Whistle Tone also known as Flute or Whistle Register is the most mysterious of vocal registers. Brought to fame by Mariah Carey, the Whistle Register is named due to the characteristic sound made when producing a whistle note .
Higher than any other register of the human voice and found above High C (C6) – it is not possible for everyone to achieve. Even when it is possible, it is not notoriously difficult to control – little wonder that it is hard to master!
No one has yet matched the sheer brilliance shown by Mariah Carey on many of her records (listen to Emotions for the highest recorded note at G#7) – BUT more mainstream vocalists are using whistle in their songs and Youtubers making it a trendy thing to do – this of course means more singers are wanting to be able to make the sound.
However, without a good vocal grounding, an incorrect idea of what Whistle is before you start trying, you could seriously damage your voice.
Having recently achieved to sing D#7 after a weeks Whistle Intensive – we thought we would write a blog post to help you achieve the whistle of your dreams SAFELY and without doing yourself any long term vocal damage.
How Do You Sing a Whistle Note?
Depending on what you already know about the voice or how you’ve been taught to sing, you may have heard whistle mentioned alongside head voice, neutral voice, normal voice. We have seen many Singing teachers on Youtube suggesting that you just practice scales higher and gradually stretch your vocal chords – DO NOT DO THIS!!!! Unless you are a trained professional we do not advise this at all – not only is it harmful – it is the wrong technique.
Before you start attemping Whistle tones, you need to understand a little about the vocal chords…
The Science Bit
When singing Whistle notes, a singer only actually uses a small part of the vocal chords instead of full vibrations occurring across the whole length of the vocal chords (as with other registers), which means a completely different vocal technique is required to produce the notes which is where a lot of vocalists go wrong.
What Whistle is – is actually the least amount of effort to create the highest of notes. Once you have found you Whistle register you can then look to making it sound louder or stronger. If you try to make the noise loudly straight away you will hurt yourself.
Don’t forget that people like Mitch Grassi, Mariah, Christina, Ariana etc have been doing this since they were kids so have a lot more practice!
Many videos we have seen have talked about whistle but don’t show singing teachers actually singing a whistle note… so to prove it, here is us finding D#7 after our weeks Whistle Intensive.
Do you remember when you were a kid and you got a piece of grass and put it between your two thumbs to try and make a note? Or when you first learned to whistle? You made lots of air noises but no actual notes – it took a lot of precision with the air to get a note – but when you got it – BOY were you happy – you got better t it too!
Well that’s Whistle for you and a good way to think about what you are doing before you to start trying whistle. It helps if you can already hit the high C in head voice/neutral voice but you can get the same Whistle sensation and sound on lower notes.
Ready to start?
- Try to whistle with your lips – chances are you can whistle loudly.
- Now try to turn the volume down and try to do the quietest whistle to the point where you can hardly hear the air coming out…the smallest amount of air you can possibly get – that is what you are aiming for with your voice for Whistle register
- With this in mind – try with your voice Don’t push… just let the tiniest amount of air out while relaxing as much as possible. It’s almost like you’re holding your breath. If you push it’s too much – if you use too much air – you may hurt yourself – just try and find the tones first.
- Keep Going! This really is all you have to do to find Whistle
Record yourself while you are doing it or you will regret missing your first squeak (as that is probably what you are going to get.)
Once you have found whistle practice finding that exact same spot and get used to the sensation of making practically no effort. Once you can find the Whistle tone at all, you can train to get more.