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Why do I lose my whistle register as the day goes on?

RhodesRhodes Pro Posts: 3
edited January 2014 in Vocal Health and Wellness
I recently discovered how to access my whistle register, which brought my range up from 3 octaves to nearly 4 (yay!). Usually my whistle is strongest in the morning, presumably because my vocal muscles are loose and relaxed, but as I practice singing throughout the day, eventually I lose the ability to hit the whistle notes. I'm doing my best to stay relaxed and practice without any strain, vocalizing with an open throat, etc., but it seems like without fail, eventually as the day goes on the whistle goes bye bye. Is this common when you first learn how to get to it? And will it eventually get strong enough to stick around permanently? Any tips on how to strengthen it?


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    ragnarragnar Pro Posts: 410
    I would be more worried about the fact that the thing you prioritize high enough to make your first post about, is something as completely useless as the whistle register.
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    RhodesRhodes Pro Posts: 3
    Wow. So you're the arbiter on what constitutes a valid first post or whether the whistle is useless? And where did I even mention anything about priorities? You don't know me, what my (20 year) background singing is, nor what my priorities are. I posted a question, thinking that others might have a similar experience or some hints. What I didn't expect, especially after spending hundreds of dollars on a vocal program, was for someone to castigate me, indicating that my question has no validity as a first post. Geez...
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    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359

    OK you two, shake hands and say you're sorry. 

    Now kiss and make up.  ;^)

    I do believe I just witnessed the first EVER flame war on this forum.

    Congratulations, @Rhodes, and for your very first and second posts.

    First let me say WELCOME to KTVA, Rhodes.  I mean that. 

    Second let me say that ragnar is a very helpful member who has been around here for a long time. 

    The two of you just happened to come together like flint and steel in a powder keg, that's all.

    To get back to your question, my whistle register always works most faithfully in the mornings, too.

    Because KTVA exercises tend to take you to the limits of your capabilities, it's quite easy to experience a little stretching that may influence the way your cords meet.  Whistle takes place through the smallest opening possible in the cords.  Any swelling whatsoever and the whistle is the first to go.  Second would be the upper mid-voice.

    KTVA does not cover whistle voice in any of the lessons.  It's not something that you'll really use normally in singing.  Probably the reason I learned to do  it was to be able to claim another octave or so of high voice.  I really have no other use for it.  It does help from the perspective of looking down on all other notes below, but I never sing a song using whistle voice.  I sound essentially like Flipper the dolphin when I squeak in whistle voice.

    That said, I totally understand why you (like me) wanted to learn whistle voice, and wonder what's up any time I can't access it like I normally can.

    By the way, you are listed here as a member.  If you will send an email to ktvahelp@gmail.com and include a copied and pasted copy of your KTVA receipt, you can ask to have your KTVA Forum status upgraded to either Volume One or PRO, whichever is applicable.   There is a lot more information available here than you are probably able to see with your "member" status.

    Again, let me say Welcome to KTVA.  We won't bite.  Except for ragnar.

    ragnar, where have you been lately?  Don't be a lurking arbiter.  I'm going to recruit you to be an official welcome wagon committee chairperson.






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    RhodesRhodes Pro Posts: 3
    "my whistle register always works most faithfully in the mornings, too."

    OK, that's good to know that I'm not unique.

    "Any swelling whatsoever and the whistle is the first to go.  Second would be the upper mid-voice"

    Same here. I always lose 2 or 3 whole steps once I sing with some power for any length of time (or at least I lose enough power to be able to use them). That's been my main motivation for developing my whistle. My thought was that if I could get it strong enough at the bottom break it might help me retain the high/mid notes I lose. Maybe it won't, but I don't have tremendous natural range, so even gaining a few notes at the top would be very helpful. I spent years singing in rock bands when I was young and some of the notes I could hit then I can't anymore. I don't sing rock anymore, so that doesn't matter, but I would like to make some gains on my usable range.
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    ragnarragnar Pro Posts: 410
    edited August 2013
    @Rhodes @highmtn

    hehe yeah I do apologize for coming out harsh - I was too tired for diplomacy that day - but this really is something that bugs me massively. I've seen more than a few singers who can barely carry a tune at all invest sooo much time into this, imo, useless register.
    You say you want to "make some gains on your usable range". This is where I'm flabbergasted that anyone actually considers whistle as usable range - it sounds terrible. 
    It's possible that we just have different perceptions of when one actually enters whistle voice. When I think of flageolet I think Mariah Carey, and in males usually annoying heavy metal singers and/or otherwise great singers who are just mucking about on stage with a staccato 6th octave note.

    edit: actually I have made the possibly faulty assumption that you are a dude. If you are in fact female and dreaming of being an operatic soprano then I suppose it is warranted, but for pop/rock? Just no imo.
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    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359

    I use whistle as a checksum for my voice.  It's like having your speakers or microphone scoped to see if they roll off the highs at 12,000 hz or 22,000 hz. 

    You really can't hear much in that space between them, but the harmonics that are there do contribute to the fidelity of the sound.  Most people's hearing doesn't go that high.

    With whistle, I use it to gauge whether that area of my voice is working or not.  I don't intend to sing on it, but it does give clues as to how my upper mids are going to work that day. 

    Then again, it can give you a perspective to look down on all notes below, which can help you to take a different approach to certain high notes down in the upper tenor range. 

    That said, I concur that I won't be using whistle in any performance tunes any time soon, but I also think it's OK for dudes to want to figure out how it works and if they want to use it, that's OK.  I can decide if I want to listen to it or not.  More power to anyone who wants to sing any way they choose. 

    I can like it or hate it, that's my choice, but I don't think I should publicly bash them.

    ragnar, I'll bet you have little tolerance for recordings of fingernails on chalkboards played back at high amplitude!

    Thanks for acknowledging your harshness.  Let's keep it more positive.  Like, "I am positive that I personally don't like whistle voice".   ;^)  Just kidding. 

    There is space for all opinions here... but let's be more encouraging and tolerant of one another as we share our opinions, please!




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