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 Post subject: First Bb Whistle
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:48 pm 
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So I picked up a Bb Generation from my local thrift store for six bucks and after a good amount of cleaning, a bit of tuning and a tiny bit of de-burring the holes it sounds great. Yes, some of the holes had small amounts of metal that I can only assume came from the factory. You really needed to look for it but the machining seemed sloppy. I used a bit of emory cloth to knock it down and smooth the openings and it's good now. In fact, to my untrained ear it's great!! I've been playing my whole set on the Bb for three days and really like the sound. I had also purchased an alto A from Jerry Freeman a while back and I was kind of struggling to get into it because of the finger spacing and overall larger whistle size that I wasn't accustomed to. After playing the Bb for a while I found that the A came naturally since they are almost the same size. What a great addition to the quiver.

OK two questions. First, is this still a soprano whistle or would it be an alto like my A? Secondly, in the second octave where I would guess that I was playing Bb natural with OXXOOO fingering (I know that's probably wrong so be nice) I can't seem to get any sort of acceptable tone. It pretty much sounds like a scratchy train whistle to me. First octave is fine.


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 Post subject: Re: First Bb Whistle
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:08 pm 
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Location: Southwestern Ontario
Polara Pat wrote:
Secondly, in the second octave where I would guess that I was playing Bb natural with OXXOOO fingering (I know that's probably wrong so be nice) I can't seem to get any sort of acceptable tone. It pretty much sounds like a scratchy train whistle to me. First octave is fine.
On a Bb whistle, OOOOOO plays A-natural; OXXOOO plays Ab (A-flat) in the first octave. Try OXOXXX for Ab in the second octave.

For A-natural in the second octave, some whistles insist on OOOOOX.


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 Post subject: Re: First Bb Whistle
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:32 am 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
I prefer the lower tones in general, but I bought a complete six set of Generation nickels as my starter pack. :)

On occasion, I even like to play the high G, it's very small for my fingers, but doable. At the other end of my collection is an alto G, I'm only missing out on an alto A.

I tend to think of anything below a high C as an alto, (because C is where octaves start on a piano).

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 Post subject: Re: First Bb Whistle
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:55 pm 
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Sometimes for the 2nd octave oxoooo might work better than oxxooo. Love my Generation Bb BTW. Among the better Generation models I think. My D and Eb suck.


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 Post subject: Re: First Bb Whistle
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:12 pm 
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Thanks guys, I'll try some of those tips. My only other mod was to add hockey tape to the back of the body. I find these polished nickel bodies are extremely slippery. It doesn't seem to bother anyone else, so I'll assume that it's just me. Haha


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 Post subject: Re: First Bb Whistle
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:43 pm 
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Eh, you do get used to holding the instrument.

I always had nickel-plated whistles, and never thought twice about it. In truth, I started playing a brass whistle, and I do notice the slippery surface upon returning to nickel-plated. I would emphasize, don't worry too much as you will get used to it.


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 Post subject: Re: First Bb Whistle
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:30 am 
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tstermitz wrote:
Eh, you do get used to holding the instrument.

I always had nickel-plated whistles, and never thought twice about it. In truth, I started playing a brass whistle, and I do notice the slippery surface upon returning to nickel-plated. I would emphasize, don't worry too much as you will get used to it.


Oh yah, even over the past few days of playing I have become very comfortable with my Bb and my alto A that was giving me trouble. The little patch of tape on the back gives it a real "grab and go" feel for me. It's a personal thing and most of my other whistles are brass and getting worn in nicely.

Another thing I've noticed since I've been trying to exclusively play the larger Bb and A whistles is that when I go back to my D, my playing is nimble and faster. Like jumping in a sports car after a Cadillac.


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 Post subject: Re: First Bb Whistle
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:57 pm 
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I have two Gen Bb's in nickel, my daughter has one in brass, and and I have a Sindt Bb. All the Gen ones are lovely. I really like that size, and it was a helpful stop on the way to low D as well.

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 Post subject: Re: First Bb Whistle
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:31 am 
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Adrian W. wrote:
I have two Gen Bb's in nickel, my daughter has one in brass, and and I have a Sindt Bb. All the Gen ones are lovely. I really like that size, and it was a helpful stop on the way to low D as well.


