I've been playing tin whistle for about 2 months now and I've been trying to play some irish music like "Ships are Sailing" and "Noel Hills" but whenever i play the second higher octave, it comes out shrill, breathy and very ear piercing and not sweet and pure like i hear other people playing it. I'm using an Oak D Whistle. Does anyone have any advice on playing higher than a high F# that's about as high as i can go without it sounding shrill and breathy. Would something like a Feadog D Brass whistle be better for playing the higher octaves? Thanks!
A common problem is blowing too hard, and thinking that you are playing the first octave when you are actually playing the second; then when you try for the next octave up you are attempting the third octave (which I believe has been banned by the Geneva Convention - or should be). I have no experience with the oak so I have no idea how likely it is in your case. You could check against a tuner which reports the octave (flutini might be good, I use Sound color analyzer and Tuner for shakuhachi
) High D whistle first octave should be from D5 to D6, second from D6 to D7.
That said, when I started learning (low) whistle it took me ages to get the second octave right. I sort of crept up note by note. Part of my problem was a lack of confidence so I would underblow and sound awful. That sapped my confidence even more. If this is part of your problem, you could try muting your whistle (blue tack, paper clip, etc) just to give you a feel for playing the higher octave. Or find a place where you can blast away without annoying anyone.
Or I could be wrong.....