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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:03 am 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
Tony Dixon makes an ABS plastic high D piccolo, quite cheap, it was the first of the flute family that I was able to get to grips with, same fingering as a whistle, it might work for you too. :)

Regarding pocketable instruments, harmonicas are good for that, one of the reasons I started with them. ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:09 am 
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Just out of curiosity: which Ten Penny Bit are you learning, there are several tunes flying under that name and several easily avoid the high B.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:14 am 
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JTU wrote:
I find that if I “slide” into the high B from the high A that seems to reduce the shrillness. Does anyone have any thoughts on that or am I just hearing what I want to hear.

It can only change the attack and not the sustained note unless you're underblowing, so I'd say hearing what you want to hear. If you compare a cleanly-attacked B to correctly-pitched ones slid or slurred from A, the body of the note will be the same.

There are some high notes on some whistles that may never come clean from a tongued attack and only respond to slurring, but a standard B on a 'normal' whistle is not one of them.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:11 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Just out of curiosity: which Ten Penny Bit are you learning, there are several tunes flying under that name and several easily avoid the high B.


The version at the "Online Academy of Irish Music." I decided to pick one, and learn it cold, and then see about others. Learning to deal with the harsh hi end seems like a good idea, except to my wife. :D

I'm personally torn on this. I come from the world of jazz where taking extensive liberties with the melody is very much expected. And I'm not in a community of people making traditional irish music. The few sessions I've attended have not offered a pathway in for beginners. I'm pretty much on my own, with the internet. So I could just play it however I like.

As mentioned, going to the local Comhaltas week of workshops and performances on July 14th. My guess is everybody there will be sick of the "tenpenny bit" and disdain playing it :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:16 am 
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Loren wrote:
PB+J wrote:
Loren wrote:
Serious suggestion: Consider switching to the flute, the high notes are much more pleasant. I quit playing whistle for the most part years ago because the whistle’s high notes are just too shrill for my ears. It’s painful. Flute, no problem at all in that respect, much more pleasing tone over all in fact.


Oh yeah, and unlike the whistle, which basically only works when played at one set volume, the flute can be played somewhat quietly if needs be.



I’ve never, ever, been able to get a damn sound out of a flute. Tried many many times, from the middle school band to the present, when we have flutes in the house—both a six hole “Irish” flute and a boehm system flute. I hate them. They feel terrible and awkward to hold and they resist my every effort to make a sound. It’s my fault, a fundamental disability like my inability to master algebra. My daughter, who plays the sax, can play the flute. I can play her sax, or at least get pleasing sounds and simple melodies. All the flute produces is an unpleasant rush of air and a shoulder strain. She laughs at me.

I agree though, flute has waaay more dynamic range, and much more varied timbre. I’m kind of drawn to the simplicity of the whistle. Creativity sometimes thrives on limits

Plus i do a lot of gigs on the upright bass and love the idea of an axe I can stash in my lapel pocket!


:boggle: :lol: Ok, I’m convinced flute is not for you! It was worth a shot, lol.

My alternative advice is to play with earplugs installed.

Either in you, or the whistle :P


LOL! I sat down with a Tony Dixon six hole polymer flute last night and did manage to make a few weak and sickly sounding notes. My daughter raised her eyebrows and then laughed again.

I'm sure if I really set myself to it I could do something with a flute. But isn't it true that some instruments just "feel" better to some people than others? Like the trumpet--wonderful instrument, but a couple toots and I realized that was not something I wanted to spend time getting used to. The left hand position on a flute is just awful for me though.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:25 am 
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You might try having a good,experienced whistle player try your whistles so you can hear what they sound like from a listener's point of view. They will probably sound better than they do with your ears only inches from the sound.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:50 am 
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On many(most?) whistles the higher the note, the more piercing it is. This is of course true of many other instruments as well. A fife or piccolo will sound more piercing than a flute. A fiddle more so than a cello...

When I play for older people I often use Low whistle and flute, but rarely high D whistles...


As for the MK whistles I've had, the 2nd Octave 6th note (B on a low D and F# on an A whistle) has always been slightly louder and less sweet than the notes below it.

