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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:58 pm 
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I just received my new Burke D Brass Narrow Bore whistle. I have a few questions.



1. How often should I clean the Whistle head/mouthpiece with the soap solution Michael Burke mentions? Today I just did the suck out the mouthpiece approach and also the blow through covering the air window in the mouthpiece approach.

2. Should I grease the tuning slide today after just receiving it or has it been greased? I have some cork grease. Is that okay to use?

3. According to the sheet I received from Michael Burke with the whistle, you tune from the mark etched into the upper bore. Is that the line that you see when you pull out the upper bore to tune? Burke says tune from that mark. What does he mean? Being a clarinet player I usually pull out when the instrument is sharp and push in when flat. I am not familiar with a mark when tuning


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:18 pm 
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Matthewlawson3 wrote:
I just received my new Burke D Brass Narrow Bore whistle. I have a few questions.

1. How often should I clean the Whistle head/mouthpiece with the soap solution Michael Burke mentions?

As needed. If it's clogging—and the blow/suck process isn't satisfactory—try it and see how long it lasts.
Matthewlawson3 wrote:
2. Should I grease the tuning slide today after just receiving it or has it been greased? I have some cork grease. Is that okay to use?

If I recall, Michael's notes on maintenance offers suggestions on when/how/what to use to grease. For what it's worth, I've used petroleum jelly (Vasoline™ in the US).
Matthewlawson3 wrote:
3. According to the sheet I received from Michael Burke with the whistle, you tune from the mark etched into the upper bore. Is that the line that you see when you pull out the upper bore to tune? Burke says tune from that mark. What does he mean? Being a clarinet player I usually pull out when the instrument is sharp and push in when flat. I am not familiar with a mark when tuning

The mark you mention gives you a starting point/reference for tuning. If you begin there, you should be pretty close to in tune. You'll have to adjust a bit for a cold instrument and as it warms from blowing, but the mark gets you close.

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:11 pm 
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Thank you. What are the tuning tendencies of Burke whistles? What notes tends to be in tune, sharp or flat?

Is it better to bring the 2nd register in tune and deal with the 1st register or vice versa?

What are the notes to often check when tuning?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:39 pm 
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I've had metal whistles from Sindts to Burke, Copeland to Kilarney and seldom have needed any oil or cork grease. The makers of these instruments seem to get their tolerances right when then make them. So lengthening or shortening the tube to tune is pretty easy.

That mark is just a place to start. As you play more where your whistle is in tune will likely change. I am lucky enough to have an O'roidian set and a well meaning world class professional player scored a line on the tuning slide where it was in tune. Over time my pressure changed and it is not quite there when I am in tune. But it is close and it will make a good story should I ever sell it.

Washing a whistle is seldom needed. But some players, especially when they begin, do have a tendency to make more saliva than others. So if you are finding your wetting your whistle (no not that way) a rinse might be a good idea. I just generally wipe them down now and again and try to leave them out to dry rather than stick them in the case or tube I store them it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:58 pm 
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busterbill wrote:
I've had metal whistles from Sindts to Burke, Copeland to Kilarney and seldom have needed any oil or cork grease. The makers of these instruments seem to get their tolerances right when then make them. So lengthening or shortening the tube to tune is pretty easy.

For most whistles, as you say, the tolerances are close and greasing is apt to collect dirt/grit and do the opposite of why one would grease. Burkes, however, slide over rubber O-rings rather than metal on metal or plastic on metal. The O-rings need to be greased to keep them from drying out and to allow the parts to slide for tuning—at least according to Mr. Burke. A different sort of configuration that the Sindt/Copeland/or Kilarney. On the other hand, many (or most or some) Burke owners don't bother with maintenance and seem to get by.

