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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:51 am 
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Does anyone know where I could get a thumb rest for a wooden low D Irish whistle? The outside diameter of the whistle is about 2.5 cm (about 1 inch). I live in the USA, so it would be helpful to find a USA maker, but all suggestions welcome. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:31 am 
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Welcome to the C&F whistle forum.

slewellen wrote:
Does anyone know where I could get a thumb rest for a wooden low D Irish whistle? The outside diameter of the whistle is about 2.5 cm (about 1 inch).

This question comes up regularly. Using the search function at the top of each page would quickly give you the collected wisdom of the forum members.

Here's my standard set of thoughts on the subject. You have many options.

Susato makes thumbrests to fit all of their whistles and recorders. I am sure one of those comes in a size that would work for you. I just cannot advise which one. Susato sell directly and the rests are sold by most recorder shops and whistle retail shops such as The Whistle Shop.

In a similar vein, Aulos makes clip-on thumbrests for their recorders. Again I can't advise on which size to purchase. But they are out there.

There are other things that help which you can try. Most of us do not use anything to hold onto our (low) whistles. The hands do the job fine. But I realize many players need some help getting to that level of comfort. The simplest method I have seen is to place some tape on the back of the whistle where the thumbs are placed. The type and thickness of the tape is up to you - Scotch tape, masking tape, painter's tape, medical adhesive tape, carpet tape, etc.. It is sometimes enough to get you on your way. And it is removable. Those little adhesive silicone dots that act as feet on nick-knacks or cabinet door bumpers might work too.

Another simple method, and my personal favorite, is to wrap a rubber band a few times around the whistle body and locate it at the pint where you would put a thumbrest. It is easy, cheap and removable. Works as well if not better than a commercial thumbrest.

Neck straps are also available. Look at recorder and clarinet straps. You can make one yourself out of a short length of cord. Google can help you there. "Recorder Strap" will get you more results than "whistle strap".

MTGuru, who is a moderator here, has also invented a thumb strap for low whistles. That may not be the best choice for some wooden instruments. It probably depend on the design of your whistle. But the idea is worth noting. It simply uses a paper clip hooked into the bell of the whistle to which a loop of cord is attached which then wraps around the thumb of the lower hand.

Recorder and clarinet players also attaach permanent thumbrests to their instruments. Again, Google can help you locate those. Some attach with double sided tape, others require pins or screws. Yamaha provides a stick-on thumbrest with their YRT-304B tenor recorder. I do not know where they are for sale though. You may be able to locate one of those at a specialty recorder shop like Lazar's Early Music. Lazar's do sell thumbrests and straps in any case.

Worst case, I have seen instruments (a tenor recorder was the last) which sported a hose clamp as an accessory which provided the dual function of being either a thumbrest or a platform to affix a neck strap. I personally would not go there. But it did add a bit of bling to an otherwise boring brown instrument. :) YMMV.

Have fum.

Feadoggie

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:07 pm 
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You've gotten good advice. One other thought: you might try what I've done to relieve the weight of a low D on my annoyingly arthritic thumbs -- it's pretty simple. Place an appropriately sized O ring on the whistle (or two O rings, one slightly above the other if you prefer it for stability). On my whistles these are #17 or #18 rings & can be bought at most hardware stores. You want the ring to be tight enough not to slip, but not so tight that it's creating serious pressure on the instrument; experiment with size. I place mine at a comfortable place between the third hole and the fourth. Then slide a string or thin piece of ribbon under the ring (I use a ribbon with velcro at the two top ends) the ends of which are attached (tied, if string, tied or attached with velcro if a ribbon -- velcro allows you to adjust the length easily and I prefer the bit of thickness of the ribbon to the thin string). Experiment with length to suit your preference. This creates a comfortable neck strap to take some of the weight of the instrument off your hands if you're playing for a fair length of time. It has worked well for me.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:06 pm 
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You can order clarinet thumb rests very inexpensively on Ebay. They're made to be screw mounted on the clarinet, but a bit of heavy duty double stick tape will work just as well. Mine usually go a year or more before I have to replace the tape.

Most online music shops have them as well.

JD


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:28 am 
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I have a delrin low D. It is the whistle I play the most often, but the delrin is very slippery to me. I took a short strip of leather and made a slip knot on on end. On the other i tied a loop to fit my thumb. I put the slip knot end over the bell/bottom of the whistle and tighten it up about 2 inches below the bottom hole. The leather is soft and won't damage the delrin and it is easily removeable, if needed.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:41 am 
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Welcome to the C&F Whistle forum, hmarten.

hmarten wrote:
you might try what I've done to relieve the weight of a low D on my annoyingly arthritic thumbs -- it's pretty simple. Place an appropriately sized O ring on the whistle (or two O rings, one slightly above the other if you prefer it for stability).
That's a very good suggestion. Kudos. :thumbsup:

Feadoggie

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:36 pm 
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I appreciate the suggestions for a thumb rest for my wooden low D Irish whistle. I have written several of the companies named in the replies and will try some of the other suggestions if I can't find a commercially available thumb rest. Thanks for the great ideas.

slewellen


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:53 am 
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I use a bead of beeswax on the back of some of my longer instruments. It's "sticky" enough to give good purchase for my thumb whilst being both adjustable and very inconspicuous. It'll polish off without leaving a mark and there's no potential for getting in the way of one of the finger-holes when it's in "just the right place".

I make no claim that this is any better than other suggestions, just another alternative :)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:17 am 
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I was just looking at a few of the latest additions to the makers list.

Found this.

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