It is currently Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:44 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:22 am
Posts: 5
I've tried to search the forums for an answer to this question and I'm not sure if I know the correct keywords, because surely this has been asked before. But anyway.

I'm currently playing a Clarke Celtic whistle. $10 on Amazon. Say I bought a $50 or $100 whistle. Would it be easier to play? In particular, would the lower range be more consistent and clear, with less in between-octaveness? Or are the benefits of a more expensive whistle strictly intonation? There isn't a retail establishment in my area that sells anything but the lowest of the low end whistles, so this would be a blind online purchase.

I'm not opposed to spending more on a whistle (as a band director by trade I have to tell myself constantly that a $10 instrument can be an instrument of some quality which flies in the face of what I tell legions of parents looking to purchase a $99 alto saxophone on Amazon that will literally fall apart in student hands after some months) but I don't want to fall into the trap of buying a more expensive whistle than my current ability warrants unless it will give me some practical benefit.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:29 am
Posts: 52
boatofcar wrote:

I'm currently playing a Clarke Celtic whistle. $10 on Amazon. Say I bought a $50 or $100 whistle. Would it be easier to play? In particular, would the lower range be more consistent and clear, with less in between-octaveness? Or are the benefits of a more expensive whistle strictly intonation?


I started on whistle about a year ago, and have purchased a shockingly large number since then--somewhere around 30. And of all of them, my Clarke Celtic (which for anyone who doesn't know is just a Sweetone with a better logo and paint job) is at the top of the heap in both playability and intonation. That's not to say it's my favorite whistle--I'm more likely to pick up a Carbony, Killarney, Dixon, Freeman, or Chris Wall. Each of those is more interesting to me in terms of tone. But none is superior to the Clarke when it comes to ease of consistently hitting the right notes at the right pitch. And a couple of 'em are downright problematic (for me) in certain areas.

And it's not like the Clarke has terrible tone, either. It's just on the bland side.

If you want to try another whistle that has excellent overall characteristics while keeping the expense minimal, I'd recommend either the Freeman Blackbird, the Dixon Trad, or the Dixon DX001.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:17 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:51 pm
Posts: 2507
Location: Seashore
Try looking thru some of the whistle reviews done on this forum for some playing characteristics. Everyone plays a whistle differently so very subjective and no matter the whistle it takes work to identify the particular quirks inherent in every whistle.

http://tinwhistler.com/Reviews


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am
Posts: 486
In my experience, which is only my experience, paying more got me better whistles. I started out with what was lying around the house, which was various Walton's and Feadog's from various relatives's trips to Ireland. These were frustrating to play--they seemed to rattle or "crack" easily and it was hard for me to tell what was my fault and what might be a deficiency in a whistle made to sell cheaply to tourists. I tried a lot of whistles and found that it was worth it to pay for whistles that had some degree of attention paid to them. Jerry Freeman's tweaked" whistles, Cillian O'Briain's tweaked whistles, Killarney whistles. These three I found just played more consistently: more stable, solid tone, less prone to "breaking," better balance between octaves. The frustration level was much much lower. I have a John Sindt whistle in "A" that's just a joy to play.

As I got better at the whistle, the cheaper whistles got easier to play. That's not a surprise. I recently posted a very short clip comparing a Killarney Eb and a brand new off the shelf Generation Eb. Generation first, then Killarney

http://spokeshave.net/music/gbjig.mp3

The Killarney is just more rewarding to play. I'm still not a very good player, but I'll just say again that for me, the level of irritation and frustration was just much lower if I spent more, because more attention had been paid to the sound. I don't think it's automatic that a more expensive whistle will sound better, and "better" is subjective anyway. I've found some old Feadogs and Generations, like from the 1980s, that i really like, and some new whistles that are perfectly good. But I still prefer the Killarney whistles.

I'd argue it's worth it to spend more, but I don't know what the upper limit of that would be, as I've never spent more than about 90 bucks for a D whistle.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:52 am
Posts: 41
Boatofcar I have been playing whistles for around 2 years after retiring and promising myself that I would teach myself a musical instrument. I am a mediocre player at best so bear that it mind when considering my views on the subject. My advice is that if you can afford it get a better whistle. It will sound better at least to your ears and if you think you are sounding better then you will be more inclined to play and will get more enjoyment out of it. Mind you I have come to the conclusion that what you hear as the player with the whistle centimetres from your ears will be different to what the audience (if you haven’t scared them of by now) hears. I started with cheap whistles and moved on to models in high D from Syn, both wood and aluminium, Parks, Killarney and an Oz. All lovely whistles with the Oz clearly the best in my humble opinion. The Syn aluminium, the Killarney and the Parks are all around the same price. The other benefit from this is that you will get to experience and hear different materials. I know there are different views on this but my ears hear quite a difference between brass, pvc, aluminium and wood. Brass to me is chirpy, aluminium mellow, wood a combination of those two and pvc sounds thin in comparison.
Just my two bobs worth. Hope it helps
Cheers
JTU


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:23 pm 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 34205
Location: Minneapolis
PB+J wrote:
I don't think it's automatic that a more expensive whistle will sound better, and "better" is subjective anyway.

This is the meat of the issue.

