6

here's the deal: although I have no former professional training in music, I still enjoy singing and playing the guitar. I am by no means unbelievably talented when it comes to singing, but I'd say that through practice I have managed to improve my singing skills a little bit (I have more control over my voice: it doesn't shake anymore, i can reach higher and lower notes than before, less off key notes etc) yet all the progress I've made is in vain because of how my voice sound in general (my vocal timbre?? i don't know if that's how you call it, english is not my mother tongue). So, I'm a 17 year old girl, but I still sound like an annoying 12 year old boy, and it's just ruining me. If I struggle a little bit, I can sound like a 7 year old adorable child. Yet, it seems impossible for me to gain a more feminine and beautiful voice. It's horrible. I hate myself for it.

So, my question is: will my voice ever change?

  • 1
    Your voice will change throughout your life. The voice isn’t even considered to have matured until you reach your mid-30’s. – jjmusicnotes Jun 3 '18 at 12:11
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I am 58 years old, and still have the speaking voice of a 13 year old kid.

I answer the phone at home, and the telemarketers politely ask, "Is your mom or dad home?"

It's okay. Because I am wicked-smart, and a really good musician and singer. (I just end up singing the high harmonies, sometimes higher than those of the girl singer in my band. )

It is what it is. Some people are gifted with luxuriant blonde hair, and others get dun brown locks. Some have blue eyes and others have hazel eyes. Mine are brown, tinged with red from all the beer drinking.
Some guys have a deep, wonderful baritone speaking voice like Sam Elliot's and others are cursed with a voice like mine or Geddy Lee of the band Rush.

It is what it is. Embrace it, work with it, and make the most of it.

Be the very BEST guy with YOUR voice that ever was.

  • 3
    Also, some people prefer dun brown hair and voices like Geddy Lee over blonde hair and voices like Sam Elliot. – Todd Wilcox Jun 3 '18 at 0:21
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    @ToddWilcox Indeed. Or who could imagine Neil Young with any other voice than the one nature gave him? – Wayne Conrad Sep 19 '18 at 14:12
6

17 is not really a terminal age for voice changes. It depends on your overall constitution and hormonal balance when changes happen.

That being said, there is a wide range of adult voices even for females and a lot of vocal character comes about by its formants which are to a considerable degree a function of mouth shape and size and tongue use than of the fundamental pitch.

If you end up as a high soprano, formants in your higher range collide with the singing pitch, leading both to problems producing recognizable vowels as well as a timbre that's sort-of neutral in character. This is dealt with in classical singing using vowel adjustments. Transferring those skill sets to other singing ranges leads to a singing voice character that is fundamentally different from your usual speaking voice.

The usual songbook range tends to be a lowest common denominator: as such, it will tend to favor alto-but-not-too-much female voice types. Assuming that your voice is not going to change a lot more, this will put you at a bit of a disadvantage so it might make sense to practice spontaneous transposition a fourth or fifth up (read A, play E) to get into a range where you are more effective.

At any rate: at your age, your voice type cannot be considered final, and even if it were final, there would be a lot of options to put it to good use in music.

4

Get some professional training, classical voice is worth the $ for a short while. Regardless of what you think your voice sounds like or should sound like every human has multiple ranges, and break points from one range to the next. I think (but I'm not sure) it has to do with how the sound resonates in the cavity that is your larynx + mouth + sinuses. When a person passes through notes at these register changes they will typically sound either like Bobby Brady in the Brady Bunch episode when his voice cracks and almost ruins the bands demo tape, or Julia Child (the chef, more like Dan Aykroyd imitating Julia Child).

For example (using myself) I now have a 3 octave range from D2 to D5 with a break point at Bb3-C4. Oddly, I can sing fine in the high register but when I pass through that note on the way there look out, it's a mess.

You mention "control" and the irony is that one does not master vocals by "control" but by relaxation. Also, trying to control the throat (which I thought was normal) will lead to a worse sound and eventual problems. One controls the timbre of the vocal sound by exercising certain mouth shapes and diaphragm support. Trust me if you were to spend some time on these aspects of vocal training with a coach you will not be disappointed.

As for living with your voice as it sounds now. If you really listen to some of the famous rock and pop stars out there many have very poor voices (timbre wise). When I listen discerningly to some of my favorite rock bands I can't believe the singer is getting away with what they're doing. So maybe your voice sounds good enough.

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