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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:08 am 
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Location: On the road, somewhere in the countryside.
Finally I got around at recording a couple of my efforts into trying to play the whistle.

I was being excessively pretentious at first, trying to record the tunes perfectly with no errors or hesitations but I was getting irritated and trying to make the best impression was sucking the fun out of playing the whistle.
So I just played thinking whatever comes out is what is gonna be and finally I recorded two tunes.

The tunes are classics of tin whistles beginners (both are in the leaflet that was in my walton's box), songs you most likely are tired of listening to, especially when abused by beginners like me but still, everybody has to go through them I guess.

So, without further ado, here's to you:
Scarborough Fair and Auld Lang Syne

I don't think that there's much to say about the clips, but well, I wanted to show I was really playing the whistle and not just swallowing fipple-blocks!

Should anybody feel that there's anything to say about my playing, anything that might help me improve, please don't refrain and please, please, don't ever feel like you have to be gentle with me as a beginner or at any other time because I can take any bashing you can dish out. ;) :D

Last info about the clips, I used a whistle I made, the one that for a brief moment was missing a fipple-block, which is a slight departure from Guido Gonzato's low tech whistle (in that it doesn't have a cap).
If anybody is able to say how it sounds, if I should revert to the walton's and stop crafting (I won't anyway!) or get some other whistle (I will for sure), please chip in.

Have fun.

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I'll be on the road for quite some time, maybe through the spring and summer, but I'll have a few whistles and a Low D with me.
See you on my return, hopefully closer to be a player.


My tune's thread, just in case.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:38 am 
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Try playing a phrase with one breath, rather than 'huffing' every note. It sounds very stilted the way you play it at the moment and the notes need to flow much more. Also your phrasing at the end is quite off. Maybe listen to another recording of it on Youtube or similar to hear how it should be played.

Hope that helps.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:51 am 
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I will never get bored listening to scarborough fair, at least not when its played or sang niceley

ok, now to your version, a opinion from a beginner to a beginner, try not to "toung" it that much or better not at all, sing it, than whistle it (with the mouth) .. did you feel how soft it is? this time by mouthwhistling you surely will not have toung it? did u?

imagine singing it when playing on the whistle... in my opinion it sounds soft when someone sing it,...and played on a whistle it also sound nicer so softer you play it

the other tune i dont know, but both sound like a beginner is playing, you have to improove and u have to find your way of playing it instead of just "finding the right wholes"

i did learn scarborough fair 1 or 2 weeks ago and did play it every day 1628393 times .... now it feels natural to play it and sometimes i play it with some little ornaments, it just comes out naturaly,...but i still think it sounds the nicest way, clean, with no ornaments but played softly and with a lot of feeling

play it often, get a feeling for it and record it again in 2 weeks than you will see it sounds much better, not like a beginner anymore

anyway, you are on a good way, and your whistle sounds nice, i am planing of making one myself too, but i dont find time cause i whistle all day ;-.)

p.s. if you need some ispiration ... on youtube you find amny versions of scarborow fair...also played on tin whistle. some with many ornaments some in beginners style and some just nice and clean but well played

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:20 am 
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Hotblack wrote:
Also your phrasing at the end is quite off.

This is not clear, can you elaborate?

As for the breathing department I am experiencing a whole new world considering before the whistle I only did it in order to bring oxygen to my lungs or, occasionally, blow the candles on cakes.

I devote a considerable amount of the time I spend playing the whistle to breathing exercises like playing the scale up and down in one breath or play short groups of notes in rapid succession with small in-between breaths. So far I've seen improvement on my ability to breath and play, I am confident it'll be better as I go.

The huffing you mentioned is most likely what I think is my natural way (meaning the way that comes most natural to me) to articulate the notes, rather than tonguing or breaking the whole blow-flow.
I am constantly experimenting with this and tonguing and also cuts and hits (as I learned from Ryan Duns' lessons) to articulate the notes, but sometimes I just go as I feel and this time I was particularly frustrated by the many times I attempted to record that at the end I was kind of empty and just eager to finish and finally post something here.

German Whistler wrote:
... try not to "toung" it that much or better not at all, sing it, than whistle it (with the mouth) ..

