Summer is here and our Dom has returned to us. Even if she is so swarmed with worshipers it's impossible to see her, it still feels good just knowing she is back. Since summer is on us, I thought I would share a few Pammy projects with you that I have planned for my (usually) less busy summer months.
One of the things I've been wanting more and more in recent months is a voice upgrade, from masculine to feminine. Dom has never complained about my voice and it never used to bother me. But as I have become more feminized I am less happy with my voice. I think it would be nice to have a feminine voice to use with videos, for example, instead of those crawling text screens? Don't you?
To do this, I thought I needed a little help, so I turned to a friend of mine who is a speech therapist. She works mostly with actors but also does some pro-bono therapeutic work with children and accident victims. She's very successful, very famous and costs an arm and a leg. Fortunately, she owes me a favor or three so I am taking my favors out on her by getting a few weeks of free voice feminizing lessons. She's OK with me writing about it, but some of the stuff she teaches me she may want to keep "proprietary" and that's stuff I won't disclose. I can describe it. So that's the deal.
Differences Between Male and Female Voices.
The obvious difference is pitch. Men generally have lower speaking voices. I have a rather boomy bass voice, so I have my work cut out for me. Women also use a wider range of pitch for expression, while men tend to be more monotone.
There are other, more subtle differences. Women have a 'softer' way of speaking, different resonances, loudness, articulation. This was all covered in a general way in my first lesson to let me know what I had cut out for me. It's all good to know and interesting.
After laying out, in broad terms, all the stuff I needed to do, she focused on narrow specifics for my first week. This started out with the most basic of all things, breathing.
Breathing and Speaking.
According to my teacher, most of us start out life as belly breathers/speakers and lose this as adults. So the first step is to re-learn how to breathe from your belly/diaphragm and speak at the same time. The hard part is to remember to do it.
To start, place one hand on your belly, and the other in front of your mouth. Push in with your hand lightly, to encourage yourself to breathe and feel the air come out on your hand. She suggested practicing a bit with a four-count: Inhale on 1 (belly expands), slowly exhale on 2 - 3 - 4. And repeat a few times.
Posture and Speaking.
There's not much to know about posture. The most important things are to be careful NOT to tighten your neck by looking up or down with your head. You want to keep your head level. And no slumping. You don't want to slump.
To focus on your pitch a device used by musicians, a "tuner", is helpful. This is an electronic device that reports what pitch it hears. I don't have a specific recommendation, but well-respected names in the tuner industry are Korg and Peterson. They make apps for cell phones that might work for you and there are other, low cost or even free internet apps that you might be able to use.
You want to tune your voice to what is called A3. This is the note 'A3' which is immediately below the middle 'C' on the piano. Its frequency is 220, about twice the average pitch for a man. If you're not musical, get a friend to help you, as this is the best I can do for you here.
You want to tune your voice so this becomes your 'female' frequency. You will do this to the syllables "ha", "hee" and "who", and of course you will use our four counts from the breathing idea. So breath in on 1, then say "ha" on each of 2, 3 4. So it's like "(breath) ha ha ha (breath) he he he (breath) who who who". Keep your eye on the tuner as best you can, so that you stay around the A3 pitch.
The second exercise is a start at working on your ability to vary the pitch of your voice more widely as you speak. Remember this is also characteristic of female speech. You work from the A (220) to an E (330) in four steps: A-C#, Bb-D, B-D#, C-E. You want to "slide" or "glissando" the voice between each of the pitches, not make a sudden change of pitch.
As before, do it to a four count and with the three syllables "ha, hee, who", like this "(breath) ha - ah (breath) he - ee (breath) who - oo". The '-' is the sliding pitch. You finish the sound of the syllable on the last pitch.
I hope this is clear. It's a lot easier to learn from an example than writing.
A Start at Articulation
To make a start at articulation, she gave me some word lists. She asked me not to share them. I guess these are considered a big-deal with speech therapists. Basically, you want to have high air-flow words that don't use your larynx. These are called "unvoiced". This is to help develop other feminine qualities to your speech. I think any words would work, truthfully. She gave me about 11 words for each sound, and the sounds were "S" as in "supper", "SH" as in "shell" and "F" as in "fallacy".
So for this exercise, again with a four count, find a list of words that start with this sound, about 11 for each. Then just say each one of them, remembering your breathing and posture. She encouraged me to pay special attention to the feeling of saying each one of these soft sounds. If you can pay attention to your pitch with this, that's great, but if you can't she said not to worry, and that will come.
Combining Pitch and Words.
The final exercise was to combine pitch and words. To do this, she gave me a short list of words. These began with the sounds "N" "M", "V", "W" and "Z". Find three words that start with each sound. To perform this exercise. we will use "N" as an example. So let's say your word is "Night". You would sing "A3" with an "N" sounds for two counts, then finish the word as though you were speaking it, but at the same pitch.
The daily exercise routine for this is to repeat the above exercises 10 times a day. 5 times each for the pitch exercise #1, and 1 each for the rest of them. This takes around a minute or two, so is hardly a hardship.
I'm quite excited about the possibilities changing this basic element can have on curing my masculinity, so I'm interested to see where it will go. If you've had similar experiences, or have thoughts you'd like to share, feel free to message me on Twitter