a squared-up position which then is lowering your phonation threshold pressure. We are re configuring the posturing of the vocal tract.
When using the straw, If you try to cough or squeeze, hard glottal attack, you can’t because the back pressure is counter acting. If you have a breathy voice, then you would get no sound, so you know the straw is bringing it together. The degree at which it brings the vocal folds together is determined by the diameter of the straw.
The back pressure does two things:
- Lowers the larynx
- Increase the epi laryngeal space. Most likely in in length because it is pushing back the false vocal folds and it’s allowing the larynx to come down.
So we are looking at the ratio between the Epi Laryngeal Tube and the Pharynx. The nice things about what the straw does is it lengthens the tube. You get the feeling of a long narrow tube (long narrow tube of the straw) and a feeling of what inertance (acoustical pressure) does. When you take the straw out hopefully it has trained the muscles to give you a better ratio in the pharynx
This is all about training.
The straw is a training tool.
We believe that the muscles that are activating in straw phonation is the TA. The LCA muscle is the muscle that does the posterior squeeze so the LCA will be aiding in the un-press and the TA would be in charge of the squaring up.
Who wouldn’t want to target the TA muscle to tone it up and square up the vocal folds? The straw is a perfect instrument to target the TA muscle and keep the other muscles coordinated. TA activation is what is need if you experience:
- Breathy Sound
If someone is experience crazy TA activation, we are NOT trying to overly activate that muscle or lift weights for the TA. We are trying to coordinate the muscle balance between the TA muscle and the CT, LCA, and IA to get the best configuration possible.
How To Straw?
Your straw size
Size DOES matter – First thing is finding which straw is the right fit for you. Yes, everyone is different, and you may need different sizes based on your own vocal demands on a daily basis. This is one of the reasons why The Voice Straw is unique and is the perfect solution for you. Our kit comes with different sizes.
What does the straw do?
Trains the posturing of the vocal folds
What does the straw do to change the posture of the Vocal Tube- It lengthens the Epi Laryngeal Space.
This is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some voice users will require a larger straw, others a smaller size. We provided both options because we understand how the straw works. When the diameter of the straw relates to the open/close phase of the vocal folds, you get the most efficient outcome for your voice.
The smaller the diameter the more resistance (Phonation Threshold Pressure) which pushes back onto the vocal folds. The longer the straw the more resistance you get.
The straw is a training and rehabilitation tool. It is all about pressure and resistance in the throat. There are plenty of straws out there but the Voice Straw offers a few unique features that truly leverage the science it is founded on.
Over time, you may find a smaller size works better as you become more efficient.
As you do your exercises, you will eventually integrate vowel and consonant position. The key is that now your vocal cords and throat are in optimal position for the most efficient sound production. When everything is positioned right, you are not only getting the most power and efficiency but you are able to utilize acoustic, or sound, energy more effectively. So your vocal folds will end up having less work to do!
If you feel any of the following, then you need to go to a bigger diameter
- Can’t hit the high notes
- Head pressure (sort of like brain freeze)
- After a heavy voice demand
- Squeezing in the throat
If you feel any of the following, then you will need to go to a smaller diameter.
- If it is too easy
- Lots of breath escaping
- You cannot feel the openness in the throat
Reasons you may be interchanging straw size on the regular
- You had a have voice demand and the voice is tired
- For women if you are menstruating and your vocal folds are puffy
- Not sleeping
- Post surgery
When we take away the straw what we are trying to emulate is the feeling of resonance. Resonance is the positive and negative measure you get above the vocal folds. When you use the straw, you should notice a change in sound. Some people feel a buzz or different vibration throughout their throat, face, lips, cheeks. What you are feeling is a sympathic vibration that is happening because of what is going on down on the vocal fold level. It is a bi product. So, by using a straw it is another way to train resonance.
Adding the cup to the voice straw
When we train with the straw, everything we are positioning is happening in the larynx and vocal cord level. Our target is NOT vowels and speech. Our target is the epi-laryngeal tube, position of the vocal folds and the pharynx which should remain relatively constant. We are going for the constant “inertance” and then we change everything above the glottis to benefit it even more.
Obviously, you cannot talk and sing when you have a straw in the mouth. The straw is not training vowel and consonant position. That happens in the upper part of the pharynx. Many people out there wonder WHY then straw and HOW they can keep that same feeling you get with the straw when you add vowels and consonants. This is where the cups come in. When you add the cup you are able to use the vowels and articulate but you are still creating the aerodynamic changes on the vocal folds AND with the straw in it we are helping the acoustical pressures. You are now able to articulate and sing while keep the vocal tube at its peak performance. This is optimal training for singing, high energy speech, and yelling and screaming.
How to use the cup
Once you get the straw phonation down. Add the cup. Make sure you don’t have leakage of air out your nose. Plug your nose and make sure you have a tight seal. Now talk, sing, and articulate. Audio Instructions will be sent to you in the workout audio/videos.
The Voice Straw Workouts
The Voice Straw Workout plans for
- Teen Boys
These workout plans include
- Audio on how to find the right fit for you.
- When you would need to experience different sizes
- How to use the straw
- What you should feel
- Audio tracks to that have a proven track record on helping you find connection, balance, build your range, and work on dynamics
- Video on when you use and how to use the articulation cups for speech and singing
With the purchase of The Voice Straw complete kit you will receive 3 workout tracks that is included in your purchase. Once you have purchased the kit you will be given a code on your confirmation receipt. You will then enter that code on the website for you to download.
If you would like to receive the complete kit you can order it at check out and have it automatically sent to you upon confirmation.