Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > The weirdest thing.
The weirdest thing.
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tookatooka
3474 posts
Sep 06, 2013
4:11 PM
I was playing harp and decided to whistle the next 12 bars (I'm a lip purse whistler by the way) and I just couldn't bloody whistle. I think it's due to the harp embouchere taking over my mouth muscles for a while. After a few minutes of not playing though I could whistle but not immediately after. Isn't that strange?
timeistight
1353 posts
Sep 06, 2013
4:12 PM
"(I'm a lip purse whistler by the way)"

Is there another kind of whistler?
tookatooka
3475 posts
Sep 06, 2013
4:33 PM
You can bet your bottom dollar that there will be a few tongue block whistlers along any minute.
Greg Heumann
2348 posts
Sep 06, 2013
5:40 PM
I over-whistle.
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Jehosaphat
536 posts
Sep 06, 2013
6:10 PM
Interesting Took
Another surprise on how our embouchres go into automatic:
Without thinking about it pick up a Harp the 'wrong' way round ie the low notes to the right and start to play them.
I did it one day by accident and was amazed how preset my mouth is to form certain shaping automatically as i go from hole to hole.Had to make a big effort to overcome this to play my usual licks.
I think that we do a lot of things unconciously as we play the Harp in the way of mouth shaping for bends/resonance etc
nacoran
7111 posts
Sep 06, 2013
7:42 PM
I used to be a pretty good whistler. I'm not sure if it's that I usually practice harp instead of whistling, or if it's a retrained muscle memory thing like you are experiencing, but I've noticed it's particularly frustrating when I get to a 'draw' note. My whistling never got quite to the clean inhale whistle stage, but I adjusted for that by just sneaking quick breaths and having some singing training that let me not let too much air out too quickly. As I've progressed with harmonica, my breathing patterns have switched from careful management to get the maximum amount of air in my lungs at any given time to trying to keep my lungs about half full, and it has hurt my whistling!

I remember when I was first learning harmonica I had the same problem in reverse, because everything I'd done before- baritone, singing, whistling required you to pretty much keep as much breath around as possible and out of habit I'd grab a breath and then just about pop when a string of draw notes would come up.

When I realised no one in my band could whistle well, I spent some time practicing my whistle, and it's come back a bit though.

OT- when I was a kid, I remember reading a book, and at the end of the book the villain foiled the town band at some public event by sucking on a lemon. No one could pucker properly when they heard the lemon being slurped. I seem to remember the hero saved the day, maybe with a harmonica? Does that sound familiar to anyone?

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Nate
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lumpy wafflesquirt
737 posts
Sep 07, 2013
9:13 AM
Hey Nate.
Google is your friend

http://www.vpr.net/episode/32827/old-home-days/

:^)

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FMWoodeye
790 posts
Sep 07, 2013
9:26 AM
@Nate...yeah, I used to be somewhat of a virtuoso whistler, whistled all the time. Experience changing, lowering, tones on the inhale whistle helped me with the bending travail. I'm sure I could recoup my skills if I practiced some, but that would take time away from harp and bone.
tookatooka
3477 posts
Sep 07, 2013
1:37 PM
Think I'm gonna hone my whistling skills. I used to enjoy whistling. You don't hear it much these days.
nacoran
7114 posts
Sep 07, 2013
6:18 PM
Lumpy!!! Thanks. I've been trying to remember that forever! Details were filtering back slowly but I was never near the computer or was always in a rush when I thought to search (I was headed out the door this morning when Tooka's story reminded me.) :) :) :)

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Nate
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Rubes
754 posts
Sep 07, 2013
7:22 PM
Whistling is IMPORTANT! It's articulation of the melody that oughta' be going on in our musical minds!
In my extended family, those that whistle seem to exhibit common traits of personality such as calm natures..musical skills (of course), and engineering based vocations.
Try whistling to pitch the intros of your favourite songs..then match on the harp.......great fun !!!
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