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Voice Training and Voice Feminization Surgery


Amanita M. Nomi

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Amanita M. Nomi

As a transgender counselor, I support trans women during coming out and transition. Recently, many of my clients have told me that they face limits with regards to online voice femiziation training and that they want to look into a combination of voice femization surgery and voice training. I have done a lot of research on the topic now and can answer many questions. Nevertheless, I was wondering whether anyone on the forum has experience with the combination of training and surgery. I'd love to start a conversation. I'm happy to share what I've read and seen in videos and to learn what you might have experienced in one of the few places that offer the combination of the two.

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Welcome to the Forums. I have not had the surgery, but have friends that have.  The thing that too many people do not realize is that feminine voice and speech is not a matter of voice pitch and timbre all by itself.  My voice is a second tenor singing voice, which is a little deep for women, but my vocabulary and speaking style bring me into an acceptable Alto range in public. I am a spoken word artist and lay reader in my church as well.  Choice of vocabulary and sentence structure can turn even a high baritone into a highly passable female voice.  (I am part of a 48 voice Trans choral group who does their audio work and listens to voice pitch carefully but have never had to electronically alter the voices.).  Engaging with other women in general conversation does wonders for all the people I come across.  

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Hello and welcome!  I'm glad you've joined us.  

 

I considered surgery but learned it wasn't a 100% given that I would get a consistent alto voice.  Everything I have read (and seen in video) tells me that surgery alone will not completely solve the issue.  There will be months of vocal training afterwards to train the voice, and the possibility you may lose range if the vocal chords don't heal correctly.  

 

As you well know, males and females speak quite differently.  So a large portion of the feminization of the voice is down to intonation and cadence, along with pitch and timbre.  While my voice is not what I would consider perfect, I make do fairly well by focusing on how I speak.  Not all women speak in the soprano range, think Bea Arthur or Cher.  When I slip up I just maintain my rhythm and intonation.  As Vicky notes, practice among other women does wonders.

 

Jani

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  • 6 months later...
Wichita

Count me in on the conversation!  I’m a rookie, having just admitted my truth and come out to friends and family on Saturday morning. 
 

I wasted no time trying to train my voice in my own, amateur way — singing along with Taylor Swift, Jewell, Heart, snd most recently Idina Menzel (“Let it goooooooo, let it goooooooo...”).  If it’s possible, I think I temporarily blew out my top-end pitch on that one.  Others I had down I now struggle to reach.  Score one for overzealousness....”oops.”
 

Lesson learned... but I’m sure I’ll need to learn it a few dozen more times. 
 

I’m fairly certain I’ll need surgery...but I want to exhaust the training angle first.  Kinda like letting the hormones do their thing before trying augmentation or facial surgery.

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  • 5 months later...
gina-nicole-t

Every time that I have worked with my speech therapist I have ended up horse or with a sore throat practicing the intonation that she set me at on my iPhone. Not that it's too high or anything, just my voice is having a difficult time changing over. I have talked to an ENT about laser vocal surgery, and it is an option. It is were they shorten your vocal cords with a CO2 laser then web them together to heal. The webbing dissolves in time, and you have an higher or more female pitch, and tone. It is the same surgery that they die to Stephen Tyler of Aerosmith so he could keep singing Falsetto, and sing it well.  A lot of singers have had this type of surgery performed so they could keep their careers. Male and female both. It has become available to trans women in the past several years. 

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Heather Nicole
On 10/7/2019 at 6:19 PM, VickySGV said:

Choice of vocabulary and sentence structure can turn even a high baritone into a highly passable female voice.

 

I would love to learn more about this, this is news to me. Any examples or helpful links?

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9 hours ago, Heather Nicole said:

I would love to learn more about this, this is news to me. Any examples or helpful links?

 

I would look up the web site for Kathe Perez who is a well known voice coach for the Trans community.  Kathe is the only one who comes to mind at the minute but there are many.  Next, I would simply recommend that you find some place to LISTEN to women as a group and you can hear it.  A simple example or two:

 

Men will describe colors as Green for all shades, while a woman will use Lime or Kelly Green to describe colors.  One of my instructors gave us all cards with a color sample, and told us to come up with 7 names for it and then use one of those in a spoken sentence. 

A male voice will say the word Hello as a monotone.  A female voice is going over several notes "he L ow" and may even use a pronoun for the person they greet.  

Women tend to use more adjectives in their speech as well and they are lighter:

Male: "I had a good time" (again in monotone)   Woman: "I had an absolutely wonderful time." (ab so lute ly won der ful  ti me" all on different notes.)  

 

It does take careful listening to the women around you to hear it on your own.  There are as I said above Speech Therapists who can help you with this, and when we can have TG conventions again they often give short classes at the conventions. 

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I have found The Voice Stylist 9 part Transgender voice feminization series my favorite and most productive for me - I also use the Voice Pitch analyzer app, PITCH app and Voice Tools app and they are all free. For me the Voice Stylist comes at it from a vocal coach standpoint and reminds me of voice lessons many years ago and she uses easy to follow techniques that have extended my range another 1/2 octave and growing. 

