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What's the proper way to sing in the Whistle Register?

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How can I properly define my whistle register? I recently discovered my ability to reach an F6...A.k.a. Queen of the Night F. and I don't know anything about the whistle register. If anyone has anything to inform me about it..I'd be most grateful

Showtunesongbird: What is colloquially referred to as 'whistle' register (or flageolet by some) is simply firm phonation with correctly balanced registration, up in a region of the voice where there are not very many acoustic resonances which align with any of the harmonics of the sung tone.

This relationship begins to exist when the fundamental of the sung note rises above the lower major resonance frequency of the vowel. /i/ and /u/ (ee and oo) are the vowels with the lowest first resonance. For this test, I recommend /u/ (oo). If you sing that vowel in a soft scale from the Bb above middle C to the Bb above that, and resist the temptation to modify the vowel to oh or ah, (or drop the jaw) as you ascend the scale, you will reach a strong resonance at about the top-space E when the fundamental aligns with this resonance.

As you proceed upward so that your fundamental passes that resonance, it will assist you less and less, and you will find a fairly unresonant, but clear sound is available for the top A and the Bb. It will likely feel fairly small, unprojected, nearly effortless, but not necessarily a sound you would use in a solo song just yet. However, you can explore this phonation coodination very easily upward from the Bb. I expect that with very little practice with this approach, you will find many more notes above the "Queen's F".

For larger voices, this lighter, higher coordination is sometimes challenging to find the first time. If you have any trouble with the exercise at all, get yourself a narrow soda straw, and sing the exercise through it. The slight backpressure provided by the straw will reflexively lighten the vocal registration helpfully.

Once you are playing around up there, feel free to drop your jaw a little and experiment with lip shapes and different laryngeal heights. As a general rule, the more you open your mouth (vertically with jaw drop, and horizontally with smiling) the higher the vocal resonance frequencies will go, and the louder the resulting vocal tone will get. Most sopranos do both of those maneuvers (and use /a/ (ah) )when they are trying to sing with power in that range. Watch some video recordings of coloratura sopranos, and most of them will do both of those motions to maintain vocal power.

For further power in this range, the soprano can allow her larynx to rise in the throat. If done without constricting tension, the shortening of the vocal tract which results will significantly raise the frequency of the lower resonance. suddenly, the E, F, G and A above high C will become very powerful. While it takes some experimentation to know what vowels to be thinking, the combination of jaw, lip and laryngeal positioning which results in maximum power can be fairly readily discovered.

I hope this is what you had in mind.

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Steven,

It if first time when I could read more detailed information about whistle, especially how to find it. I have seen some videos and heard some presentation but without good explanation (in my opinion). Thank you Steven.

I have rather big voice and when it comes to sing whistle notes it is big issue for me... If you have more exercises especially for a men I would be very thankful. I'm straggling with the whistle but without good results... :(

Br,

Robert

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Steven I dont know what to say, thats the best explanation of the whistlevoice ive ever heard! Read and remember boys and girls usualy stuff like Steven wrote costs money ;)

So keep up the good work Steven!

Im not the sharpest knife in the box, but it's dedicated to you.

Hey atleast you can see my ugly face :lol:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=72DJ4RQ9.

Have a happy eastern!

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Steven,

I have rather big voice and when it comes to sing whistle notes it is big issue for me... If you have more exercises especially for a man I would be very thankful. I'm struggling with the whistle but without good results... :(

Robert: Sorry it has taken me so long to post a reply.

The whistle range is challenging for large voices of any type, IMO especially those which are (by inclination or habit) to favor the lower end of their range. For vocalists with this characteristic, I think the need is in three areas:

1) Gaining experience with a balanced registration and clear phonation in an unfamiliar pitch range

2) Learning the mental approach (including pitch-thoughts) which will provoke the voice into the desired range

3) Gaining familiarity to the point of confident use

Pedagogically, I think the starting point for this process is to first learn to initiate a clear, soft tone in the lower and lower middle voice. Onset exercises on any vowel can be used to help. To reduce the tendency to oversing in this, I recommend doing onset exercises while slouching in a chair. :-) Sit back, relax, and practice short , soft, but clear, notes . The goal is to sing the onsets progressively softer until you find the very softest sound you can onset clearly.

