Are there any known references on professional whistling out there? I love to whistle, but I feel like it's not very pretty the way I do it and would like to learn from a professional the best way to do vibrato, increase my range, change registers quickly, etc.
I'll make this a community wiki to encourage the addition of more resources in the future.
Thanks to NReilingh♦ for the reference to the "Pucker Up" documentary. The documentary contained some references to important resources, which helped me find more. Whistling was popular basically until the end of the swing era, so most of the whistling related materials shown in the documentary were pre-1945. Agnes Woodward's book, however, is still around:
- "Whistling as an Art: a method for the development of tone, technic and style", by Agnes Woodward (1923, 1925 and 1938). There are details on this, Woodward and the style used in the Dictionary of Whistling. I just scanned and uploaded the 1938 edition here.
- "How to Whistle Like a Pro (Without Driving Anyone Else Crazy)", by David Harp (1993). This is not a thorough treatment of whistling but might get someone started with useful exercises.
- "Dictionary of Whistling", by J.M. Schlitz (2013). This is an online resource containing names of techniques, famous figures, and interesting history. It is apparently only one appendix in the author's PhD dissertation, below:
- "Guide to Artwhistling", by J.M. Schlitz (2006 with recent updates). Only some samples are available online (along with the dictionary), and the full text is not available to the general public, though it may be for official artwhistling instructors.
- "Kunstpfeifen: an Overview", by same author (2002). This was apparently the first study of whistling to appear online, though it is outdated now (probably only in comparison to the author's own works, though).
- I think I should also link to the International Artwhistling Philharmonic Society.
I have a feeling that, while there may be professionals that would give you advice, you'd be as well off simply practicing different techniques and mimicking. For example I whistle on an inhale in the mid-high register for more volume. I'm sure that there are as many techniques as people whistling.
I have a hunch, however, that if you practice isolating harmonics (such as in harmonic singing) it may improve your ability to ascend/descend quickly/cleanly through the registers.
Just two cents (okay, maybe just one) from a strictly nonprofessional whistler.
If you want to see a good example for real "palatal" or "roof" whistling with open mouth , search for "palatal whistling " on YouTube and see videos of Thomas Molnar (my own performance).
Many think , it is something miraculous. IT IS really NOT.
The key is the completely different way of creating whistling tune. Instead of rounding lips and press the airflow between them (causing resonance outside the mouth) the airflow passes the bent-- up tongue left and right and crosses before the front teeth within the mouth , creating a smooth- sounding whistle tune . Moving the lips (narrowing and widening it ) regulates the pitch of the tune.
Of course I use the "traditional" technique too for lower and higher pitches ,too - I can even breathe in during whistling so there is no need to make pauses or interruptions during the performance(see. Marcia Alla Turca)
How it works? See my above mentioned videos. If you have any questions, write me.
From one of the videos you referenced:
Wow, Geert Chatrou is really something. After some research, it appears he collaborated with the makers of this documentary:
... which might be a good resource, and seems to contain some information about how to do palatal whistling.