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Well this is embarrassing, help please


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Don't feel bad, took me a couple/few years and I'm still not good at it, Wayne is still getting a grip on it too. BTW, conditioning your dog to take commands at distance while commanding at the same volume that you use during a person to person conversation over dinner has upsides. Great inexpensive hearing test.

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Small children can manage it within moments, usually. I think that us big folks tend to try too hard, and that makes it hard to do. So, my advice is, relax. And, understand that some whistles just aren't the right material/shape for some mouths and some people.

 

This is coming from a lousy whistler...

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I had a terrible time a year ago when I bought three or four of the inexpensive plastic whistles at last year's Finals. All I could get was a dim shadow of a sound. Gave one to my younger son as a challenge. He couldn't get a thing out of it (except spit). But my nephew's girlfriend picked it up and almost immediately got decent notes out of it. Somehow hearing her do it made it easier for me to pick up.

 

Here's what works for me. Instead of holding it gently between your lips ("lips flat" or "lips relaxed"), I "curl" my upper lip down on it with some pressure (with my upper lip just outside the hole) and hold the curved part of the whistle in place with my tongue. Then blow down into the hole, almost as if it were a pop bottle. (For me it doesn't much matter which side of the whistle is up).

 

In no time you'll be whistling "Mary Had a Little Lamb". When I'm feeling REALLY ambitious and I'm driving someplace by myself, I'll put on something like Mozart's clarinet concerto and see if I can manage any of the notes in the clarinet part. (I'm lucky it doesn't start the dog to howling, because I really can't manage anything close to the range of a clarinet, and half my notes are out of tune).

 

By the way: once you start getting sounds out of it, I strongly recommend Kent Kuykendall's CD on whistles. It's fun even if you're not training a dog but you're attending trials. Even if you run into a fair number of handlers who DON'T use Kent's system, it's easy to pick out the ones who do, and suddenly you can understand what the handlers are trying to communicate to their dogs.

 

Not that I can yet swing the high-end notes out of my plastic whistle that Kent manages, but it gives me something to work towards.

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Julie, I'm sure that's the case. The plastic whistles do, however, look different from one "face" (by which I mean top or bottom) to the other. I know when I was first trying to figure it out, I wondered whether it mattered whether the big flat part or the semicircular part was up, so I commented that it didn't seem to matter in case anyone else was stewing over this same thing.

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I practiced in my car to/from work and it helped. Then I taped myself and realized that I still sucked. Kept working on it and then whistled "mary had a little lamb" to the spouse and he commented, he never hear the song in one tone before so back to more practicing in the car...and one day, poof, it worked...i was trying to hard and then when i relaxed, it worked.

 

Diane

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