Jun
15

How to Sound Feminine One Step at a Time- Step 6 June: Resonance–what separates the women from the men.

By

One Genius Method to Shape Your Feminine Voice.

June – the month of solstices, weddings, gay pride, Venus transit and … RESONANCE.

This month we will explore the element of resonance and you’ll learn to play with your mind and experiment with your thoughts as a method to shape your resonators to sound more feminine.

I know you all want the secret trick, the magic juju, the single strategy that would blast you into a perfect feminine voice.  But…

…it doesn’t work that way.

In my experience, slow and steady wins the race.  Motor patterns or habits are developed and perfected over time.  It will likely take you a year or more to:

  1. Fully understand the concepts and mechanics of the skills,
  2. To set aside time for your daily practice routine; and
  3. To actually practice twice daily, every day.

A Simple Definition for Resonance:  reverberation of sound in a medium.

When the vocal folds are set into motion (remember the aerodynamic nature of phonation) that sound reverberates in the chambers of the throat, mouth and nose.  These three chambers are of particular importance when you endeavor to feminize your voice.

A thought experiment (Gedankenexperiment; from German) considers some hypothesis, theory or principle for the purpose of thinking through its consequences or outcomes. The common goal of a thought experiment is to explore the potential consequences or outcomes (actions) of the principle in question.

Einstein was famous for his thought experiments.  He is said to have begun them at the age of 16.  Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity was derived employing this method.

While you don’t have to be an Einstein to make use of this strategy, you can use this logic to weave your way through the complexities of voice feminization, specifically our discussion here of resonance.

Our Thought Experiments

Let’s begin with two assumptions or problems:

  1. Size DOES matter.  The resonating chambers of your mouth and throat are larger than those chambers of a GG (genetic girl) who is your same physical height.
  2. Bright vs Dark Tone Focus.  You already know that creating a feminine voice is more than just speaking in the “right” pitch register.  The perception of voice femininity is perfected by how you shape the resonant frequencies of your voice.

Virtual Piano: You’ll need to provide yourself the A3 pitch for these experiments.  Try this [CLICK HEREvirtual piano.

NOTE: These are thought experiments; try to work them out in your mind.  Listen to the A3 pitch before working with the experiment (unless you’re very experienced with pitch tuning).

Experiment One: Sensory Perception of Space and Resonance.

In Your Mind: Sit tall with your lips together.  Now clench your teeth, pressing your tongue hard to the roof of your mouth (hard palate) and hum at the A3 pitch (for just a few seconds).

Question: What happens?

Answer: The sound comes out your nose.  The sound /m/ is one of the three nasal sounds (in English).

Question: What else happens?

Answer: The resonance is restricted or muffled (dampened) because of the constriction in your throat and the tissues in the nose.

Question: What would happen if instead of clenching your teeth and tightening your jaw and constricting in your mouth and throat, you were to hum the A3 pitch while keeping your lips together, yet your mouth wide and your throat open (as if you were yawning with your lips together; I’ve heard it referred to as a “corporate yawn”; what you might do if you were trying to suppress a yawn during an important meeting at work)?

Answer: There would be lower resonance frequencies (compared to the clenched condition) even though you are still humming A3.  Can you hear (in your mind) that the sound is lower or deeper and that there’s a slightly different vibration in your throat?

Experiment Two: Sensory Perception of Space and Resonance.

In Your Mind: Sit tall with mouth fairly wide open.  While “singing” (in your mind), the syllable “ha” on the A3 pitch.  Play the pitch again on your virtual piano if you need to. Your mouth should be wide enough to fit the thickness of your first two fingers between your upper and lower teeth. Now sustain “ha” A3 pitch (for just a few seconds).

Question: What happens?

Answer: The resonance frequencies for the “ha” are quite different than for the “hum.”

Question: What do you imagine you would feel?

Answer: The sound is coming out of your mouth, not your nose.  There’s not much of a sensation of vibration (or buzz) in your face or lips and certainly not your nose.  It’s difficult to feel anything in the mouth.

Experiment Three: Sensory Perception of Space and Resonance.

In Your Mind: In this third experiment you’ll repeat the steps above combining the hum and “ha” sounds with tight/clenched and wide open jaw positions.  As in Experiment One, clench your teeth, press your tongue hard to the roof of your mouth (hard palate) and hum at the A3 pitch for just for a few seconds, then open your mouth just slightly and sustain “ha” at the A3 pitch.  Now, repeat the hum and the “ha” in rapid succession like this:

mmm-haaa; mmm-haa; mmm-haaa

Question: What happens?

Answer: Your soft palate lowers for the /m/ and the sound it directed out of your nose and you and feel the buzz in your lips and nose (and eyeballs and forehead).  Your soft palate raises for the “ha” and the sound is directed out of your mouth. The buzz sensation is less obvious, but with practice you’ll learn to use this image of buzz to direct the resonance of your voice forward.

Question: What would you hear?

Answer: There would be no change in pitch, but you would hear a different sound. That different sound is a shift in resonance.  As you train your voice, and learn to notice these subtleties, you’ll arm yourself with the tools to make a huge difference in your voice.

Experiment Four: Bright vs. Dark Tone Focus.

There are ways to “brighten” your tone. Listen to this song from the Little Mermaid TV show before beginning this thought experiment.

The Little Mermaid TV Show – Daring to Dance 2

In Your Mind: Sit tall and draw upon your imagination to sense a buzz in your lips, nose, cheekbones, eyes and forehead.  Pull sharply into the focus of voice of the actress/singer from this video and hear (in your mind) youself singing as you “sing-count” the words “one, two, three”.  Repeat (in your mind) as many times as you need to so that you’re imaging that you sound like this singer.  Listen to this song as many times as you need to memorize the sound (in your mind).

Question: What happens?

Answer: The brightness of this voice is a result of a very forward placed voice.  A dark voice is produced in the back of the throat, like in Experiment One when you opened your throat as if to yawn while humming/singing “ha”.

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I know it’s very difficult to notactually conduct these experiments, so go for it.  What is your outcome?

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Step 6:  Resonance

For the month of June, your goal is to play with these thought experiments. Spend some time each day working them through in your mind.  You don’t have to be a theoretical physicist to be successful with these.  And, you’ll find that the mystery of resonance—I get a lot of questions and comments that this element is very difficult, even elusive—is yours to discover.

I’d LOVE to know how you’re doing with Step 6. Stay in touch over the month.

Keeping you and your voice close to my heart,

Kathe

Denver, Colorado

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