What is meant by "better"? I've tried higher-end whistles; some were good, and some were flat-out disappointments not worth their cost. Cost will never be a guarantee of "better". Given a perfectly decent whistle, what makes it better is the player. Start there, I say.

_________________
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:38 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:18 am
Posts: 795
Location: Parker County, Texas, USA
I've been playing (off and on) since 1975, and still play the same cheapo Generations I bought back then. The amazing thing is, the longer I play (the more I practice), the better they sound. I'm perfectly happy with the sound they make, and I'm not looking for anything better. Oh, my wife put us on the waiting list for a Sindt, just to see what all the fuss is about - but if I never get it, I'll still be just as happy with my Generations.

_________________
Deartháir don phaidir an port.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:23 am
Posts: 369
Location: Europe and Japan
If you compare whistle to (most? many?) other instruments there's hardly any difference in playability between whistles. Guitars, for example. Every guitar is different and they play differently. A cheap instrument can be really difficult to play. A more expensive one is generally better. For the most part. But whistles? Not like that at all. There are (compared to guitars or other stringed instruments) only nuances. The biggest difference is probably that some whistles may be very light blowers while others need more push. Other than that.. not so much. Just play the whistle, and it will become a better whistle..


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:35 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:31 am
Posts: 4654
Location: the Back of Beyond
Quote:
These were frustrating to play--they seemed to rattle or "crack" easily and it was hard for me to tell what was my fault


These are really problem that generally stem from poor breathcontrol. Learn to gently blow them, which often means to merely breath into them, and the whistles will loose these problems.

It's the never ending discussion on these forums: there is a school of thought on this forum that feels a whistle that is resistant to the effects of blowing too hard or just inconsistently is a better whistle while more experienced players often prefer an instrument that is highly responsive and light to the touch.

Playability, it means different things to a beginner and the experienced player, in other words.

_________________
My brain hurts



Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:47 am
Posts: 524
Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
I started a few months ago, bought all the cheapies, including a Dixon one piece ABS, they're all playable, but some just sound nicer to me.

I have bought some decent whistles, now that I know what I'm after, from an aluminium 'C', down to a brass low 'D'.
(Of all these, my favourite is an aluminium low 'F'.)

If you don't want to spend much (over approx £40), then I'd suggest looking at the Dixon ABS or maybe something like a Trad.

(My aluminium ones are tuneable & cost over £50, so you need to know what you like first.)

_________________
Keith.
Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:22 am
Posts: 5
Tor wrote:
If you compare whistle to (most? many?) other instruments there's hardly any difference in playability between whistles. Guitars, for example. Every guitar is different and they play differently. A cheap instrument can be really difficult to play. A more expensive one is generally better. For the most part. But whistles? Not like that at all. There are (compared to guitars or other stringed instruments) only nuances. The biggest difference is probably that some whistles may be very light blowers while others need more push. Other than that.. not so much. Just play the whistle, and it will become a better whistle..


Thanks for all of your answers, but in particular this one, as it speaks to the question I had most directly. I'll continue on with my Clarke and keep working on breath control. I'm a trombone player so there's a bit of difference there ;)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:02 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 7298
Location: Clifton Park, NY
Are there any sessions where you live? There are likely to be several different whistles at a session, so you can hear some differences, maybe even try the whistles. As a real newbie, it's hard to really know what you want in a whistle. If you're happy with the Clarke for now, stick with it.You may find things about it as you learn that you wish were different/better.Come back and ask here what whistles might solve those issues.

_________________
Got wood?
http://www.Busmanwhistles.com
Let me custom make one for you!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:01 pm
Posts: 187
It's funny, my first whistle was a Waltons that would crack and squeak all over the place. As it has already been pointed out, this is almost entirely poor breath control. Since then I have acquired a good stack of whistles and try to play them all. Last week I did the putty mod on the Waltons, basically just copying what the head of my O'Briain looks like and it plays 100% better. It's been my go-to whistle for the past week. I always say that "it's a shoddy craftsman that blames his (or her) tools" but sometimes it's the tool.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun May 01, 2016 6:54 am
Posts: 148
Almost everything has already been said. The better you get, the better a cheap whistle will sound. You could just buy a Feadóg Pro -- one of my favourite cheapo whistles -- and be done with looking any further. The "quest for the perfect whistle" is fun but more or less pointless. With one exception -- my Chuck Tilbury high D outperforms most other whistles, especially considering the tuning and how "snappy" it reacts to ornaments. But it has some slight issues with clogging (at least when I play it), which is something that varies a lot between players and also depends on the whistle being warmed up properly before playing, etc. If you want a cheap whistle that doesn't take as much breath as the Clarke "original" get a Clarke "Sweetone". Plays as easily as most highend-whistles (which sometimes don't even play all that easily, because an experienced player often wants/needs other things than just "ease of playing" -- for example my Carbony "quiet" model needs a lot of breath control but is perfectly tuned between the octaves which you only notice when playing with others) and is dirt-cheap.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:41 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am
Posts: 486
So as always, two things are being said often by the same people.

A: Any whistle will do! just practice
B: My favorite whistle does these things better than any other!

I guess they are both true, but IMHO anybody who wants to PLAY music as opposed to just passively listening, has undertaken an admirable but demanding path and there's no need to make it harder than it already is. Whistles are cheap compare to flutes!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google and 10 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.170s | 14 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)