Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Here Kitty" Tongue Click for Easier, More Frequent Clicking

Recently, I have been trying to train more often, and I have access to some new, unfamiliar environments having just sold my house and moved to a new location.

Trying out a new echolocation click

I've been utilizing a new click style and that is the "tst tst tst".  This is what I'll call the "here kitty" sound because it is commonly used to call cats.  If you're not familiar with that, the tip of the tongue is placed on the roof of the mouth and a small amount of negative pressure, or vacuum pressure is drawn inside the mouth.  The sound is then made by pulling the tip of the tongue away from the roof of the mouth.

I like this method because the volume can be very soft or very loud depending on where you are and what you need.  Also, it is a very easy sound to make and can be made several times in a second without much effort.  I find that making the beacon sound more often, gives you a better resolution on the big picture.  All of our senses are based on recognizing the changes from one moment to the next.  Sound, taste, sight, touch, and smell are all based on a change in perception.  Echolocation is the same way.  There is a little more to it than that, but in some ways we are simply looking to distinguish the differences and changes in our environment, from one click to the next.  By making sounds closer together, we get a picture with finer detail.  Bats and dolphins make their beacon sound up to 200 times per second, and killer whales do it up to 500 times a second!

You can play with the frequency of this beacon by adjusting the shape of your mouth and it can be quite high if the corners of the mouth are spread wide, and generally higher frequencies give better response. so remember to smile while training!  

As always, I would love to hear comments from you on your thoughts and experiences!

Free 10-Minute Audio Lesson: Learn the Echolocation Click

Learn echolocation clicks with a free audio lesson
Learning how to click is one of the first steps to becoming an effective echoloator. This lesson provides clicking samples of a variety of different clicks and descriptions of when they might be most useful. This lesson has been used by O&M instructors all over the world.

Despite popular belief, it's easy to make your clicking quite subtle or unnoticeable even in quiet settings. There are many different clicks for different situations. I explain all of these in great detail and give examples of where, why and when they can and should be used.

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