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Getting a new whistle - what key?
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Author:  Krasnojarsk [ Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Getting a new whistle - what key?

Hi there,

So I've decided to treat myself to a new Burke whistle in the next few weeks. I got my first Burke high D a few months back, and I absolutely love it. Now, here's the "conundrum" (a luxury problem more like). I play in weekly sessions with a bit of singing, so I use my Killarney C maybe 5% of the time for a couple of songs, and the rest it's just D. However, while I have a perfectly fine C whistle, I'm nevertheless trying to decide between a Bb and a Burke C. I absolutely love the sound of Bb whistles, so this would be almost purely for my own enjoyment, and maybe the occasional tune at sessions, so long as I make the presence of a dodgy key clear beforehand... One the other hand, I am pretty certain I would enjoy the sound of a Burke C over the Killarney (I love the D, but there's something about the C that just makes it... less than perfect. I dunno). I know there is no correct answer to this, but I'm curious as to what you would do here, so I can crowdsource my decision as it were...

I'm leaning towards a Bb, mostly because it would be something "new". Thanks for any input or inspiration, and while the answer "get both" is not unwelcome, I need to space my whistle purchases out in time so as not to go loopy. :D

Thanks!

P

Author:  whistlecollector [ Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting a new whistle - what key?

Krasnojarsk wrote:
Hi there,

So I've decided to treat myself to a new Burke whistle in the next few weeks. I got my first Burke high D a few months back, and I absolutely love it. Now, here's the "conundrum" (a luxury problem more like). I play in weekly sessions with a bit of singing, so I use my Killarney C maybe 5% of the time for a couple of songs, and the rest it's just D. However, while I have a perfectly fine C whistle, I'm nevertheless trying to decide between a Bb and a Burke C. I absolutely love the sound of Bb whistles, so this would be almost purely for my own enjoyment, and maybe the occasional tune at sessions, so long as I make the presence of a dodgy key clear beforehand... One the other hand, I am pretty certain I would enjoy the sound of a Burke C over the Killarney (I love the D, but there's something about the C that just makes it... less than perfect. I dunno). I know there is no correct answer to this, but I'm curious as to what you would do here, so I can crowdsource my decision as it were...

I'm leaning towards a Bb, mostly because it would be something "new". Thanks for any input or inspiration, and while the answer "get both" is not unwelcome, I need to space my whistle purchases out in time so as not to go loopy. :D

Thanks!

P


Well, here's the pros & cons:

D: pros: you love the whistle make and the sound // you use it all the time || no cons -- don't buy another high d this time around (save that for later!!)
C: pros: you have one that you like || cons: you don't use it much -- I'd say don't buy a c this time around either
Bb: pros: you love the sound of a Bb whistle // you'd enjoy playing a Bb whistle // you might use it here and there // you don't have but need one! || no cons

Choice is obvious: buy the Bb this time around and don't hesitate one minute longer!!

Author:  Krasnojarsk [ Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting a new whistle - what key?

whistlecollector wrote:
Well, here's the pros & cons:

D: pros: you love the whistle make and the sound // you use it all the time || no cons -- don't buy another high d this time around (save that for later!!)
C: pros: you have one that you like || cons: you don't use it much -- I'd say don't buy a c this time around either
Bb: pros: you love the sound of a Bb whistle // you'd enjoy playing a Bb whistle // you might use it here and there // you don't have but need one! || no cons

Choice is obvious: buy the Bb this time around and don't hesitate one minute longer!!


Ah, that's beautiful, thank you! :love: You should consider writing a treatise on the logic and formal semantics of whistle buying. I have to say I'm extremely convinced. Bb it is!

Author:  fatmac [ Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting a new whistle - what key?

I'm only a recent whistle blower, but my preferences are low F, low D, A, & C, in that order. :D

I do have 2x Bb Gens, (plus all the higher ones), but have, & play more on my A's, a Trad & an aluminium tunable made by Tony Dixon.

Author:  BigDavy [ Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting a new whistle - what key?

I have 2 Burkes, a low D and B natural. which are lovely (even when I play them).

If you were thinking of going to lower keys, why not get a B natural whistle and a Bb generation and cover both bases.

