Steps and Exercises for Crossdressers and Transgenders to Achieve a Feminine Voice
One of the most difficult aspects for crossdressers and transgenders is achieving a feminine voice. The words, the pitch, and expressions we use define our very personal style of speech. Our voice constitutes a fundamental trait of our personality. All these aspects come not only from our cultural environment, but there are also genetic reasons as to why male and female voices sound different.
Today we are going to delve into the main differences between the male and female voices. We´ll see why and how they are so different and talk about methods to train your voice to sound more feminine. Here you will also find precautions to prevent you from hurting you while you do so. You’ll also learn about bad habits you need to avoid when speaking. Before reading this particular article, I suggest you read this other article first. When you have understood all the precautions, then you can follow this article for systematic voice training.
There are many techniques and details you must take into account if you are looking to sound more feminine. You will learn here what are the defining traits of the voice and how you can train and control them. So, let’s get down to it and learn how to feminize your voice!
1. Main Differences Between Male and Female Anatomy
◆ The Larynx or the Voice Box
When you think about the sound of feminine voices, a higher pitch may be the first thing that comes to mind. Nonetheless, the pitch isn’t by far all there is to achieve a feminine sound. A raspy and deep voice can belong to a woman as well. Miley Cyrus is a very good example of it. The sound of the voice of any given person is a series of customs and habits. It is also influenced by culture and physical characteristics. First and most important, genetic women have a shorter larynx. The larynx, or voice box, is the tube where your voice resonates that connects your lungs with the back of your mouth. With less space to resonate, the voice becomes brighter and more feminine. We are going to learn how to control our larynx’s muscles so we can shorten them and achieve our goal.
◆ The Vocal Cords and the Tongue
Another muscle that we must learn how to control is our vocal cords. The vocal cords are responsible for making the air vibrate as it exits our lungs to produce the sound we recognize. They can be shortened to achieve a low pitch or lengthen for a higher one. They also can be tightened or loosened. When they are tight, your voice will be more compressed. On the contrary, if they are loosened the sound that will come out is a less compressed one. A whisper is a good example of a loosely compressed sound. These muscles are not the only ones involved in producing the characteristic imprint of your voice. The tongue and the back of your palate are also very important. Although there isn’t much difference here between female and male anatomy, you will have to learn how to control them if you are looking to change the sound of your voice. The techniques here focus on how to identify and master these physical parts of your body.
◆ Key Aspects of Pronunciation and Intonation
As mentioned before, when we hear the sound of a voice we can recognize a higher pitch present in the female one. But it isn’t by far the only characteristic aspect of it. Women tend to put more emphasis on vowels and less on consonants. Furthermore, men’s speech lowers the volume down towards the end of the sentences. On the contrary, women speak with a wider variation of pitch and usually end the sentences in a crescendo. This means that when you are trying to make your voice more womanly, you will have to vary the tone of it along the sentences and avoid sounding monotonal. Even a single word may have a great variation of pitch. Now that we have learned the main differences between female and male anatomy and how both speech patterns differ, let’s see what we can do to control it.
2. Getting Started with Vocal Training
First and foremost you must look for feminine voice that inspires you and you want to sound like. Search for video or recording that will serve you as a point of reference. Pay close attention to it when you listen and try to internalize the modisms, pitch variation, and intonation. Playing the recording each day multiple times will help you do that. Be patient and take your time to recognize the speech pattern present in the recording. From now on, we are going to see how to control each muscle and patterns to sound feminine. Don’t worry if you can’t seem to master one aspect of it immediately. Move on to the next one as soon as you don’t feel overwhelmed, you can come back to a previous point when you want. Moreso, maybe you realize how to incorporate some habits when combined in a wholesome manner. Remember that there are a wide variety of voices and you can find the one you are looking for if you want!
◆ Controlling the Vocal Tract Length
The first muscle that we must master in the search of our desired voice is the length of the larynx. You have to start strengthening the muscles in your larynx and you will achieve such an effect. The objective of this part is to learn how to shorten our vocal tract length to imitate that of a woman.
- A good exercise to start practicing is swallowing and holding. In this video you will see how to do it and here the difference that it makes. By doing so you are shortening the length of your larynx and tightening the muscles. The immediate effect you will hear is how your pitch is raised. The adult feminine pitch ranges from E3 to C4. If you are not familiar with these terms, don’t worry it isn’t hard! We are going to talk more in depth later on. In general it is of course.
- Here you can find another great exercise to learn how to control your muscles and how it can affect your voice. The point of this exercise is to acquire a notion of the dimension of your natural vocal tract length and dominate it. Practice it whenever you can without pressuring yourself too hard. To realize how much your larynx length is involved, you can place a finger lightly on your Adam’s apple. Then, when you feel it’s on the lower part of your throat, try to hold it there and speak. At first you may notice that speaking generates too much tension holding your vocal muscles up. But with the proper training you will learn how to relax your neck and muscles when you speak.
