The Erica Ravenwood Tecnique, lol


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Posted

My Personal Voice Changing Technique

 

 Some simple techniques for changing your voice if that is something you would like to do. This technique works for developing both male and female voices. In short SING! Sounds too easy right? Let me explain.

 

 When I was working in male mode I use to do a lot of speaking before large groups. I found people will pay attention more if you have a voice they want to hear so I trained my voice to be extremely deep and resonant. Like an old man singing Old Man River deep. Seriously, I became legend for my deep voice and the way I got it there was to sing. And yes I sang Old Man River but also Johnny Cash, Elvis, songs that had deep, resonant notes in it.

 

 When I lived full time in California for the three years one of the things that bothered me most was my voice. It’s a common comment I hear from many so I know that I’m not alone in that. This time around I knew that had to change since I refuse to go through life afraid to talk. I know some would like me to stop talking but that isn’t going to happen.

 

 I looked for tips on changing my voice and all I could find was either the absurd (“try talking like Mickey Mouse and then pulling it back”) or too ridiculously expensive lessons to buy. So I surmised that if singing could give my voice deep resonance then I should be able to train it the other way using the same technique.

 

 I chose one song, Foolish Games by Jewel, and sang it on a loop without stopping, every morning for two hours for a month and it moved my voice box to a place where I had a higher register that then translated into my natural speaking voice after time. In order to use this technique you HAVE to be committed to doing it. There is no here or thing with it. No “I’ll do it when I feel like it.” Every morning for twos hours, non-stop, without fail and you must PROJECT. Don’t strain but being timid in your singing won’t work.

 

 You’re going to sound like crap. Don’t let that throw you. Perseverance is needed in this and know that even after your voice starts to change in your singing the first few times through are a warm up, you will probably sound your best a few times in the middle and start to sound like crap again toward the end as your voice gets tired. Just expect it. The goal isn't to become a great singer. The goal is to develop a natural speaking voice you’re comfortable with so you can have the confidence you want while speaking.

 

 This will change your pitch and isn't a technique where you will be able to go back and forth between a higher and lower register unless you wish to take the time to train your voice box back. It’s semi permanent in nature but pitch is only half the story to a good speaking voice. Voice mannerisms should be learned as well.

 

 Men tend to speak in a monotone manner with little inflection and it is perfectly acceptable for a man to mumble. Women tend to enunciate their words and have a rise and fall throughout a sentence or thought. To help get some of that natural sing song inflection in your speech pattern I suggest trying to sound slightly excited when you speak. This will do three things. 1) It raises your pitch 2) You won't hold the same tone throughout an entire sentence or thought and will therefore give some natural inflection and 3) This will also create excitement for the person you are talking to and usually results in being responded to positively which is a great confidence booster in it self. Use it as an exercise when appropriate (or not so appropriate but maybe not when something sad is going on) and drop it back at some point if you like once you've gotten used to having inflection.

 

 For men, you’re trying to feel a rumble at the point where the neck meets the torso. When singing a song like Old Man River, after time, you should feel a resonant rumble in the low part of your throat when you go through the bass line of certain notes. It takes work to get there but that rumble, once achieved, will give you satisfaction in the feeling of it and you’ll want to feel that often.

 

 Smoking, as most people know, is very damaging when trying to attain a clear sounding voice. Remember Lucille Ball? Probably not...um..Remember the I Love Lucy lady? Think of her like way after I Love Lucy. She loved to smoke and her voice became awful.

 

 The last tip is keeping hydrated. Good hydration will make your voice sound it's best. Drinking alcohol will affect your hydration since alcohol is very dehydrating. Gargling with a little warm saltwater will smooth strained vocal cords and help relax them. Just don't swallow the saltwater. Seriously. Spit in out.

 Your voice may sound bad to you when you are nervous. I know I think that about mine. When I get nervous my throat constricts, affecting how I sound. When I can relax my voice sounds just as it should.

I'm offering this as an example of my voice. I did the VA seminar in 2014 and the last half the beginning of 2016. Pitch isn't the important part of sounding female. Mannerism is what sells it. When on the phone, when people can't see me, I'm never confused for male and for me this is very helpful in many regards.

 

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Posted

I love and admire your voice, Erica. Thank you for sharing your tips and techniques for change. 

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Posted (edited)

You're very welcome Emma. Ya know? I've run the gambit of most things associated with a transgender life. I have no money or schooling to speak of so I've had to figure things out for myself because giving up isn't an option. I would be lacking as a person if I didn't freely share that information.

Edited by EricaRavenwood
spelling correction
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Posted

I mentioned to someone ( because I get people to do things) you need to learn how to bat your eyes over the phone. "How!" they said "That's impossible!". You bat your eyes through the phone with a lilt and a giggle. You don't need to be all super model, since they can't see you anyway. A lilt in your voice and a giggle. That's all you need to bat your eyes over the phone.

hashtag# winning back our power we gave up

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Posted

I shared this video with my best friend just now. She's only ever known Erica and never heard me sounding male. This is the FB conversation that ensued.

Her:
Holy***s your voice haha
Omg
It's so Ray
Lol

Me:
lol

Her:
From now on I want you to talk like that lol
Just to freak Al out

Me:
oh god no. It would stick if I did that

Her:
Haha

Me:
just share the video with him

Her:
Oh I totally am!!!!!!

Me:
it used to be deeper than that

Her:
That was freaking awesome
Whoo are you!!!!! Yous my black brother!

Me:
lol, right on
that's why I didn't talk for three years when I transitioned the first time, lol. Me with that voice

Her:
Remind me not to talk to you before you have coffee!

Me:
I have to actually try to do it

Her:
That would be the coolest coffee commercial

Me:
lol
nothing makes you sound like a woman than Folger's in your cup

Her:
A beautiful lady wakes up, hears the coffee, walks down the stairs, stubs toe, yells in deep man voice "god dang it!", sips coffee, voice changes soft, "that really hurt!"
Maxwell House, We Transition Too!

 

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