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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:09 pm 
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A little late in providing a response, but the Generation Bb gets the job done. I’m generally not a big fan of Generation but I do find their Bb to be exceptionally sweet. To me, it seems to take less air to control than the Generation high D. The fingering at first may be a little strange coming from a high D, but nothing drastic. I have to start moving into a pipers grip with the Bb, but very slightly. Also a great introduction into lower whistles. Bb prepared me for low G which made my low D less of a shock.


-Mel


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:43 pm 
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bwat wrote:
busterbill wrote:
I have yet to understand in Irish Traditional music we refer to instrumental music as tunes and music with words as songs. This is a nomenclature I've not run into in other genres. But it is a definite "thing" in Irish Trad.


It’s a thing everywhere. Ask yourself how weird it feels if you say ”sing a tune” or ”whistle a song”! Actually I suppose you could whistle a birdsong but that’s a different species altogether.


I'll be totally contrarian and play the Mendelssohn card.

Also, I'd have no issue with "sing a tune" or "whistle a song". Apart from the fact that I can't sing and can only barely whistle, the two words are fairly interchangeable in many contexts, and indeed either may refer to other kinds of musical works as well.

Language. YMMV.

Am apparently not alone in this. "Sing us a tune" gets almost 74k hits "whistle a song" gets 65k hits.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:01 pm 
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I was on Jerry's ebay site looking at tweaked Generations Bb. I just noticed he offered: "Tweaked Generations are available in brass or nickel plate in the keys of high G, high F, Bb, alto A and tenor G." I know the Alto A and tenor G are lower than the Bb. The Alto and Tenor is confusing. The G is the lowest is it not? Both are only $20 more than the Bb. I can't in the foreseeable future afford a lower whistle. I was wondering if it would be worth it to to spend the extra money and get the A or the G? Any thoughts? I'd mostly be playing by myself or with family over the holidays if the visiting teenagers give up eye rolling and stoop to my level. :D I realize I'd probably have to use a piper's grip.
Anyone have experience with Bb, A's and G's? I am attracted to the lower notes. I don't want to get the wrong one. This will be my last whistle purchase for probably a long time.
As of yet I'm not reading music, but using whistle books with finger tabs, if that will make any difference in the decision.
Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:51 am 
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My main whistles are 'A', low 'G', & low 'F'.

The 'A' is as easy as a 'Bb', the low 'G' I can just about finger normally, but I need similar to 'pipers grip' on the low 'F'.
(Average sized male hand.)

Using tab, & playing for yourself, it doesn't matter which key of whistle you use, it just plays in that key. :wink:

Edit: The difference between 'A' & 'G' will come later if you play from sheet music, 'A' has 3 sharps, 'G' just the 1.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:22 am 
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A whistle in A can sometimes be useful because you can play some tunes in D on it if they fit the range. For examply, I play "Sally Gardens" on an A because the intro in this video cannot be played on a high D. But it works on an A:
https://youtu.be/027ZJX5XVjs


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:34 am 
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About finger spacing, here are "high whistles" in various keys:

Image

About the bigger whistles, I took this photo to show Highland pipers how much bigger the spacing on Low Whistles is than on Highland chanters.

L-R Bass A, Low C, Low D, Low Eb, Low/Mezzo F, Highland chanter, High D

Image

If you want to hear all these being played https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-fQhvleWq8&t=159s

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1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
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Last edited by pancelticpiper on Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:11 am 
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maiingan wrote:


"Tweaked Generations are available in brass or nickel plate in the keys of high G, high F, Bb, alto A and tenor G."

The Alto and Tenor is confusing.


Yes you'll hear different people using different terms for various whistle pitch ranges. It's inconsistent, and mostly unnecessary.

When I started playing all there were few whistles available:

Generations in (from lowest to highest) Bb, C, D, Eb, F, and G.

Clarkes in C.

And that was it.

These whistles were all called, simply, "whistles". There was no need for any other denominators.

Then, according to Finbar Furey

"Bernard and I, over the summer of 1970, designed and manufactured the first of the Overton flutes."

The title "flute" didn't last long, and soon enough people starting calling these "Low Whistles". Then the backformation "High D Whistle" was coined to avoid confusion.

Even today many/most people just use "high" and "low" because usually it's sufficient.

