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Starter whistle

Herge 29 Jul 07 - 09:40 AM
Tootler 29 Jul 07 - 09:52 AM
Mr Happy 29 Jul 07 - 10:13 AM
Leadfingers 29 Jul 07 - 10:18 AM
Willa 29 Jul 07 - 02:29 PM
Davie_ 29 Jul 07 - 03:03 PM
Red and White Rabbit 29 Jul 07 - 03:36 PM
Tim theTwangler 29 Jul 07 - 03:36 PM
Dave Hanson 30 Jul 07 - 04:08 AM
Tim theTwangler 30 Jul 07 - 09:57 AM
EBarnacle 30 Jul 07 - 10:08 AM
Tim theTwangler 30 Jul 07 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Jul 07 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,PMB 30 Jul 07 - 10:54 AM
Tim theTwangler 30 Jul 07 - 11:37 AM
Jack Campin 30 Jul 07 - 11:54 AM
Red and White Rabbit 31 Jul 07 - 11:12 AM
alison 01 Aug 07 - 03:51 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 01 Aug 07 - 05:48 AM
GUEST,PMB 01 Aug 07 - 06:15 AM
Jack Campin 01 Aug 07 - 06:56 AM
Ernest 01 Aug 07 - 07:09 AM
GUEST,PMB 01 Aug 07 - 07:19 AM
Vin2 01 Aug 07 - 07:31 AM
manitas_at_work 01 Aug 07 - 09:07 AM
Ernest 01 Aug 07 - 02:14 PM
Tim theTwangler 01 Aug 07 - 02:30 PM
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Subject: Starter whistle
From: Herge
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 09:40 AM

My two daughters are to satrt whistle lessons soon - what brand should I get which is forgiving to learners?


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Tootler
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 09:52 AM

You are walking into a minefield here! Everyone has their own prejudices em - preferences.

Have a look at the Chiff and Fipple website. That has a pretty comprehensive review of different makes of whistle.

I will air some of mine. I like the generations for playability, but they are notorious for poor quality control and they can be very out of tune. Clarke Sweetone are generally in better tune, but I personally am not that keen on them - I stress, this is purely a matter of personal preference. I have a Susato which I like. I think they have many of the virtues of the Generation with added advantage of being in tune. I don't play it all that often as I prefer recorder, but I find their C Whistle very useful as I can play it with Northumbrian pipes as if it were a D.

I think for your daughter, it is vital to start her off with something that is in tune.

Good Luck


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 10:13 AM

http://www.sportswarehouse.co.uk/acatalog/Plastic_Whistle.html


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 10:18 AM

I still maintain that Tony Dixon takes some beating - tough NOT as cheap as some ! A Generation D .IF the moutpiece works , is as good an entry as anything !


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Willa
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 02:29 PM

If this is a school group you may find that the teacher suggests a particular make. I helped with a local school group and we always suggested children started with Sweettone or Generation, which are around £5 each. I like the Susato, but they are louder than the metal ones and much more expensive.

I agree with Tootler's advice to check Chiff and Fipple for lots of useful advice.


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Davie_
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 03:03 PM

Learning whistle definately the clarke sweet tones


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Red and White Rabbit
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 03:36 PM

I have taught children's whistle for years - depends on the age of the child as to what is a good whistle to start on and whether they are learning to play on their own or with a group. Under 7's I tend to use a g as the whistle is smaller and easier for them to get the notes properly and if they are playing with older ones I just transpose the music for the D whistle to fit with the G. For real little ones I start them on an f or start them with an ocarina until they get used to moving their fingers about to get a tune.

If they are just trying out and not really very serious then sweetones, feadogs or generations - check out C&F as advised above and they have advice as to how to get better tuning out of a cheap whistle - I use a bit of blutac

personally I like the susato and so does my 9 year old daughter - easy to play and get the higher octaves aswell as easy to tune but as the others have mentioned more expensive.

A friend of mine only ever plays generation whistles so it is a matter of preference.


