Chiff and Fipple Forums

Got an ocarina, don't like it!
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Author:  Sedi [ Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Got an ocarina, don't like it!

I have a few plastic ocarinas and IMO the standard plastic Focalink (not the "Osawa" model) is worst when it comes to hearing damage. I think it's the sheer size (most alto ocarinas are smaller) which makes the soundpressure so devastating and the fact that the sound is produced so close to the ears (opposed to a tinwhistle or recorder for instance). I can play bass ocarinas just fine (I have a Zin plastic bass ocarina, which is one of the best ocarinas I own, but more expensive than an alto model, still cheap however compared to most clay models), but for almost all my altos I need earplugs if I wanna play for more than 5 minutes without risking a permanent ringin in my ears for a few days :o ). IMO the pendant models are better but they have a completely different fingering (they do not use the pinkies for fingering however, just for support of the instrument). They are not as loud and the sound is not created so close to the ears as on a transverse ocarina. Strangely enough some soprano models are not as harsh for the hearing despite the higher frequency -- I think that's because of the smaller size, they simply don't "pack the punch" of an alto model.
BTW: I mainly started playing ocarina because I was looking for a small wind instrument that could be played (almost) fully chromatic without half-holing or awkward fingering patterns. In this aspect the ocarina beats most other woodwinds so it has its advatanges despite the limited range. An alto ocarina can be far smaller than an alto recorder or flute or whistle. I can get the same lowest note out of an instrument that fits in the palm of my hand as I would be able to play on a Generation Bb-tinwhistle (because of the pitch-beding in relation to breath pressure on an ocarina you can even play the Bb with some alto C ocarinas, when blowing very softly).

Author:  AuLoS303 [ Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Got an ocarina, don't like it!

I just find the whistle so much easier, even playing half notes is easier than that ocarina I had.

Author:  Sedi [ Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Got an ocarina, don't like it!

Not so sure about the half-notes but the whistle is definitely easier when trying to play in tune. The pitch-bending of an ocarina is quite tricky. And boy are they loud. Even the second octave on a D-whistle is more pleasent than most ocarinas I have to admit, even though I still love the instrument.

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