◆ Mastering Your Pitch and Resonance
We have already seen that the most common adult feminine pitch ranges from E3 to C4. In simple terms, that notation means that the sound of the feminine voice sounds between two musical notes on an instrument. For instance, on a piano, this means two white keys from the middle one to five keys higher (to the right). In contrast, a common male speech ranges from G2 to D3. That’s why, it is the first thing we notice on a voice, the pitch. If you are more acquainted with music theory, you soon can realize that the ranges never cross. Even though it isn’t the sole defining trait of the voice, it is often the more obvious.
- To measure and have an idea of what your natural pitch range is, you can download an app for it. Vocal Pitch Monitor works wonders at it. It is available for both iOs and Android You must practice in order to maintain a higher pitch than your natural one. To do so, you must be able to recognize the differences between your chest voice and your falsetto.
- The falsetto is a technique that allows one person to achieve its highest pitch. You must avoid speaking permanently using this technique so you don’t sound too cartoonish. Nevertheless, you have to be able to recognize the full range of your voice. In here you will find some insight and examples of how each of these terms mean.
- You will learn about the importance of how you make your own voice resonate. If your voice vibrates with more intensity in your chest, it will produce a deeper and manlier sound. On the contrary, if you make your voice resonate higher on the head you will make it sound brighter and higher. The resonance of your voice is determined by the space you allow it to expand within your body. If you try to speak making your chest and heart vibrate, you will hear how it deepens the sound of it. But if you “close” your chest and force the sound waves to propagate towards your mouth, you will notice that your voice gets clearer and brighter.
- Practice holding your tongue up and shortening the length of your vocal tract as you speak. If you do this every day, you will improve a little each day. Using the app mentioned before, you can see where your voice is in terms of pitch. In time you will be able to speak within a feminine range with no problem. Don’t worry too much if you can’t keep your voice within the desired range at first (or at last).
- Another thing that you will realize is that you need to experiment with all the different voices you can produce controlling your muscles. Try speaking with your larynx down and up, straightening and loosening your throat muscles. Practice making your voice resonate lower on the chest or higher on the head by lowering your tongue as you speak and against your upper palate, respectively.
Besides monitoring in which range your voice falls, you must record yourself and listen to the results daily. I can’t state strongly enough how pitch isn’t the defining characteristic of the feminine speech. The pitch ranges that we have seen before should be taken just as a reference. Prove the differences that it makes in your own voice. Not everyone is equal and although this general guideline will surely help you, it is up to yourself to practice and find the voice you desire. Once you get a glimpse of it, we are going to introduce another step to it.
3. The Meaning of Open Quotient and the Role of the Vocal Cords
Time to slow down the rhythm and practice something a little easier. I have already mentioned the effects of compressing (or not) your voice. Your vocal cords are the main responsible for it and we’ll see how. Naturally, when you are speaking on a high pitch, it is common to strain your vocal cords. But doing so makes your voice sound harsher and not exactly feminine. Women’s voices tend to sound more relaxed and less compressed. The vocal cords are an amazing part of our bodies and are very versatile. You can learn how to tighten them to achieve a more compressed sound or loosen and widen them up for the opposing effect. We are trying to do the latter for a womanly voice.
- Very similar as when you whisper, with your vocal cords loose you will hear a more breathy and softer sound coming out of your mouth. This is what we are looking for. A great exercise for it can be found if you follow this link.
- Another way to achieve a less compressed sound is by practicing to speak while smiling. This makes your vocal cords relax and wide resulting in a less compressed and femininier voice. Not only that but you will also give the impression of being more polite and engaged with your interlocutor.
- Even though the objective of this article is to sound more womanly, I recommend that you practice both ends of the spectrum. This will give you access to a full control of every muscle and aspect involved in producing your voice. Like any other muscle present in your body, strengthening the ones responsible for producing sound will take time. So be patient and focus on the goal.
- Remember to record yourself speaking in your natural voice and while doing this exercise. As you progress and feel comfortable, keep adding more elements to the control of your voice. Listening to your own voice and how you can manipulate into different ones will give you an idea of where you are at. Identify all the points that we’ve been talking about in your own voice. Only then you’ll realize where you must put more emphasis when you practice. Don’t push yourself too hard to the point of overwhelm. With patience, determination and daily training you will dominate your own voice.
4. The Importance of Intonation
The intonation is the variation of pitch present in your voice when you speak. The typical male speech sounds more monotonic due to a low variation of the pitch. There is however a particularity worth mentioning. When men speak, they tend to put emphasis on words relevant to the message they are communicating. If you pay attention, you will also realize that the emphasis is clearer on the consonants. On the other hand, the feminine speech features a wider variety of pitch. Women tend to change the intonation from one word to another. You can also hear how sometimes the intonation of a single word changes syllable by syllable.
A great and exaggerated example of it can be found this video. Practice imitating the speech pattern of a Disney princess to learn and hear how it affects your voice. Once you feel comfortable on that extreme, you can tune down a bit to sound more like a real person and less like a character out of a movie. I have already said that it is important to practice speaking while you are smiling. While doing so, prove tightening more or less your lips against your teeth to hear the different effects that produce in your voice.
