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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:41 pm 
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I have just started playing whistle and have progressed quite well I think. I have also been watching a lot of youtube videos and I notice that everyone seems to be able to play the lower notes quite loudly. How do they do this as when I try to play loudly it jumps an otave, as it is supposed to. Is it my whistle? Are there other, louder (considerably louder) whistles that professionals use? Mine is a Feadog in D.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:56 pm 
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I'd like to know too. It might be a function of playing second octave that lets you really push air, but when I play first octave, especially D and E, I feel like I have to chop my air output to a whisper.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:36 pm 
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The recording equipment and speakers make the octaves seem more equal than they actually are.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:24 pm 
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As mentioned, recording can have a lot to do with it, and is the most likely answer. But also, some whistle simply have strong-sounding low ends. If your whistle has a weak low end, there's not a lot you can do about it other than when recording.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:06 pm 
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The Feadog does have a weak-ish low end - if you want to move up relatively cheaply, I'd strongly suggest a tweaked Generation from Jerry Freeman. If you want to spend more, well, check the classified section here. You can spend almost as much as you want to! To be perfectly honest, there are a lot of fine whistles in the $100 range, but Sindts, Copelands, and O'Riordans go for premium prices. Burkes are a good compromise and can be obtained (used) for under $200 (they go for $230 new). My current performing whistle is a Hermit Hill tunable in delrin - goes for $100 on the website.

Feel free to PM for questions...

Pat

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:46 am 
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The Feadog does have a weak-ish low end - if you want to move up relatively cheaply, I'd strongly suggest a tweaked Generation from Jerry Freeman. If you want to spend more, well, check the classified section here. You can spend almost as much as you want to! To be perfectly honest, there are a lot of fine whistles in the $100 range, but Sindts, Copelands, and O'Riordans go for premium prices. Burkes are a good compromise and can be obtained (used) for under $200 (they go for $230 new). My current performing whistle is a Hermit Hill tunable in delrin - goes for $100 on the website.


I'll second that ... even within what Jerry makes ... my black bird requires little extra pressure to jump the octave so it isn't much of a difference. My Mellow Dog takes a bit more. With practise with your whistle of choice I think you get good at riding the edge of the lower octave to get the most out of it.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:19 pm 
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Give your whistling experience some time... your whistle may sound better later date. Keep at it and it ought to be fun.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:21 pm 
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All good answers, thank you. I am an almost complete newbie and am not expecting the world but it is nice to know exactly what to expect when I finally get round to playing with an element of skill.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:05 am 
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Its the amplification.

Normally the whistle is on a quiet volume on the low. If it is loud on the low then it is superloud on the 2nd octave.

You may induce a bit of volume by breathing it instead of blowing it.
It will require a great lung control though as the natural tendency is to blow it without thinking.

I normally do this on low whistle to create a hunting low note. But a high whistle is a different story.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:56 am 
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Angel Shadowsong wrote:
Normally the whistle is on a quiet volume on the low. If it is loud on the low then it is superloud on the 2nd octave.
You may induce a bit of volume by breathing it instead of blowing it.
It will require a great lung control though as the natural tendency is to blow it without thinking.
I normally do this on low whistle to create a hunting low note.


This is a wonderful and insightful tip to try out on lower whistles- thank you!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:12 pm 
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Try a Susato. They're relatively cheap and have a very solid low end without the highest notes being impossible to hit.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:42 am 
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ShinySideUp wrote:
I notice that everyone seems to be able to play the lower notes quite loudly. Are there louder (considerably louder) whistles that professionals use?


It depends on what sort of player you mean by "professional".

Speaking only to my experience, as someone here in the USA who plays Irish trad but who has also done a load of Studio Work and met many professional Studio Musicians and orchestral musicians, it's my experience that Irish trad players and professional Studio/orchestral musicians (who in the business are called "legit" musicians, people who can sight-read and do classical, pop, and jazz gigs) prefer very different sorts of whistles.

There's always going to be a volume differential between the low octave and the 2nd octave. This is built in by the maker and not controllable by the player, because each note is only in tune at one specific blowing-level.

The 2nd octave is inevitably louder than the low octave, and the louder the low octave the louder the 2nd octave.

Irish trad players (speaking of high whistles) generally prefer an easy sweet nimble 2nd octave. It then follows that the low octave isn't going to be super loud.

"Legit" players tend to like whistles with the low octave as loud as possible, even though this results in a stiff 2nd octave (by "stiff" I mean requiring a large amount of force to make the high notes pop out, and with a sluggish response).

You'll see quite expensive whistles made to suit the latter sort of player, which the former sort of player would find unacceptable.

Yet, whistles with extremely good voicing can even things out quite a bit. The best whistle I've ever played in that regard is my c1980 Generation C, which has a strong full low octave and an extremely sweet 2nd octave. Every whistle I've ever tried that has a low octave that strong has a stiffer 2nd octave; every whistle I've ever tried that has a 2nd octave that sweet has a softer low octave.

It's all about finding the best balance you can.

When I started playing everybody played Generations because that's all there was. All the star players, all the albums, used Generations. Many still do.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:39 pm 
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Since I am still on about the same whistle I thought I'd throw in another question about the Feadog on this same thread.

I'm getting used to the volume thing now and can 'ride' the edge of the low register reasonably well, however I now hear that when I play along to my piano as I get higher up the notes get sharper until halfway up the second register it's really quite noticeable. Is this too a feature of the Feadog or is it the way I am playing? Unlike a saxophone (which I might say I am much better at) there seems to be little or nothing that can be done if the whistle starts to be out of tune unless it is generally out of tune right the way through. So should I be looking at another whistle or is the movement in tuning something that they all suffer from to a greater or lesser extent?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:48 am 
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ShinySideUp wrote:
however I now hear that when I play along to my piano as I get higher up the notes get sharper until halfway up the second register it's really quite noticeable. Is this too a feature of the Feadog or is it the way I am playing?

It's a feature of whistles in general. From the post above (emphasis mine):
pancelticpiper wrote:
There's always going to be a volume differential between the low octave and the 2nd octave. This is built in by the maker and not controllable by the player, because each note is only in tune at one specific blowing-level.

Whistles are simple instruments. That simplicity brings limitations. The very limited dynamic range is one of those limitations.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:49 am 
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I would argue that when playing the whistle, the flute, the pipes or the fiddle for that matter you're all the time responding to the sound you're making and adjusting pitch accordingly. On the whistle mostly through a mix of breath adjustment and a degree of shading with the fingers. It's an ongoing process and not necessarily one you'd think about. It does need a degree of experience and control of the instrument. FWIW, none of the whistles I have on the table here (O'Briain, Killarney, Sindt, Potter) played sharp for me in the octave when I just tried them. I am not a particularly strong blower and if anything I had to adjust upwards for the top notes on all whistles. So who's in the driver's seat does play a big part in this.

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