Trans Feminine Speech – maintaining a higher pitch
When we think of trans feminine speech, the very first thing almost everyone thinks of is higher pitch. While there is a lot more to sounding feminine than just pitch, they are right – a higher average pitch is one thing that makes a voice distinctly feminine.
What is a feminine pitch range?
When we talk about developing feminine pitch, we need to first know what range is appropriate. If we are too low, it can be difficult to make other elements of the voice feminine. If your pitch is too high, it won’t sound feminine and can mean straining (or at least trying to hard) to retrain your voice higher.
The ideal average pitch range to practice and speak in is A3-C4. This is a few notes higher than a typical masculine voice, which tends to reside in the A2-E3 range. If you’re unsure what those notes are, using a labeled keyboard like Apronus is a good way to find exactly where you should be.
To begin practicing pitch, play A3 on your keyboard five times, and just listen to it. Once you have heard it five times, now it’s time to hum it five times! Play the note, take a deep breath, then hum the note on an “m” sound for as long as you can, trying your best to match the keyboard. Repeat four times, each one for as long as you can.
When humming or speaking in a way that sounds feminine, it’s also common for the amount of space in the mouth and throat to be smaller. To practice this while humming, hum the “m” while smiling, also keeping the teeth and lips completely together. This will reduce the space in the mouth and the throat, shifting the quality brighter and more feminine.
Once you’re feeling good about humming, try humming with reading! Hum your A3 for a second, then sing a sentence out of a book or article all on A3. Every word should be on the same note, A3, and you should try to smile more and open your mouth less than you’re used to as you pronounce each word. Go slow, it’s all about high quality practice!
After you’ve sung a sentence 4-5 times and are feeling solid, try 4-5 times where you sing the sentence once and then immediately read it. It won’t feel a whole lot different, start by singing the first word on A3 and then reading the rest of the sentence. You’ll want to allow yourself to go up and back down in pitch every 3 words or so, but try not to go below the A3.
As you can do more and more sentences well, you’ll find that you can gradually speak at a higher pitch with less and less effort. The key is to go slow, pay close attention to detail, and don’t practice for too long at a time – practice short but practice often.
To learn more, visit Trans Vocal Training's website at: TransVocalTraining.com
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