Saliva Problem

Saliva Problem

When I’m playing the whistle I have to stop after a couple of minutes to swallow the saliva that acumulates in my mouth. This is really annoying because it takes just a bit longer to do this than when you stop to take a breath, and it breaks the flow of the music.

Is there anyone else that has this problem?

Is there any solution to it?

Re: Saliva Problem

Stuff your mouth with water biscuits or dry crackers before you start the tune.

Re: Saliva Problem

Stop playing in the same session with the marvelous, mysterious, amorous, imperious Mr. Bliss.

Re: Saliva Problem

Come on guys, I was expecting some stupid jokes but theese were really bad.

Re: Saliva Problem

Apparently good whistle players develop a technique known as "circular swallowing" to overcome this. Anyway, I thought it was only Jack Gilder who salivated (over the girlies) while playing his concertina. I’ve warned him about it before.

Jim

Re: Saliva Problem

Luckily no one notices on account of my beard.

Re: Saliva Problem

(Attempt at serious answer) My hypothesis based on personal experience: At first your mouth thinks the whistle is food. It takes a while to re-program your mouth to accept the whistle as a non-food item. Unfortunately you have no control over when this transformation will occur. You might try visualization techniques whist whistling. Keep telling yourself the whistle is a breathing apparatus perhaps. Maybe a reverse Pavlov’s dog sort of thing will help.

Re: Saliva Problem

You are clearly drinking the wrong stuff.
There are a whole bunch of Beers, ales, stouts etc which have a diuretic effect and will dry out your entire system. You try producing a mouthful of saliva after three of these! A few that I am aware of are G**n*ss Stout, M*ck*s*ns Stout, Th**ks*n’s *ld P*c*l**r, and many more. More gentle ales like H*bg*bl*n and Sp*ckl*d H*n do not have the same effect. The first indication that a beer has a diuretic effect is that (perversely) you feel no need to pee. This is the Beer sucking up all the spare moisture in your system. Then suddenly you are peeing every fifteen minutes. You are living through one of those Australian "Beer Seal" jokes, and it is in fact the result of drinking a beer which disagrees with your system. Find the right ale and you have no "beer seal". But if you want to avoid a mouthful of saliva, McGregor, it sounds like this is what you need. You will spend two hours later in the evening peeing, on-and-off, but it’s a small price to pay, eh?

Re: Saliva Problem

Visualize your whistle as a catheter.

Re: Saliva Problem

Try a mouthwash of something astringent, such as a saline solution or baking soda solution. If you are a woodsey nutter, you could try chewing (but not swallowing) a little on an oak acorn enough to dry out your mouth. Don’t over do it, as you might pucker for the rest of the day.

Jack: I think people may give you the benefit of the doubt and suspect your moist beard is the drink over spill that you will suck up at an opportune moment. Anyone mention the squishy accordian sound?
Innocent Bystander: I have always wondered why more seems to come out than goes in.

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My beard glistens… it glistens. No one has mentioned the squishy concertina though… I did notice the last day people nearby had ear-plugs in though. 😏

Re: Saliva Problem

Dry mouth (caused by anxiety and mouth breathing) is a very common problem for singers and musicians who play wind instruments and is very bad for teeth, so it doesn’t seem like a good idea to induce it.

I only get increased saliva if I play too soon after a meal or when I’m hungry. As I play a wooden instrument the increased damp stops the wretched thing making any sound at all, so this is occasionally a problem. I find drinking plain tap water helps. (Yes. It is possible to drink the stuff.) Stick an ashtray under the other end of the whistle so that you don’t drip in your neighbours lap. The problem will probably go away.

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Then there’s the whole water condensation issue that’s different all together. Otherwise known as flute drool.

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Flrool or drute for short? Add soap to the mix and the pub will fixate on the bubbles and not suspect the drooling.

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There’s always a place for you in the Salivation Army.

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I thought it was the banjo player that drooled. That’s how you can tell when the stage is level: the drool comes out both sides of the mouth.

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Seriously, this is a common problem I think - people talk a lot about whether the liquid in the whistle in saliva or condensation and which whistle varieties have particular problems with that (Burkes for example, very difficult to keep dry). Of course, you don’t want that. So you carefully avoid drooling into your whistle, which is good, but end up with a mouthful of spit… I dunno. I think of it as an issue that kind of went away on its own, for me anyway, but if you’ve been playing a while, and doing so pretty decently for a while, and it’s still a problem, maybe it’s not going to spontaneously disappear.

I like Jack’s hypothesis that the whistle’s proximity to eating apparatus causes excessive drool (because you subliminally mistake it for a breadstick?) and you’ll eventually get over it. Or get very proficient at storing puddles of saliva under your tongue.

So, in short, I have no advice as to how to fix it.

Re: Saliva Problem

I know how to fix it: stop thinking about it, and it will cease to be a problem.

ps. Salivation Army! quirl wins!

Posted by .

Re: Saliva Problem

Could be a problem with your posture - try playing with your head held high. This should ensure that the saliva get curculated back via the stomach. having said that - I have been playing the whistle for a long time and still [occasionally] get this problem.

You can also use small breaks in the tune for a quick swallow.

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Brendan I thought those small breaks were artistry on your part, didn’t realise you were swallowing!
Seriously I found Jack Gilder’s comment about your mouth thinking the whistle is food rather illuminating. This thought had not occured to me but I think it’s right - I used to have a lot of saliva but it’s not a problem really any more. Or maybe I’m just drying out ………
McGregor you are not alone! So until your mouth decides the whistle is not food, just keep swallowing when you get the chance. Good luck!