Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by commakozzi, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. commakozzi

    commakozzi Pianissimo User

    Oct 30, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    I love to whistle to what I'm listening to, especially jazz. However, after a hard day of playing I find that I have horrible response when whistling, and I have to blow harder to get a sound. What's the correlation here? Is it bad for your embouchure to whistle? I know that might sound silly, but my guess is that my embouchure set up is at odds with my whistling "setup". Any thoughts?
  2. misty.sj

    misty.sj Forte User

    Jan 27, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    Notice the muscles you use when you whistle. It's a really relaxed version of your embouchure, probably. I bet 'lip pursing' muscles are just tired. Also your lips may be a bit swollen after a day of hard playing. Just my guess.
  3. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007
    Whisling uses many of the same muscles as trumpet playing.
    If you find yourself without a trumpet to practice on for a few days, such as after dental surgery, whistling is a good way to exercise some of those muscles so that they do not weaken while not playing the trumpet.

    Whistling shouldn't hurt your embouchure.
    If anything, it should strengthen it.

    But, of course, over-doing it will lead to muscle fatigue, just as you describe.
  4. Jude

    Jude Piano User

    Dec 2, 2007
    Ever since starting to play trumpet again, I have not been able to whistle. At all. (Yes, I could, before.)
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I've noticed the whistling/trumpet connection too, but don't know why it occurs. I've also noticed that multiple tonguing while whistling is danged hard.
  6. talcito

    talcito Piano User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Whistling is one of the best things you can do to unlock your musical potential. A couple of years ago I was recording alongside the great Cuban trumpet player "Guajiro" Mirabal from the well known group Buena Vista Social Club. He had a few solos to do on the recording. He would ask the engineer to play the track and he would whistle a solo. He then asked them to record the next take and he would play the same solo he just whistled! He believed that whistling gets you away from the limitations the trumpet places on your musical expression. Since then I do lots of transcribing of myself whistling over play along tracks. I have found this is better for my creativity as I am transcribing my ideas instead of someone's else's.

  7. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    I whistle non stop all day. I love it. I have developed pretty good technique and can double tongue, flutter tongue and do other things.
    I have been learning the solos from a record by a man named Ron McCroby.
    Check him out here:


    That is a streaming link to his record. It is really amazing what he can whistle. Im getting close to being able to whistle all his solos, but some of his double time still eludes me.

    I find that whistling helps build my face muscles. It also helps develop good tongue control. I was once told by a professional whistler that I should get into professional whistling on commercials and such.
  8. Sterling

    Sterling Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 22, 2007
    Marcellus, NY
    I find that whistling helps focus the embochure. It useful for demonstrating to students how one's tongue moves from low notes to high. Also, when my face gets fatigued playing along with my students, I find that switching to flute every so often helps to focus my airstream on trumpet. It also keeps my fifth and sixth graders on their toes because they can't look at my fingers to figure out the valve combinations!
  9. westview1900

    westview1900 Piano User

    Nov 30, 2005
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I don't think it makes any difference. Whistling is efficient when the chaps are fairly relaxed. Your breath support when whistling is also only a fraction of what a trumpet needs. No danger, no benefit other than perhaps an alternate way to relax.
    You do not need other instruments to learn how to focus on the trumpet. You just need to focus more while playing (which normally involves not beating yourself up as much). That being said, EVERY additional experience makes you a better musician. I used to think that playing tuba helped my trumpet chops, it was just more time breathing and when I compared results, there was no real advantage, except being able to give the tuba player in our brass quintet a hard time!

Share This Page