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MTF Pitch Glides: The Art of Expression in Trans Voice Training

Hello, cherished friends!

Embarking on the journey of trans voice training is much like learning a new instrument — it’s an art form of personal expression and a science of technical skill. This harmonious blend is what makes finding your voice such a deeply personal, rewarding experience. It’s not just about having your mtf pitch sound a certain way; it’s about discovering a voice that resonates with the core of who you are. Let’s dive deeper into this beautiful process and explore how you can nurture your voice to reflect your truest self.

The Symphony of Speech: Volume, Pitch, and Intonation

Our voices are incredibly versatile instruments. They can whisper the softest secrets or proclaim our boldest truths. When it comes to trans voice training, we pay close attention to four main aspects: resonance, volume, pitch, and intonation. Each of these elements plays a crucial role in how our voices are perceived and how we express our identity.

Resonance is a cornerstone in trans voice training, often described as the “buzz” or “ring” that gives your voice its unique texture and quality. Think of it as the way sound vibrates in different parts of your body — chest, throat, or head. For many trans individuals, adjusting resonance is key to aligning their voice with their gender identity. Mastery of resonance can dramatically affect the perception of one’s gender through voice, making it a powerful aspect of voice feminization or masculinization. It’s not just about sounding higher or lower — it’s about where the voice ‘lives’ within your body, and how it interacts with the space around you to express your authentic self.

Volume can be a powerful tool — it commands attention and conveys confidence. Yet, it’s the delicate balance of volume that often speaks volumes (pun intended). Finding the right level of loudness that feels authentic to you is a personal choice and an experiment worth delving into.

Pitch is the musical note of your voice. It can climb the scales to express excitement or drop to convey seriousness. For many in the trans community, pitch can be a significant focus in voice training. It’s about finding that pitch that feels like home, whether it’s higher, lower, or somewhere in between.

Intonation, the rise and fall of pitch as we speak, brings color and emotion to our words. It’s what makes our speech sing. Through intonation, we can express sarcasm, surprise, curiosity, and so much more. It’s the melody woven into the tapestry of our dialogue.

Conversational Practice: Beyond “Hi, how are you?”

Let’s expand on our earlier exercise. Consider how your voice might change when you’re excited to see someone versus when you’re asking a casual acquaintance about their day. Pay attention to how your intonation shifts in different emotional states. Practice these variations in a mirror or record yourself to observe the nuances in your facial expressions and vocal tones.

Glide and Slide: What it is and How to do it

The “Glide and Slide” technique is a vocal exercise used in voice training to develop control over your pitch, which can help to feminize or modify the voice. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do a “Glide and Slide”:

  1. Start with a Hum: Begin by humming at a comfortable pitch. This humming is your starting point and should feel natural and relaxed, it most likely will create a buzzy sensation somewhere between your chest and throat to start. Make sure the hum is clear, at speaking volume and sustained, establishing a baseline for your voice’s pitch.

  2. Glide Up: Choose a simple phrase, such as “Good morning.” Start saying the phrase by gliding the pitch of the second word up from the baseline hum. If “Good” is your baseline, when you reach “morning,” your voice should smoothly increase in pitch.

  3. Hold the Steady Note: On the third word or syllable, you want to hold the pitch steady. This means you’re not going up or down in pitch but maintaining the level you’ve reached.

  4. Slide Down: As you end the phrase or on the last word, allow your pitch to slide back down smoothly to your original humming pitch or slightly below it. The key here is the smoothness of the transition — there should be no abrupt drops.

  5. Practice with Different Phrases: Once you’re comfortable with the technique, try it with various phrases. Each time, emphasize the slide up on the second word and the slide down on the last word.

  6. Monitor Your Breath: Good breath support is crucial. Ensure you’re breathing from your belly and that you have enough breath to carry you through the entire glide and slide without straining. If need be, take a big breath of air before starting.

  7. Use Visuals: It might help to visualize the pitch change as a smooth arc or slope. You ascend the hill with the glide and descend with the slide, all the while keeping the journey smooth.

  8. Record and Analyze: Recording yourself can provide valuable feedback. Listen to whether the glide and slide sound natural and fluid. Pay attention to any spots where you might be jerking in pitch or volume, and work on smoothing those out.

  9. Consistent Practice: Like any skill, consistent practice is key. The more you practice gliding and sliding, the more control you’ll gain over your pitch transitions.

Remember, the “Glide and Slide” is about fluidity and control. It’s a great way to work on the musicality of your speech, ultimately making your voice sound more expressive.

Mastering the ‘Glide and Slide’

This technique isn’t just a vocal exercise; it’s a form of self-expression. As you practice gliding and sliding through phrases, you’re also learning to control your voice with precision. Think of it as a dance where your voice is the dancer, and you are the choreographer. Here are some phrases to perfect your performance:

  • “Could you please pass the salt?”

  • “I had the most wonderful day!”

  • “The stars tonight are stunning.”

With each phrase, experiment with where you place the emphasis. Notice how altering the pitch can change not only the sound but the meaning and emotion behind the words.

Avoiding the ‘Splat’ and Finding Your Flow

Imagine ending a beautiful song with an off-key note — that’s what a ‘splat’ can feel like in a conversation. It’s a jarring drop in pitch that can make your sentence fall flat. To avoid this, visualize your pitch as a wave — aim for a smooth rise and fall, and let your words ride the crest and troughs gently. It’s okay to take your time. Slow and steady wins this race.

Longer Phrases: The Harmony of Extended Speech

Once you’ve got the hang of shorter sentences, challenge yourself with more complex ones. Take a paragraph from a book or write a monologue that resonates with you. Glide and slide through it, paying attention to how different emphases can convey different emotions and characters. This is not just practice; it’s performance. It’s you, bringing text to life with your unique voice.

Your Voice, Your Journey

Remember, there’s no rush in this journey. Your voice is an extension of your identity, and it deserves the time to grow and flourish. Celebrate the small improvements and don’t be discouraged by the setbacks. Every voice wavers, but it’s the courage to keep speaking that makes your voice truly yours. With all my support and cheer,

Kylie, your dedicated Trans Voice Coach


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