As I was saying to Hotblack, I haven't tongued the notes, rather I've hummed them, if I can say so. I actually struggle with tonguing because it seems my brains need super extra concentration to do it (I revert to my "sort of humming" even when I want to just tongue the notes!). But still, whatever we call it, I understand your point, in fact when I play it by myself, relaxed on the couch or bed or on the john ( :D ) I usually do as you suggest and as Hotblack was most likely suggesting too (talking about Scarborough Fair).

Auld Lang Syne is a tune I only played a handful of times (to be fair also Scarborough wasn't definitively played 1628393 times! :lol: ) and the choice of these two tunes as the first to play and showcase here was rather fortuitous. I have tens of tunes and songs that I practice on constantly, some of which I don't even know if I can record and post here for copyright issues (I'll ask to the board management before posting when it'll be the case). I was eager to post something and these tunes where among the easiest.

As for youtube's abundance of good and less good and also great players and examples I have already immersed myself in the endless vortex of listening to tune after tune and I am taking a great inspiration and help from both the good and the bad of it.

German Whistler wrote:
anyway, you are on a good way, and your whistle sounds nice, i am planing of making one myself too, but i dont find time cause i whistle all day ;-.)

Whistle making can only improve your relationship and love of whistles. Making them has also a lot to do with tuning them as you build them, making them as you like 'em, both sound-wise and shape-wise. I can only advocate for this practice regardless of how one is satisfied with the sound of her/his own whistle(s). ;)

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I'll be on the road for quite some time, maybe through the spring and summer, but I'll have a few whistles and a Low D with me.
See you on my return, hopefully closer to be a player.


My tune's thread, just in case.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:48 pm 
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mor.whistle wrote:
Last info about the clips, I used a whistle I made, the one that for a brief moment was missing a fipple-block, which is a slight departure from Guido Gonzato's low tech whistle (in that it doesn't have a cap).
If anybody is able to say how it sounds, if I should revert to the walton's and stop crafting (I won't anyway!) or get some other whistle (I will for sure), please chip in.

Tone's quite pleasant but the intonation is poor.

German Whistler wrote:
try not to "toung" it that much or better not at all

Can't agree with that (I'd much prefer to hear nice, clean tonguing than that childlike huffing and puffing).

Quote:
but both sound like a beginner is playing

Fair enough when that's clearly the case! But getting the whistle better tuned, a steadier sense of rhythm and (as Hotblack suggests) some more 'flow' should all help.

:)

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:39 pm 
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mor.whistle wrote:
...

Whistle making can only improve your relationship and love of whistles. Making them has also a lot to do with tuning them as you build them, making them as you like 'em, both sound-wise and shape-wise. I can only advocate for this practice regardless of how one is satisfied with the sound of her/his own whistle(s). ;)


so how did you learn it, did you visit a workshop, a course or used an internet tutorial?
i know one online tutorial and it looks good so far as i have looked at it yet, but if you have any advise or tipps ... i`d apreciate

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:08 pm 
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It's very good for me to know other beginners!! We all doing very well! I think that recording is a phenomenal way to improve our skills.

I always record and listen a lot of time, I try to listen the tune performed by a great player as well, that way I can see where I can improve.

Record, Whistle and Listen always!!!

Big Hugs!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:46 am 
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mor.whistle wrote:
Hotblack wrote:
Also your phrasing at the end is quite off.

This is not clear, can you elaborate?


Sorry if that's not clear. The words for the last part of Scarborough Fair go
'She once was a true love of mine'

and should be played in one breath to make it work musically. I can't sing that to the way you play it which goes
'She once (breath)...........wasatrueloveofmine'

You take a breath in the middle of the last phrase. Try to play it in one breath and make it flow.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:51 am 
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@David
You are perfectly clear now!

I have to say you are right, and I try to respect the phrasing, but as per the whole breathing discussion above, I often breath in the wrong way and come up short, but good you told me because I will focus more on that, maybe thinking more about the words will help me breath better. ;)

Peter Duggan wrote:
Tone's quite pleasant but the intonation is poor.

Thank you for the input Peter, but I don't want to pretend like I know what you are talking about.
I'm not just a rookie whistler, I'm a rookie in music terminology as well so bear with me if I ask for an explanation.