High: Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G (the old Generation keys)
Low: Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G (some of the new Overton "low whistle" keys)

"A" whistles could just be called that at first because there were no others. But then Overton started making huge Low A whistles, a fourth lower than the Low D.

And Overton started making huge Low G whistles, a fifth below the Low D, so now you had THREE octaves of G whistles.

(Here are G whistles in three octaves by Alba)

Image

So what to call all these things?

Some continued to call the one in the middle the "Low G" and the huge one the "Bass G".

Some called the huge one the "Low G" and the one in the middle "Mezzo G" or "Alto G" or "Tenor G" or what have you.

I think some of the names are borrowed from Recorder naming practices, which is logical if you're a recorder player, but potentially mystifying if you aren't.

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


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:14 am 
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maiingan wrote:
Anyone have experience with Bb, A's and G's? I am attracted to the lower notes. I don't want to get the wrong one. This will be my last whistle purchase for probably a long time.
As of yet I'm not reading music, but using whistle books with finger tabs, if that will make any difference in the decision.
Thanks


My primary whistles are my D whistles (high and low) followed by my low G whistle. For me, starting with the Bb was easiest to make small steps down to the low D, but that’s only because that was the most comfortable option for me and my hands. If you’re still using tab, then I would look and see what are the primary keys you come across and use that to help your decision. You can transpose songs to work with any whistle (think of it as a capo on the guitar) but might not be the most beneficial if you want to learn to not rely on tab.

-Mel


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:11 pm 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
maiingan wrote:


"Tweaked Generations are available in brass or nickel plate in the keys of high G, high F, Bb, alto A and tenor G."

The Alto and Tenor is confusing.


Yes you'll hear different people using different terms for various whistle pitch ranges. It's inconsistent, and mostly unnecessary.

When I started playing all there were few whistles available:

Generations in (from lowest to highest) Bb, C, D, Eb, F, and G.

Clarkes in C.

And that was it.

These whistles were all called, simply, "whistles". There was no need for any other denominators.

Then, according to Finbar Furey

"Bernard and I, over the summer of 1970, designed and manufactured the first of the Overton flutes."

The title "flute" didn't last long, and soon enough people starting calling these "Low Whistles". Then the backformation "High D Whistle" was coined to avoid confusion.

Even today many/most people just use "high" and "low" because usually it's sufficient.

High: Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G (the old Generation keys)
Low: Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G (some of the new Overton "low whistle" keys)

"A" whistles could just be called that at first because there were no others. But then Overton started making huge Low A whistles, a fourth lower than the Low D.

And Overton started making huge Low G whistles, a fifth below the Low D, so now you had THREE octaves of G whistles.

(Here are G whistles in three octaves by Alba)

Image

So what to call all these things?

Some continued to call the one in the middle the "Low G" and the huge one the "Bass G".

Some called the huge one the "Low G" and the one in the middle "Mezzo G" or "Alto G" or "Tenor G" or what have you.

I think some of the names are borrowed from Recorder naming practices, which is logical if you're a recorder player, but potentially mystifying if you aren't.


Now I'm even more confused. If they call the big one a tenor G and Freeman is calling his a tenor G https://www.ebay.com/itm/Freeman-Whistl ... SwBP9UXCt~ his looks a lot smaller than yours. Would either of the Freeman G or A Whistle Tweaked brass alto A Generation https://www.ebay.com/itm/Freeman-Whistl ... 85414095d2 (I don't know why links are so long, sorry) actually be low whistles or just modified high whistles?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:23 pm 
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They are modified high whistles.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:39 pm 
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maiingan wrote:
pancelticpiper wrote:
maiingan wrote:


"Tweaked Generations are available in brass or nickel plate in the keys of high G, high F, Bb, alto A and tenor G."

The Alto and Tenor is confusing.


Yes you'll hear different people using different terms for various whistle pitch ranges. It's inconsistent, and mostly unnecessary.

When I started playing all there were few whistles available:

Generations in (from lowest to highest) Bb, C, D, Eb, F, and G.

Clarkes in C.

And that was it.

These whistles were all called, simply, "whistles". There was no need for any other denominators.

Then, according to Finbar Furey

"Bernard and I, over the summer of 1970, designed and manufactured the first of the Overton flutes."

The title "flute" didn't last long, and soon enough people starting calling these "Low Whistles". Then the backformation "High D Whistle" was coined to avoid confusion.

Even today many/most people just use "high" and "low" because usually it's sufficient.