Part of this exercise is an exploration of the way your musical concept of the tone provokes a desired physical response. By reducing the volume, but insisting on clarity of tone, you are letting the vocal mechanism work with much lower breath energy levels, which frees it to respond with compensatory (and automatic) adjustments to adduction and registration.

Once you have found the softest tone you can start clearly, the next step is to sustain that tone... sing a couple short followed by a long one, sustaining the soft, clear tone. As I have posted above, you may likely feel that there is no projection at all... and that is fine. As long as the tone is clear (not breathy,) soft, and of no apparent effort or strain, you are doing what you need to for the exercise.

Once you can onset and sustain a note in your lower or lower-middle voice this way, you are ready to move the note in the upward direction, to begin working on area #1. This is done simply by changing the note but not the clarity, volume or energy-level. You can do this with onset scales, or by using sustained scale tones, at your discretion. I think /u/ (oo) onsets work a bit better, because they will help you isolate the place where your vocal habits are to 'bulk up' the notes.

As I have written before, for /i/ and /u/ have the lowest first resonances. In general, for male voices, the associated notes will be (for Tenor, Baritone and Bass) are (in that order) in the neighborhood of F-F# above middle C, Eb-E below that, and Db-D below that. You will likely notice an increase in resonance volume in this range. Resist the temptation to 'make' the tone louder. If anything, let it be softer, as long as it is consistent with tonal clarity and lack of effort. FYI, unlike the female voice, which is raising its fundamental (1st harmonic) above the lower resonance, the male voice is raising its 2nd harmonic above, in what is usually called the passaggio.

By using /i/ and /u/ with the soft/clear tonal characteristic, as your fundamental moves into the notes just above where I have mentioned, the acoustical benefits of the lower resonance are not as available, and the note will become softer. That is completely ok as long as you keep the tone clear and effortless. As you gain experience, you will learn that you can do pitch-slides (sirens) comfortably and extensively in this range, and will likely discover all sorts of really-small, clear sounds that you can make with little or no effort.

Via repeated practice, you will become more familiar with the particular though approaches to this kind of vocalism, and your whistle coordination will become more secure.

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Thank you very much Steven. I very appreciate your help.

If this is not a problem for you I would be very happy to hear an example of the exercise you described. To be sure that I understood your explanation :)

Has already started the exercise and I hear some effect but I'm not sure if I do it correctly.

Br,

Robert

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hi adarth,

i dont know if you have seen this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl-04LSjvKA

(brett manning-whistle voice FAQ)

i found it to be quite helpful when experimenting with whistle. i liked the exercise where you take up the vocal fry to reach it (the reverse phonation is pretty cool too). whistle is something that i never really practice, i just play about with it every once in a blue moon so im not that great at it. i can only reach about soprano high C (though i just tried it now and got to the high E ;) )

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just had to post this somewhere. Ok, so Ronnie is finally losing his voice somewhat, but he's 67 years old for christs sake. Anyway, this is the first time I've ever heard him do a whistle, and I've listened to everything he's ever done (almost), and the first time you've ever heard it too.

Ronnies whistle right at the beginning:

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  • 1 month later...

holy crap!! Ronnie James Dio is awesome! I didn't give that guy as much credit as he deserves. I heard that it was really difficult for hard rock singers to sing in the whistle register, so I kind of dismissed using it, but now I really want to learn how to sing in whistle. I have tried before, but never with any success. I would love to be able to do something like that.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

This may not work for everyone, but It worked for me (one who tended until recently to stay toward the lower end of my range).

I discovered my whistle years ago, because that's the sound I make when someone sneaks up on me and tickles me - always have, but never realized I could use it. Anyway I just sort of remember/imagine that situation and it's pretty easy to access. I can actually to do the Minnie Ripperton "Loving You" whistle part pretty easily, and can almost do the Mariah Carey part from "Emotions". It's worth a try. Hope it helps!

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  • 1 month later...

What's the proper way to staccato in the whistle register? My attempts are scary, especially because of the squeaky kiddish timbre, but I guess I should show something to develop from there: http://www.box.net/shared/zuehs661a3

It's hard to find where to place the voice to even staccato, nevermind making it sound good. Here, my mouth isn't very open and the placement is quite in the back. And I can't repeat it much. Two or three times in a row and then it's super inconsistent and only air comes out in half of the notes I try to sing xD Ideas?

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