hey everyone I’m Jason Catron and this is your free vocal tip a couple years ago I was traveling in london and was visiting a good friend i was performing there and after the performance I saw him and a couple friends start making these kind of weird sounds if you will with straws so I went up and asked him what was happening what they were doing and sure enough they were doing something known as a straw technique some of you may have seen this in other places it’s not something that we have on the program but we’re going to use the program along with this little crutch if you will to help you reduce strain in your vocal so again one of the most common things that we find here as people come into our studios at Singing Success is really the issue of strain it’s very prominent and then especially so as we ascend a scale again as you’ve heard us talk many times the cords kind of zip up like a zipper as we go higher so they begin to be faster and closer together again anything that we do to inhibit or restrict or resist that motion that coordination that connection from happening we’re going to face an issue so strain again if I’m going (mum sounds) from here (mum sounds) I’m straining right many of you may be facing this where you are right now I’m thinking how can I get rid of this it’s got to be easier of course it is as easy as using something you have laying around your house right now so just grab a straw simple straw i suggest finding one that has you know a decent sized opening it doesn’t have to be a big one like for boba tea or a really small one like stirring coffee with might be a little too small so just a normal straw want you to take it going to put it gently between your lips now the key is to not bite down on the straw right would be really that’s kinda what happens when you begin to strain as you you may not be biting down on your jaw but the jaws definitely part of that motion and definitely the neck muscles all the muscles connected to the neck and shoulder everything kind of becomes constricted and tighter and it’s keeping those cords from connecting and beating together as we want them to to find a free released resonant tone so what we’re going to do is just simply begin to blow through the straw so just do little things like this at first just make sounds make tones happen it’s almost like if you ever heard like a slide that the little instrument some (woo sounds) little slide so we’re just or kazoo you can even think a kazoo but just gently set it between your lips and go hmm what I don’t want you to do is go that’s just putting the strain with the straw right the key is to let the air gently flow through with a light tone it’s almost as if you’re trying to release it out through the straw so whatever is in front of you you can also try to think if you will or or imagine that tone is tilting forward into the mask of the face the pocket as we refer to it so if I demonstrate it might be like this you can hear how the tone lightens it tilts and lifts and you can also sense if that tone is just freely flowing out right so let’s put to an exercise real quick and then we will put to a little song i’m going to play this exercise as i do it listen closely with the voice may begin to quiver or shake a little bit that’s actually good that’s letting us know that you’re letting go of pushing and straining too much trust that let that be what it is for a moment maybe for a few times through it may take you before the tones really try to connect like so another thing you can do is just put it to a song take the words away we’re going to do happy birthday today just simply you’re going to go mm-hmm mmm hmm mm-hmm you get the point you can put this to any song again the whole concept here the idea behind this simple little piece of plastic is to keep us from biting down over compressing straining stretching reaching maybe for the for the sake of finding something that feels powerful that feels like something you can grip onto and letting that release that free tone that free sound just gently slide out of the straw i would suggest taking your straw and maybe starting with in the 360 program technique lesson 2 put that CD in and just go through the exercises with the straw you can sit down at the keyboard if you want and start playing it yourself and again like I said any song just take the straw take the words away and let the sound simply come out and find ways to find more freedom more resonance more tonality gently lightly letting go of that release finding new frontiers if you will with your voice so have fun with this use the straw good thing is it doesn’t cost anything you pick one up anywhere and just really let go of the strain find the release using the straw