Friday, September 26, 2008

Sheepdog whistles... from Hell?

So I got my sheepdog whistle in the mail today. After several hours of meddling with it, I am convinced that they were designed by the devil.

As per Dianne's recommendation, I got a brass whistle made by Rob Drummond. The "Astro Blaster" in particular. I chose it because it looked less intimidating than the other whistles on the page. Doesn't he look cute?



Ha ha ha. Yeaaaah.

How hard can it be to work this thing? I put it in my mouth and blow.

Needless to say, I am not a whistling prodigy. All that happens the first time is that I drool all over my chin and make absolutely no sound. Damn. After a few more attempts (and a few very faint "whistle-like" sounds), I put it down in disgust. I am slobbering all over the place and getting nowhere. So I do some research online (this is a great site: http://www.tagalongprairie.com/whistle.shtml) about how they are supposed to work and learn a couple of things:

1) It can take YEARS to learn how to do it properly.
2) It helps if you know how to whistle with your mouth first (I do... kinda)
3) If you try too hard, you won't get any sound.

With #3 in mind, I go into a zen-like state with the whistle, just sort of rolling it around and seeing where it's supposed to fit, trying not to think about it too much. Nothing happens for awhile except for more drooling and some strangled raspy sounds like a dying rabbit.

Then BAM! I got one wavering, but vaguely musical note! However, I have no idea how I did it. So I try not to move the whistle in my mouth at all and try again. Success! I managed to recreate the same sound! I experiment with little scales and tunes, and it doesn't go too horribly. But I am annoying the crap out of the dogs :)

A few hours later, I can whistle a slightly off-key "rule brittania" and an actually decent "jingle bells." I have trouble with the lower notes, so I'll have to work on that...

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Hilarious. I have heard stories of people taking weeks to months just to get a sound. Took me a full day to get at least one clean note, then about a week to do simple commercial jingles. I still have LOTS of room for improvement.