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Undoing Mental Blocks: Embracing My Lower Vocal Register

I have a little story from back when I presented myself as a femme 1940s vintage singer.

It’s about how I learnt to like using a deeper voice, and how the things other people say to you can impact your opinion of your voice.

I can pinpoint the moment I gave myself permission to explore my lower vocal register.

It was at a gig in my early 20s, well before I started exploring my gender.

Someone came up to me after my set, complimented/thanked me & said something along the lines of:

“We (indicating to him & his husband) particularly liked the few songs you did that had some lower notes in. The tone of your voice sounds really lovely on them.”

I don’t remember what the songs were, but I do know that it had been the first time I’d included them in a set list, specifically because I was self conscious about not being able to reach the bottom notes “properly”.

This one comment from a stranger shifted my opinion on how I sang those notes, gave me the confidence to include those songs in future set lists and explore other lower note songs.

Since then, my lower notes have got stronger, as has the rest of my range as a direct result of breaking through this mental block, and when I found I wanted to explore my lower range in other settings, I experienced no self conscious feelings.

Of course it’s going to take more than 1 comment from someone to undo some mental blocks.

I’d been performing professionally for at least 4 years at this point, so I’d already done a lot of work in learning to like my own voice, meaning I was more ready to hear things like this.

But it’s worth remembering that mental blocks have formed from years of comments being made by others around you about your voice, and voices in general.

Those mental blocks can go deep, and they absolutely can impact you in a physical way when exploring your voice.

Be kind to yourself.

Voice work is a complex, personal, and emotional thing, with layers of conscious & subconscious opinions and feelings impacting you.

These things take time to work through, and it’s not all just about physical technique.

You’re doing amazingly.