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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:01 am 
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Hello!

I've been practicing everyday with my Killarney D and really enjoying the learning process! I've started to get a basic feel for jig and reel rhythms, and I've been feeling much more comfortable with cuts and taps which has dramatically improved the sound of many tunes I'm playing (to my ears) as I love bagpipe music and seem to have developed a much more 'legato' style now. Anyway, I have a question for those of you familiar with the Killarney D - I learned (on-line) to cut a D note using the G finger, which sounds perfectly wonderful in the first octave (ex. GDD) and for almost every other instance I use it, but I when I use the same technique with the G finger to cut two middle octave D's (ex. gdd) I get a consistent and off-putting squawking noise, even when I speed-up the cut and lift the G finger as little as possible. I've been trying to work with this for awhile now, but can't seem to shake that squawk regardless of what adjustments I make, so I started using the E finger to cut a high D, which just doesn't sound 'defined' enough (if that makes sense).

So, first of all, is the cutting method I described even 'proper' (i.e. effective and common) technique to cut a middle D note? And has anyone else experienced this with a Killarney? I ask specifically about this whistle because I don't have this same phenomenon with my Clark D, which I still play often, but it just doesn't sound as good in most other ways to me as the Killarney.

I appreciate any advice you all may have to offer on this issue, and also any tips you may have for learning and practicing improved ornamentation - I feel pretty comfortable with cuts and taps in the other ways I'm using them (pretty much just to break-up repeated notes in tunes and for the occasional flourish), but I haven't started to tackle rolls yet. I've been studying the info on Brother Steve's website, and I'm excited to begin soon with roll practice as I've already learned a few tunes that are aching for a roll! Any advice here?

Sorry for the long post, but my last request at the moment would be if anyone has advice on how to practice and begin to integrate the 'selective tounging' techniques of ornamentation? I know I just made up that phrase, but I'm trying to refer to the rhythmic tonguing techniques described by Brother Steve as 'slur-tongue-tongue' for jig rhythms, which (in my limited understanding) could be incorporated in most tunes to some effect... For example, when playing 'edd gdd' like in the first part of the Kesh jig, would you tongue both d's separately while also cutting them? I hope my question makes sense, as I've been listening to a lot of Celtic music and I can definitely hear the beauty of this rhythmic ornamentation, but I'm just not sure how to begin practicing this effectively.

It's challenging to be a lone whistler out here in Hawaii and I wish I could sit down with any one of you for just a few moments to hear you play - I know that would answer all these questions and put me on the right track! Ah well, life's good and I appreciate just having such great tunes in my head all day! Let me know if anyone of you are headed this way for a vacation - plenty of empty coastline to whistle the day away!

Thank you all for your advice - I really appreciate this great resource! I know this has probably been suggested on the past, but it would be so great if those of you inclined here would post some audio clips of your whistling! It would be fun to hear different styles, and could make for great discussion... Also, would a weekly or monthly tune work here? A tune choice with one ABC setting that could be learned and shared (if desired) - this would be awesome to hear different interpretations and styles! I know most of you probably get this same satisfaction from frequent sessions, but it would be invaluable for 'outsiders' like me!!

Thanks to anyone for reading this far!

Rich


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:33 am 
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Some quick thoughts:

Do you vent middle d'? If not, it will (likely) squawk when cut. When you say G finger, you cut with A, right?

Are you cutting the d' in movements like Add fdd edd fdd? Try listen what other, accomplished, players do there. Perhaps take you cue from pipers and not cut them? If you decide to cut the notes on the beat for emphasis {c}Add {a}fdd etc cutting those ds as well will get very fussy and cluttered. Best apply what you called the 'slur-tongue-tongue' for jig rhythms' here.

Micho Russell was one player had some interesting ways of working the middle d', cuts, tripletty things in various shades etc. That may be worth listening for too.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:44 am 
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Cutting an unvented D with your G finger is possible, but requires careful breath control and probably no tongue, so is possibly most useful (and plays nicest) as part of a crann or crann-like ornament on D on occasions when you don't want the pitch-dropping effect of cutting the vented D.

If you want a second-register cut on unvented D with easier breath control, try your E finger (as you already have) or F# finger. They're both perfectly acceptable, and what you've tried actually accords with the approach suggested by Grey Larsen in his books (leave down the bottom finger and cut with the next one up). I like the F# finger for cuts on D and E; it's the same movement as a D gracenote in Scottish piping and suits me in avoiding the 'conventional' G finger, which happens to be my weakest and slowest for reasons not affecting the vast majority of players. In fact I've got far more adventurous in my choice of cut fingers since taking up the pipes and realising there's no need to restrict oneself to the two fingers (T1 and 3, or B and G) typically taught in tutors.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:04 am 
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Different whistles are different of course. I have a Killarney D and I've not noticed that it requires any special considerations about cutting.

