What key whistle for just playing around the kitchen Table

The Ultimate On-Line Whistle Community. If you find one more ultimater, let us know.
Post Reply
User avatar
Ben Shaffer
Posts: 644
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2002 6:00 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 10
Location: Greensboro,NC

What key whistle for just playing around the kitchen Table

Post by Ben Shaffer »

HI Guys, I'm on the C&F Flute Forum a lot, but rarely come over to the Whistle as I have not played the Whistle in years. In the past I did Sessions playing the Whistle as well as Colonial Reenactments At the time I had some nice Whistles in the key of C and D, Copeland as well as Abells, but they've long since been sold. At this point I am mainly a Kitchen Musician and play Celtic as well Colonial Period Music on a Flute made by Music Morneaux. So I was thinking about getting back into playing the Whistle some. The key of C could be good, but I was thinking about maybe getting a lower whistle, say B Flat, I guess basically like a Fife in the key of B Flat. I think that whistle would not disturb the Household. You know if you go to high it can sound Screechy.
I 'm looking at the Gerry Milligan B Fiat Whistles and at $250 that sounds like a lot of Whistle for the money. But also I'm looking at the Killarney Whistle B flat whistle at 105 Euro's. I'm guessing the Muiligam Whistle will give me a warmer sound and maybe the Killarney whistle maybe louder?
So Opinions about both Whistles and the key of B flat for playing around the kitchen Table would be greatly appreciated
Ben Shaffer
Last edited by Ben Shaffer on Wed Nov 23, 2022 9:11 am, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
RoberTunes
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:33 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: I am a flute, guitar, keyboard + whistle player learning about quality whistles, musical possibilities and playing techniques. I've recorded a CD of my own music and am creating music for kids.
Location: North America

Re: Opinions on what key whistle to get

Post by RoberTunes »

If you want a key distinctly different than the possible screechiness of high D, then also as a flute and whistle player, I'd consider either a C whistle that has a balanced tone,
but you have options there such as the brighter/balanced tone of the Killarney and Cobre which are precise players with minimal air and not such high volume, or
shift into the more robust tone of the larger bore C's available such as Busker, and larger bore options from many makers such as Humphrey. Also the balanced tonal
quality of the Shearwater comes into play there. Nathaniel Dowell has done a great review of Shearwaters in different keys.

The other consideration is key, and for higher listenability among those around you, and for the good chance of feeling like playing for hours in a lower key that's
easy on the ear, get into the alto/mezzo range of either A (good with key of D music), but especially G and F, where you get the wide range of deep rich tones with the higher
notes still available and the easy playability of having the tone holes still relatively close together (vs low D, low C, etc.). G and F will be that much closer to playing
well with the key of C, and have such a rich tone.

Killarney has recently introduced a key of A whistle, but so far, probably due to how recent that new whistle is, I haven't seen a playing review of it anywhere.
I'm hoping Cutie Pie, Nathaniel Dowell, Whistle Tutor, or anyone else capable, puts it through a good performance review on YouTube, as the key of A should be far more popular
as an entry into the alto range but still in sync with the popular key of D.

If you've got dogs or cats nearby, definitely high C may still be egregious to such sensitivities and alto G or F would be far more acceptable.

My own experience with high D and high C is such that I'm convinced that may own ear damage from flute playing for years, has given me a slight case of ear buzz
triggered as an annoyance when around noises at about at 1000 hz, and the high keys I now avoid. G and F whistles, or ironically, whistles and recorders up in high G and high F
are able to be played with little problem. They also tend to be at a lower volume, in their way. And on a tangent, wild birds seem to love listening to the high recorder
and high whistles played in a serene and rambling way.

You've got a list of choices.
fatmac
Posts: 1144
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:47 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: Kickbiker - at over 70!
:lol:
....................................................................
....................................................................

Re: Opinions on what key whistle to get and also make

Post by fatmac »

My favourite low whistles are 'A', low 'G', & low 'F'.

'A' & 'Bb' are very close, so either would be OK - once you get passed low 'G' the holes need pipers grip for a lot of people.

I'd suggest looking at MK Kelpie or Pro if you only want one whistle.
Keith.
Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.
Narzog
Posts: 474
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:21 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: Can play several instruments at an unimpressive level. Currently most interested in whistling with a side of acoustic guitar.

