What are some of your techniques?

February 23, 2017

Over the years I’ve perfected the standard “pucker style” (where the air travels over the tongue through the puckered lips). I also whistle with my tongue only, which produces a rougher, more airy sound. Next, I’ve developed what I call the “chirp” whistle, which sounds like a referee’s whistle. I produce this by keeping my jaw mostly closed, then doing a tongue whistle through lightly closed lips. The force of the air forces the lips open and closed very quickly. It’s a cool sound. Finally, I’ve developed the “wa-wa” whistle, which is tongue whistling while mouthing the words “wa-wa”. It reminds me of Peter Frampton’s famous voice synthesizer on his hit tune, “Do You Feel Like We Do?” I also whistle in and out, use a vibrato when appropriate to give warmth and feeling to the sound, and warble. Warbling is like a vibrato, but rather than a smooth transition between notes, it’s a snapping between notes. Undulating the tongue laterally produces this sound. All of these things take practice to master. Each is an arrow in my stylistic quiver, giving me different ways to portray, arrange, and interpret music.