As we have already explained in lesson 1, hold the whistle between your lips. Make sure that you don’t touch your teeth.
Unobstructed airflow must be allowed from the lungs to your mouth to the whistle. Relax, but be sure to stand straight. Or stand, if you prefer.
Do not be alarmed if you are wondering why the whistle sounds so squeaky (not clear). It may seem complicated at first. It is important to remember that lower octave notes require less air than higher octave notes, even though fingering is identical. This is how you jump between the octaves. However, there are some whistles that require more air than others and some that are easy to blow too hard. Different mouthpiece types are also possible. We recommend that you start with the lowest note (usually D) as this is the threshold for air pressure.
It’s best to not blow directly into the whistle. You can move the mouthpiece around inside your lips to find the ideal angle for airflow. The whistle will sound clearer when it reaches that point. Each whistle has a different mouthpiece position. You also need to use a different amount of air for certain notes. Even if you’re not an absolute beginner, switching to a different brand of whistle will require some time to get used.
Another common rookie mistake is to blow too hard. Don’t overblow, it is easy to do, especially at lower octaves. You can start by putting the whistle aside and then begin to blow with your mouth closed. Holding your breath is a good practice for beginners. The air pressure should be felt. You can manipulate it. This is how you can use the whistle in your mouth. You can start with very low pressure, and then increase it until the whistle makes a consistent, rich sound. It is difficult to explain but it will be easy to feel the right sound. Here you have it!
The fingering for the upper octave sounds the same. You can reach higher notes by blowing harder. It is difficult for beginners to control the airflow at higher notes. You should remember that mastering higher octaves takes practice and time. Don’t be discouraged if your first whistling session doesn’t go well. A good tip for higher octaves is to use shorter bursts of blowing (not more than one second). After you have achieved the right sound, increase the note duration.
Tonguing (next lesson), is a way to add more emphasis to a tune or musical part that starts on a higher note. Tonguing adds more emphasis and a “punch” to a note. This helps you achieve the right amount of air pressure.
Begin with the lowest D note (all the holes covered), then play a complete scale on the lower Octave (D E F#, G, A B, C# and D), then go backwards. Once you feel the lower octave is sounding good, move up to the higher octave. Then play the scale. Another exercise that is useful is to perform octave leaps on the same note. Play lower D, then higher D and continue this process until you reach the next note. Playing scales can get boring, so you can play some notes and create a random melody. You can also try to recreate a slow and easy song that you know.
The goal is to learn how you can control your breathing and airflow. Do not bother with unnecessary bells and ringing. We’ll get to that later.