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 Post subject: quena chin?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:36 am 
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I think I'm getting skin irritation from playing the quena ... in fact I'm virtually certain.

The irritation is in an arc, in the space between my lower lip and chin. It's pretty much exactly the shape you'd expect if the quena is the culprit. It started to get better when I took a few days off the quena, then came back hours after I picked up the quena again. So I am stopping the quena again :( Which is sad, as I enjoy playing it.

Am I alone in this experience? Is there anything I can do to prevent it, yet still play the quena?


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 Post subject: Re: quena chin?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:29 am 
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Sounds like a wood alergy.
What is your quena made of?

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 Post subject: Re: quena chin?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:49 am 
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maki wrote:
Sounds like a wood alergy.
What is your quena made of?


Ah, here's the problem ... I have several. I left off them all at once (at that point, anything would have been irritating) and then once my skin was better I tried them all again at once (and so missed an opportunity for the scientific method).


My wooden quena is this one:
http://www.novica.com/itemdetail/index.cfm?pid=97696

which says it is Jacaranda.


I also have this PVC one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PERU-PVC-QUENA- ... 0597287386

Which appears to spray painted, perhaps? :o In any case, the outside color is different from the inside color.


And I have two white PVC quenillas which I made myself.


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 Post subject: Re: quena chin?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:37 am 
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Gack ... I also have a bamboo traverse flute, which I stopped using due to the irritation being present, and then picked up again when it departed. With fancy carvings and colors.

Oh, so many variables! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: quena chin?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:41 am 
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Location: Dallas, TX
What are you cleaning them with? I have a bamboo quena and a bansuri which I've been practicing for a little while with. About once every 2 weeks I use mineral oil to wipe the surfaces down with.
The pvc ones may stand a wipe down around the mouth area just for the sake of removing any irritants that may mave accumalated on the chin part of your quena.
I always use mineral oil since it is very mild and can even be consumed without toxic effects.
Ernest

PS: Gregwhistle, how do you like the pvc quenas? do you find them to be better players than bamboo? I'm gonna buy a wooden one soon made here in the U.S. I don't have the website at this time but he seems to do good work.

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 Post subject: Re: quena chin?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:19 am 
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Have you thought about buying some hypoallergenic laquer?
(I saw a reference to this on Shakuhatci Flute site.)
A quick search revealed products for fingernails and hearing aids, but either may do the job.

I'd use this just on the contact areas of the wood instrument.
IIRC, some people have allergies to PVC as well.
Try a test on a piece of PVC that is expendable to be sure it doesn't ruin the instrument.

BTW, I was over at Tyrone Heads whistle page and he was giving away a maple quena in g with the sale of one of his wood whistles.
http://www.theflutemaker.com/


Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: quena chin?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:57 am 
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Big_e wrote:
What are you cleaning them with?


Er ... cleaning? :oops: :lol:

Can't say that I've cleaned them at all. I shake them out and let them dry before putting away (which, thanks to the two open ends, is pretty thorough drying, I would think).


Big_e wrote:
I have a bamboo quena and a bansuri which I've been practicing for a little while with. About once every 2 weeks I use mineral oil to wipe the surfaces down with.
The pvc ones may stand a wipe down around the mouth area just for the sake of removing any irritants that may mave accumalated on the chin part of your quena.
I always use mineral oil since it is very mild and can even be consumed without toxic effects.


Probably a good idea.


Big_e wrote:
PS: Gregwhistle, how do you like the pvc quenas? do you find them to be better players than bamboo? I'm gonna buy a wooden one soon made here in the U.S. I don't have the website at this time but he seems to do good work.


I like the PVC quena that I have. I put the eBay link to it above ... it is listed as a "student" quena, but mine is in good tune and I like the sound. It does not have an end constriction, by the way, just open tube.

I can't say that it's better or worse than the wooden one I have (also a link above, from a maker via Novica), just different.

The wooden one is simply beautiful in appearance, and is has a very full, almost "honking"? tone (probably the wrong word - it sounds great, but I am not sure how to describe it ... almost a sax-like flavor?). The difference may be more the design than the material - the wood one has thicker walls and I believe a larger bore. The wooden one also does have a constricted end.


EDIT
Forgot to mention my two PVC quenillas ... I just took the tubes from two of my early failed whistle-making attempts and converted them. I like them a lot too. They just feel very responsive ... they seem to combine the benefits of both whistles and side-blown flutes (e.g. you can bend the note a bit by changing the way you are blowing across the notch).