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 03:36 PM

I have found the Sweet tones to be much less errrr peircing than all the others that my Mrs has bought.
Luckily she dont go on mudcat!
and I should say she also makes some lovely sounds on her Howard low d ,sussato's and bog standard metal tube with plastic top type.
If you are after Low D whistles or any of the biggies keeep in you rmind that the hole spacings make a big difference some of them just do not fit a smaller hand.


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 04:08 AM

Red and White Rabbit shouldn't knock Generation whistles, I can name many fine players of them, including Paddy Moloney, Sean Potts, Packie Byrne and once upon a time Vin Garbutt.

eric


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 09:57 AM

Eric t Red I didnt notice anyone knocking anything?
I can pick up any whistle and play the notes in the right order for any tune I hear.
But I never make the whistle,whatever the make or model sound nice.
I really love the sound that good players can get out of their instruments and with whistles I dont care so much for how flash the playing is but the expression can be beautiful and moving.
What are the generation ones like?
I dont think we have any of those maybe they are not sold in lincolnshire?


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: EBarnacle
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 10:08 AM

I was at the theater t'other night and noticed something that I had always thought was true. Many of the wind and reed [not Martyn] players had an assortment of instruments -- clarinet, flute, piccolo, etc. laid out. Obviously, the keying is similar, which allows for a great degree of flexibility in the musician.

If they are serious about the whistle, consider encouraging them to learn related instruments.

It's nice to be an artist and it's even nicer to be able to earn an income from your art.


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 10:16 AM

Pure envy from me.


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 10:24 AM

Whistles are cheap and unreliable instruments, a novelty. Find them a recorder teacher and let them pick up whistle on their own. The fingering is similar enough.


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 10:54 AM

Sorry, that's utter tripe leeneia. Whistles are certainly not an inferior sort of recorder, they are a different instrument. Or perhaps all the whistle players listed above, plus hundreds of others- Mary Bergin, Tom McHaile, Michael McGoldrick, the list goes on- have been labouring under a misapprehension all their lives.

I don't really know what's best at the moment, and there's a vast range of prices from a few pounds to hundreds, but if you find a supplier with a good stock of Generations and who is patient enough to let you find a good one, they do play very easily and are generally better in tune between the octaves than the Clarkes. Loosen the head using hot water so it can be tuned.


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 11:37 AM

Hey I have to keep my Mrs supplied with low D's and Low F and they are not bloody cheap!


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 11:54 AM

Noboy has yet asked what kind of music these girls want to play, and who with.

It makes a difference to what instrument you get.

I agree with Leeneia in part - if the music they want to play is not specifically whistle music, a recorder will always be a better bet. But you only want a Generation if you want to go even further, and emulate a tradition of making do on cheap out-of-tune instruments with crappy tone and a top end like a referee's whistle. For anyone who has to live with the kids learning, do your own ears a favour and get them Sweetones. (The only problem with these is that they come shrinkwrapped so you can't try them, but their quality control is quite good).


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Red and White Rabbit
Date: 31 Jul 07 - 11:12 AM

Disagree about the recorder being a better bet - many cheap recorders can sound as bad as cheap whistles and when children are learning everything they play (unless they are particularly gifted with a good ear) sounds awful. In my experience children want to play anything they can get a reasonably recognisable tune out of quickly be it recorder, whistle, ocarina, flute, clarinet or any other instrument. They dont particularly want to learn to read music and dont want to practice regularly. So the best tone for the least price is a good guide. A lot of people dont like Sweetones due to the seam down the back.

Clarinet and flute dont really have the same fingerings and certainly need a different mouth control - neither are particularly easy for children to play. A keyless D or G flute have the same fingering to a D or g whistle so I have managed to get whistle players over onto a keyless flute quite easily.

TtT my husband would agree with you - every time I go to a festival he dreads the credit card bill with another low D or flute added to the collection!


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: alison
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 03:51 AM

Clarke Sweetone - from beginners to professionals......

Generations used to be great but quality control isn't as good as it used to be.......

Used to always play Tony Dixon's too but I think he must have changed the design and I prefer the sound from the older version.

