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Are "whistlers" the better Flutists ?

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Benjahmin
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Are "whistlers" the better Flutists ?

Postby Benjahmin » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:59 am

Hi together,

This might be kind of a funny question....but a serious one as well.

I'll out myself as a "whistler" right here.....one of these annoying people, who, no matter what they do, they will put it into a rhythm and whistle a tune along with it.
If I have an odd Job to do.....like painting the house, cutting a tenthousand tubes into cm-pieces, or whatsoever, I'll take up a piece of music in my mind, tap the beat, whistle the melody....and off I go, mostly annoying my surrounding workers by time, efficiency and nerve-input.
I actually got sacked from a job once....for demotivating my coleagues by doing this.

Anyhow.....I don't sing, or humm ...I whistle, using my lower Lip as a labium to blow on, and I DO take great care, to do it correctly....concerning intonation, beat and so on........meaning I Do use my mouth/lips as a natural instrument , which could sometimes double a professionally played Piccolo.

Of course I KNOW, I'm doing this......just like a Drummer might be aware of his own constant "beating" and "Tapping" of his legs.....the typical ""Drummers-nervousness""...
but I have never given it a deeper thought, since playing the Sax in former times, there was not too much relevance to it.


But having gotten really serious about the FLUTE now.....I feel that the "Whistling" - Experience, meaning the "feel" of Air towards a Labium....be it Lip or Blow-hole,
does in fact help a VERY great deal.

I seriously play the flute now for merely one and a half years.....but apart of the utmost Highnotes, I have more ease and ability on it , than after 25 Years on the Sax or Clarinet....
meaning , the Flute has overrun other instruments in no time at all, concerning my own abilities.

Now I don't want to get into questions of Talent, Magic or """musical genetics""" :-) .........there are threads concerning that allready....but simply into the question, Does the "Whistling" affect the "Fluting" ??

I seriously feel this to be so !!...............
Does anybody else have similar experiences ??

And by the way.... there is a Thread about practicing without the instrument.....could actually "Whistling" be a training-Alternative ?

I'd love to hear Your views about that.....


Benjahmin

Benjahmin
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Postby Benjahmin » Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:10 am

Eehhhhm,

Did I say something wrong here ?

Over 50 "Views" but not a single comment .....
I hope I didn't insult the Tin-Whistlers amongst us with this question....

But isn't there anybody whistling on his Lips, using his/her mouth as an instrument itself and feels it helps a lot on flute Embouchure as well as on intonation ??

CAN'T imagine. I'm the only one to experience this.............

Benjahmin

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MissyHPhoenix
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Postby MissyHPhoenix » Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:23 am

I did read your post but didn't reply because .... I can't whistle! It's hard to have a substantive response when I have no basis to compare with. The hypothesis is sound, I think, and whistling could very well be a good exercise for strengthening the embouchure. Wish I could. :oops: It's pretty funny when I try ....

Perhaps somebody else will have a better contribution.
Missy

Why Be Normal????

Hel
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Postby Hel » Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:29 am

I couldn't whistle before I started playing the flute so I guess there's something to it. But I think it might be more about the muscles in the lips. You need strong ones both for whistling and for flute playing.

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Phineas
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Postby Phineas » Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:54 am

Eehhhhm,

Did I say something wrong here ?

Over 50 "Views" but not a single comment .....
I hope I didn't insult the Tin-Whistlers amongst us with this question....

But isn't there anybody whistling on his Lips, using his/her mouth as an instrument itself and feels it helps a lot on flute Embouchure as well as on intonation ??

CAN'T imagine. I'm the only one to experience this.............

Benjahmin
I am a pretty good whistler, but I do not think it helps my flute playing much. Actually, playing on a transverse bamboo/cane flute will give you a better exercise for your flute chops. Since the holes are not embouchure holes are not perfect, it forces you to have to adjust on every bamboo flute you play on.

As far as intonation is concern, this is a matter of exposure IMO. If a person is a good listener, they will have good intonation.

Phineas

Benjahmin
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Postby Benjahmin » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:31 pm

Ohh, Ok

I see ! I had the impression, it would have more people "whistling" through their lives .... especially since I learned the saying "whistle while You work" as a schoolboy in the US. ;-)

Phineas > yes, I see, what You say about the Bamboo-flutes. I used to have some myself, don't know the english expression for them....they don't have a Blow-hole but an
open Edge to blow on, and are difficult to intonate correctly....as You say , through unprecise toneholesetting.

Maybe it is a question of individual Lip- and muscle-structure, but I do find whistling a good training for Flute-embouchure .... at least to me personally it is a bit like the fitness-room. Of course blowing the Flute is a different subject than whistling....but I FEEL, that one trains the other....that s why I asked ;-)

Thanks for Your opinion though, reading your Postings here, I feel You know , what You're saying.


