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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:25 pm 
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Hi,

I'm looking to buy my first tin whistle. I have become paralyzed by the sheer numbers of makers and keys out there. Please, I need some help!

I would like to play Irish slow airs.
I do not want to play sessions, so a quieter instrument would be preferred.
I have some experience playing soprano and tenor recorders.
I obviously don't need a super high end instrument but I was thinking up to $100

Any advice as to makers and keys would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:27 pm 
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papageno wrote:
Hi,

I'm looking to buy my first tin whistle. I have become paralyzed by the sheer numbers of makers and keys out there. Please, I need some help!

I would like to play Irish slow airs.
I do not want to play sessions, so a quieter instrument would be preferred.
I have some experience playing soprano and tenor recorders.
I obviously don't need a super high end instrument but I was thinking up to $100

Any advice as to makers and keys would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!



Most Irish tunes are in the key of D. So if you are learning by playing along, D is a good bet.

For that money I like the Killarney whistles a lot. But you will get lots of opinions.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:46 pm 
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+1 for the Killarney. not too loud, and not-shrill high notes.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:56 pm 
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If you are not going to be playing in sessions you may want to go with a lower whistle. A C is only one step down but makes a difference in the shrill factor. A B flat is nice. The Killarney c is nice. The Generation B flat is actually a nice whistle despite its low price tag. If there are any people around you who play whistle ask if you can hear them play in a different key than D. Lots of us who go out and session with a D whistle have other whistles we play at home.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:13 pm 
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The Killarney's look like superb instruments. Definitely high on the list of what I have been looking at.
There are also some C/D sets that look interesting.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:00 pm 
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I was going to suggest a B-flat as well. It is (IMHO) the most "comfortable" whistle to play in terms of finger-stretch, ease of blowing, and lack of shrillness. Since this is your first whistle, I would also suggest the Generation (in Bb, of course) because it will give you a good introduction and won't kill your wallet if you find you don't like it (doubtful!). Trust me... you WILL be buying more whistles if it turns out you like the sound and playability! Good luck in your quest!

Pat

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:20 am 
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A question like this is usually met by the forum with recommendations for just about every whistle under the sun. When not immediately planning to play with others, it is probably best to just please yourself and get whatever suits you best.

While it is a practical convention to settle for playing in (let's say, for brevity) the general area of D/G etc for social situations I don't think it's quite right to say this music 'is in' those keys, quite a lot of players opt to play below or above concert pitch, as they say, for a variety of reasons. That's what Bflat, B, C and C# pipes, and B, C, Eflat and F flutes are for (and their matching equivalents in other instruments or tunings) and I have all of those seen in use in even the last month.

So, it really is about whatever aesthetic choices you want to make, especially if you're not planning to play along with recordings or meet random strangers in pubs for music.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:29 am 
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If you are learning, and have no whistlers nearby, you will be plagued with the worry that any initial squawks and screeches are caused by the whistle. I was, and many on this forum have expressed the same doubts. With the cheapest whistles there is the persistent rumour that most are sub-optimal and you need to search for a good one. (FWIW my squawks and screeches were entirely my own fault).

I am not sure that these rumours are true these days, or that they ever were. But to allay those fears which will allow you to concentrate on your playing rather than the whistle I suggest you get a whistle in which you are confident.

Whistles by Jerry Freeman have been individually tweaked, and carry his reputation with them. Tony Dixon whistles have good quality control. Those are the only inexpensive whistles I can speak about, but there will be others that will come with similar quality reassurance.

As for volume, well one of my problems was the high notes seem loud and my instinct was to back off a bit. This makes things worse. Try sticking a blob of bluetack on the whistle blade (you will need to experiment with position). This changes the tone a bit but can seriously reduce the volume, which makes the screeches and squawks more bearable. When the volume is bearable many of the odd noises will disappear - or they did in my case.

HTH

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:01 am 
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With the cheapest whistles there is the persistent rumour that most are sub-optimal and you need to search for a good one. (FWIW my squawks and screeches were entirely my own fault).

I am not sure that these rumours are true these days, or that they ever were.


This is the internet, full of half misunderstood half truths :P The initial premise was you have to search for a really excellent one, which holds as much true for designer whistles as it does for cheap mass produced ones. There's a broad middle ground of instruments that are decent and playable but nothing extraordinary and there's a percentage that just didn't come out that well.

About a year ago I tried a bunch of Generation whistles in a shop that were all atrocious. I don't know if they were a bad batch (they looked it) or if they were just the leftovers nobody wanted. Last month I tried perhaps a dozen of them in the same shop and all of those were quite nice. I didn't find an extraordinary one but I'd happily play any of them for day to day use.

And that's my anecdotal experience for today. And I happily play, and usually prefer, cheap whistles over designer ones ten times or more their price. For reasons of playability and sweetness. Someone coming from the recorder may make a different choice, so YMMV. Make up your own mind.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:14 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
DrPhill wrote:
With the cheapest whistles there is the persistent rumour that most are sub-optimal and you need to search for a good one. (FWIW my squawks and screeches were entirely my own fault).

I am not sure that these rumours are true these days, or that they ever were.


This is the internet, full of half misunderstood half truths :P The initial premise was you have to search for a really excellent one, which holds as much true for designer whistles as it does for cheap mass produced ones. There's a broad middle ground of instruments that are decent and playable but nothing extraordinary and there's a percentage that just didn't come out that well.


Exactly. But that does not stop a new whistler from wondering if they have a rare dud. I can think of two ways to dispel the doubts. Get an experienced whistler to check it, or buy from a source you trust. In my case I got a freeman whistle which left no room for doubt that the evil noises were entirely my creation.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:35 am 
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Yep, my first whistles had a tendancy to screech a bit too, until I learned how to play them. :D

Absolutely nothing wrong with Generation, Faedog, Waltons whistles, but as a previous recorder player, (sopranino, soprano, treble, & tenor), I think you will be more comfortable with an ABS whistle for your first, in which case, I'll suggest the Tony Dixon high D ABS at about £15.

(Then, when you want your next, & you will :wink: , take a look at Shearwater Whistles too, good quality at a decent price.)

My personal favourite whistles now are an 'A' or a low 'F'. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:00 am 
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Based on what you what to do, I’d say get a Generation Bb tweaked by Jerry Freeman.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:13 am 
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If your goal is to play for yourself I'd lean towards a Generation Bflat as a good start. They are nice and will give you a more mellow sound than a High D and you will stay below budget. For sightly more than $100 you can get a Syn set of three whistles with one mouthpiece and three bodies. I have not played these myself, but if I were wanting to experiment with a few different keys, that could prove interesting. Bflat, C and D would be my choice. Since I'm located in the States I'd buy them from The Irish Flute Store in Greeley Co

Again, I don't have experience with the Syns myself, but find the idea of the three whistle set interesting if I were not already a bit of a hoarder.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:19 am 
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Again, I don't have experience with the Syns myself, but find the idea of the three whistle set interesting



The stretch between D and B(flat) on one tube size is a long one and less than ideal. I briefly had a B and D of those on a shared head a long time ago and didn't think it worked particularly well.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:32 pm 
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I checked out the Freeman tweaked Bb. A definite contender. Several other interesting offerings as well.


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