5. Articulating Your Speech
Even though we have learned much about the role of your muscles in your voice, there’s still a little more to go on. The articulation of consonants and vowels are essential to fully master your speech. When a woman talks, you will hear a brighter sound. This is because of how they articulate letters. Even though there are some letters that sound dark, women’s articulation produces a clearer and higher note.
- In the following video, you will hear the great difference between the sound of the vowels and consonants. Raising your natural speech pattern will take time so don’t rush it. Listen every day to recordings of voices that you wish to imitate. Practice all that we have seen here and recognize every item in this post.
- After you have mentalized the sound of the voice you want to sound like, speak like it and record it. Afterwards, compare the two speech patterns. It is a great way to improve listening to the audios side by side. It will make you see where you are acing it or not.
- A great exercise to improve your articulation is to practice speaking like a stereotypical Valley girl. If you don’t know what that means, you can see here British actress Emilia Clarke imitating the speech pattern of a Californian girl. This doesn’t mean that you have to talk like this, but dominating such an extreme end of your articulation will let you do anything you like in between.
6. Projecting Your Feminine Voice
If you are trying to speak to someone in a lousy environment, you will have to learn to project your voice without sounding masculine. Men do so by speaking louder and making their voices resonate higher up than normal. To avoid using that same resource, we’ll see how women do it.
- This technique, used by singers, is the vocal twang. This will make your voice sound more nasal but don’t be fooled. It doesn’t mean that the air is exiting through your nose. Instead this effect is a product of squeezing the upper part of your larynx called aryepiglottic sphincter (or AES). If you try this, you will hear how your voice starts to sound like that of a robot.
- Taken to the extreme, that is the precise effect you will achieve by tightening the higher part of your vocal tract. As with many aspects before, the best way of practicing is by imitation and recording yourself. Here is a very good example for you to take into account. Practice it varying the intensity you put into it to see where you feel more comfortable speaking.
Also, even though it is always a great idea to practice the extreme ends of each technique, you need to find your own pattern for each aspect. Like with the falsetto, if you exacerbate your vocal twang you will fall within the cartoonish range. And that is something we are trying to avoid.
7. Closening Your Throat
The next aspect is closely related to resonance. If you raise the back of your tongue against your palate you will quickly notice a subtle difference. Even though this detail isn’t as obvious as the pitch, it will accomplish the finishing touch for a feminine voice.
- In this video you can see a quick and clear example of the effect this technique has. If you are trying to practice this on your own, I recommend that you speak like you were doing gargles. At first you will notice how the sound becomes a lot more nasal. And that is something we are going to try to avoid in the search for a feminine speech pattern without opening your throat too much.
- You can try watching this video and practice those exercises. Every technique and exercise in this post is presented with an extreme example for a clearer understanding. Nonetheless, we must avoid going full on on any of it. This may be the harder aspect to master. But with enough practice and self-discipline I’m sure that you will be able to control it as you wish.
8. Practicing the Finishing Touches
Congratulations! You are now aware of every defining aspect involved in the sound of your voice. All that there is left to do now is to practice all that you can. Besides purely imitating the sound of someone’s voice, you can practice with some phrases that present sounds or modisms that you found hard to imitate. This technique is called “mantra phrases.”
- In this video you can find some ideas of what those can be. The idea behind it is to help you incorporate all the points we have been discussing in this post into a single phrase by repetition. This will avoid the hustle of speaking just because and making mistakes that you may or may not notice. Instead, this simple technique condensates everything into a simple phrase that allows you to pinpoint the points that you must continue working on. Don’t worry if at first you don’t find the voice you are looking for.
- Last but no least, the best way to practice your newly acquired voice is to, funny enough, speak with someone. Once that you have certain confidence with the results you are achieving, talk to some friends and let them know about your enterprise. A real conversation, with the full spectrum of emotions and situations at play is the ultimate exercise. If you are not sure of letting anyone know about it, worry not because there are alternatives.
- This subreddit features a vast and friendly community and there are many great resources for you to keep practicing your voice. You can get in touch with someone belonging to this little corner of the internet and practice talking with a real person. There are many that are trying to do the same and you can help each other out! We are stronger when we are together with the same purpose. A wise person once said “there’s strength in numbers” and I believe it to be true.
Just remember to be very cautious with your personal information, there are some with not so good intentions everywhere, sadly. But in general, you will find an awesome community ready to help and accompany you in this journey. A big big shout out to reddit user Lsomethingsomething and her amazing post that has been of an amazing help for doing this article.
With all this information in mind you are going to be able to recognize the speech patterns in both females and males. Furthermore you can change your initial inspiration if you feel it doesn’t suit you. Controlling your voice and achieving a feminine speech imprint is not beyond reach. There are many aspects that may sound exclusive to the English language but they can be easily transposed in any other.
If you are not a native English speaker try to identify all that we have learned here today. See how it translates to your own language and the femenine speech patterns. Pay attention to the patterns and ways the women of your country speak and you will be able to adapt these exercises for your specific needs. I hope that I could have been of some help to you and that you can achieve the sound of your dream voice!
Written by Tina Munova.
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