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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:48 am 
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For the last two months I've been on a quest to find the elusive second octave. This quest has turned into my own 'hunt for the Holy Grail' which at times has left me thinking the only place for me in the whistle world is in the first octave. I have pursued those higher notes with the grim determination of the cartoon squirrel Scrat, (Ice Age) chasing his nut.

Yesterday added to my second octave misfortune when I decided to drive to an isolated country spot and give both the Feadog and Sweetone their last chance at higher notes, before abandoning the second octave as a lost cause. As I arrived at the isolated country spot, I found it wasn't isolated at all....an old folks walking club were there, a dozen cards parked, and walking poles and wellies everywhere. Determinedly I sat in my van and waited till they all wandered off, then got started.

The Feadog didn't want to go above D, no matter how I blew, breathed or swore at it. The Sweetone got into E...but sounded suspiciously like a cat with it's tail trapped in a closed door. Breathing varied from so low I was hardly exhaling to breath that would have turned a wind turbine. Still no luck. At one strong breath stage a glance in the rearview mirror alerted me to stop blowing so hard...as Id never seen a You Tube player going puce in the face while effortlessly playing in the top notes.

So, I came home and posted on Instagram that my quest was over. There are no doubt hundreds of tunes that can be played in the first octave, and in truth, with decision made I felt the weight of failure lift from my shoulders.

But this morning I read a post...can't remember where now as my excitement took over...a trumpet player posted how to reach the second octave. To start without the whistle and do the 'to' 'to' exercise that when playing makes gaps in the notes. Then he said, change the 'to' to 'hoo'. So, I've been 'hooing' while I was hoovering, then picked up my Sweetone whistle....

One after another second octave notes were there....with no trapped cat's tail to be heard. Even the Feadog has succumbed to the 'hoo' and now is happy to give me a couple of second octave notes quite sweetly.

I'll never know that trumpet player, probably never find him again. But what he has done for me today, and no doubt for countless others is amazing.

Thank you trumpet player :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:12 am 
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Good to hear that you've found the second octave.. but I'm scratching my head a bit. Particularly as you have a Sweetone. If it's anything like the Meg I have laying around (and I believe they are the same, just produced in different factories), then you should easily reach the *third* octave on that one. Not that I would play there, but if it was necessary then the Meg could.. it effortlessly goes into the upper octaves.

Which makes me wonder if you perchance *started* in the second octave and struggling with the third..


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:15 am 
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Tor wrote:
Good to hear that you've found the second octave.. but I'm scratching my head a bit. Particularly as you have a Sweetone. If it's anything like the Meg I have laying around (and I believe they are the same, just produced in different factories), then you should easily reach the *third* octave on that one. Not that I would play there, but if it was necessary then the Meg could.. it effortlessly goes into the upper octaves.

Which makes me wonder if you perchance *started* in the second octave and struggling with the third..



I was wondering the same thing. I never had trouble finding the second octave on any whistle--but if a tune goes into the third octave I'm just going to ignore it!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:36 am 
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I can assure you both that if my lower octave had been any lower it would have been coming out of a low whistle.

I did look at whether I was in the second already, and there's no way I could have been. There was nothing lower that what I was playing and both whistles happily played along in the same tone, level, sound etc as 'd' videos.

I clearly didn't have the breathing right on either whistle, but couldn't see what I was doing wrong.

And yes the Sweetone is more forgiving and easier to play....and maybe someone who can play reasonably well would find it easy to get into the third octave without a screech to be heard. No doubt now I have the breathing thing cracked I'll be able to jump into the third octave with the Sweetone. But before today, even the second wasn't happening.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:42 am 
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Good thing you weren't using a Susato. Your van windows would have blown out.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:16 am 
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Tyler DelGregg wrote:
Good thing you weren't using a Susato. Your van windows would have blown out.



Lol...it's a wonder my van hasn't driven itself to the scrapyard to commit van suicide :D

There was some awesome noises coming out of the Feadog, none of them anything recognisable.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:34 am 
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Congrats - it's always a joy when you finally crack something you've been trying for, for a while. :thumbsup:

(Now you won't have to hide in your van anymore..... :wink: )

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:03 am 
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fatmac wrote:
Congrats - it's always a joy when you finally crack something you've been trying for, for a while. :thumbsup:

(Now you won't have to hide in your van anymore..... :wink: )


Just that one simple thing did it. I can't believe it gook me so long :D


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:05 pm 
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Yeah! Congratulations. I wonder if the difference between the too and the hoo is the involvement of the diaphragm. If we breathe from the top of our lungs we can't get those high notes. I've posted this before, so forgive me if you already know this, but an exercise I used when I first learned was to lie on the floor with a book sitting just below my belly button and try to focus on moving the book up or down as I breathed out. This eventually becomes a fluid invisible push while standing or sitting. But it identifies the muscles we use to push the air from the bottom of our lungs. This push from the bottom of your lungs will make those high notes easier on any whistle.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:33 pm 
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I'm certainly happy to hear you found the long elusive second octave!

But, just between you and me, it was hiding inside those whistles all along, wasn't it?

:poke:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:35 am 
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busterbill wrote:
Yeah! Congratulations. I wonder if the difference between the too and the hoo is the involvement of the diaphragm. If we breathe from the top of our lungs we can't get those high notes. I've posted this before, so forgive me if you already know this, but an exercise I used when I first learned was to lie on the floor with a book sitting just below my belly button and try to focus on moving the book up or down as I breathed out. This eventually becomes a fluid invisible push while standing or sitting. But it identifies the muscles we use to push the air from the bottom of our lungs. This push from the bottom of your lungs will make those high notes easier on any whistle.


I think it myst be. When I do that 'hoo' breath I feel it around the diaphragm. The more I think about it now, people had said about this sort of breathing but it didn't register in my mind. It wasn't until the trumpet player actually described it that it clicked :D


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:36 am 
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whistlecollector wrote:
I'm certainly happy to hear you found the long elusive second octave!

But, just between you and me, it was hiding inside those whistles all along, wasn't it?

:poke:



It was hiding....the little minx :D

It was hiding so well I was convinced my whistles just didn't have it :D


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