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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:49 am 
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Does anyone else have whistles in unusual keys and when do you use them? I am thinking right now about Ab since there are several worship songs that have come up at my church recently in this key. A lot from Bethel songs. I have an aluminum Ab whistle made made by Mack Hoover a number of years ago that I am going to try on a song this week. It is weet sounding but on the soft side. I hope it cuts through. I have also found need recently of Db, Gb, and B which are out of the usual whistle keys. I have a Db Susato tube as part of a set.
B whistles whistles have come in handy at times working with guitar players who love playing in E. I have 2 that sound very nice - one in brass but I can't recall who it was made by. The other is PVC Hoover with faux wood treatment that sounds great and cuts through any time I have used it. Current worship band has yet to do a song require these though I am sure it will happen.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:40 pm 
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Yeah I have every key from low Eb up to high Eb except F#. Just because :P


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:42 pm 
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I have a Susato in 'B', sold to me as a 'Bb'; & a 'home made' 'C#' Clarkes, obtained in a job lot that I bought.

The 'B' I play sometimes, but not the 'C#'.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:55 pm 
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I would use an Eb whistle for the key of Ab, if the range permits.

In general I prefer playing Major tunes using the "three finger note" rather than the "six finger note".

Since every size whistle gives you two Major keys you don't need whistles in every key to play in every key.

But it is handy to have two whistles that can do the same key so you can select the whistle where the melody in question sits best:

For for D Major tunes, A or D whistle.

For A Major tunes, E or A whistle.

For C Major tunes, G or C whistle.

and so forth.

I used to have whistles in Gb and Ab but I sold them. They hardly got used.

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


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:00 pm 
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Agree with pancelticpiper on two key per whistle. I have used this to advantage quite often. As for the rare F#/Gb - well it would do for the key of B which guitar players sill sometimes use. Don't forget your Db would get you into Gb I think i will find a "need" for a few new whistles with the things coming my way these days...also just because...


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:52 am 
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I do have whistles in B and in Db, which have come in handy from time to time.

They're both modified (chopped) Generations:

Bb whistle chopped > B

C whistle chopped > Db

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


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:18 am 
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So how does one "chop" a whistle and how does that affect intonation


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:28 pm 
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preacher wrote:
So how does one "chop" a whistle and how does that affect intonation


It entails actually cutting off part of the top and bottom of the whistle body to change the key. You will need to go SLOW and take small sections off at a time then see what effect that has. Once you are close you may have to file some of the holes to make them in tune with the new key.

Here is a more detailed explanation of it in this link:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=39238&start=60


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:30 pm 
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preacher wrote:
So how does one "chop" a whistle and how does that affect intonation


If done right, what it does intonation-wise is bring the whistle up a semitone.

On that link people give specific measurements, I'm skeptical about that because I have multiple Generation whistles of the same key that have different tubing lengths. So the specs that work for one Generation Bb might be wrong for another Generation Bb.

Here's the photo I've posted before that includes my chromatic Generations (my new C# is actually a Walton).

Image

Here's all of those played.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-fQhvleWq8

Being that Generations vary, my approach is trial-and-error.

To make a Generation Bb into a B, or a C into a C#, or an Eb into an E, do the following in this order (there's a logic to the order of operations)

1) chop the top of the tube until these notes
xoo ooo
xxo ooo
xxx ooo
are in tune to the new target pitch. (What would be B, A, and G on a D whistle.)

2) chop the bottom of the tube until this note is in tune to the new target pitch
xxx xxx
(What would be Bottom D on a D whistle.)

3) you will now find that this note
xxx xxo
is flat. Carve out that open hole, Hole 6, until the note emitting from it is in tune. (What would be E on a D whistle.)

4) you will also find that this note
xxx xoo
is flat. Carve out Hole 5 to bring it up to pitch. (What would be F# on a D whistle.)

In the photo above you can see the carved-out oval Hole 5 and Hole 6 on the B and C#.

Notice I've not mentioned
ooo ooo
or
oxx ooo
This is because I have found that the note that would be the crossfingered C natural on a D whistle is fine.
If you want open C#
ooo ooo
in tune at the whistle's baseline pressure you'll have to carve the heck out of Hole 1 on most whistles, modified or unmodified, which usually spoils the crossfingered C natural.

Personally I want crossfingered C natural to be in tune, which usually means that open C# is a hair flat. That's how all my whistle are.

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


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 2:08 pm 
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So you do take some risks with this.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:48 pm 
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Not if you go slow, cutting off bit by bit.

I can give you the dimensions of my C# and B if you would like.

I didn't mention the Generation A in the photo, that's an entirely new body I made out of hobby-shop brass tubing which was a slightly larger diameter than the original Generation Bb tubing. So I had to solder the new body onto a short bit of the Generation tubing so the head would fit. That A plays better than any other A I've tried (including Sindt and Burke). It has a Generation Bb head modified by Jerry Freeman.

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


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 6:42 pm 
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So I got brave with a B whistle I had that was consistently flat and took a little off the bottom with a bench grinder. I played it in church today and it sounded quite well. I wish I remembered maker of this whistle. It is brass with delrin type head. It looks almost identical to Reyburns that I have but with no name. I recall the name was mentioned in list of whistle makers C&F used to have over 10 years ago but I don't see anything on current list that rings a bell. I would try to post a picture here if I knew how but my computer skills are so lacking!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:55 am 
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Chopping the bottom of the tube (from where the bellnote emits) is going to raise the pitch of the bellnote and its octave, and have a fairly minimal effect on notes that emit from the fingerholes.

Chopping the top of the tube (the end that fits into the head) is going to raise the pitch of the entire whistle. However the rising becomes greater the closer you get to the mouthpiece, and gradually lessens as you go further away from the mouthpiece.

So on a D whistle, and using an unspecified unit of measurement ("whatevers") just for explanation, it would be like this:

The top of the tube has been shortened, raising the pitch of the notes

C# hole: +7
B hole: +6
A hole: +5
G hole: +4
F# hole: +3 (need to carve out hole to raise to +6)
E hole: +2 (need to carve out hole to raise to +6)
bellnote: +1 (need to shorten tube to raise to +6)


Usually the four highest holes can be left as is, or given very minor carving.

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


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 3:13 pm 
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Maybe I should have ground of at the top of tube. On this whistle I wasn't trying to change key just adjust intonation and it seems to have worked ok. I might play with it bit more if needed.


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