Re: Opinions on what key whistle to get and also make

Post by Narzog »

I second low A-F being amazing. If I'm not playing low D i'm playing one of those. To me the low A is my high whistle. Bb would be similar. It feels small and easy to play compared to a low D. But not high pitch and annoying haha. My low A is a burke so the high end is a bit loud. But not TOO loud and high like my high D. Low F are wonderful but gets a bit closer to the low D which you already play with your flute. Low G is a good balance between the two. It doesnt feel like playing a low whistle, but can be fairly low pitch.
User avatar
fiddlerwill
Posts: 550
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:51 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: I play traditional Irish and Scottish music.
"The beginner should approach style warily, realizing that it is an expression of self, and should turn resolutely away from all devices that are popularly believed to indicate style — all mannerisms, tricks, adornments. The approach to style is by way of plainness, simplicity, orderliness, sincerity."
Location: Miltown Malbay

Re: Opinions on what key whistle to get and also make

Post by fiddlerwill »

Ive heard a great report of the killarney Bb . I play a Brass Burke

Its my go to whistle at the moment . Low G is a very usefull key .
The mind is like a parachute; it only works when it is open.


Heres a few tunes round a table, first three sets;

http://soundcloud.com/fiddlerwill/werty
http://soundcloud.com/fiddlerwill/jigs-willie
http://soundcloud.com/fiddlerwill/jigs
User avatar
Terry McGee
Posts: 2587
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:12 pm
Please enter the next number in sequence: 1
Location: Malua Bay, on the NSW Nature Coast
Contact:

Re: Opinions on what key whistle to get and also make

Post by Terry McGee »

Hi Ben

Does the tail end of your topic title suggest that the kitchen table you mention won't only be for playing around, but might occasionally be cleared off to make way for some wood shavings?
User avatar
Ben Shaffer
Posts: 644
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2002 6:00 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 10
Location: Greensboro,NC

Re: Opinions on what key whistle to get and also make

Post by Ben Shaffer »

Terry McGee wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 10:00 pm Hi Ben

Does the tail end of your topic title suggest that the kitchen table you mention won't only be for playing around, but might occasionally be cleared off to make way for some wood shavings?
Terry McGee wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 10:00 pm Hi Ben


The Table is getting crowded Terry what with the Table Saw, Lathe and drill Press, on it no room to eat now!
User avatar
Terry McGee
Posts: 2587
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:12 pm
Please enter the next number in sequence: 1
Location: Malua Bay, on the NSW Nature Coast
Contact:

Re: What key whistle for just playing around the kitchen Table

Post by Terry McGee »

Heh heh. I'm reminded of when we came back to Canberra in late 1974 after seven months in England, Ireland and Scotland. Gillian had picked up a harpsichord kit which would need to be assembled, and I was full of ideas for making flutes. Fortunately some friends had decided to move to South Australia, so we were able to rent their two-bedroom home, and later buy it. The second bedroom became the workshop. It was tiny, so building a harpsichord in there was only just achievable. So then I get an old wood lathe and Gillian gets a small combination woodworking machine which have to go in there too. And a dust extractor. Gillian decides she enjoyed instrument making more than her well-paid public service job, so a bandsaw gets added. All in this tiny single-bed bedroom! It's remarkable what you can achieve if you have no choice!

Finally, we cracked and decided to build a workshop. We came up with the ideas, Dad drew it up, and bricklayer Jack Canny built it. Jack was Paddy Canny's brother and also played fiddle. Pete, his offsider for the job, was also a local Irish fiddle player. We played Irish music out the back window to keep them up-to-speed....
User avatar
pancelticpiper
Posts: 5136
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 am
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: Playing Scottish and Irish music in California for 45 years.
These days many discussions are migrating to Facebook but I prefer the online chat forum format.
Location: WV to the OC

Re: What key whistle for just playing around the kitchen Table

Post by pancelticpiper »

If it's Bb you decide on, I would try a Jerry Freeman modified Generation Bb.

The one I got from Jerry was superb, simply the best Bb I'd ever owned.