Now, my understanding is that the tone refers to how accurate the notes can be in the frequency spectrum (i.e. the whistle is well tuned, notes are accurate), whilst intonation refers to how accurate an execution of said notes is in respect to how the melody of a tune is intended to be played.

If I'm correct what I read from your words is that the whistle would, in the hands of someone who knows how to play it, perform well and that it was just me that sucked at "rendering" the tunes, which is fine.
Otherwise I'm clueless.

German Whistler wrote:
so how did you learn it, did you visit a workshop, a course or used an internet tutorial?
i know one online tutorial and it looks good so far as i have looked at it yet, but if you have any advise or tipps ... i`d apreciate

Gladly.

First I started from Guido Gonzato's tutorial on how to build whistles from pvc pipes (not the plumbing ones which are all too big for our purpose). The tutorial is very detailed and thorough, with pictures and comprehensive explanation of both the how and the why things are done. Just by reading through it I had a fair understanding of the dynamics of how whistles work, and through the making process of several whistles I understood what makes one louder or quieter, breathier or sharper, how to make it easier to play for the lower octave or for the higher or how to obtain the right compromise and so on and so forth.

After making a few with Guido's method, while still referring to it for most of the process, I decided I didn't want the cap (if you look at the pictures on the site you'll know what I mean) so I just cut a hole for the window instead of cutting the pipe all the way to the mouth piece tip, gently bending it inwards after warming up the pipe with a regular hairdrier and then sharping the lip as the original tutorial suggested. The fipple-block is a little more complicated to make in this case because it has to fit snugly in the mouthpiece while with the cap you have more room to adjust, also the fipple-block without the cap need some shaping on its top side in order to create the windway. For this I basically followed this tutorial for metal pipes, which also led me to make a couple of whistles with aluminum pipes (but so far I'm not satisfied with the results, although I don't blame the material).
The final part is always making the finger holes and as Guido's tutorial suggests, I start with the lower note (I did only D whistles and one low C so far) and tune it comparing it to my only other non crafted by me whistle (a walton's) with help from a digital tuner software. Then I work my way up from there, opening more holes up as I "nail" the notes.

All in all making whistles was (is) a great experience, I always enjoyed tinkering and so I went for it in a split second, but even if someone isn't the do-it-yourself kind of guy, there's a lot to learn in crafting them that can enrich the simple playing. Nobody should miss the opportunity, especially since is pretty easy and quite cheap.

So my advice is simple, go to a local hardware store, buy the things you need and put yourself to work, you'll be satisfied even if the whistle you make sounds bad.
Should you need any specific tip on how to do a particular step, don't hesitate to ask. The spirit with which Guido (and also others) published the tutorial was to share and make sure that as much people as possible could benefit from his work, I did benefit and if I can give something back I'm more than happy.

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I'll be on the road for quite some time, maybe through the spring and summer, but I'll have a few whistles and a Low D with me.
See you on my return, hopefully closer to be a player.


My tune's thread, just in case.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:56 am 
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Ah ... you made your own whistle! This may help explain the intonation issues some. Being new to the whistle AND making your own is a bold step! All Peter is saying is that some of the notes are flat/sharp so check the tuning of the whistle.
I've made a PVC flute recently ... I'm sure I'll be at flute 50 before I'm really happy with one.

My beginner tip is to get out and play with other people in a beginner/beginner friendly session as soon as possible (if possible). Listen to other players and watch them. Nothing beats playing with others for learning any instrument. I try and learn 1 tune a week and then play those tunes in session as they come up. They allow me to set the pace of the first go through before they ramp it up from my moderate pace to fast or OH MY GOD speed.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:56 am 
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mor.whistle wrote:
Peter Duggan wrote:
Tone's quite pleasant but the intonation is poor.

Thank you for the input Peter, but I don't want to pretend like I know what you are talking about.
I'm not just a rookie whistler, I'm a rookie in music terminology as well so bear with me if I ask for an explanation.

Now, my understanding is that the tone refers to how accurate the notes can be in the frequency spectrum (i.e. the whistle is well tuned, notes are accurate), whilst intonation refers to how accurate an execution of said notes is in respect to how the melody of a tune is intended to be played.

