To supplement the plethora of free straw phonation resources online, here is more to think about. Aren’t you excited?
Did you know there are mistakes you can make while using a straw for your singing or speaking voice?
If no, then read on dear voice friends . . .
#1 Air and sound leakage
Whether you prefer to use a cup of water with your straw or not, it’s important to keep the lips sealed around the straw while phonating. This keeps all the sound and airwaves contained in the tube of the straw, which has essentially become an extension of the vocal tract.
Looking to the physics of a moving column of air through a tube, the length (L) of the tube is very important for calculating how that air behaves. The length used in these calculations assumes a sealed tube with no leaks. By letting air (and sound) leak out at the level of the lips, you won’t the same effect as keeping your lips sealed. With leaks the equations are upended, and the system is compromised.
(There are other good reasons for keeping your lips sealed, but that’s another post for another time.)