Friday, June 25, 2010

V-Log 2: Vocal Work Out

This was jsut posted to youtube as a test. I was playing with the capabilities of my new phone and recorded myself "singing".  Then I decided to see how youtube publishing worked.  So it ended up online.  This is really really bad, I warn you in advance.  It's just one of the songs I use quite often to stretch the range of my voice.  I always sing it right at the upper end of my voice, the more I practice.  So, I always sound strained, since I'm vocally at the end of my rope through out.  Not to mention that I'm borderline tone deaf and don't pay a lot of attention to cadence.  A musician I am not.

The point though isn't sounding good. Its just exercising and trying to find your voice.  Actually speaking is really better practice, but this has its place I think. I feel its been beneficial for me at least.  The song is an old folk song I used to hear sometimes on an old Peter, Paul, and Marry LP.  Always found it lovely.  Though, not when I do it. :P

Anyway, sing in the shower, sing in the car!  Its therapeutic, it expands your voice, and its just good fun, even if you suck.

Oh, and I was in guy mode while I was playing with my phone so I look pretty rough.  Wow, I'm big on disclaimers, am I not?

Don't be too harsh.  :P


lisalisa said...

wow your voice sounds well within the female range. I certainly struggle to get anywhere near that and still speak the next day.
I think the voice is a real challenge and one that is worrying me a lot now. Mind I am getting much more practice now adays!
PS You look great

Melissa said...

Shandy, you don't sound bad at all. In fact you sound pretty darn good to me! You had a couple of moments at the very high end where you struggled a bit, but overall you sound fantastic! And as for the way you look, you have reached that wonderful point in your transition where just like any attractive women, it doesn't matter much what you wear. You always look good! :-)

Melissa XX

Two Auntees said...

I totally agree with Melissa about how good the voice is and if that is what you call 'boy' mode, I thing people who don't know you will gender you female. Doesn't matter what you wear, girl.

I believe that for female it's not just the pitch and tone but it's all the other inflections and nuances combining to sound female. Like Angela M. the poet speaks in a chest throaty voice.

You're doing good,

Rebecca said...

I'm glad to see you post another vlog! Your voice sounds wonderful! And I agree with everyone else that there is no trace of boy left in you, no matter what you wear. (see, I told you so!!)

Leslie Ann said...

I have to think that singing in a female voice is far more difficult than speaking. Even going for the low end of a Joan Armatrading or Marianne Faithfull would require very different inflection if not pitch. I'm sure practicing that does help your speaking voice, though.

And I know you play guitar well, so none of this "I'm not a musician" nonsense! Lookin' good, as always!

ms.shandy said...

@Leslie I do play guitar, but lets not start throwing around words like "well" so carelessly. You are right that singing is a lot different from talking. Most parts of speech have been easy for me though. I think my inflection and manner of speech are ok naturally. But the actual tone and pitch have been issues. Those are very much physical traits, and I've worked hard at getting a tone that I hope doesn't give away my testosterone derived biology. SInging practice has been a major part of that. :)

Still find myself defensively pulling out male speech patterns and self conciously lowering my voice though when I'm feeling insecure. Back when I was a teen I made a habit of talking lower even than I'm naturally inclined too, to limit how much I got made fun of, and I guess when I feel defensive that tendency is still there. But I sound so fake and silly talking low now. LOL!

@ Sarah Definitely pitch and tone are a very tiny part of things. The cues we use subconsciously to gender someone by voice seen very complicated. There are very high, clear speaking men that you would never confuse with a woman, and women who speak low and with lots of texture, who still somehow never quite sound male. Somehow our brains just magically figure it out. :P

@Lisa Practice is definitely the key. Singing has helped me a bit, with the pitch part. But speaking in real life situations is really the best thing. As long as you actively try to maintain two voices its really hard. Once you let the male voice go and just start consistently speaking, it gets easier to let go of your insecurities and the things that need to happen to compensate for biology differences just become second nature. But I shouldn't be preaching on this topic. I'm still a work in progress myself.

@Melissa I hope your right about gendering. heading off to Maine for vacation soon, where people don't know me. So I guess we'll see how they perceive me there. =)

ms.shandy said...

@Rebecca Thank ya so much! Sorry I missed you in my first comment. THought sure I replied, then when I looked back up, I hadn't. :P

Really appreciate the kind words. And yes, you did tell me so. :P LOL!

Suzi said...

Like almost every TG, I, too, struggle with the high end of my voice. I feel that singing really does help though.

When you listen to a group of GG's, you will notice a certain sing-song cadence and vocal variation. Sounds in the lower ranges seem to blend together and sound the same, while variations in higher tones are more noticeable.

I've noticed women going from the highest falsetto, while talking baby talk to a child, to a deep, low whisper to someone standing near by. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

Making all this part of your life is going to be tough...probably one of the hardest things for most TS to truly master. You however, are up to the task. :)Suzi

Angel said...

You have a beautiful singing voice :)

Lori D said...

I'm still working on my voice's upper range but have seen major improvements if you just keep pushing it. You're brave to post this because I know how hard it is to work on a singing voice! But you continue to amaze me how you openly share your transition with the world. I'm so proud of you!

ms.shandy said...

@lori Thanks! Yeh, I don't know if I'm brave, but I definitely have shameless moments when I feel like sharing. Can actually sing that piece just slightly lower, but if I push so that those highest notes are jsut barely out of reach, I tend to slowly get better. I've seen lots of improvement so far, but I'm still struggling for control of my voice. :P

I've always wanted to be able to sing, but I've reached a point where I'll be satisfied with NOT sounding like a man when I TRY to sing. I just love music, and it would be terrible to go through life unable to sing because it would out me. LOL!

@Angel Thanks! I'm trying. Like almost every area of my life, in this I'm a work in progress. :)

@Suzi Yeh, I used to sound ok before people starting making fun of me in elementary and I started changing my speech patterns. Then puberty and high testosterone levels came along and finished wrecking my voice. I feel like I'm just trying to untrain bad habits and find my way around biological road blocks to get to the voice I would have had if things hadn't gotten a bit messed up. :)