 

 

 

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gina-nicole-t

No offense to the lady in the video, but I am not paying $100 for Pitch App. It isn't free anymore. Maybe it used to be, but it isn't anymore, and I just can't see forking over that kind of money for an app. I have other things I can use $100 on. 

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2 hours ago, gina-nicole-t said:

No offense to the lady in the video, but I am not paying $100 for Pitch App. It isn't free anymore. Maybe it used to be, but it isn't anymore, and I just can't see forking over that kind of money for an app. I have other things I can use $100 on. 

 

The Forums do not endorse any App of that nature although they can be discussed here.

 

With the $100 dollars mentioned above you can probably get a couple hours with a speech therapist, or even a singing coach.  I actually have a small pitch analyzer for around $25 from my local music store. 

 

A suggestion I will make is if you live in an area where there is an LGBT Chorus, go and join it and get coaching from your fellow chorus folks. 

 

@gina-nicole-t there are three that I know of in your state, and they are doing on-line rehearsals just now, but taking new members just the same.  My chorus here in Los Angeles is working with them on a special Transgender Day Of Remembrance program on-line!!

 

Getting out IRL and meeting directly with people is the best way to both find your voice and use it.

 

===================

 

While I have this open, another thing you can do that is free and easy, is go to the Public Library and check out some theatrical production scripts that have prominent female characters in them.  Read the parts aloud to your recorder and you can find one way to read it that will make you sound good.  After several readings you will hear the rhythmn and pattern.  One play I read years ago was I Remember Mama which has good female dialogue in it.  Watch out for the dialect lines at first though since they are not universal and if you are not from the dialect region sound phony.

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gina-nicole-t

I would love to go out and meet people in my area, if I didn't live in a highly military community and already had run in's with military people being out in public. Small town Washington isn't exactly transgender friendly. Seattle and surrounding suburbs are. Living in Los Angeles where I have other transgender friends online I understand why it's easier for you to be open in public. Just because it's in my state doesn't mean it's in driving distance to me. It could be on the other side of the state, or clear down to the Oregon border. I  appreciate your suggestions, and I can go to a local music store for the tuner. 

 

Thank you, 

Gina

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That is weird I have pitch app for a few months and it cost nothing. I would never pay for an app and I wonder if you looked at wrong one . if it indeed costs anything that would reason enough not to get it. I agree. Do not pay for any apps. 

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I wonder how much confidence has to do with pitch and tone. I got an app called voice tools and when I sing I can maintain female pitch for a whole song if I know it well. If I try to read the paragraph it gives to analyze voice, I cant get in range even 20%of the time. Is that happening for anyone else?

 

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@gina-nicole-t the VOICE TOOLS app has a pitch section in it so you don't need the PITCH app. And it also gives you tones you can use.

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gina-nicole-t

Thanks for the info on Voice Tools. The only Pitch App available on the Apple app store won't let you use it without subscribing or outright purchasing. There are a lot of bad reviews due to that fact. 

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@gina-nicole-t There are two free apps that I have used to practice my voice that do the same thing of recording you and analysing your pitcht tone etc. Both available on Apple or android (other apps are available the screen shot is to help you out) and they are definitely free. You still have to do the work, I started with the top one, and only drop down into androgynous sometimes, but the bottom one is newer and seems to have a few more features, like a playback option so you can hear what you sound like. I have not explored it fully, but it is honsetly all about practice and confidence. Hope it helps! 

20201014_084757.thumb.jpg.eb61f5613c0e6ae3419ead0954f663ed.jpg

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Yes yes yes those are the 2 apps that are excellent. Sometimes my voice tools doesn't work but that is only temporary.

I like that voice analyzer records and charts your progress. Best of luck in your voice workouts.

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Heather Nicole
18 hours ago, Abi said:

when I sing I can maintain female pitch for a whole song if I know it well. If I try to read the paragraph it gives to analyze voice, I cant get in range even 20%of the time. Is that happening for anyone else?

 

I haven't really tried much yet myself, but that doesn't sound too surprising. It's pretty well established, as I understand it, that speaking and singing use entirely different parts of the brain. There's people who can sing in a particular accent but not speak in the same accent.

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I actual have maintained 90+ % female and 3-5% male when reading the Voice Tools long paragraph about rainbows. 

I do it every day and work with Voice Analyzer and consistantly can get in the 210-260 range based on my chart over time - I haven't practice in usual conversation but am slowly easing it into conversation with my wife to see if she notices and more so at band practice to start getting them used to it.

 

My bonus is that I am now singing more and more high harmonies in full voice instead of falsetto and that IS being noticed - all for the good - yay!

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gina-nicole-t

Thank you for the apps. I will put them to good use. If i didn't have a cold right now due to the weather changes I would use them right now. 

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@gina-nicole-t another wonderful voice coach your is probably closer to your age and who is very good is transvoice lessons - 

 

https://youtu.be/1PNnBRBfOVY

 

 

 

 

 

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gina-nicole-t

Thank you. She is really helpful.

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