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In praise of B flat whistles
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=108092
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Author:  busterbill [ Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:04 pm ]
Post subject:  In praise of B flat whistles

I am currently obsessed with a set. Tiny the Soldier, Barney Brannigan, and Ride a Mile. They are slip jigs, each with their own lovely bounce and a lot of ornamentation which is a lot of fun. But they do spend a certain number of notes in the high range with a few jumps to high B in Ride a Mile. After a few hours of trying to get this set in my head on even my best high D my ears needed a break. It is B flat whistle time! A professional player and teacher turned me on to this method a few years back. If you can let your brain go with the fact that you are actually playing different notes and keep your finger patterns the same, the tunes on a B flat whistle can sound lovely.

Author:  busterbill [ Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: In praise of B flat whistles

I mis-titled Tiny the Trooper. Oops. The first tune is Tiny the Trooper. Sorry.

Author:  Tyler DelGregg [ Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: In praise of B flat whistles

I just happened to toss my Generation Bb in my bag today to play during recess for the same reason. I keep my classroom door closed, but the sound of the high D travels too far in the duct system and gets piped right into the teachers' lounge. The Bb has less impact on the ears of my colleagues who have made comments ranging from "play those pirate songs again", to "nice Titanic music". I nod and play along; there's no need to bore them with intricacies.

Author:  busterbill [ Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: In praise of B flat whistles

:D

Author:  Chifmunk [ Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: In praise of B flat whistles

Bb whistles make for a happy home life. :love:

Author:  tstermitz [ Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: In praise of B flat whistles

I'm not always happy or comfortable playing a familiar tune on a different key whistle...

My fingers keep trying to get back to the REAL notes, instead of sticking to the transposed ones. Somehow, my ears are telling my brain to tell my fingers to play the tune on the correct notes. I think this happens more commonly on a C-whistle, rather than a bigger jump, like a fifth. Yes, I can work through that after a little while, but there is an initial moment of dis-orientation.

There is another ear-brain-fingers point that I've noticed as I've gotten better at playing by ear: If people start playing a tune, I'll get ready to jump in and, my fingers just know exactly the right note to start on.

I don't have a rational explanation of these situations aside from some mumbo-jumbo about intuition.

Or, it might have something to do with the "color of a key", another idea I always thought was a little woo-woo. I mean, A-major feels different from G-major; F-major feels very different from D. D-minor feels very different from E-minor; and then there is C-minor - wow!

I'm not sure I could name a key just from listening... Maybe D-minor or F-major.

A musician I met long ago claimed that he could do this. Even more, he would say things like "That tune was written to be played in D, not G." I always thought that was a little magical or unbelievable, but...

Author:  busterbill [ Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: In praise of B flat whistles

tstermitz wrote:
I'm not always happy or comfortable playing a familiar tune on a different key whistle...

My fingers keep trying to get back to the REAL notes, instead of sticking to the transposed ones. ..


You are not alone. I know a number of people who have trouble with this. Their pitch and finger correlation is overpoweringly strong. I also have that weird experience where I can match a note played on my d whistle or flute or fiddle or concertina, subconsciously, but if you play a note and ask me to tell you the note you played without an instrument in my hands I cannot do it.

Author:  Tor [ Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: In praise of B flat whistles

busterbill wrote:
I also have that weird experience where I can match a note played on my d whistle or flute or fiddle or concertina, subconsciously, but if you play a note and ask me to tell you the note you played without an instrument in my hands I cannot do it.
Strange, isn't it? And I noticed years ago that although I couldn't sing from a music sheet - no idea how I could possibly do that - I *could* do it if I just let my left fingers play with a guitar neck, "playing" from the score. No sound from the guitar needed..

Author:  Tyler DelGregg [ Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: In praise of B flat whistles

This is interesting. Let me get this straight. Are you saying that after you learn a tune in a particular key, you struggle when you play the same tune in another key? For example, you learn it on a D whistle first, so when you pick up a C whistle, it's awkward?

Author:  fatmac [ Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: In praise of B flat whistles

When you play the same fingering on a different key whistle, you have to realise it won't sound the same as it usually does, because it is a different key, once you can accept that, you will be OK. :D

Author:  Chino [ Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: In praise of B flat whistles

B flat whistle power:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNQCM4rgj3Q&t=71s

Author:  tstermitz [ Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: In praise of B flat whistles

@Tyler.

Yes, I learn a tune on D whistle, but it is awkward (at first) on the C because my ears want to make my fingers play the absolute notes. After a little while my ears "tune-in" to the relative notes, but I need to pay attention rather than relax.

Author:  pancelticpiper [ Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: In praise of B flat whistles

I suppose the Highland pipes would really freak you guys out.

The music is written in A, but it sounds halfway between B flat and B natural.

Still today many pipers don't write the key signature in, which makes it even more screwy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grGuVaT6cbs

(The drone note is a written A.)

So no, it doesn't make any difference to me what pitch whistle I pick up. The tunes, I suppose, are in the muscle-memory of the fingers as much as they are in mind.

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