voice training for trans femmes ✨
Don’t distribute this shit for money k thx
put 2gether by kat
disclaimer: I’m not a voice pathologist/therapist/trainer. Your mileage may vary. By no means am I saying you, or anyone else needs to change their voice. If you want to change your voice, this can help. I am not claiming authorship for the included exercises or lists of words.
You either need a microphone for your computer, or a smartphone. External/headset USB mics will be better than a webcam mic for your computer since they’ll pick up a larger spectrum of frequencies, but make due with what you have. If you don’t have access to a microphone for your computer, there’s plenty of USB microphones on Amazon for fairly cheap. I’m not going to list them here, but I’m sure you can figure it out!
You will need one of these apps (or an unlisted one if you find one that’s better!) in order to track your voice’s pitch during exercises.
Voice Analyst -- iOS & Android - $9.99 -- I haven’t used it personally, but it seems pretty robust. You can set pitch ranges/targets, view pitch fluctuations over the entirety of your recording, and save recordings to come back to them in the future.
Voice Pitch Analyzer -- iOS & Android - Free - This works to a certain degree (and chances are you might be familiar with it already). It’ll show your average pitch and the total range of pitches for a given recording. The downsides are that it has its own opinions about gendered ranges, and you can’t see where specifically your pitch was fluctuating (which is a pretty big downside).
Praat - Windows, macOS, Linux - Free - Link - Really cool piece of software, except it was made for linguistic research by a bunch of academics so it’s incredibly obtuse. Basic use: Praat Objects window > New > Record Mono Sound/Record Stereo Sound > in the new window, hit record and then stop when you’re done > you can give it a name, and hit Save to list > Back in Praat Objects, click on that new sound you just recorded and press View and edit > the bottom graph (blue line) is your pitch! You can click on it, and the pitch at that time will show up on the right side, and if you select a range, it’ll show an average. If you want more information, check out the help menus, there’s also tutorials online.
If you can find any sort of tuner or singing tool that show you your pitch in real-time, or a website like this, that would work for hitting a specific pitch (which is needed in some exercises).
If you do find an app that works better, please contact me on twitter and I'll totally add it.
Your pitch goal when practicing should be a minimum of a G3 (197 Hz). This does not mean that you should go into a falsetto, as that will forgo a lot of the other principles and likely just make you sound like Mickey Mouse.
You should aim to naturally fluctuate your pitch, rather than being monotone (think sing-songy). When practicing, try to actively fluctuate higher toward the end of a sentence, and then reset at the start of the next sentence. Look for that upward curve when recording and analyzing your pitch.
You should avoid vocal fry (also known as creaky voice). If you find yourself dipping into it, try to correct yourself.
Your goal should be to have what is known as fronted resonance. Try to focus your voice forward, towards the front of your face, as if your voice is coming out of your eyeballs. This can, and should feel, fairly nasally. Your goal is to move your voice out of your chest or throat, and into the face. If you need to talk through your nose to start, do it. Visualizing in your head where you’re projecting and resonating your voice can really help you nail this one. I know it sounds kind of ridiculous, but it’ll feel more natural with time.
lightness & quality
You should aim to speak with clarity while practicing, clearing enunciating consonants in words.
You will, with time, want to make your voice more breathy while its pitch is raised. This is accomplished by letting more air out while speaking. This gives a softer quality to higher-pitched voices that makes them sound less like singing and more like talking.
You should aim to feel relaxed while speaking, but your voice/diaphragm should remain supported. For some people, this may come easily, but others may find when going into higher registers, their voice begins to waver (which comes from lack of diaphragmatic support), or the quality of their voice sounds very forced. This can be helped by warming up first, and by working on certain exercises to strengthen your support.
tips for practicing
Do these with a friend if you can! This can help you feel more comfortable speaking around other people, lets you stay accountable for practicing, and can be a lot of fun. Having some feedback on how you’re doing can also be invaluable.
Have a glass of water at the ready! Working on your voice is, well, work. Take care of your body and keep sipping. I always enjoyed drinking warm tea before doing my practices, as it helps get me relaxed.
Keep a list of things you would like to read out loud. These can be books, articles, screenplays, poems, your own writing, whatever. Pick things that you will enjoy.
Keep track of your progress! Make a Google/Excel Sheet, write it down in your journal, etc. Take note of your average pitch, what went well, and what you struggled with.
Always record yourself while practicing. You need to learn how to analyze your own voice through looking at your pitch range, how it fluctuates over time, and also by listening back to your voice and assessing yourself. I know it sucks listening to yourself, but you have to do it.
Practice, practice, practice. This is a process that takes time, and you will only progress if you take that time.
- Shoulder roll: Roll your shoulders up toward your ears, then roll them back and down, 6x
- Tongue stretch: Stick your tongue out and down so you can feel it stretch in the back, hold for a few seconds, 6x
- Chewing: Pretend to chew something in an exaggerated way for 15 seconds. Then do it again, with your mouth closed while humming at G3 for 15 seconds.
- Lip trills: Steady at G3 for 5 seconds, 6x. Then: lip trill ↑ lip trill ↓, 6x.
- Vowel glides: Move your pitch like a swing, a little up and a little down. hee ↑ hee ↓, 3x. hoo ↑ hoo ↓, 3x. hoe ↑ hoe ↓, 3x. ha ↑ ha ↓, 3x.
- Scale: Mee-mee-mee on each note, start with G3 and end with C4, then back down.
- "Bzz": Steady at G3, 5 seconds, 3x. Then: bzz ↑ bzz ↓, 3x.
- "Bvv": Steady at G3, 5 seconds, 3x. Then: bvv ↑ bvv ↓, 3x.
- "Hmm": Steady at G3, 5 seconds, 3x. Then: hmm ↑ hmm ↓, 3x.
- "Molm": Steady at G3, 5 seconds, 3x. Then: molm ↑ molm ↓, 3x.
- Resonant words - Pick 15 resonant words, 1x each at G3, exaggerate the m’s and n’s slightly.
- Chant & Say: Chant a resonant phrase at G3, then say it naturally, starting higher than G3. 2x each for each phrase.
- Molm & Say: "Molm" at G3, then say a common phrase naturally, starting higher than G3. 2x each for each phrase.
This is your opportunity to read aloud anything you want. Keep in mind all the principles. Stay light, keep your voice fronted, keep your voice higher, and reset at every phrase.