Voice Training

Voice Training

This is a work in process. I will try and add and refine as time goes on. I scanned in all the handouts that my speech pathologist gave me in PDF form.
Aly sent me this, I’m not sure on the source.

I’ve posted this in response to other people a couple of times, and I figured I might as well make an actual thread on it. This is a regimen I developed using knowledge from a lifetime of vocal training. Yes, really.

I’ve been doing voice work for as long as I can remember, and while I may not be a “professional” (however you would measure that) I am very, VERY good at what I do. Everyone has the capacity to gain a feminine voice, though it may go at different speeds for some people.

As long as you follow these instructions, and don’t try and do it all in one go, you will find your feminine voice. When a step say practice, that means until you have mastered it, NOT just do it for ten minutes and move on. Mastery of the larynx is the only way to reach the kind of vocal control you will need. If you cannot shift your larynx at will, you will not sound good. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!

You may want to get a voice recorder to play back your voice and listen to how it sounds. I can usually play it by ear, but many people find it helpful.

With that in mind, follow these steps:

Put your hand on your larynx. (adam’s apple) This will help you to feel what you’re doing.Never use your hand to hold your larynx in place. The point of these exercises is building muscle control. Holding it in place won’t help with that and may, in fact, cause serious damage.

Swallow. You’ll feel the bump jump upwards. Do this for about five minutes, and try to hold the bump up there as long as you can. This builds muscle control and it is VERY IMPORTANT!You’ll want to do this exercise every day, several times a day, until you can move your larynx on your own. You won’t be able to breathe while doing this. This is normal. Keep practicing. You won’t be doing this when you’re actually speaking, it will just happen. This is basically lifting weights with your voice.

Say the word “up”. You’ll feel the larynx hop slightly. Keep repeating “up”, raising the pitch slightly each time. If you have a piano, follow a scale. After a few iterations, you won’t be able to go any higher. This is the limit of your natural voice. But don’t worry, we can change the limit!

Keep going upwards and you’ll feel a strangecrack in your larynx, this is the falsetto range. You’ll sound like a cartoon character, but that doesn’t matter. We’ll use this a base for building your new voice.

Begin working your way downwards, speaking/singing all the while. You’ll want to get to the divide between your natural voice and your falsetto. If you did it right, you should cross the gap and have a high voice that sounds somewhat natural. Keep talking, it helps hold your concentration on the new voice. Read a poem or a book out loud if you’re not good at stream-of-consciousness. Do this for a few minutes, until you feel uncomfortable holding your voice up there.

Get a drink of water.

Start back at your guymode voice, but this time try to lift your larynx up to where you had it in step five. (Don’t use your hand to lift it, do it by moving the muscles.) You do still have your hand on your larynx, right? If you can’t get it back up there, just start over from step 3. You should now sound like a male putting on a fake female voice. Again, don’t worry, this is just one of many layers. Keep practicing this movement until you can do it at will.

Put your hand on your chest. Go back to guymode and speak normally. Feel that rumbling in your chest? That is your resonance. You’re using you chest as a sounding board, this is what gives you a deep, rumbling sound.

Start talking like you’re super excited about something, something you just can’t help but share with the world! You should notice your pitch becoming higher and your resonance changing. This is because you are now using your head for resonance. (This is the secret to girlmode voice, shh…) Try to get a feel for how to do this, practice head resonating while speaking in guymode. It’s a bit esoteric trying to explain this with text, sorry. The best way I can describe it is speaking with your nose. I know that sounds weird and stupid, but trust me, once you get a feel for it, you’ll know what I mean.

Get another drink of water. This next part is a bit tricky, so bear with me.

Raise the pitch of your guymode voice like you practiced in step 7. You did practice, right? Now, resonate from your head. VOILA! You now have your beta girlmode voice! It probably still sounds off, though. Don’t worry, that easy enough to fix.

Guys often speak in monotone voices, never altering their pitch. They place emphasis by raising their volume. Girls usually speak in lilting voices, and place emphasis by raising their pitch. So, with that in mind, speak in a “sing-song” tone. Head to Youtube and find videos of cis girls talking if you don’t understand what I mean. One thing you may notice is that girls will often end their sentences with an upward inflection, like everything they say is a question. There’s all kinds of feminist theory and gender studies that say this is a bad practice, and that it’s just a way of keeping women from being assertive, yada yada. It’s true, yes, but speaking this way will help you with passing. So there’s that.

Hopefully you actually practiced when I told you to and didn’t try to run through this thing all at once. If you practiced and developed yourself, you should have a fairly decent sounding female voice. Don’t stop practicing! Even after you find your voice, you need to maintain it. As long as you keep using it consistently, your natural voice will gradually shift to your girl voice until that becomes your natural voice and you use it without thinking.