High: Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G (the old Generation keys)
Low: Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G (some of the new Overton "low whistle" keys)

"A" whistles could just be called that at first because there were no others. But then Overton started making huge Low A whistles, a fourth lower than the Low D.

And Overton started making huge Low G whistles, a fifth below the Low D, so now you had THREE octaves of G whistles.

(Here are G whistles in three octaves by Alba)

Image

So what to call all these things?

Some continued to call the one in the middle the "Low G" and the huge one the "Bass G".

Some called the huge one the "Low G" and the one in the middle "Mezzo G" or "Alto G" or "Tenor G" or what have you.

I think some of the names are borrowed from Recorder naming practices, which is logical if you're a recorder player, but potentially mystifying if you aren't.


Now I'm even more confused. If they call the big one a tenor G and Freeman is calling his a tenor G https://www.ebay.com/itm/Freeman-Whistl ... SwBP9UXCt~ his looks a lot smaller than yours. Would either of the Freeman G or A Whistle Tweaked brass alto A Generation https://www.ebay.com/itm/Freeman-Whistl ... 85414095d2 (I don't know why links are so long, sorry) actually be low whistles or just modified high whistles?


The Freeman tweaked whistle is around the size of the whistle in the middle. In the photo are three octaves of G. The top whistle is a high G, which is smaller than the high D. The middle whistle is the tenor or low G, and is just slightly larger than an A whistle (which is just bigger than a Bb). The bottom whistle is the bass G (also sometimes called low when the middle is considered tenor), which is even larger than a low D. The G whistle on the bottom isn't as common, so the one in the middle tends to be the lowest G you'll come across. The naming of tenor and low whistles can seem confusing on first introduction, but it does get easier.

- Mel


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:16 pm 
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*shrug*

Instrument nomenclature has never been anything like consistent. Alto sax and soprano clarinet play in about the same range. Bass clarinet and baritone horn play in about the same range. The tenor horn and alto horn are the same thing. Recorders are all over the place.

I see no good reason why whistles should buck the trend by being needlessly logical.

Personally, I prefer four ranges: bass G, low g, high g and wee g to describe the basic octaves available.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:17 am 
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maiingan wrote:

Anyone have experience with Bb, A's and G's? I am attracted to the lower notes. I don't want to get the wrong one. This will be my last whistle purchase for probably a long time.


I really like all of my Freeman whistles--D, C, Bb, and G. But I will caution you that I can't comfortably play the G given the hole spacing--for me it require's a piper's grip, and I haven't developed mine yet. I don't own the Freeman A, but based on the Bb, and other makiers' A whistles, I think I'd be ok with it. It's about the limit of the stretch I can get to cover the holes with my finger tip pads, and still do cuts and rolls with close the same ease as on smaller instruments.

I'm male, about 5' 9", with typical hands, I think.

I'm not recommending against the G (or lower). But for me it introduces additional challenges that I'm not yet ready to work on.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:08 pm 
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Good advice above. I don't think you can go wrong with a Bb; it was important to me on the way to low D, and it is a beautiful whistle on it's own. We have several Generation Bb's here in nickel and brass, and they are all nice. At one point, for me it was very challenging, and I didn't think I would ever get on to it. There is a learning curve to it. Same with low D. It seemed impossible at first; now it's easy and familiar, but it took time.

You asked about A whistles, and they are one of my favourite whistles. I have Sindts in Bb and A. I think they play in a very nice range, and are not too hard too handle once you get used to them. Playing by yourself, not much to chose between the two. If you are playing along to records, I don't know.... with A you can play along to D tunes, I don't find many recordings in Bb. If playing trad music with other people, you will find yourself pushed back to D, either high or low, I think.

Eventually, you might want them all: top of my list are low Eb, E, F and G.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:34 am 
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I think the Jerry Freeman A and G whistles are based on the Generation Bb head and tubing.

Essentially they're just stretched Generation Bb's.

I posted a photo above of my Generations (all labelled for clarity) going down to an A.

Freeman's G is just one note lower than the A I show.

Since the A and G are midway between a High D and a Low D, I think the term "mezzo" is hard to beat for clarity.

I was looking at the Alba site and she uses the various terms in a way that seems a bit confusing to me. I'd bet that if you made a chart of the whistle terminology used by 10 different makers you might find 10 different naming approaches.

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


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