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I sound like Lumpy Space Princess...???

exercise nonbinary voice voice feminization voice masculinization Feb 05, 2024
I sound like Lumpy Space Princess???

Greetings, dear readers! I'm Renée, your go-to gender-affirming voice teacher, and I recently stumbled upon a comment that left me in stitches. A brave soul shared their struggle, confessing, "I sound like Lumpy Space Princess when I go low." Now, if you're not acquainted with the dulcet tones of Lumpy Space Princess (LSP), don't worry—I've got you covered. Picture this:

Hilarious, right? This commenter is facing what I like to call the "LSP-ification" of their voice. Attempting to drop the larynx, create a larger vocal tract, and darken resonance has inadvertently turned them into a real-life Lumpy Space Princess. The struggle is real! But fear not, because similar complaints have rolled in from those aiming to raise the larynx, shrink the vocal tract, and brighten their resonance. Their go-to comparison? None other than the iconic Kermit the Frog.

Now, while Kermit and LSP may sound worlds apart, they share a commonality—the position of the tongue. It's nestled far back in the mouth, creating a stuffy or occluded sound. Regardless of whether you're aiming for LSP's drama or Kermit's charm, this type of sound is generally not the voice goal anyone dreams of achieving.

The Culprit Behind the Strange Sounds

So, why does this peculiar transformation happen when we embark on the journey of reshaping our vocal tract? Well, let me enlighten you.

In the initial stages of practice, it's not uncommon to struggle with selectively engaging the specific muscles needed for the desired voice modification. This commenter likely faced this predicament when attempting to lower the larynx. Instead of a smooth, controlled shift, everything in the surrounding area joined the party. The throat closed up, and the tongue shot back, resulting in the uncanny LSP-ification.

Enter the Pencil Trick: Your Tool Against Unwanted Resonance

Now, let's talk solutions—cue the pencil trick! It's a game-changer in banishing the LSP or Kermit sound from your vocal repertoire.

1. Get a Pencil and Find Your Starting Point:

Take a pencil and rest it against your bottom lip. Stick your tongue out so that it gently touches the pencil. Now, the fun begins.

2. Raise and Lower the Larynx:

Practice moving your larynx up and down without letting the tongue disengage from the pencil. It's all about control.

3. Relax and Repeat:

Resisting the temptation to overexert, try to relax as much as possible during the exercise. Less is more in this case. Once you've mastered this with the pencil, level up!

4. Transition to Tongue on Bottom Teeth:

Continue the exercise with your tongue now touching your bottom teeth. This prepares you for the next step—vocalized exercises and speech.

From Pencil to Performance

As you progress through the pencil trick exercises, you'll find that your tongue becomes less engaged. This paves the way for a smoother modification of your voice's resonance without those unwanted Kermit or LSP vibes sneaking in.

So, trans voice explorers, let's bid farewell to accidental impressions and embrace the freedom of vocal transformation. Follow along for more trans voice content, and may the pencil trick be your trusty companion on this journey. Remember, the key is to relax, enjoy the process, and soon you'll be rocking the voice you've always dreamed of.

Wishing you all the best on your voice-modifying adventures! And if you're hungry for even more insights into the world of gender-affirming voice, keep scrolling for a bonus tip that could be the missing piece in your vocal puzzle.

Bonus Tip: Unlocking Vocal Potential

Now, as a seasoned voice teacher, I've encountered a multitude of challenges and triumphs on the path to vocal transformation. One common stumbling block is that students often work way harder than is necessary. And, of course, I get it! All anyone wants to do is achieve the voice of their dreams, so trying as hard as possible makes sense, but in any voice practice, less is more. So if you're struggling with an exercise, ask yourself the question, "How would I approach this if it were easy?" Would you breathe differently or carry yourself differently? I ask myself this question whenever I'm struggling with anything in my life! So, I definitely recommend using it in your trans voice practice. So, take a normal breath, centre yourself, and let the journey to your euphoric voice continue with newfound clarity. Happy vocalizing!

Want to watch this blog post as a video? Click play on the video below!

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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