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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:30 pm 
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Location: San Jose, CA
I recently received a tweaked Mellow Dog and Blackbird D whistles. Having never played the whistle I want to learn how best to control breath to go from one octave to the other. I have been practicing going up and down the scale trying to fine tune the amount of air I put through the whistle. It seems on the Mellow Dog that the upper three notes takes a lot of breath pressure to keep it at the higher octave. Do others find this to be the case or is my technique in need of fixing?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:55 pm 
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Each whistle has its own naunces, you will get used to it soon enough, generally, I'd suggest going up the notes one at a time, blowing into the second octave on each note as you go. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:09 pm 
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fatmac wrote:
Each whistle has its own naunces, you will get used to it soon enough, generally, I'd suggest going up the notes one at a time, blowing into the second octave on each note as you go. :)


Thanks. I'll give that a go.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:33 pm 
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Keep in mind that it's a matter of velocity and not really volume. Although I am sure it seems that way at first.

Blowing more air through the mouthpiece does increase the air speed, but that's only one way. If you play with the end of the mouthpiece between your lips and not actually in your mouth, you will be able to narrow the airflow and thus increase the velocity.

I think most people automatically use a combination of more volume plus a narrower opening when the mouthpiece is in that location.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:11 pm 
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At least one of my whistles wants less air and more push from my diaphragm or it screeches. With this one I open my mouth a bit to let air escape. It still demands that big push though. So the note requires a speedy airflow but not quite as much actual air that my body wants to throw at it when I push. Hence the need for it to escape on either side of the mouthpiece.

Your whistle may or may not like this treatment.

I have no idea if that is going to make sense to anyone. It is pretty hard to explain :D .

The exercises of going up to a note from various notes on a scale is good too. As well as running up to the note by playing three of four notes in the scale to get there.

The more you do it the easier it will be.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:24 am 
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I have students do the standard sort of exercise, starting:
DdDdDdD…
on a single breath, no tonguing.
Then
EeEeEeE…
and on up to
BbBbBbB…
to finish.
C-to-c is an outlier because those notes use different fingerings.

Another execise to build breath-control and tone is
DEDF#DGDADBDcDdDeDf#DgDaDb
once more with no tonguing.
If you can rapidly go from Bottom D to high b and back, precisely and with good tone, with no tonguing, you really know how to control a whistle.

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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