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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:19 pm 
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Hi, everyone I'm on the waiting list for an Abell D Whistle and I've never had a Low D whistle. Should I buy one while waiting haha? I love the lower sound. I'm really practicing every day with my Burke D narrow bore to improve in regard to whistle playing and technique and I am wondering if I should try to venture into the low world. I'm also a clarinet player by the way! Not that that matters here ha.

What about the MK Pro? What catches my eye is the green one haha.

Thanks for your help!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:23 pm 
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Well you're really starting at the top with an Abell. They play like a dream. However, i'm no help on whether or not to get a low D. I don't own one only because I'm a traditionalist. That's also why I don't use a low G on any of my ukuleles. But as the cliche says, everyone has different taste. Play On


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:32 pm 
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Low 'D' is a whole different ball game, you need to finger/play it completely differently.

I like low whistles though, & found it worth it, for me. :D

An 'A' might be a good place to start, fairly easy to play, for a high whistler. :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:33 pm 
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fatmac wrote:
Low 'D' is a whole different ball game, you need to finger/play it completely differently.

I like low whistles though, & found it worth it, for me. :D

An 'A' might be a good place to start, fairly easy to play, for a high whistler. :wink:


I was planning on learning the Piper's grip for the D Low Whistle.

Why the A Low Whistle?

I would like to play tunes and ITM I know from my Soprano D playing on the low D without transposing the music.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:37 pm 
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Cathal wrote:
Well you're really starting at the top with an Abell. They play like a dream. However, i'm no help on whether or not to get a low D. I don't own one only because I'm a traditionalist. That's also why I don't use a low G on any of my ukuleles. But as the cliche says, everyone has different taste. Play On


Thank you! I plan to keep learning and playing my Burke Brass D Narrow Bore until I get my Abell. I also have a Jerry Freeman Generation, a three key/body Susato Kildare set, a Clarke original, and a Walton (which is my car whistle).


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:01 am 
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Matthewlawson3 wrote:
I was planning on learning the Piper's grip for the D Low Whistle.

Why the A Low Whistle?

I would like to play tunes and ITM I know from my Soprano D playing on the low D without transposing the music.


Only suggested because you don't need to use the pipers grip, from 'G' down you do, & I like an 'A' whistle, it's a half way step, to my mind. :D

P.S. You can play all tunes/whistles with the same fingerings, it just comes out in the key of the whistle, so if only playing for yourself, the key doesn't matter.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:36 am 
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I really like Low Whistles and I play them much more often than high whistles.

I owned and played a Burke Low D for a couple years. It has strong volume and a massive booming Bottom D, which is great for playing in the old-time wooden flute style (which many Low D whistles aren't capable of).

The drawbacks which lead to me selling it were, first of all, a large appetite for air. In other words a large volume of air passes through the whistle while playing, especially in the 2nd octave, meaning that you have to take breaths more often. This isn't an issue in the old flute style I mentioned, where frequent breaths are often part of the style.

The other issue was the Burkes in general have larger tubes than other makers, with a given size. That fat tube combined with a relatively wide finger-stretch made the Burke not optimally ergonomic for me.

Many people dislike the tone of Burkes, calling it bland, but for me the tone wasn't an issue.

I owned a number of MK Low Ds and played them for several years. For me the MK is more ergonomic (narrower tube and closer finger-spacing) and the MK is far more air-efficient. The MK's tone is unique; dirty and complex. Some dislike it, but I love it.

But for me the best has been the Goldie Low D: exceptionally ergonomic, great air-efficiency, nice tone, great tuning, everything.

I consider all three of those to be serious professional instruments.

The most ergonomic entry-level Low D I've tried is the Dixon all-plastic conical-bore Low D. Its narrow tube, close finger spacing, and small air requirements make an ideal introductory Low D.

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


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:10 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
I really like Low Whistles and I play them much more often than high whistles.

I owned and played a Burke Low D for a couple years. It has strong volume and a massive booming Bottom D, which is great for playing in the old-time wooden flute style (which many Low D whistles aren't capable of).

The drawbacks which lead to me selling it were, first of all, a large appetite for air. In other words a large volume of air passes through the whistle while playing, especially in the 2nd octave, meaning that you have to take breaths more often. This isn't an issue in the old flute style I mentioned, where frequent breaths are often part of the style.

The other issue was the Burkes in general have larger tubes than other makers, with a given size. That fat tube combined with a relatively wide finger-stretch made the Burke not optimally ergonomic for me.

Many people dislike the tone of Burkes, calling it bland, but for me the tone wasn't an issue.

I owned a number of MK Low Ds and played them for several years. For me the MK is more ergonomic (narrower tube and closer finger-spacing) and the MK is far more air-efficient. The MK's tone is unique; dirty and complex. Some dislike it, but I love it.

But for me the best has been the Goldie Low D: exceptionally ergonomic, great air-efficiency, nice tone, great tuning, everything.

I consider all three of those to be serious professional instruments.

The most ergonomic entry-level Low D I've tried is the Dixon all-plastic conical-bore Low D. Its narrow tube, close finger spacing, and small air requirements make an ideal introductory Low D.


Thank you for the information! I had my eye on the MK. I have to say I love the green color haha and it sounds good. But now I'm considering the Goldie as well. I would be a beginner on the low D but I'm willing to work at it to get the Piper's grip down if I get a low whistle.

How's the tuning on the MK Pro? I don't need a low whistle probably but I don't have one so..


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:09 pm 
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Matthewlawson3 wrote:
I would be a beginner on the low D but I'm willing to work at it to get the Piper's grip...


I feel the so-called "piper's grip" is essential if you want to comfortably play Low Ds. The difference in hand comfort between using the small-whistle fingertip-grip on a Low D and using the piper's grip is dramatic.

BTW I call it the "so-called piper's grip" because I play Highland pipes and uilleann pipes and neither of them use the same grip you use on a Low D whistle.

Matthewlawson3 wrote:
How's the tuning on the MK Pro?


The tuning on the MK, Burke, and Goldie are all very good. However, the MK and Burke have subtle tuning issues.

I've owned a half-dozen MKs, all of them tunable, and all of them made before Misha introduced the "Pro" name. All had the same tuning quirk: Bottom D was slightly flatter than Middle D, though the rest of the octaves were fine. The interesting thing was that those half-dozen MKs varied a bit in tube length. The longer-tube ones had in-tune Middle Ds and slightly flat Bottom Ds, the shorter-tube ones had in-tune Bottom Ds and slightly sharp Middle Ds.

I've owned Burkes in High D, High C, Mezzo A, Mezzo G, Mezzo F, Low Eb, and Low D and most of them had the same tuning quirk: B in the low octave was slightly flat. However B in the 2nd octave was in tune, so you couldn't fix the flat B by carving out the hole. That would fix low B but make high B too sharp.

My Goldie has no quirks, it's needle straight up from Bottom D to high B including the C natural in the middle of the gamut.

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


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:44 am 
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A low D is, in some ways, a different instrument from a high D. Breath requirements (and thus, phrasing) is different, the grip is different, and the overall style of play is different. You may love it; you may not. I think Bb and A whistles are about perfect--they still handle more like high whistles, but the pitch (of course) is lower and less strident.


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