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Pennywhistle Problems

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Philibuster 09 Sep 01 - 12:52 AM
GUEST,Nick w a correction 08 Sep 01 - 11:44 PM
GUEST,Nick 08 Sep 01 - 10:57 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 08 Sep 01 - 05:12 PM
weepiper 08 Sep 01 - 01:50 PM
Sorcha 07 Sep 01 - 11:33 PM
Philibuster 07 Sep 01 - 10:57 PM
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Subject: RE: Pennywhistle Problems
From: Philibuster
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 12:52 AM

Sorcha - It's a Clarke's, high D.

I've got rid of some of my own rustiness, but it still wants to drone along an octave higher, I'm not sure why. It's even worse if I try hard to keep my air constant.

Looks like a trip to the music store tommorow.

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Subject: RE: Pennywhistle Problems
From: GUEST,Nick w a correction
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 11:44 PM

SHould be 2,3, 5,6 holes for fingering advice, I am oft confused. I was downstairs playing when it hit me I posted band finger info! Badfinger sounds like a great name for a band! Nick

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Subject: RE: Pennywhistle Problems
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 10:57 PM

I would guess it is your fingering.

I find the low D Susato I have is trickier than a reg. D. With the reach it is often hard to feel the holes. I assume you know to cover 1, 2 , 4,5 holes (counting up from the bottom) with your finger between the 1st & second joints, not with the tips. Sound like you know that from the way you talk about it.

Second guess would be breath control

Has this whistle played ok in the past or is it a new whistle? Or you might have a bum whistle I guess

Sounds like you are just rusty, try playing slow & easy it maye be a combo of the two probs (Fingers & Breath) Good luck Nick

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Subject: RE: Pennywhistle Problems
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 05:12 PM

Airflow through a trombone is not greatly different - sometimes it's less - than through a whistle. The reason it takes a hell of a lot more pressure to play a trombone is that the air has to be forced through closed lips, to set up a vibration. With a whistle the lips present no obstruction at all. The techniques are so fundamentally different that adjusting between them is quite easy. I'd be surprised if this is the problem.

I'd be more inclined to do another spring-cleaning of the whistle's innards in case accumulated gunge is still lurking. (I assume care is being taken to ensure that holes that are supposed to be fully covered are indeed fully covered. If not, you would certainly be at risk of the distortions described.)

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Subject: RE: Pennywhistle Problems
From: weepiper
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 01:50 PM

I get this problem when I switch from my low D (which I play all the time) to my high C which I don't play that much. It usually settles down when I get used to the volume difference. Another thought: it's worse for me when I puff my cheeks because it's less controllable. Try playing with 'tight' cheeks and lips and see if that's any better.

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Subject: RE: Pennywhistle Problems
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 11:33 PM

What kind of whistle is it?

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Subject: Pennywhistle Problems
From: Philibuster
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 10:57 PM

I've been really busy for a few weeks, and it finally dawned on me last night that I hadn't played my pennywhistle in about a month. I picked it up, and tried to play a low D.
A few moments later I picked it up off the floor, and once the dogs next door stopped howling, attempted a favorite hornpipe.
It played okay for the most part, except that instead of jumping octaves (like it would if I were blowing too hard), It kept jumping 4ths or 5ths, or even playing a 4th or 5th along with the note I was fingering.
I checked the little bugger over for leaks, punctures, problems with the fipple, and found nothing.
After spending today confused as hell about it, I finally figured out what was probably going wrong. The only instrument I've really had time to play recently (which has infact been keeping me so busy) is my trombone. Having been used to playing through 12 feet instead of 12 inches of pipe, I was obviously using air that was far too intense.
Now, if I hardly even breath through the whistle, I can get the correct tones out. But once I get out of the lower octave, it starts skipping up odd scale degrees again. I've been trying for the past 30 minutes or so to play with less foccused air, to no success, and the annoyance of the neighbor dogs.

Does anyone have any ideas? And have I misdiagnosed the the problem?

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