If you want to try a low whistle with an unusually sweet high B, then the two that come to mind are the Chieftain Songbird ( a very mellow/sweet sounding whistle) and Iain Lambe's. None of them are very easy to come by though. And it seems that often the ones with the sweetest high notes have weaker low notes. Certainly true of the Lambe low Ds I've tried.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:40 am 
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I've only now recently experienced such a problem with the high end...I've played most of the "top" makers and most of the "standard" models, Gen. Feadog, Walton's, etc..( curently very happy with my set of Sindts) I've always been able to control the high end with breath or shading...A flute playing friend, one who I've played tunes with for years, pulled a Nickel vintage Copeland out of his case, never ever knew he had these (2 apparently)...The whistle sounded incredible....I've owned Copeland's in High and Low D and sold them both off (I do have a little remorse for selling the Low D however :( )...I gave his Copeland a try and loved the sound...thought about trading something for it and have it on loan as it just sounded that nice...the next day, after the loudish session, I gave it a go and the notes are beautiful, the response is great and I was loving this Copeland ( Number 11/Philadelphia with 4 leaf clover)...then comes the High A and B :shock: ...all notes below, from low D to second octave G are perfectly in tune with each other and my tuner....the high A and B are soooo sharp that the needle automatically goes hard right and would go even further....in this case, it is the whistle and not me! Copeland has been known too produce a "wonky" whistle every now and then...I sent both of mine back to Michael for re-voicing right after I received them after my initial purchase...Not saying your whistles have a design flaw though....I'm wondering if anyone has had such an experience with a Copeland High D? Sorry for the thread drift :) I was going to start a new thread but thought my post would be appropriate here. I really wanted this whistle as the in tune notes are some of the sweetest, smoothest sounding notes that I've ever produced and the response to ornamentents was very impressive...the low D crann in particular was the nicest that I'e ever played...so much so that I offererd to trade Eb/D/C/A/Bb Sindts for it if it was the whistle that I thought it was...alas, it is not and today my flute playing friend will be a little sad as he must have been dreaming about my Sindt set since Friday night's session....I doubt that there is a fix for this whistle though but if anyone has a thought, I'd love to hear how it could be "fixed"....It's prolly why Michael had them lying around his shop when my friend showed up to pick up a flute that was not there..he was offered two Nickel whistles instead, one High D and one C# oddly enough...now he is "stuck" with two "unplayable" whistles...he did warn me about the High A and B notes on Friday night....I didn't mind them being louder as that is quite common and thought I could control that part but there is no hope of those notes coming in tune I'm afraid :( Sorry about the longish post and thread drift...If anyone has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them...should I just start another thread?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:16 pm 
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whistle1000 wrote:
I've only now recently experienced such a problem with the high end...I've played most of the "top" makers and most of the "standard" models, Gen. Feadog, Walton's, etc..( curently very happy with my set of Sindts) I've always been able to control the high end with breath or shading...A flute playing friend, one who I've played tunes with for years, pulled a Nickel vintage Copeland out of his case, never ever knew he had these (2 apparently)...The whistle sounded incredible....I've owned Copeland's in High and Low D and sold them both off (I do have a little remorse for selling the Low D however :( )...I gave his Copeland a try and loved the sound...thought about trading something for it and have it on loan as it just sounded that nice...the next day, after the loudish session, I gave it a go and the notes are beautiful, the response is great and I was loving this Copeland ( Number 11/Philadelphia with 4 leaf clover)...then comes the High A and B :shock: ...all notes below, from low D to second octave G are perfectly in tune with each other and my tuner....the high A and B are soooo sharp that the needle automatically goes hard right and would go even further....in this case, it is the whistle and not me! Copeland has been known too produce a "wonky" whistle every now and then...I sent both of mine back to Michael for re-voicing right after I received them after my initial purchase...Not saying your whistles have a design flaw though....I'm wondering if anyone has had such an experience with a Copeland High D? Sorry for the thread drift :) I was going to start a new thread but thought my post would be appropriate here. I really wanted this whistle as the in tune notes are some of the sweetest, smoothest sounding notes that I've ever produced and the response to ornamentents was very impressive...the low D crann in particular was the nicest that I'e ever played...so much so that I offererd to trade Eb/D/C/A/Bb Sindts for it if it was the whistle that I thought it was...alas, it is not and today my flute playing friend will be a little sad as he must have been dreaming about my Sindt set since Friday night's session....I doubt that there is a fix for this whistle though but if anyone has a thought, I'd love to hear how it could be "fixed"....It's prolly why Michael had them lying around his shop when my friend showed up to pick up a flute that was not there..he was offered two Nickel whistles instead, one High D and one C# oddly enough...now he is "stuck" with two "unplayable" whistles...he did warn me about the High A and B notes on Friday night....I didn't mind them being louder as that is quite common and thought I could control that part but there is no hope of those notes coming in tune I'm afraid :( Sorry about the longish post and thread drift...If anyone has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them...should I just start another thread?



Yes, my Copeland high D has a slightly sharp upper second octave. Especially high B...


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