It came in the mail and a few days later I went on a multi-state tour playing it at every concert. It has absolutely perfect tuning and great voicing with exceptionally sweet high notes.
Richard Cook
c1980 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle
User avatar
Ben Shaffer
Posts: 644
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2002 6:00 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 10
Location: Greensboro,NC

Re: What key whistle for just playing around the kitchen Table

Post by Ben Shaffer »

It is amazing what you can build in a small workshop. After my Dad retired from Public School Teaching he really got into woodworking. He had a small shop in the Back Yard, maybe 12 ft by 10 ft. In the shop he had a Lathe, Band saw, Drill press and a few other big Power Tools. He also stored his wood in there. He made Chests, Dressers, end Tables, Butler Style Tables as well as wall Boxes and Shelves. He was not a fan of finishing Furniture, so he enlisted me to to that. He would tell me what type of finish, surface coat or penetrating, stain etc he wanted on any given piece and I would make it happen. I did not have the patient to do woodworking per se, but liked doing finishing as I could do that fairly quickly.
I digressed here, but the last Posts talking about the Kilarney B flat as well as Jerry Freemnas B flat Whistles sound like they could be a good choice for me I wonder if the Brass Tube of the Kilarney is thicker than the Freeman improved Whistles and would that make a difference in the sound?
User avatar
Terry McGee
Posts: 2587
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:12 pm
Please enter the next number in sequence: 1
Location: Malua Bay, on the NSW Nature Coast
Contact:

Re: What key whistle for just playing around the kitchen Table

Post by Terry McGee »

Heh heh, I reckon the prize for small workshops should still go to the late "Johnno" Johnson. Johnno was ancient, long retired and living on the pension. I don't think he had a house anywhere, he lived in a not-very-big camper van and could be found at any folk festival. When not attracted to folk festival activities, he would unload a small bench from his van and carve out the bits for fiddles. And then assemble them, set them up and give them away. His argument was that he enjoyed making fiddles and didn't need the money. Indeed, he couldn't handle any income as it would mess with his pension. I've heard it said that his fiddles were nothing special, but I can imagine that they might have set more than one person on a path to playing.

Hmmm, am I going to be outrun by some old fiddle scraper? Excuse me while I thumb through the used camper van ads in the local paper. And place an ad in the Wanted column: Wanted: good wood lathe, with 12 volt DC motor....

I'm attracted to the motto of the Australian Ulysses Motorcycle Club. "Grow old disgracefully..."
User avatar
Terry McGee
Posts: 2587
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:12 pm
Please enter the next number in sequence: 1
Location: Malua Bay, on the NSW Nature Coast
Contact:

Re: What key whistle for just playing around the kitchen Table

Post by Terry McGee »

"wood lathe, with 12 volt DC motor" What am I going on about? Go foot powered! Treadles was traditional, as this image of the Rudall Carte workshop in their 1922 catalog shows.

Image

And if you're only making whistles and flutes that break down into pieces, you don't need a very long lathe!
User avatar
Nanohedron
Moderatorer
Posts: 37602
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: Been a fluter, citternist, and uilleann piper; committed now to the way of the harp.

Oh, yeah: also a mod here, not a spammer. A matter of opinion, perhaps.
Location: Lefse country

Re: What key whistle for just playing around the kitchen Table

Post by Nanohedron »

Terry McGee wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 6:03 amI'm attracted to the motto of the Australian Ulysses Motorcycle Club. "Grow old disgracefully..."
Ha! That's been my motto, too. :thumbsup:
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano
User avatar
RoberTunes
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:33 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: I am a flute, guitar, keyboard + whistle player learning about quality whistles, musical possibilities and playing techniques. I've recorded a CD of my own music and am creating music for kids.
Location: North America

Re: What key whistle for just playing around the kitchen Table

Post by RoberTunes »

Terry McGee wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 6:03 am I'm attracted to the motto of the Australian Ulysses Motorcycle Club. "Grow old disgracefully..."
I recently picked up a discount copy of The Odyssey, so now I'm really looking forward to reading the chapter where Ulysses and his crew take motorcycles
through the outback on the way back to Penelope. I hope they keep some monster gangs of hypnotical roos and storms of Tasmanian Devil comedians at bay by playing
their alto and high F whistles at them after driving up to the top that big rock and hoisting some Aussie ale to really drive home the point. I have a friend in Perth and one who moves
around eastern Australia with her job, so maybe those places will get their part in the Odyssey. Never been there, but apart from it's suffering some extreme
climate change heat cells, it seems like heaven, and the place to be.
Post Reply