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:12 pm 
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Matthewlawson3 wrote:
Thank you. What are the tuning tendencies of Burke whistles? What notes tends to be in tune, sharp or flat?
Maybe I am used to but I don't think Burke has out-of-tune-tones issue. And if it has, then it's less than any other whistle I have.
EDIT: Sorry, I missed you have Narrow bore. I have Session bore, Narrow bore has(had?) a sharp Cnat (sharper than usual) in my hands.
Matthewlawson3 wrote:
Is it better to bring the 2nd register in tune and deal with the 1st register or vice versa?
What are the notes to often check when tuning?
Usually, low G then shortly high G. It is my habit because on other whistles, e.g. Killarney (or any other less air requiring whistle), I tend to play upper octave a bit flat (or lower a bit sharp), so checking high G is only check how much I have to push it.
The "G" is also habit. I don't remember exactly where I got it but it was something with "only G is spot on, other tones are usually somewhere else". Nothing Burke specific, rather flute specific.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:49 pm 
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Another way to check your tuning, particularly for ITM, is to play against drones, e.g.,http://www.dronetonetool.com/

It will help with your tuning and improve your ear for playing with others.

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:01 pm 
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Matthewlawson3 wrote:
What are the tuning tendencies of Burke whistles? What notes tends to be in tune, sharp or flat?


Back when I was regularly playing Burkes in several keys (Low D, Eb, F, G, A, high C, high D) my impression was of excellent tuning.
Of course players get used to the little quirks of a whistle, consciously or unconsciously blowing everything into tune.

Now I rarely play Burkes. For the purposes of this post I hauled out the three Burkes I still have- Low Eb, F, and G- played them for a bit so they could warm up, and then checked them against an electronic tuner.

I was surprised. Years of playing other makes of whistles has evidently changed my blowing habits!

I found that, for each whistle, the low octave was pretty much bang-on from Bottom D to Middle D.

As I went into the 2nd octave it got quirky, with E being a hair flat. F# and G were flatter than E.

However "A" was bang-on, and High B was either right in tune or a hair sharp.

All three sizes performed pretty much the same. Which is not to say that your Burke D is going to play like that! But it could.

So as far as "tuning notes" go, on my Burkes you would be well to tune to the D's and the A's in both octaves. I know it's usual with Irish flutes to tune to the G's and D's, but on these Burkes the G's were a bit flat, while the A's were right in tune with the D's.

About the scribe line suggesting the average tuning spot, yes the whistles were right in tune if pulled out to that line.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:31 pm 
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Thanks for the link to the drone and thank you for going to all the trouble to pull the Burke whistles out. I have to say my initial impression of the tuning was that, once warmed up and adjusted to the mark on the tuning slide, my Burke D Narrow Bore was better in tune than I expected and better than what I have got with my Susatos or Generation or Feadog or Clarke. I expect to have to blow some flat notes in tune. I'm trying to learn the tendencies of the notes. Mapping them as my old clarinet teacher use to ask me to do for Clarinet.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:31 pm 
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How durable are Burke Brass Whistles?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:32 am 
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Matthewlawson3 wrote:
How durable are Burke Brass Whistles?

Take care of the rubber O-rings and you can pass the whistle to your grandchildren in your will....

Steve

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:00 am 
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When you lubricate the Whistle do you take the O-rings out and lubricate them or do you leave them in the whistle and lubricate in place? I am a little nervous about taking it apart and getting it back together right when the time comes.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:06 am 
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Matthewlawson3 wrote:
When you lubricate the Whistle do you take the O-rings out and lubricate them or do you leave them in the whistle and lubricate in place? I am a little nervous about taking it apart and getting it back together right when the time comes.

It really isn't all that complicated. I've always just rubbed some petroleum jelly on the rings in place, but taking them off, greasing them and replacing them isn't difficult. More like putting on your socks than rocket science. And easier than replacing a clarinet reed....

My philosophy (assuming it might reach that level of thought) is not to worry so much about what is a very simply constructed instrument, just play the music.

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:47 pm 
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One thing I don't understand is why some Burkes seem to be made so that the body and head fit into the barrel with more or less equal tightness, while some of the barrels seem to be stuck onto the bodies and you only take it apart at the head end.

But in any case it's not rocket science. I just take the whistle apart and smear a small amount of lubricant on the tenon and around inside the barrel right on the O-rings.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:44 pm 
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Steve Bliven wrote:
Matthewlawson3 wrote:
easier than replacing a clarinet reed....

I love that. When I played clarinet, I removed the reed after every session, and replaced it when time to begin again, so getting it correctly placed became second nature. I never considered it difficult in any fashion. Just routine. I should probably dig it out some time and see if I can still play it.

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