The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #71748   Message #1229802
Posted By: GUEST,leeneia
20-Jul-04 - 10:03 AM
Thread Name: range of d penny whistle/note problems
Subject: RE: range of d penny whistle/note problems
I have never succeeded in getting a whistle to play high notes sweetly, and I'm a pretty experienced woodwind player. I suspect that when you hear a beautiful song on a whistle, then the musician is playing that contradiction in terms, "the $150 penny whistle."

But perhaps you will have better luck, so try these things:

1. blow into the whistle at an angle when you get to the high notes.

2. using the right fingering does not guarantee that you will get the note you want. Sometimes you need to blow hard or softer, or to shape the note in your mouth and throat in order to get it.

I play recorders in groups, and when we get to a long note, we've been taught to listen to the group and to adjust our note so as to get a beautiful chord. It is amazing the way a person can do this without really verbalizing what is done. I believe it has to do with the way that hearing is located in "the lizard brain," part of the brain which is not good at talking. Anyway, it works.

3. I had one whistle which was so useless that I took the mouthpiece off (run warm water on it) and looked inside. The fingerholes were surrounded by metal splinters left in place when they drilled the holes. Such workmanship! (Take a magic marker and draw a line to mark where the mouthpiece was before removing it.)

4. When you play with others, the tin whistle is playing higher than the other instruments. If you are playing fast enough, listeners won't get the chance to notice that certain notes are not in tune. They will just know that there is a happy, interesting sound going on.