Last edited by gregwhistle on Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: quena chin?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:07 am 
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maki wrote:
Have you thought about buying some hypoallergenic laquer?
(I saw a reference to this on Shakuhatci Flute site.)
A quick search revealed products for fingernails and hearing aids, but either may do the job.

I'd use this just on the contact areas of the wood instrument.
IIRC, some people have allergies to PVC as well.
Try a test on a piece of PVC that is expendable to be sure it doesn't ruin the instrument.


Probably also a good idea ... I shall look into this.


maki wrote:
BTW, I was over at Tyrone Heads whistle page and he was giving away a maple quena in g with the sale of one of his wood whistles.
http://www.theflutemaker.com/


Arrgh, both look nice, and are not helping my whistle and quena acquisition syndromes ...


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 Post subject: Re: quena chin?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:53 pm 
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This is the website I was talking about. http://www.quenaflutemaker.com/index.php . I thought it was the same as the flute maker link posted above but I'm unable to pull up that webite link with this computer here at work for some reason.
This guy has some beautiful quenas and his vids show how he puts alot of work into them.
Ernest

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 Post subject: Re: quena chin?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:54 am 
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gregwhistle wrote:
.......not helping my whistle and quena acquisition syndromes ...

Always willing to help, ain't I? :D

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 Post subject: Re: quena chin?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:03 pm 
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Ok, I've really been giving it a go with my quena. I'm still having problems hitting the 2nd and 3rd octave on demand. I can get them by accident but I must be able to hit it when I want to. I had a devil of a time just learning to blow into it and now know that it actually requires very little air! It's all in the mouth!
I'm kinda dissapointed in myself for not being as good as I would like to be, being Peruvian-born, one would think I had the right beak for the job but I think it will come along with more practice.

I have 2 Alcasami quenas which I bought from a Peruvian vendor, http://alcasami-english.blogspot.com/2009/02/how-to-play-quena.html ...Alright, maybe I'm being prejudice but I just have more confidence in a Peruvian made quena than anyone else's. I did, however, place an order for a quena from http://www.quenaflutemaker.com/index.php . Those quenas are works of art. I bought the cherry hardwood one which shows as having been sold.
Ernest

PS: This website is very bad. I never had a need for an Irish tin whistle, let alone a quena until I ran into you characters.

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 Post subject: Re: quena chin?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:06 am 
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Update ... so my skin was completely healed. You could only see the faintest traces (scarring, perhaps?) if you knew where to look.

I picked up one of my homemade PVC quenillas and played a few bars, that's it. Then I went back to playing my whistles and traverse flute.

The next morning, the red U was there between my lip and chin, almost as angry as before. :(

The same PVC does me no harm in homemade whistle form, where the top of the mouthpiece is made of the stuff. I guess lips are not vulnerable like skin (and may it ever be so)?


I guess the only experiment left to run then is to let it heal again, and try the wood.


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 Post subject: Re: quena chin?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:09 am 
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Big_e wrote:
PS: This website is very bad. I never had a need for an Irish tin whistle, let alone a quena until I ran into you characters.


Bwahaha ... then everything is going according to plan :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: quena chin?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:59 am 
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Big_e wrote:
I did, however, place an order for a quena from http://www.quenaflutemaker.com/index.php . Those quenas are works of art. I bought the cherry hardwood one which shows as having been sold.


Looks like Tyrone Heads work. I have one of his wood whistles, its very nice.

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 Post subject: Re: quena chin?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:09 am 
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gregwhistle wrote:
Update ... so my skin was completely healed. You could only see the faintest traces (scarring, perhaps?) if you knew where to look.

I picked up one of my homemade PVC quenillas and played a few bars, that's it. Then I went back to playing my whistles and traverse flute.

The next morning, the red U was there between my lip and chin, almost as angry as before. :(

The same PVC does me no harm in homemade whistle form, where the top of the mouthpiece is made of the stuff. I guess lips are not vulnerable like skin (and may it ever be so)?


I guess the only experiment left to run then is to let it heal again, and try the wood.


That's the strangest thing. Maybe the edge of the mouthpiece has a barely noticeable abrasive surface which is causing the irritaton? Can it be buffed down a bit?

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