If I'm correct what I read from your words is that the whistle would, in the hands of someone who knows how to play it, perform well and that it was just me that sucked at "rendering" the tunes, which is fine.
Otherwise I'm clueless.

Nope, I meant that I thought the whistle poorly tuned in a way I'd see affecting anybody, although there's obviously an element of guesswork there going on sound (rather than personal testing) alone. So, no, your renderings don't suck in that way and you can always make another whistle, but it's likely to be a circular process with more playing experience likely to help when judging the fine tuning at build stage and so on.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:05 pm 
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Mor, congrats on your recordings and thanks for posting your lesson update you are like myself working on a lesson songs. Myself I have started to learn for the past 2 weeks. My first recording can be listened to here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6AKzC3h9-A


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:58 am 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
German Whistler wrote:
try not to "toung" it that much or better not at all

Can't agree with that (I'd much prefer to hear nice, clean tonguing than that childlike huffing and puffing).


i know its long ago and i am warming up an older thread but since you wrote this i was thinking about it

a lot!

i even did several recordings of this tune myself, since u worte this
i mnade several recordings with tounging, some with soft tounging, some without and some mixed .... and i did listen and record and listen again and again to find out what i like more

if there would be just someone who thinks different from me, ok, .... but you are a very experianced and good whistler as i can hear in your soundclips, i bekive that u know what you are talking about, and maybe its me and my "strange taste",but i still dont think that tounging, specialy when hard is good for this tune

if i woul be a better whistler i would toung some notes harder some softer and some not at all, but this is to much for me

so i do it with "coughing" instead (i did read somewhere this wouldnt be a good technique and shouldnt be done, butwhen i do that then for me i play thnis tune the best)

anyway, not just about this tune specialy, lets talk about tounging
isnt it specialy in ITM often usual not to toung at all? i mean do u recoment always to toung?
i realy would like to hear who u play scarborough fair cause i am realy confused about that toungingthing now or better since u wrote that

maybe i shouldnt always learn tunes wich arent in my tutorial (bill ochs - i changes and stoped using that german thing) and follow page ba page what "my tutor Bill" want me to do step by step

anyway, can u explain that tounging thing to me, why u say its childlike ... what was it?.... "huffing and opuffing" when not tounged?

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* My Whistles and other Instruments
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:06 am 
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German Whistler wrote:
isnt it specialy in ITM often usual not to toung at all?

Some folk naturally never do, some (IMHO) mistakenly avoid it because they think it's 'wrong' and others mix it effectively with other techniques (see, for example, MTGuru's analysis on the Kathleen Conneely thread and the 'critical listening' section of Conal Ó Gráda's flute tutor).

Quote:
i mean do u recoment always to toung?

No, not always! But I think (like Bill Ochs?) that it brings desirable clarity and control to whistling for beginners and remains a useful tool for all players able to employ it in appropriate/effective contexts. So I tongue quite a lot more on whistle (where unsubtle glottals can be truly ugly!) than flute, but still quite happily use the tongue on both.

Quote:
anyway, can u explain that tounging thing to me, why u say its childlike ... what was it?.... "huffing and opuffing" when not tounged?

Doesn't have to be childlike but so easily can be, in which case that's a term I coined — after the wolf ('I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house down') in the story of the Three Little Pigs — many years ago to describe the kind of lurching 'whoo' you get from untutored young recorder players/owners (of whom I've heard many). So, while mixing and matching the full range of appropriate techniques (which may vary somewhat from player to player) for a lively and idiomatic trad. style obviously has to be the ultimate aim, I'd much rather hear beginners master some simple control than that!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:39 am 
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German Whistler wrote:
i realy would like to hear who u play scarborough fair cause i am realy confused about that toungingthing now or better since u wrote that

Sorry... missed this, but don't think it would actually help you that much because I'd be neither expecting nor advising beginners to attempt my 'style' directly but rather teaching them the basics first and building from there (so starting with tonguing before working in more and more slurring and other stuff).

Peter Duggan wrote:
Quote:
i mean do u recoment always to toung?

No, not always!

So, for a raw beginner (let's say, depending on progress, for the first few weeks) on whistle, yes, I do. And certainly not to 'cough'.

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