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observations by a beginner tin whistler

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GUEST,Jiggers 08 Oct 02 - 05:45 PM
smallpiper 08 Oct 02 - 06:06 PM
Leadfingers 08 Oct 02 - 06:41 PM
Sorcha 08 Oct 02 - 06:45 PM
CraigS 08 Oct 02 - 07:13 PM
Snuffy 08 Oct 02 - 07:49 PM
alison 08 Oct 02 - 08:09 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Oct 02 - 09:33 PM
Kaleea 09 Oct 02 - 01:43 AM
Pied Piper 09 Oct 02 - 09:40 AM
Sarah the flute 09 Oct 02 - 10:03 AM
Pied Piper 09 Oct 02 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,Jiggers 09 Oct 02 - 04:17 PM
Sarah the flute 10 Oct 02 - 03:42 AM
Pied Piper 10 Oct 02 - 06:06 AM
Sarah the flute 10 Oct 02 - 09:34 AM
Leadfingers 10 Oct 02 - 09:25 PM
GUEST,Jiggers 13 Oct 02 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,mike cahill 13 Oct 02 - 03:35 PM
Liz the Squeak 13 Oct 02 - 04:25 PM
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Subject: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 05:45 PM

Hi,

After two years of trying I am still getting frustrated by some of the tunes that I first tried to learn. I am now believeing that some tunes just won't ever sound good on the tin whislte.

Here are the commn session tunes which have frustated me most ...

1. Kesh Jig - problem: version I know has too many cuts - solution: learn new version.
2. Maid Behind The Bar - problem: version I know has to many intervals in the second part that come out squeaky solution : ?
3. Trip to Durrow - same as above.
4. Gillians Apples - causes eardrum destruction all round because of the high Bs
5. Gravel Walks - I can't make the last part sound anywhere near as interesting as on the fiddle.
6. Concertina Reel - there is a bit near the end of the first part that runs up the holes - it just doesn't sound distinct enough.
7. Tar Road to Sligo - I always have to pause a bit to get the high part at the end of the first part. This ruins the timing.

Anyone else experienced these problems ?

Should I give up or can someone give me some technical tips ...


Jiggers



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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: smallpiper
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 06:06 PM

The Kesh you don't have to play all of the notes (same applies for any tune)Try playing the tunes that cause eardrum problems on a Bflat whistle or drop the octave. The best solution to a squeeky whistle is to try a different one or give it a washout, they often get clogged by crap from pub atmospheres.

Try any of the above (but the first is the most important) and good luck


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 06:41 PM

What whistle are you using?If you stick to a cheap D you can run into all sorts of problems 'cos of the mouthpiece.If the tunes in D try it on a low A or low G and play the F or G shapes to avoid the dog alert notes.I hav a set of Tony Dixon pvc whistles that dont cost the earth
and DO work.Or bankrupt ypurself and get a set of Overtons.


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: Sorcha
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 06:45 PM

Have you looked at JC's Tunefinder for alternate versions?


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: CraigS
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 07:13 PM

Lots of tunes work a lot better if you play on a whistle a fourth or fifth below the key, which is what Leadfingers is trying to say (he's over 60 now, so we must forgive him). So a D whistle is sometimes good for playing in G and A, and an A whistle is sometimes good for playing in D and E. If a tune is in a minor key, don't automatically reach for the relative major - try the whistle one tone below - so if the tune is in Em, a D whistle can work better than a G whistle.

I think what smallpiper is saying is that a lot of tunes have triplets which can be omitted - you can play the first note of the triplet as a quarter note and ignore the other two notes of the triplet, and the tune will still work. When your technique is better you can go back to inserting the triplets.

A lot of the faster whistle players stop the holes with the second joint of the finger, or the flat part of the top joint, rather than the fingertip (as is usually recommended in books). It is not as hard as it might seem to half-stop a hole this way, and can be a better way to play if it suits you personally.


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 07:49 PM

I play for a morris side, and I know that certain tunes are suited to specific instruments: Sherborne and Fieldtown tunes are ideal for whistles, while Bampton ones don't flow half as well, being fiddle tunes.

You can get some ideas from an Irish whistle book, like Geraldine Cotter's Traditional Irish Tin Whistle Tutor". It's got 100 tunes at the end (and a tape of them all) which are suited to the whistle.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: alison
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 08:09 PM

Kesh jig is a relatively easy tunbe.. it doesn't need all the cuts and ornaments..... try jcs tunefinder (the link was above somewhere) and get an easier version

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 09:33 PM

Comments on tunes 4 and 7 suggest that you have not "found an embouchure" that works for you.

I have not seen a pennywhistle "instruction book" that doesn't say "you blow harder to get the upper register." While it is true that if you blow hard enough, the tone will "crack" (squeak is also a good term) to the higher pitch, that's the hard, and WRONG, way to do it.

Without the whistle, if you pucker up and blow, you should get a "pitch" of some sort - even if it's a little "wheezy." If you raise the pitch, you will probably find that you are pushing your tongue forward, and perhaps a little upward, so that you change the resonant volume of the space just behind your lips.

If you do the same thing with the whistle there - in effect "whistling through the whistle," with the "internal" mouth volume matching the pitch you finger on the whistle, you should be able to flip back and forth between registers with only a minimal change in "how hard" you blow. The higher note does need a little more pressure, but that comes naturally when you make your head (on the inside) the right size for the note.

