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Finding Your Deeper Voice Without Sounding Groggy

exercise masculinize your voice without testosterone resonance voice masculinization Jan 08, 2024
Q: How do I deal with grogginess when lowering my voice?

So, there I was, hanging out on TikTok Live the other day, casually scrolling through comments and engaging with my audience. As the chat buzzed with questions and anecdotes, one particular comment caught my attention. Someone was sharing their journey of masculinizing their voice, aiming for that lower, darker tone. The issue? Their friends and loved ones were throwing them some feedback—they sounded sleepy and groggy. That's when I decided to jump in and share my thoughts.

The individual expressed, "Everyone says I sound sleepy every time I try. I don't know how to make a deeper tone without sounding groggy." It's a common concern, especially for those navigating the journey of voice masculinization. My response kicked off with a little diagnosis.

I suggested that the grogginess they were experiencing might be linked to an excess of vocal fry—a subtle, creaky quality that can creep into the voice. Vocal fry often adds an unintentional sleepy vibe to speech, something the commenter was keen on avoiding.

Vocal fry tends to sound sleepy because it is created using way less air than normal speech. We do it naturally when we are sick or tired, so if you're using it in speech, you may unintentionally sound sick or tired also.

So, how to achieve that deeper, more masculine voice without falling into the trap of grogginess? Here's what I had to say:

Imagine you're lowering your tone, aiming for that deep resonance. It's easy to slip into the habit of adding vocal fry for that extra depth because vocal fry is perceived by the ear as a lower pitch. However, contrary to instinct, I advised against reducing the airflow. Instead, I suggested embracing more air to create a fuller, boomier sound.

Think of it like this: rather than a tight "ah," go for a more extended, fuller "ah." (Check out the video above for a demo!)

It's all about maintaining an upright posture and channelling more energy into your voice. I emphasized the importance of avoiding the common pitfall of having less activation energy when reaching for those low, low tones.

It might feel counterintuitive at first, but the key is to maintain that posture and let the air flow. The goal is to achieve a fuller low and dark tone without slipping into the groggy territory. I encouraged the commenter to experiment with maintaining a balance—a posture that results in a voice that's not only low but also resonant and vibrant.

It's essential to strike that delicate balance between depth and clarity. If you aim too low, you might not be able to create a sound that is clear or loud enough. But obviously, you want to go low enough to create a sound you love. Finding that sweet spot requires practice, patience, and a willingness to explore different vocal techniques.

As the conversation continued, I acknowledged that this was indeed a great question. Voice modulation is a nuanced art, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution. It's about understanding your own voice, experimenting with different techniques, and finding what works best for you.

In the end, the TikTok Live session turned into a mini voice workshop, with participants sharing their own tips and experiences. It was a reminder that we're all on unique journeys, and the process of finding our authentic voices is both personal and empowering.

If you want to know more about how to masculinize your voice, check out my online course,  Masculinize Your Voice Without Testosterone.


Hi, I'm Renée! (they/them)

I'm a queer, nonbinary, and disabled singer, songwriter and gender-affirming voice teacher. 

I've been a voice teacher for over twelve years, I have four full-length albums out, and I have degrees in physics, jazz, and songwriting.

I love creating, I love figuring things out, but most of all, I love helping people.

Learn more about me

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