Benjahmin

Mandera3
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Postby Mandera3 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:47 pm

i am a junior in college at a music school as a flute major...

I cannot whistle AT ALL. Never could, but I am a very good performer.

I don't think Whistling really plays much of a factor. It could, but you don't need to be able to whistle to play the flute.
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LindaB
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Postby LindaB » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:22 pm

When I was young I could whistle pretty well but as I got older I could barely make a sound. Since I have returned to regular flute playing the whistle has returned. My mouth muscles are in much better shape. This happened whithin weeks of starting to play again.

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jmdewey60
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Re: Are "whistlers" the better Flutists ?

Postby jmdewey60 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:25 pm

I worked in a building where a lot of my job was going floor to floor
and I spent a lot of time riding elevators, mostly alone. I found that
as a good opportunity for whistling and got a nice feedback in that
kind of space. I think my whistling skills were at their highest then,
and it is something that improves with practice. It is not such a good
style of music making in an open air environment, where a flute does
better to hold a sound from just floating away. I would agree with
the idea that it could help with flute playing if you have a long
experience with whistling, like at times when you would have not
had a personal instrument. I had a violin and that was all my parents
were ever willing to spend money on for any future career in music
I might happen to have. Not good mouth muscle practice there.

wkzh
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Re: Are "whistlers" the better Flutists ?

Postby wkzh » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:36 am

It's totally untrue. You must understand a teeny bit of details on how we whistle...

1) Noise made in mouth.
2) Noise travels to some open cavity.
3) Some frequencies resonate in this cavity and you hear them.

In other words... so long as you have any random space in your mouth that air can get through and it is the right shape with right bandwidth of noise... you get a whistle. Some people use the space between the tongue and the roof of the mouth, some the tip of the tongue and the roof of the mouth, some the area in front of the teeth... etc. Once I understood this principle, I tried to do funny things... now I can whistle using one side of my mouth, or from UNDERNEATH my tongue, talk about being a weirdo.

Well, almost totally untrue. Whistling does make you learn to control your mouth shape very accurately and with instantaneous changes. I guess that may be applicable to flute playing. And perhaps "puckering up" may train your lip muscles. One way which I teach new flute players to get a relaxed embouchure is to "pucker up" without actually whistling and I work from there. Is there a link? I don't know, I don't whistle by puckering up! Maybe someone else can answer that.

Cheers!
The flute family: probing the lower limit of human hearing and the upper limit of human tolerance.

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jmdewey60
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Re: Are "whistlers" the better Flutists ?

Postby jmdewey60 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:10 am

. . .Some people use the space between the tongue and the roof of the mouth, some the tip of the tongue and the roof of the mouth, some the area in front of the teeth... etc
I think the second method would involve puckering and the first something like smiling.
Using both methods (opposed to using only one) for whistling would be good towards
flute playing, in my opinion.

wkzh
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Re: Are "whistlers" the better Flutists ?

Postby wkzh » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:27 am

As much as I can conclude, there may be a link, but there is no direct link between whistling and flute playing. It's like say how a marksman might be better at threading a needle, or perhaps a silversmith at hammer nails. Similar skills/abilities are called into play.

Btw, I can whistle with the back of my tongue too... great for comedy. Okay maybe I do whistle by puckering up, but I use them all so I get pretty confused. Don't forget that whistling may train tongue placement too. I guess it's a passive way of building up some things, but I don't think it'll make it into mainstream pedagogy.

However be warned: who knows, having a "whistling mentality" may damage tone, such as an urge to stick out the tongue.
The flute family: probing the lower limit of human hearing and the upper limit of human tolerance.

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Bo
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Re: Are "whistlers" the better Flutists ?

Postby Bo » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:37 am

I could not whistle at all before playing the flute, now I can, but not really well. So actually playing the flute helped me with whistling rather than the other way around... Probably weird, but yeah, I AM weird...

pamplemousse
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Re: Are "whistlers" the better Flutists ?

Postby pamplemousse » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:37 am

Interesting question.

After I practice flute and I'm done, I sometimes whistle, because I'm a serial whistler like you, during mundane tasks etc. I find that I whistle BETTER after I'm done playing the flute. It's much crisper and less airy! Kinda weird.

Prashant
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Re: Are "whistlers" the better Flutists ?

Postby Prashant » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:33 am

Hello benjamin,
thanks for sharing this piece of information.
Though I am not a professional whistler but i whistle solo songs the way they should be and they remain melodious too.
Was actually wondering which instrument to play that suits my skills, your post seems motivating to me.
Kindly suggest what would be effective way of learning flute. I am just a beginners and have been never able to play flute.
Waiting for your revert.
Prashant.


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