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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:43 am 
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Location: Philadelphia
Mr.Gumby wrote:
I understand that, I hate feeling my way around a tune without really hearing what I am doing.


I played the Killarney at another session last night; my usual weekly session. It was medium-sized: two fiddles, two boxes, guitar, bouzouki, bodhran, and a string bass (which was really very cool). I had trouble hearing myself play and then found myself playing wrong notes in tunes that I normally play accurately. I don't need a really loud whistle but I need enough auditory feedback to stay on the rails.

If I were doing some sort of performance with a guitarist or harpist--and I really can't imagine that happening--I think I'd use the Killarney. I don't think I'll bring it to a session again.

The Hermit Hill economy brass is not super loud, by any stretch, but it can be leaned into a bit and I've used it at this same session before without any problems. It's just loud enough that I can hear myself play in this medium-sized session. For anything noisier I'd turn to the Dixon alloy or Parks Ghost.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:22 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
I understand that, I hate feeling my way around a tune without really hearing what I am doing. The problem is, a whistle will be covered up to the player in certain circumstances. I posted the example of myself playing a Sindt before. I was in Friel's, in the kitchen. Which is a relatively small room (for those who don't know it) with a low ceiling. At that time, maybe ten years ago (?) there were maybe six of us playing. I forget who exactly were there on the night but certainly the McCarthy girls. I would guess two or three fiddles, one or two flutes, concertina and maybe pipes and/or accordion. I didn't hear myself at all and thought I could play away happily without embarrassing myself too much. Until Marion Mac remarked on the tone of the whistle and I let her have a go. I could hear her very very well from across the room. A louder whistle would most likely have been out of place there, in spite of the player not being able to hear it. But as I said, YMMV. The response earlier was more aimed at Ubizmo by the way, who seemed to be thinking more along the lines of loud=better.


Just to add my take to this,
Last Wednesday evening we had our usual Morris practice, part way through the evening the dancers were working on
a new dance so were just walking through the moves, so we went into the smaller room, sort of living room size but empty,
to go through the tunes.
We had two melodeons two fiddles and my whistle, the Killarney.
We played through the tunes five or six times as a set and said that will do for now.
As we were leaving to go back to the main hall I mentioned I could hear very little of what I was playing
and was it Ok?
The others said they could hear me fine.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:59 am 
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So many times, I can barely hear myself at a session, usually Sindt high D/Copeland Brass low D. Of course, that depends on the number of players and which instruments show up and what you are sat next to. Ever sit between 2 bodhrans? Anyway, i find it to be like Mr. Gumby says. The whistle will carry across the room. I'll give you an example. Prolly 15-20 players, lots of fiddles, couple Uillean pipes, 18 bodhrans, just kidding :lol: anyway I go down stairs to use the facilities, far away from the actual playing. In a room with the door closed. There was another player with a Sindt high D playing along upstairs. The loudest instrument that I could hear, down there, was the tin whistle. This happens all the time! I'll take a break from playing, head across the bar/pub (some actually quite large) and say to whoever it is I'm talking too, "Jeez, I can't hear myself at all", I've never had anyone say that you could not hear the whistle. Let's face it, the whislte is pretty high pitched, the sound really does carry! That's why whistles are used on boats, at sporting events, etc. Overblowing and looking for louder and louder whistles is not going to help IMHO. There's a piper who plays a Susato high D every now and then. Boy is that loud! "Less is more", wise words spoken to me one day that I've often heeded.


Last edited by whistle1000 on Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:50 am 
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The monthly sessions I attend as a listener not a player are usually fairly large with fifteen to twenty players sometimes more. Not everyone joins in on every tune. I've been attending for years now for entertainment, but, focused listening more recently during the past two years with my interest in learning the whistle. The whistlers are usually playing high D Sindts, an O'Riordan, and an occasional Burke (high & low).

For me, it doesn't matter how many instruments are playing along to the tune as my ear seems to pick up on only the whistle(s). The whistle tweets above everything and I can hear that and I've gotten better at focusing and tuning out the others. Selective hearing. The whistlers have always said to me that they can't hear themselves playing within the tune, but, I can hear them clearly from the audience.

So I don't think the issue is entirely a matter of loudness of a particular whistle.

The O'Riordan high D (significantly) is the sweetest tweeter I've ever heard and is probably the reason I took up learning the whistle. Well, Duffy's Cut is the actual reason, while the O'Riordan whistle is the instrument of interest and hard to come by.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:55 am 
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To my wife all whistles and mandolins are too LOUD ! But country western music to her ear's is just right and never too loud !


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