I think the sound is great and I'm trying to help my friend figure out where to put his capo on his guitar so we can be in tune as well. As far as the size goes, I'm really getting to like it. I picked up an alto A from JF and felt like I was all thumbs with it. The Bb, which is only a hair shorter and bit narrower body came quite naturally and now the A is feeling pretty comfortable. I guess this size of whistle probably is a gateway drug to low whistles isn't it?


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 Post subject: Re: First Bb Whistle
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:14 am 
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Polara Pat wrote:
Adrian W. wrote:
I have two Gen Bb's in nickel, my daughter has one in brass, and and I have a Sindt Bb. All the Gen ones are lovely. I really like that size, and it was a helpful stop on the way to low D as well.


I think the sound is great and I'm trying to help my friend figure out where to put his capo on his guitar so we can be in tune as well. As far as the size goes, I'm really getting to like it. I picked up an alto A from JF and felt like I was all thumbs with it. The Bb, which is only a hair shorter and bit narrower body came quite naturally and now the A is feeling pretty comfortable. I guess this size of whistle probably is a gateway drug to low whistles isn't it?




I can't help you with the capo advice, but the Bflat is a really nice whistle, and definitely a gateway whistle to a good case of WAD. Years ago I tried a low D and even as a high d whistle and regular d flute player I was discouraged immediately. I got a Bflat some time ago and ended up with an A, F (both high and low) and finally a couple of low ds that play easily for me now.


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 Post subject: Re: First Bb Whistle
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:05 am 
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busterbill wrote:
Polara Pat wrote:
Adrian W. wrote:
I have two Gen Bb's in nickel, my daughter has one in brass, and and I have a Sindt Bb. All the Gen ones are lovely. I really like that size, and it was a helpful stop on the way to low D as well.


I think the sound is great and I'm trying to help my friend figure out where to put his capo on his guitar so we can be in tune as well. As far as the size goes, I'm really getting to like it. I picked up an alto A from JF and felt like I was all thumbs with it. The Bb, which is only a hair shorter and bit narrower body came quite naturally and now the A is feeling pretty comfortable. I guess this size of whistle probably is a gateway drug to low whistles isn't it?




I can't help you with the capo advice, but the Bflat is a really nice whistle, and definitely a gateway whistle to a good case of WAD. Years ago I tried a low D and even as a high d whistle and regular d flute player I was discouraged immediately. I got a Bflat some time ago and ended up with an A, F (both high and low) and finally a couple of low ds that play easily for me now.


Sounds like we're on the same page. You'll have to tell me what WAD is though. Haha. As far as the capo positioning goes, there does not seem to be a position that works at all with existing tunes we play and the Bb. Curious.


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 Post subject: Re: First Bb Whistle
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:22 pm 
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Polara Pat wrote:
You'll have to tell me what WAD is though.

So-called Whistle Acquisition Disorder.

Quote:
As far as the capo positioning goes, there does not seem to be a position that works at all with existing tunes we play and the Bb.

Bb is four semitones (and therefore four frets) lower than D. You can't capo down, so you have to go up. It's eight up, which is further than most folk will want to capo, so you're probably better choosing different keys for guitarist and capoing those to match the whistle.

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 Post subject: Re: First Bb Whistle
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:32 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Polara Pat wrote:
You'll have to tell me what WAD is though.

So-called Whistle Acquisition Disorder.

Uh oh!! I think I have this disorder. I may need help.

Quote:
As far as the capo positioning goes, there does not seem to be a position that works at all with existing tunes we play and the Bb.

Bb is four semitones (and therefore four frets) lower than D. You can't capo down, so you have to go up. It's eight up, which is further than most folk will want to capo, so you're probably better choosing different keys for guitarist and capoing those to match the whistle.


Thanks for this. It explains a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: First Bb Whistle
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:10 am 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
I prefer WAS to that WAD, I don't have a disorder, but I may fit into a syndrome. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: First Bb Whistle
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:00 am 
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As I've mentioned I've played hundreds of Bb Generations over the last 40+ years and never found that magical great one to buy.

Yes other players have had fantastic ones but they were absolutely NFS.

Until I got a Jerry Freeman Generation Bb which is amazing.

So with Generations, perhaps especially vintage Generations, you never know, and by tremendous luck you could end up with a world-class Bb whistle, one that will outplay any Bb at any price.

I just picked up a box of around 30 old Generations in various keys for $30. Who knows what might be in there?

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