Lauren Bacall Stole My Voice!

DictaponeI was chattering away animatedly to a colleague when he produced from under the desk his new gizmo, a Dictaphone on which he has been recording me.  That this was state-of-the-art at the time, gives you an idea of how many decades ago I was a girl in my first job, first hearing my own voice recorded, as he played it back to me, grinning.

The shock!  A high-pitched gabble of speech, so unlike the sound inside my head, the voice I thought I had.  So shocked in fact, it was days before I spoke again.

When I did, it was in the sultry drawl of Lauren Bacall, so much slower and lower than my natural voice, the one I have been faking ever since.
Lauren B & Bogy

Since then, as my own voice has naturally darkened and deepened with age, learning to sing now means losing all the fakery, the long-ingrained habits of tension in the throat, the chest, the mouth that caused my catastrophic loss of voice a couple of years back as I began to sing more. It was an accident waiting to happen, an explosive haemorrhage in the tender vocal folds which produce the voice, leaving a slow-healing nodule preventing the folds from closing and vibrating properly, leaving the voice cracking and uncontrollable

Now, as I gradually find the natural resonances and relax the controls, my own voice may still have a similar smoky timbre, but now startles me with its newly-discovered power and control.

My gratitude at getting my voice back again motivated me to create a Hints and Tips for Singers page on my website.

Have you ever had a problem with your voice? If so, why not share it in the comments below.

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About Rose Tait

Rose Tait is a London based Jazz singer and songwriter. Rose has been writing songs with musician Nigel Goulding since 2004. Rose writes both words and music whilst Nigel produces the songs, accompanies on the piano and records in his studio. Rose also regularly performs in North London Jazz venues.

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