Playing D d D E e E F f F type "exercises" a little should give you a feel for what is needed. When you do the D d change, both notes should be about equally loud. When you get to B b, and can keep the notes nearly equal, your problem with the eardrums should go away (Tune 4). When you get the "feel" of changing registers with small tongue and mouth movements - instead of by just sucking everything in and blowing really hard - you probably won't need that "pause" in Tune 7.

John


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: Kaleea
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 01:43 AM

First & foremost, you are playing folk music on a folk instrument!!!!
It is not the same as the so called "classical" music. One must never apply the rules of the flute or any other orchestra/band instrument to a folk instrument--especially the "tin whistle!!" Also, each folk (or traditional) instrument will play a slightly different tune due to the fact that each instrument is different & has its own idiosyncransies which alters the tune.
[I. E., the guitar may play the notes according to what notes on which strings are close together. The whistle has certain spots which give some of us fits, and cause us to demand justice & kill the composer of the tune, who is usually deceased by about 200 years or more.]
   When I was taught to play the whistle (by older folks on the ould sod who took pity on the poor wee bairn before them) I was chastised severly for tonguing. "That is what the brits do! Never, ever tongue a note!! Unless, of course, it is for specific emphasis, perhaps a lively & quick tune with several repeated notes,
   If you are being told all of the things you mentioned by others who are whistle players, you may have something to be concerned about. If this is your opinion, see the sentences above. Seek out a more experienced whistler to learn from. Why don't you check out:
      
         www.chiffandfipple.com


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: Pied Piper
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 09:40 AM

Hi Jiggers. Lots of good advice here especially from JohnInKansas. Its vital that you get a good instrument; so try as many as you can get your hands on. If a shop will not let you try a whistle before you buy, go somewhere else. Doing finger exercises is very useful. I've been playing the whistle for 15 years and recently, since I started doing regular exercises my technique improved dramatically.
   If your prepared for the flak from "traditional" whistle players why not have a go at playing the recorder. One of the problems with whistles (especially if your using a Mic) is the high volume of the upper octave compared with the lower. Recorders are much more equal in this respect and quite capable of being played in an appropriate style.
   Kaleea; Too tong or not to tong. The presently preferred way of playing Irish music is very legato, but it is a mistake to assume that other more staccato styles weren't played in the regional traditions of Ireland. Here in Manchester we have many Irish, Irish traditional Flute and Whistle players, two of which were all Ireland champions in the 1930's. These older players show a much wider range of style than the current vogue, and represent a great recourse of past playing techniques.

             All the best PP   


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 10:03 AM

Yuk! Yuk! Recorder AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: Pied Piper
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 10:10 AM

Hi Sarah the flute. So predictable


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 09 Oct 02 - 04:17 PM

Thanks for all the advice, I'm still trying to understand it.

Moving to whistles in different keys or to low whistles isn't an easy change.

I'm grateful for the mentioned excersise which I will try out.

I'm not too worried about tonguing the notes where it has good effect.

I think I am definitely overblowing on the high notes.

Jiggers


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 03:42 AM

Sorry pied piper... I was being ironic!


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: Pied Piper
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 06:06 AM

Oh dear. I mist the irony, and me bieng a Brit as well.
   I supose that makes you a Brit too ?
       All the best PP


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 09:34 AM

Ta


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 09:25 PM

Jiggers. I suggest you register on Mudcat and PM me and I'll try to
help you out. I've been whistling for forty years with people like
Noel Murphy and Dis Disley amongst others.The whistle is an instrument which is very easy to play easy things on,but not so easy
if you want to change keys,or play classsical or jazz.


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 02:39 PM

ok - I am registered from my office computer but not from my home one- I'll do that right away - thanks for the offer.

Jiggers


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: GUEST,mike cahill
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 03:35 PM

Hi Jiggers, lots of good advice given here already. Here's my twopenneth, find the whistle that is right for you, and it doesn't have to be expensive. I love Clarke's Sweetone whistles,they're only £3.50 each buy half a dozen of them and you'll find one or two good ones. The others I give to any kids you come accross that show an intrest in the whistle. in a session I play a Susato, thats loud enough to hear yourself playing. I've got a Dixon, but I find it a bit quiet, with a thin sound, and I've got a wooden one a Gael (Music Room special) great for ten minutes or so but then it has to be rested for ten. As for tunes, the dots are a start point not the definative version, don't get stressed trying to get every note in, simplify the tune, and enjoy playing, as you get more relaxed you will find that your fingers find more of the notes. The more you enjoy what your playing the better you'll play. You are your own worst critic


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Subject: RE: observations by a beginner tin whistler
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 04:25 PM

If you want to clean the fipples for hygiene reasons, don't use Detol or an antiseptic solution. Manitas did that once and you could still smell it 5 years later.

Use a spirit of your choice but gin or scotch are best. Don't be tempted to scratch crap out with a pin, you could scratch the playing edge and that gives the oddest squeaks just where you don't want them.

Keep persevering and don't worry too much about the arrangements - you can go to 5 different sessions, give them the same tunes to play and you'll get 8 different versions. Find one you like and stick with it!

LTS


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