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 Post subject: Re: Wood
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:30 pm 
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Location: Seashore
Carlos Nunez plays wooden whistles.


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 Post subject: Re: Wood
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:30 am 
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To the original poster,I'd suggest not worrying about instrument material yet. I make wooden whistles so I have an axe to grind, but I'd still suggest that you get to an intermediate level of playing before starting to find another instrument of any material (assuming the beginner whistle you have is decent). As a real beginner you don't really know how to evaluate a whistle yet, and know what characteristics you want in a whistle. Many people remain happy with their first whistle and never look any further.
As far as the sound characteristics of wood vs other materials goes, I personally don't believe the choice of material makes a huge difference,although many people will disagree. With an instrument like a guitar or mandolin you have many square inches of vibrating wood, so the choice of wood (and many other design and construction factors) does indeed make a big difference. With a small instrument like the whistle, the vibration of the material isn't a big factor. It may feel like it's vibrating when you play it, but what you're really feeling is the air column through the finger holes. It's the air column that vibrates and any reasonably hard material which machines to a smooth surface will make a decent whistle. The big variation is in the voicing of the whistle. In most handmade whistles the voicing is done largely by hand, and tiny variations of any and all of the dimensions of the head/blade/windway area can make a big difference. I've often made 4 whistles from one 2x2x12" piece of wood and had them end up with entirely different personalities.

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 Post subject: Re: Wood
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:06 pm 
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brewerpaul wrote:
As far as the sound characteristics of wood vs other materials goes, I personally don't believe the choice of material makes a huge difference.


Not a huge difference perhaps, but certainly noticeable. I'm possibly unique in that I make whistles in wood, brass and ally, all using delrin substantially in the head and using the same techniques for voicing them all. My observations across all three, given that they are all in the same key, are that ally whistles are bright and sharp, wood whistles have a rounder, mellow tone and brass whistles do definitely have a brassy edge.

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