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 Post subject: Playing the 2nd Octave on the Tin Whistle help?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:39 pm 
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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!


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 Post subject: Re: Playing the 2nd Octave on the Tin Whistle help?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:51 pm 
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practice breath control exercises

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 Post subject: Re: Playing the 2nd Octave on the Tin Whistle help?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:22 pm 
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luketinwhistle wrote:
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.....

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 Post subject: Re: Playing the 2nd Octave on the Tin Whistle help?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:25 am 
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Quote:
Does anyone have any advice on playing higher than a high F#


Simple...really.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MheNUWyROv8

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 Post subject: Re: Playing the 2nd Octave on the Tin Whistle help?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:02 am 
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luketinwhistle wrote:
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.


Definitely the first thing to check, as if this is the problem, the solution is both "easy" and, well, absolutely required :)


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 Post subject: Re: Playing the 2nd Octave on the Tin Whistle help?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:01 am 
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I'm in sort of the same boat, playing a couple of months. The big store in town has only Generation and Megs. I started with a Generation D whistle, after a couple of weeks playing very gingerly, got a D Meg and proved that the Generation was one of the duds. Playing anything outside low-A to higher-E on the Generation is an adventure.

On the Meg, anything from low-E to higher-G is pretty much rock-solid. Belltone D will break up an octave if I'm not careful, and higher-A wants to break down to low-A. Overblowing from higher-D first goes up to higher-A, then to a really scary, piercing D that also seems significantly sharp.

I, too, wonder if you're not playing an octave higher than you think. On this D Meg, the octave from G to G is pretty much just there, no problem. The lowest notes from belltone D are very soft and breathy, the second octave starts very clear.

The first tunes I'm practicing stay away from the second octave. I've lifted or copied a few: "Blow the Winds Southerly", "Call the Ewes from the Knolls" (nice little air lifted from a recording by the Glasgow Orpheus Choir), "Quelle est cette Odeur Agreable" (French Christmas carol), "Star of the County Down", "I Know My Love". I'm trying now to get those to the point where somebody would want to hear them. Once I've done that, and I've got solid with the fingering around the octave break, I'll try that barn-burner "Tri Martolod"


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 Post subject: Re: Playing the 2nd Octave on the Tin Whistle help?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:09 pm 
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Welcome!

mwilson wrote:
I'm in sort of the same boat, playing a couple of months. The big store in town has only Generation and Megs. I started with a Generation D whistle, after a couple of weeks playing very gingerly, got a D Meg and proved that the Generation was one of the duds.

Nah - that proves nothing about the whistle. :-)
I think that Megs / Sweetones are easier to play for beginners, but it's worth persevering with other whistles.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing the 2nd Octave on the Tin Whistle help?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:59 am 
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Practice is the real cure. I will admit to having the about the same problem when I started playing. It was frustrating. The whistles in question for me were a Clark original and a Feadog. It is really not the whistle ... totally. My cure was to buy a Dixon. The squawks disappeared for the most part and I had enough nerve to continue on. A new whistle might help (Meg, Sweetone, Dixon DX005, Park's Ghost) and give you the want to play more. BUT it is the 'play more' that cures the problem. You should eventually appreciate the Oak, and mwilson may eventually like the Generation. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Playing the 2nd Octave on the Tin Whistle help?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:53 am 
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Try this simple tweak: use a piece of tape to cover 1/3rd to 1/2 of the bore end hole. This will provide more backpressure and allow second octave access with lower breath pressure. It will reduce shrillness because of lower windway velocity. Covering the bottom 2 or 3 toneholes when playing the Upper notes in the second octave can help as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing the 2nd Octave on the Tin Whistle help?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:54 am 
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I think the Oak D is the most tempermental of all the inexpensive whistles out there. It has a great tone but you need to pay extra attention to breath control. I have been playing the Oak for a long time and still get hungup on the second octave...You should try a Jerry Freeman Tweaked Gen. D. Its a very forgiving whistle and remarkably stable in the second octave... Bob.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing the 2nd Octave on the Tin Whistle help?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:03 am 
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Short of practicing, and if the whistle is a dud (and there are many of them out there), getting a different one,
you could try this. You'd be an instant hit at your local pub.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iufaT1mLug

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 Post subject: Re: Playing the 2nd Octave on the Tin Whistle help?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:00 pm 
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Flexismart wrote:
Short of practicing, and if the whistle is a dud (and there are many of them out there)...

I suspect that there are more dud whistlers out there than dud whistles.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing the 2nd Octave on the Tin Whistle help?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:42 am 
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It's the whistle itself, primarily. The player's skill is less than 10% of the problem. Tweaking can reduce this. A tweaked Feadog will do well. In fact, tweaking the Oak will improve it. If you want out-of-the-box sweetness you'll have to go with a more expensive model such as Milligan, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing the 2nd Octave on the Tin Whistle help?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:19 am 
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hoopy mike wrote:
Flexismart wrote:
Short of practicing, and if the whistle is a dud (and there are many of them out there)...

I suspect that there are more dud whistlers out there than dud whistles.

all of mine :D :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: Playing the 2nd Octave on the Tin Whistle help?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:33 am 
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E = Fb wrote:
It's the whistle itself, primarily. The player's skill is less than 10% of the problem. Tweaking can reduce this. A tweaked Feadog will do well. In fact, tweaking the Oak will improve it. If you want out-of-the-box sweetness you'll have to go with a more expensive model such as Milligan, etc.

Did someone leave their irony lock turned on?

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