Whistling goes...difficult

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Peter McNeill, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Hi Guys,
    I love to whistle :whistle:, but recently I am finding it more and more difficult to whistle, even to make a noise :huh:. This is particularly true if I am practicing hard, and playing more high parts. When I whistle it is almost like the noise is just outside my lips (if that makes sense).:?:

    I can whistle through my teeth as an option. But I love to whistle like the Old Andy Griffiths show...you will know what I mean, as far as the sound goes.

    Anyway, if I ease off playing if comes back again after a few days. In truth I like to practice the song in my mind and whisling helps me for improvization etc. So it is particularly frustrating NOT to be able to whistle when I want....Any advice or experience Welcomed.
  2. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Do you mean that you can't whistle after playing the trumpet?
    If so, your lips are swollen a bit from playing, which changes your whistling embouchure. You have to make up for the change in your lips by compensating with your tongue.
  3. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    If my chops swell from the trumpet, I can't whistle very well. I suppose if I practiced whistling with puffy trumpet chops, I'd eventually get better at it.
  4. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Hi Guys,
    It is not just after trumpet playing that I mean. I am used to my lips being swollen after hard playing.
    It is usually the day after heavy playing (and can last for a few days), so my lips are visually back to normal. Even in the mornings in the shower, I just cannot get a whistle note... The best description is that it feels as though I am blowing air, and the point of where the sound will form is just outside my embouchure...FRUSTRATING, I want to blow harder, but that does not help. It may be my embouchure changing, but just not sure where the real cause is...
  5. a marching trumpet

    a marching trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Well I had your problem, almost exacly like that. I just learned to whistle with an exact trumpet embocure, took a bit but it worked.
  6. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    The secret to whistling isn't in the lips. It is all about your tongue. Blowing harder will not help. Push your tongue a bit forward and arch it a bit more.
  7. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi Peter, I love to whistle too and my hero is a local guy who passed away some time ago named Ron McCroby. Whistling is without a doubt a disappearing art.
    If I read you correctly, you can't whistle when your lips swell due to playing, right?
    Let me suggest to possibly deal with the swollen lips which will take care of the problem. As Barney Fife would say "Ya gotta nip it in the bud"
    If you go to Mouthpiece Pressure Assessment in the Trumpet Discussion page, you'll find a way to determine if excessive mouthpiece pressure is the culprit that's making your lips swell and Keith gives a great way to take care of this problem. Good luck and if you're not familiar with Ron McCroby, check him out. He's scary good.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  8. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

    Mar 4, 2005
    I love to whistle too. I do a mean, double tongued Sleigh Ride. I find that after a lot of trumpet practice my whistle tone gets nasty. I do whistle long tones to straighten it out and after about 10 minutes, things clear up. You gotta practice and get back to basics
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    This is just another one of those things that the working trumpet player has to accept. The sacrifices required to become a fine trumpeter drive the weak to drinking - or worse.

    It is a question of geometry. Playing hard changes the chops, not just through swelling, also through muscle tone. That means that your tongue has to compensate - if it can.

    My advice: buzz instead of whistling.
  10. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Whistling hasn't been a problem for me, co-incidentially my whistling - particulary whistling in tune - has improved out of sight. It wasn't bad before but I guess my ear is better tuned due to regular trumpeting. The more I 'concentrate' on reducing pressure and relaxing as I play the better the whistling gets - go figure?

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