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Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly

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AgingBohemian 24 Oct 02 - 05:32 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 24 Oct 02 - 07:17 PM
Fingerbuster 24 Oct 02 - 07:20 PM
harpmaker 24 Oct 02 - 07:25 PM
GUEST 24 Oct 02 - 07:41 PM
Davetnova 25 Oct 02 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 26 Oct 02 - 12:18 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Oct 02 - 06:38 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Oct 02 - 10:13 AM
X 26 Oct 02 - 04:59 PM
Liz the Squeak 27 Oct 02 - 07:32 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 02 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,Nick 27 Oct 02 - 11:07 AM
AgingBohemian 28 Oct 02 - 04:00 PM
PageOfCups 28 Oct 02 - 08:15 PM
Sarah the flute 29 Oct 02 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,Bo 06 May 10 - 10:12 PM
GUEST,Bo 06 May 10 - 10:43 PM
GUEST 07 May 10 - 05:01 AM
GUEST,Bacil of Czech 20 Aug 10 - 09:49 AM
Jack Campin 20 Aug 10 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 20 Aug 10 - 11:07 AM
fogie 21 Aug 10 - 10:10 AM
alison 22 Aug 10 - 04:25 AM
SteveMansfield 22 Aug 10 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,GUEST 29 Mar 11 - 02:27 AM
JohnInKansas 29 Mar 11 - 07:13 AM
GUEST,Baerdric 15 May 16 - 10:40 PM
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Subject: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: AgingBohemian
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 05:32 PM

I could use some help on this.

I am beginning to learn Irish flute, or simple system flute, or keyless flute, as it is variously called.

I work in a school. For various reasons, my lunchtime falls during teacher class time. I would like to practice a little - learn new tunes and work on the fingering. But I can't for fear of disturbing adjoining classrooms. I can't go away. Lunchtime is short, so by the time I go off campus to the nearest park I have to return.

Is there a way to practice quietly, either on the whistle or the flute? I have tried fingering-only, not blowing, but it's hard for a beginner like me to be sure I've fingered the right note.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks,
-Paul


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 07:17 PM

heloo, i dont really now nothing about this but ig, anyone complanes about you plying just tell them to get lost, music is good.john
ps, even if you are crap, you should practie, anyway why dont you pravite in s quiet place, like youre shed or youtre garage.john


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: Fingerbuster
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 07:20 PM

Innerleithen?


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: harpmaker
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 07:25 PM

play along to records in your bedroom is usually the place to start.


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 07:41 PM

Hi Paul,
If I play at home late at night it has to be quietly to avoid disturbing the neighbours.
Using tin or Shaw whistles I can play the basic melody of a tune at minimum damage level by keeping each note as short as possible. No good for learning a peice properly - but I can at least start to learn a new melody or work on a rhythm.
I've used headphones/keyboard to learn a new piece, again not proper practice but it helps with learning the tune/rhythm at least.
When I first starting playing - I'd play in my car to avoid being hear at all.
I've seen guitarists advised to quiten their instrument by tucking a hanky under the strings - I don't think a hanky stuffed up a whistle would work. ( & it's too late to try it now !)
Don't suppose there's a shed/annexe/boiler room ? Or a room next to woodwork/metalwork class ?
Good luck !


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: Davetnova
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 03:51 AM

Is there no music department with practice rooms The one at our school is really good about letting me use it, worth asking.


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 12:18 AM

Why pratice THERE? AT WORK????

ASK YOURSELF:

1. I do it to be noticed/discovered?
2. I do it to be annoying to others?
3. I do it because I am lonely and want my lunch hour changed?
4. I do it because I can't read, listen quietly to the radio, etc.? 5. I do it because my wife/child/mother/father won't tolerate it at home and a slew of strangers is now my audience.

LOOK DUDE - If it were your "passion" to learn to play the whistle-flute you would get past the learning stages off in a wild wood...far...far....far...away from human contact.

You are giving a "bad-name" to folk music.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 06:38 AM

How about in a stationary car in the school car park? (If you haven't got a car yourself, maybe someone who'd sooner you were out of earshot would let you use theirs.)

Here's a link that might possibly be useful.


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 10:13 AM

With a tin whistle and it's relatives it's possible to reduce the sound to a whisper for practice purposes, while maintaining the pitch, by reducing the size of the sound hole with tape or whatever. But I don't know if it'd be practical to do anything like that with a flute.


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: X
Date: 26 Oct 02 - 04:59 PM

Put a balloon on the end of your whistle and play into it trapping all the notes. That way you can take the balloon off later and let the music out at a location where it doesn't disturb anyone.


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 07:32 AM

I practice the recorder silently by tongueing the fipple without actually blowing. The small amount of pressure built up is enough to give the ghost of the note, but not sound it.

Tongueing is the act of stopping the hole with the tongue, then releasing and stopping again whilst blowing, giving a staccato note. The fipple is the bit with the mouthpiece and the soundhole in it, professionally known as 'the plastic bit on the end'.

Good luck, and don't give up.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 07:50 AM

"Tonguing the fipple" - a good title for an album.

That or sticking a bit of tape over the mouthpiece and putting a pinhole through it would both work - but not on a transverse flute. I would imagine that you could use a whistle for getting the fingering right though, as a way of getting in extra practice to help with the flute.


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 11:07 AM

As for the whistle, try a Clarke Original whistle, it is hard to play loud even if you want!
Nick


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: AgingBohemian
Date: 28 Oct 02 - 04:00 PM

Great group of suggestions, thanks. I will try the practical suggestions and ignore the rest. Though I think I will only try "tonguing the fipple" with another consenting adult.

