Tag Archives: vocal registers

The Puffy ‘Oh’ Exercise

Happy autumn to all!! It’s been a little while since my last post. I hope all is well.

I have discussed the use of semi-occluded vocal tract exercises in several posts on this blog because of their great efficiency as warmups and cooldowns. They reduce the amount of lung pressure used to produce sound and help us find good closure of the vocal folds. We can generally access a rather large pitch range without stress or strain. They are also helpful in re-balancing the voice if it tires during a period of a lot of speaking or singing. Lip trills, tongue trills, hums, the ‘ng’, and fricative ‘v’ and ‘z’ are commonly used by singers.

Right now, there is a huge focus on the use of the straw exercise in many vocal studios around the world. Science has shown it to be an extremely effective tool in balancing the voice. I use it a lot in my own teaching. Today, I want to emphasize the exercise that I consider to be its fraternal twin- the puffy ‘oh’. They both benefit from a positive back pressure that aids in the previously mentioned vocal cord closure. I have found the latter exercise to be as efficient or maybe even more so than the straw.

Check out the video below to gain more insight and try out the exercise for yourself.




Head Voice vs Falsetto

Among singers, choral directors, and even voice teachers, there remains some confusion as it concerns terminology for the upper register of the human voice. Often, the terms ‘head voice ‘ and ‘falsetto’ are treated like synonyms. Some teachers and writers have purported that men have falsetto and women do not. In my teaching, I often find myself clarifying the terms that students have often heard tossed around.

In this video, I give  simplified scientific explanations of head voice and falsetto and why they are NOT the same. I hope that you find this useful and gain more clarity that will help you to develop a balanced approach to a connected mix voice.