David

Author:  ytliek [ Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting a new whistle - what key?

Bb which adds a new key to your kit.

Author:  Tyler DelGregg [ Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting a new whistle - what key?

For me, when there is singing, the Bb sees a lot of action, followed by the A.
Though I like the C very much, it gets played the least.

Author:  gbyrne [ Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting a new whistle - what key?

Getting an extra C isn't adding to your options. You will play very little Bb in sessions - so it's main use will be for personal amusement at home.

Burke Viper Low-D aluminium would be my first suggestion. If you can make the hop to Low-D you will be able to make a lot of use of it in sessions or to play along with recordings.

If you really like the ability to play in Bb - go for the Low-F which is a half-way house "low" whistle. And you can also play in Bb easily on it. The Key of F is to Bb same as Key of D is to G. Great whistle for jamming along to jazz/blues stuff in Bb. My ratio of use of Low-F to Bb is about 5::1. But they are both outlier instruments in sessions (rarely used). Low F is also easy-ish to play in key of C.

Author:  Steve Bliven [ Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting a new whistle - what key?

A lets you sit in comfortably with the Scottish smallpipers...

Given the advice you've received so far, just get something in every key.

Best wishes.

Steve

Author:  neviditsin [ Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting a new whistle - what key?

Which whistle more balanced, i mean not too low and not too high? Low F, G, A?

Author:  fatmac [ Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting a new whistle - what key?

More balanced?

The 'A' will play similarly to a high whistle, but be lower toned - whilst the low 'G' & 'F' will require learning the pipers grip to play.

If looking for a first 'low' whistle, I'd suggest seriously considering the low F.

Author:  Krasnojarsk [ Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting a new whistle - what key?

Thank you all for your input! I agree that I eventually need to get whistles in every key ( :D ), and much as I'd love to get a low whistle, I need to take baby steps for the sake of sanity (and stick to whistles that fit in my bag...). Especially considering the fact I just got on a two-year waiting list for a set of uilleann pipes as well... argh.

I actually do have my Dad's old Generation Bb from the 70s, but the fipple is falling apart, so I'm keeping it as a museum piece. Good to hear the Bb might be useful for singing as well though.

So yeah, I'll get a Burke Bb on payday. Hup, hooray!

Author:  whistlecollector [ Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting a new whistle - what key?

Krasnojarsk wrote:
Thank you all for your input! I agree that I eventually need to get whistles in every key ( :D ), and much as I'd love to get a low whistle, I need to take baby steps for the sake of sanity (and stick to whistles that fit in my bag...). Especially considering the fact I just got on a two-year waiting list for a set of uilleann pipes as well... argh.

I actually do have my Dad's old Generation Bb from the 70s, but the fipple is falling apart, so I'm keeping it as a museum piece. Good to hear the Bb might be useful for singing as well though.

So yeah, I'll get a Burke Bb on payday. Hup, hooray!


Ah!

Might I suggest you simply obtain a nice low whistle pouch or roll? A roll, preferably, so you can fill up the entire low octave!

And please don't neglect the bass or the wee high octaves!

Author:  Krasnojarsk [ Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting a new whistle - what key?

whistlecollector wrote:
Ah!

Might I suggest you simply obtain a nice low whistle pouch or roll? A roll, preferably, so you can fill up the entire low octave!

And please don't neglect the bass or the wee high octaves!


That, kind stranger, is called enabling, and is a serious offence. This is the very reason I've never gone near whistle rolls, since they make whistle absences painfully clear.

Author:  whistlecollector [ Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Getting a new whistle - what key?

Krasnojarsk wrote:
whistlecollector wrote:
Ah!

Might I suggest you simply obtain a nice low whistle pouch or roll? A roll, preferably, so you can fill up the entire low octave!

And please don't neglect the bass or the wee high octaves!


That, kind stranger, is called enabling, and is a serious offence. This is the very reason I've never gone near whistle rolls, since they make whistle absences painfully clear.


Well! Obviously, you can't allow a whistle roll to have empty slots! That's why you need to obtain more whistles!

It's simply mathematics! More whistles : more rolls :: more rolls : more whistles!

And the world is found to be in balance.

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