Introduction: Bird Call Hands
How to use your hands to make the bird call sound.
Step 1: Getting the Hands in the Proper Position
The first section of this tutorial will show you how to correctly arrange your hands to get the proper sound.
Step 2: Put One Hand on the Other
(I don't think that this should matter whether you're left or right handed, but if you are left handed and this feels unconfortable, please do the opposite hands as described)
Place the left edge of your right hand at the base of the fingers on the left hand.
Step 3: Move Right Hand Down
Now take your right hand and, pivoting on the left edge where your hands are touching, move it down onto the left hand.
You should not need to lift your hand to do this step.
Step 4: Cup Hands and Align Thumbs
Take the fingertips on both hands and curl them around the other hand.
The thumb of the right hand will be lower down then the thumb of the left hand. Keeping your hands together, move the left thumb up so that both thumbs are aligned.
Your hands are now in the correct position to do the bird call.
Step 5: Proper Blowing Technique
The following steps teach you how to blow properly so that the hands will create the proper sound.
Step 6: Pucker Your Lips & Inhale
To inhale properly, try the following:
- Though to play most instruments you breath from your chest, you will actually blow better here if you breathe from your throat (get a lot of air in your throat, but not any in your lungs. Basically, do a breath that gets your shoulders to move)
- Hold the breath in puckered lips (again, if you play a woodwind instrument, you're encouraged to not do this. However, this technique works better here
- Do not inhale with your hands already at your lips
Step 7: Bring Hands to Face & Exhale
HOW TO PROPERLY EXHALE TO GET THE WHISTLE:
If you exhale incorrectly, you will only hear air passing through your hands, not the desired whistle.
- Keep your hands tight. If they're too loose, air will escape out the sides
- That being said...make sure that there is some space between them. Otherwise, the air has nowhere to go.
- Blow hard. If you do not blow strong enough, you will not get the whistle.
- Keep your hands steady. If they are shaking, the whistle might stop mid-blow.
Step 8: Getting the Bird Call Sound
To achieve the bird call sound, while blowing, move the fingers AND ONLY THE FINGERS of the right hand slightly (it may help to only move the fingertips).
Step 9: Advanced Techniques
There is another, more advanced way to use the bird call technique as well.
You may have noticed that by moving the palms of the hands (while in the grip) in and out will change the pitch of the note you are producing. If you feel very confident with your call and breating techniques, you may be able to produce full songs on your hands.
There really aren't many tips I can give on this; you can either do it, or you can't. I'll just point out some things:
- Moving your hands closer together will cause the pitch to rise
- Moving your hands farther apart will cause the pitch to lower
- If you are really good at this, you can get the pitch to rise extremely high by removing all the fingers of the left hand except for the index finger. BE CAREFUL IF YOU DO THIS! It requires a lot of air to achieve the very high notes, and you may feel light headed.
On that happy note...have fun bird calling!
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