8 Biggest Mistakes Trans People Make When Changing Their Voice

Learning to change your voice can be a challenging process. However, being aware of these common pitfalls will help you avoid frustration and make faster progress.

In this article, we discuss the 8 biggest mistakes trans people make when changing their voice.


1. Relying on Falsetto as Your Vocal Foundation

Like a house, your voice needs a solid foundation. This foundation is your source tone and the elements controlling it - pitch, vocal fold use, airflow, etc. 

We all have four main vocal registers. Falsetto is one register, but it should not be the basis for your new voice. 

It's very hard to create proper female-sounding resonance in falsetto. Stick to your modal voice instead to build a strong foundation.


2. Not Understanding What Resonance Actually Is

Many people mistakenly think of resonance as a sensation in the head or chest. It's not - resonance is simply how the size and shape of your vocal tract influence the sound you produce. 

When you change the dimensions of your mouth and throat cavities by moving muscles, you alter resonance. Approach resonance as something you can control by changing vocal tract shape rather than chasing some vague feeling.


3. Getting Stuck Trying to Reach an Extremely High Pitch

It's natural to focus on pitch when trying to feminize your voice since female voices are higher. But don't obsess over pushing your voice to a very high ceiling. 

What matters most is raising your minimum pitch, not your maximum. Keep the floor of your range around 150 Hz or higher. Hitting super high notes isn't important.


4. Letting Your Resonance Slip Unintentionally

Exercises often involve first setting your resonance using simple sounds like breath or “ah.” But then people let their carefully configured resonance drop away unintentionally when they switch to words. 

Listen for this resonance drop-off and correct it. Freeze your vocal tract shape once you have your resonance set properly.


5. Making Your Voice Too Breathy or Closed

When we speak, our vocal folds open and close rapidly. Too much closure makes voices sound choked and strained. Too much openness creates weak, breathy voices.

Find the right middle ground - not too airy and weak, not too tight and forced.


6. Overthinking Instead of Listening

It’s tempting to try consciously controlling every muscle involved in voice production. But this usually backfires. 

Our brains aren't wired to isolate single muscles well. Instead, listen to the sounds you're making and adjust accordingly.

Mimicry and letting your subconscious guide muscle movements work better than overthinking.


7. Forgetting to Actively Listen

Changing your voice relies heavily on your ears. But many people don't listen to themselves closely enough. Compare how your voice changes with practice. Don't just judge it as male or female - listen for details.

Describe the texture, color, and geometry to identify subtle improvements. Trust your intuition.


8. Being Overly Self-Critical

It's frustrating, but you have to fail a lot before your skills improve when learning anything new. Don't judge yourself harshly for not sounding perfectly feminine yet. 

Evaluate specific vocal techniques instead of whether you pass as female. Your validity as a person isn't determined by your voice. Be compassionate with yourself as you learn.

Changing your voice requires consistent practice and an understanding ear. Avoid common mistakes like these, and don't lose hope. Building new skills takes time, but you can find a voice that reflects your identity with dedication. Celebrate small wins, and enjoy exploring your vocal potential.


In conclusion, changing one's voice is a challenging yet rewarding process. Being aware of these common mistakes can help trans individuals avoid frustration and make faster progress. 

By focusing on building a strong foundation, understanding resonance, avoiding extreme pitches, maintaining proper resonance, finding the right vocal tract shape, listening to oneself, and being compassionate with oneself, trans individuals can successfully change their voice to reflect their identity.

Remember that consistency and dedication are key to achieving one's vocal goals.