Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

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Narzog
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Tell us something.: Can play several instruments at an unimpressive level. Currently most interested in whistling with a side of flute.

Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by Narzog »

Isnt the tweak where you fill the cavity done to make the octaves closer in tune? If so generally I'd call that an improvement, as long a it doesnt screw something else up. I havent done a whole lot of research on tweaking so I'm not 100% sure. But one of the reasons I don't like my Feadog C, is the first and second octaves can be so far apart in the higher notes. I just did a test, and My xxo ooo (first octave G note) breaks as a sharp F#, and needs to be pushed way up to G. On my Reyburn G which I used to compare, the oxx ooo (is a D), breaks 18 cents flat, making it effortlessly blow into tune. And I dont believe the feadogs mouthpiece placement is off, just as a note haha. I'm obviously more used to playing whistles like the Reyburn over the Feadog. But I just see no reason to want the harder to play tuning. Easier to play just helps me sound better and focus on other aspects of playing well because I dont need to worry about tuning.

I'm not saying people shouldn't play untweaked gen and feadogs. If you like how it sounds and plays go for it. Professional players obviously dont need it to be easier to play in tune as proven by their play. But I think a lot of people enjoy how tweaked and hand made ones play for a reason. And tweakers exist to fill that market.
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Mr.Gumby
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Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by Mr.Gumby »

I havent done a whole lot of research on tweaking so I'm not 100% sure.
:tomato:

If you read posts on the subject there's a wide variety of opinions, but no agreement, on what the backfill actually achieves. It seems to act as a sort of panacea against all perceived ills.
I have never found it to have any beneficial effect on any of my whistles but there was an unpleasant dulling of the tone in some cases. YMMV ofcourse but I sometimes wonder if the effect isn't merely psychological, it fixes whatever you want it to fix. A great placebo.
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RoberTunes
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Tell us something.: I am a flute, guitar, keyboard + whistle player learning about quality whistles, musical possibilities and playing techniques. I've recorded a CD of my own music and am creating music for kids.
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Re: Clarke Original D Tweak/Mods

Post by RoberTunes »

Narzog wrote: Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:55 pm But I just see no reason to want the harder to play tuning. Easier to play just helps me sound better and focus on other aspects of playing well because I dont need to worry about tuning.
That's my experience. I play music to be expressive, to take an adventure, to get going in the music, to explore the instrument's possibilities. Playing a song live should feel like a two-week adventure with a storyline. I don't want to spend any % of my effort or attention on fighting the instrument (at worst) or being speed-bumped or road-blocked by an instrument that can't handle the full range of notes with uniform quality or has intonation or other breakdowns. For that reason, I refuse to play any instrument that's not up to being a fully functional facilitator of the player. Along those lines I've sworn to never regularly play a "student" level flute again, because I have to fight it for expressive possibilities and intonation tends to be quirky above the second octave, and they all tend to have a muted tonal quality (except Jupiter and Yamaha). With whistles, I need the full range of tones from first octave to third to sound like one instrument, to have very good intonation and to not break down above the middle of the second octave, and certainly not into the third. Up there, a note should either play or not, I don't want 7 scratchy notes that sound like a $2 toy.

It's a rare exception to the rule, but they exist. I'm not too fussy about air requirements or volume differences between octaves, but tonal consistency is important. On one recording of a whistle tune I did, I used a Walton's "Guinness" whistle, which is their "Little Black D" whistle with a "Guinness" beer label on it (can work as a beer straw when upside-down), which has a nice but thin tone and though the highest notes anywhere in the third octave start noticeably breaking with more windiness, the intonation is still good and I thought it had a peculiar and appealing character, so I found I could use that as a form of expression by pushing it the right way according to the musical phrase and making it like an exclamation point, a gesture, put some spice, some "english" on the phrase's attack and follow-through. I didn't stay up in the highest range for more than a few notes at a time, so it was quite successful. For much other music, I'd use a different whistle, according to the needs. It's not necessarily a whistle I'd recommend as a first whistle, but if you got one, as a beginner, you'd probably like it more than some of the more common brands lowest priced models. I'd say it's a medium-volume whistle.

So my advice to anyone wanting to play with a band, at a session, for expressiveness, for musical composing, for FUN with friends, to play with confidence that the instrument will work WITH you wherever you go, then you're going to want an instrument that facilitates you exploring all your possibilities; you want the intonation to be no issue and the full range of notes has to be accessible, meaning two full octaves plus learning maybe another 5 or more notes in the third (and practicing that quite a bit, so you can nail them!). You WANT to listen to that thing like listening to a bird sing, and leap into the music. I don't yet have advanced WhOAD, but after exploring YouTube reviews of whistles for years now, there must be at least 8 top pics of whistle brands in the alto to high range I'd be personally satisfied with, for them being fully functional, and not expensive at all, all mid-range priced. Other issues like air requirements, tonal preferences, clogging issues, volume, how many tone holes, keys, that's your personal preference, but be sure it works WITH you. You owe it to yourself to demand that much of something you purchase for musical expression, and "personal expression", isn't that a precious value and experience!
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