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Resonance more Bang for your Buck...

Updated: Jun 9

Looking for a fresh and effective vocal resonance warm up look no further than viola! Oops, I mean Vaw Vah!

This alternative exercise is guaranteed to help you take your vocal performance to the next level. Say goodbye to mediocre resonance, and hello to a standout voice that captivates your audience. Well, that's a bit of an overstatement!

If you're a singer, speaker or vocal coach, you know how important vocal resonance is for a great performance.

I first learned this exercise from a talented male vocal teacher during my second year at the Melba Conservatorium of Music. Although I wasn't initially a fan of the exercise, as I began teaching, I came to appreciate its value for certain singers.

Here's how to do it!

Sing a five note scale while alternating between the sounds of "Vaw" and "Vah."

Start at a comfortable middle range, and then sing up to the highest note you can sing with ease and then back down to the lowest note.

The "Vaw Vah" sounds, encourage sensations in the face and mask area, which is great for resonance exercises.

Since the V consonant is not common in several languages this exercise might present a challenge for some singers. However, Incorporating the V sound in your warm-up routine can enhance your vocal abilities and give you with better awareness of your voice.

Watch the videos for more educational details!

This exercise is particularly enjoyable for men due to the low frequencies present in the male voice. It provides a refreshing alternative to other vocal exercises typically performed as an initial warm-up, such as My Mother Makes Me Mash, Humming or Mum Mum.

Male Version

This image below was captured using the Cantovation Sing & See software, displaying both a broadband spectrogram and a narrowband spectrogram. The syllables "Vaw Vah" and "Maw Mah" were sung alternately using a five-note scale, but as evident from the image, there was little variation between the two.

Sing & See software by Contovation

Spectogram view of Vaw Vah and Maw Mah alternating
Alternating Vaw Vah to Maw Mah 5 note scale on the spectrogram.

So, next time you need to warm up your voice, give the Vaw Vah exercise a try and see how it improves your resonance and overall vocal performance.

I’d love to hear from you, please leave a comment below with your thoughts!


TIP: The Vaw Vah vocal exercise is great as part of a pre-performance vocal routine. Here's an example:

  1. Breathing SS FF Blow Blow to wake up the diaphragm.

  2. Third Slides on a lip roll or any SOVT exercise.

  3. then the Vaw Vah as above.




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