Both Bottom D and Middle D are typically cut with any of three different fingers: the top-hand ring finger, the lower-hand index finger, and the lower-hand middle finger.

On both Bottom D and Middle D:

- any one of those three fingers can be used for single cuts.

- any two of those three fingers, in any combination, can be used for double-cuts which if timed like a roll have the effect of a roll.

- all three of those fingers, in any combination, can be used for crans.

Yes experiement with those three fingers, and with both "open" and "closed" Middle D, to get the sound that works for you on your particular whistle.

I cut, roll, and cran Middle D at times using either open or closed Middle D depending on circumstance and on the particular whistle. I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all answer.

I should point out that using any digit to cut open Middle D produces a low-octave C natural cut (the exact pitch of C natural depending on what finger you use).

When you play closed Middle D the cuts are generally higher notes, oftentimes not much more than squawks, but if played short enough the exact sound of a cut doesn't matter much.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:17 pm 
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moonlitnarwhal wrote:
I know I just made up that phrase, but I'm trying to refer to the rhythmic tonguing techniques described by Brother Steve as 'slur-tongue-tongue' for jig rhythms, which (in my limited understanding) could be incorporated in most tunes to some effect... For example, when playing 'edd gdd' like in the first part of the Kesh jig, would you tongue both d's separately while also cutting them?


I would not cut while tonguing in those places using the S-T-T technique. The purpose of that technique is to isolate the middle note (the first d in edd etc.) and state the rhythm of the group of notes correctly. It is not to give that note a strong attack and too much draw attention to it. It's the least important note in the group of three, really (although it absolutely has to be there). I think that cutting (or tapping on notes other than d) would not only give the note too much attack, it would make stating the rhythm difficult and thus destroy the point of doing S-T-T. (Edit: echoing Mr Gumby here - too much clutter!)

It was only some time after I had first written those pages that I realized why students would tongue where I asked them to in jigs and it still didn't sound right. It's because, to use the technique successfully, the tongue doesn't just articulate the note being tongued - it also stops the previous note short a microsecond before, which is what enables you to nail the rhythm of those passages.

That's the danger with trying to teach techniques like that through the written word. I didn't actually learn that technique BTW - I suppose I just applied what I was used to doing on the fiddle and what I heard Mary Bergin, Sean Potts and co. doing on whistle without paying any attention to the mechanics involved, and indeed I only realized the full mechanics involved after I had started teaching it.

Good luck with your journey!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:36 pm 
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Dumb question I imagine but what does the S stand for in S-T-T.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:54 pm 
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Slur. So you'd play a three-note (one-beat) grouping in a jig by slurring onto the first note (the beat) and tonguing the other two.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:38 pm 
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Thanks Peter. I have a lot of trouble with jigs. By way of example playing the jig The Butchers March I can play part A at about 75% speed OK but it all falls off during the first two or three bars of part B where the jig goes eAA, f#AA, eAA, ABd - How would you attack that sequence? Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:51 am 
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Try the S-T-T, cutting or striking the final A (the one on the beat) to separate it from the preceding one. There are other options, but that's the simplest and perfectly effective.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:09 pm 
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On this section "eAA, f#AA, eAA, ABd"

Why are you not cutting the AA's?

I would slur or tongue the e, f#, e, A, according to my mood.

I would slur the eA, F#A, eA, and AB. I might cut as well. (I can't tell without actually trying to see what I would do.) I don't think I would ever tongue in the middle of the triplets.

I would probably cut the xxA, Axx, but I might tongue it.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:49 pm 
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moonlitnarwhal wrote:
Hello!

It's challenging to be a lone whistler out here in Hawaii
Thanks to anyone for reading this far!
Rich


I am not sure you are alone. I have not seen khl post in a long time or if he is still in Laie Hawaii.
Keith does have an email address on his member profile. lanek@byuh.edu or try a PM.
khl memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=4801

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:23 am 
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tstermitz wrote:
On this section "eAA, f#AA, eAA, ABd"

Why are you not cutting the AA's?

Because that's another option complicating matters when JTU says, 'I can play part A at about 75% speed OK but it all falls off during the first two or three bars of part B'.

Quote:
I would slur the eA, F#A, eA, and AB. I might cut as well. (I can't tell without actually trying to see what I would do.) I don't think I would ever tongue in the middle of the triplets.

So you'd basically do the opposite of the S-T-T. In which case I'd suggest trying it sometime; you might be surprised!

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