He does great cheap Low D's though........ lovely sound and not a huge stretch for the fingers like some other low whistles.

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 05:48 AM

It's a safe bet that these girls will be playing Irish traditional (and maybe Scots-Irish!), and fast enough that the precision of the internal tuning won't matter a damn.

Generations are easier that Clarke Sweetones to tune against other instruments, as described above. Of course it is impossible to see mention of Generation without the accompanying cant dogma that quality control is poor. But nowadays you would be very unlucky to get a bad one, and if you do, take it back. Notwithstanding R&W Rabbit's pout-down, cheap whistles (Sweetones included) are serious instruments. Good enough to have taken many top players all the way.

On this occasion recorders don't come into it.


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 06:15 AM

I agree that recorders can't really hack it with most players and most traditional music from England and Ireland at least. I've got a (borrowed) recent EFDSS CD in conjunction with a local attempt at maypole dancing. In my opinion, the recorder (and Boehm flute) playing on this is typical of what I have heard, and sounds so stiff compared with the free playing that even most bad whistle players achieve.

Baroque and early music players are often (but not always) wonderful, but they tend to be professionals and well beyond the normal level achieved by us scalies. The Palladian Ensemble are a fine example of this- including some lovely Geminiani arrangements of Scottish folk tunes.


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 06:56 AM

Herge still hasn't said what kind of music the kids want to play.

With no answer to that we're whistling in the dark.

Peter K:
> It's a safe bet that these girls will be playing Irish traditional

Why? What you know about Herge's family that we don't?

If they are going to be playing with singers the answer would be totally different (they'll need instruments that can handle the appropriate keys).

> (and maybe Scots-Irish!),

What on earth is that?

> and fast enough that the precision of the internal tuning won't matter a damn.

Tuning matters at *any* speed; in a jig like "Haste to the Wedding", the high A lasts long enough that any listener can detect when it's out of tune. A Generation playing dance tunes in a session stands out a mile, going steadily flatter as it goes higher (try "The Old Grey Cat" for something like the worst case). Two of them stand out even worse because they will be out of tune with each other and producing the same timbre.

I often play recorders in sessions, and blend in with the fiddlers and accordion players just fine. When somebody joins in with a Generation I drop out or switch to a different instrument, since the result of continuing in the same register is invariably a shrieking dissonance and I don't want the audience thinking it's my fault.


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Ernest
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 07:09 AM

I can name only one artist playing recorder that would be accepted by a majority of folkies: Carlos Nunez.

Does anybody know more?

Regards
Ernest


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 07:19 AM

in a jig like "Haste to the Wedding", the high A lasts long enough that any listener can detect when it's out of tune

It's usually rolled when I've heard it, which can certainly break up tuning perception. At this point, orchestral fiddlers get round the same problem by ferocious vibrato.

(and maybe Scots-Irish!),

What on earth is that?


They tend to hang around the Appalachians, being the descendants of 19th century Ulster Scots, and play mountainy music. I've never heard the whistle played for that.


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Vin2
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 07:31 AM

Most of mine are Generation and mostly ok. I have a 'C' which is a fave of mine and is pretty old now. I did buy a new one but have always gone back to my original one as i find it's mellower (if that's poss).

I also have an irish 'D' (with the green plastic top) - sorry can't remember name and the label's rubbed off yonks ago - which i find brill to use.

There seems to be loads on the market including American makes and some very expensive.


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 09:07 AM

"I can name only one artist playing recorder that would be accepted by a majority of folkies: Carlos Nunez"

Emma Christian?

Phil Pickett?


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Ernest
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 02:14 PM

Sorry, never heard of them, manitas....think I will have to google a bit...
Best
Ernest


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Subject: RE: Starter whistle
From: Tim theTwangler
Date: 01 Aug 07 - 02:30 PM

I have heard Helen and Jaqui of Wilds Wolds Women play recorder and Whistles (errrrr not at same time,I mean 1 each oh ****)and they sound really good.
I think it is more to do with the skill of the player and both instruments like most others can be wearing at the start


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