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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:45 pm 
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Location: PA
For a normal session (if there were any) I play an OZ Visor D,
unless it gets loud then a Milligan with a session head,
unless it gets louder yet, then a Kerry Optima Cobre D,
and if it gets really loud, a Chieftain Custom D with a McManus body (which could curl the hair in a goat's ear).

Otherwise, I'll just drink a beer and shout at my companions til it's over.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 7:05 pm 
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Tyler DelGregg wrote:
I noticed that many of the whistles mentioned on this thread are tuneable. I play in small, mostly impromptu groups that include the mandolin, guitar, squeeze box, fiddle, and some vocals. The tunes are not strictly Irish so they're not really sessions. How important is it to you session players that your whistle is tuneable? I very rarely have to tune my whistle once the group gets going. The string players tune often as they go along.


This is something I have a bit of a take on, because I've noticed that sessions with many whistle players often feature a congealed mass of slighty-out-of-tune whistles at the top of the range. My theory is that more novice players tune their whistle to an iPhone app or something similar when the session starts, and figure that's "good enough" for tuning. The issue is that tuning just one note or even a couple notes at one temperature (often before fully warming up), one breath pressure, and on an app usually more designed for guitars and ukuleles than whistles isn't really good enough to say "good enough."

In a sense, then, the tunable nature of the whistle actually works against good tuning, because it gives a player too much freedom to alter the tuning in a way that doesn't actually help matters. For a lot of these players, a well-made fixed-pitch would actually be better, because it would eliminate the second-guessing and over- or underthinking that happens with tunable whistles. Plus, at least with the whistles I've played there's usually 10 or more cents on either side of the pitch easily accessible by varying breath pressure. Just get to the session, warm the whistle up, and adjust your breathing/playing as needed.

Fixed-pitch instruments are very common in sessions thanks to the ubiquity of accordions and concertinas. Tune it well every so often, and then they're good to go more or less. I'd imagine the people over on the concertina forums aren't too worried about showing a up to a session and not having a tunable concertina! So I wouldn't worry too much about a non-tunable whistle, although ultimately it is nice to be able to dial in the tuning a bit better once you know what you're doing.

kenny wrote:
In a loud or noisy session, I might use the Tony Dixon plastic "D" I bought from eBay out of curiosity and was pleasantly surprised with.


I too bought a plastic Dixon out of curiosity and found it surprisingly good! The responsiveness and balance between octaves isn't quite the same as my Killarney, but it's a lovely little whistle. Liked it so much that I got the nontunable version to leave around the car (it was only $15!).


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:33 pm 
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bigsciota wrote:
I too bought a plastic Dixon out of curiosity and found it surprisingly good!

I also have a plastic Dixon whistle. It's one of my favorites (though my cats seem to hate it the most). Were I to play in a session, it would be my first choice. A Becker PVC whistle is on its way to me, so we'll see how that does, too.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2020 6:29 am 
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Location: Middle of Virginia
ecadre wrote:
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The tunes are not strictly Irish so they're not really sessions.


That would be news to people on this island playing in English/Scottish/Welsh or mixed sessions.


Well, maybe I am playing in a session here, though it feels more like a jam-session in someone's porch or kitchen, which is where we tend to play. The thing is, if someone broke out in an Arlo Guthrie folk song, it wouldn't bother anyone. I have been "guilty" of introducing Stephen Foster tunes on occasion.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2020 7:04 am 
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Location: Bischberg/Bavaria/Germany
Should I ever play in a session (not very likely at the moment), it'll be on this one, which is the best whistle I have been able to make so far. Volume is not as loud as a Susato but definitely louder than your average Generation.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:54 pm 
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ecadre wrote:
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The tunes are not strictly Irish so they're not really sessions.


That would be news to people on this island playing in English/Scottish/Welsh or mixed sessions.


From what I've seen around here if somebody invites you to the "session" it's Irish.

If they invite you to the "jam" it's mountain music/old-time music. (Sometimes they'll say "jam session" but "session" by itself means Irish).

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 3:37 am 
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Location: Surrey/Hants border, England
To most people this side of the pond, a session is just a group of people playing together, whatever tunes they may be playing.

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Trying to do justice to my various musical instruments.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:04 pm
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Location: Co. Waterford, Ireland
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Cillian Ó Briain whistles! I think they're my favourite along with a good old generation! I think they sound lovely and aren't over-powering in a session. They are quite easy-blowing, which might take getting used to for some, but it means that you don't have too much scope to underblow or overblow out of tune. I find a lot of new whistles to have too much scope - unless you have a good ear for tuning and can control well. Worth looking into anyway!
Here's Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh playing one. Enjoy!
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=g0AMC2ARqYA&t=12s


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