Yours,
-Paul


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: PageOfCups
Date: 28 Oct 02 - 08:15 PM

Paul -

When I played "classical" flute and wanted to practice quietly, I blew gently across the mouthpiece, just loudly enough to get a "whisper." That ought to work for a keyless flute. (My other alternative, fingering the notes very hard on the keys to get slightly-toned key clicks probably wouldn't be as effective - and might give you very bruised fingers!) You can do this on a tin whistle, too, by holding it like a transverse flute and blowing across the hole.

Shy person that I am, I'm an expert on playing quietly. Even bodhran.

PoC


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 29 Oct 02 - 05:57 AM

Blow very gently to get a whisper that's the best way and then as you get more confident you find you accidently start blowing harder and it gets louder anyway. People will probably only hear the bits you're confident about and think you are good!!! The other way is to play along to tunes on CD, cassette or whatever and make sure the volume of that is louder than you and then pretend they were hearing you


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: GUEST,Bo
Date: 06 May 10 - 10:12 PM

I play a lot of pennywhistle late at night. So as not to disturb anyone if its to late like midnight or after I will blockthe end of mouthpiece with my lower lip and blow across the window opening on top. This results in every note you play being very quiet and airy sounding and the notes are still easy to hear...Hope this helps


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: GUEST,Bo
Date: 06 May 10 - 10:43 PM

Just thought I'd add that I also play bagpipe late in evening. I cork up all the drone stocks and have a practice chanter wrapped around where it goes into pipe bag so it will fit tightly and just go ahead and play at a very low volume...I am pretty much an intermediate on it...Its also a lot easier to play practice chanter this way as air bag is doing most of the work and is good for learning arm coordination to play full set...Landlord lives right next door and I know he can't hear it as he never says anything and I've been doing this for a month now...hhmmm, Maybe he's waiting to surprise me...LOL. Best of luck to you


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 10 - 05:01 AM

There are quiet whistles about.

I'd hesitate to agree about the Clark Original. They take a lot of air, and I've often found them loud enough for sessions, although, that may vary between individual whistles. Clarke Sweetones and Megs are a bit quieter.

Tony Dixon makes a nice quiet ABS whistle called the SV or "Soft Voice". It's a nice sweet sounding whistle made for quiet practice. Available from Phil at Bigwhistle.co.uk. I can recommend that as a practice whistle from experience - I have one.

The Alba Q1 and the Black Diamond are also quiet whistles, but much pricier than the Dixon.


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: GUEST,Bacil of Czech
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 09:49 AM

Hi, simple and good working solution is here: http://www.rogermillington.com/siamsa/brosteve/quicktips.html
It really works and sounds usefully. Problem is, that the intonation is a little bit lower, wich can be annoying if you play with music or training vids.


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 10:13 AM

Rather than using blue-tack as Roger Millington suggests, use a small piece of card or paper rolled up at one side of the window. Same effect but less chance of getting goo inside your instrument.


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 11:07 AM

A whistle mute is easily made by shaving a matchstick down and using it to divide the windway in such a way that you narrow it at the fipple opening. This doesn't affect the intonation, often improves the tone, and still lets you play the instrument with some expression at quieter volumes. I use it mostly on a very loud low-D, which means I can play the thing despite diminished puff on account of asthma.


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: fogie
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 10:10 AM

someone may have mentioned it ,but you can sellotape over a LOT of the hole you blow into without ruining the pitch! Pity me with a saxophone!!!


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: alison
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 04:25 AM

with a classical flute you didn't need to blow at all - just put your ear against the "blow hole" and finger the notes - you could hear it....... don't know how well that will work on a keyless flute though

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 06:41 AM

with a classical flute you didn't need to blow at all - just put your ear against the "blow hole" and finger the notes - you could hear it....... don't know how well that will work on a keyless flute though

Works just great on an open-hole flute thanks, been doing it for many years as a late-night practice technique.

However my variation on the technique is to put the flute in normal playing position against the bottom lip and then open my mouth slightly - the increated resonance helps the notes form a very quiet sound, which is then transmitted through the bones of your head to your ears.   

Don't think anyone has also mentioned that you can practise tin whistle nice & quietly by holding it in flute position and blowing sideways across the fipple.


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: GUEST,GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 02:27 AM

Have you tried a low whistle? The sound of lower whistles doesn't carry as well.


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 07:13 AM

While it may be unlikely that the person who asked the question ten years ago is still around without having found an answer, ...

for most blown instruments, a difficulty for beginners is understanding how much effect the "back volume" formed by the mouth and throat can have on the pitch and tonal quality of the instrument.

Practice with making the "mouth pitch" match the pitch you want the whistle/flute to play does help a lot, and you can do that very quietly without even having the instrument at hand.

Just pucker up, with as close as you can get to the blowhole configuration you would use if the flute/whistle was there - call it by it's snob name of "forming your embouchure" if you like - and "blow the tune." Note that you're NOT attempting to "whistle." All you want is a fairly gently air stream that "fits the pitches" of a tune. Any sound you make can be nearly inaudible and still have a clearly defined pitch.

While performing this "practice" you should try to feel and be aware of what you're doing to "tune the airstream" that would be going to your instrument. Then try to do the same thing with the instrument in, or at, your mouth when you get to your real "practice place."

The better you get at matching your "head volume" to the pitch your instrument is playing, the better you'll be at playing at a variety of loudnesses with the instrument, and although you'll still make some noise when you add the instrument, with most instruments you should soon be able to "play it pretty" - and softly - enough to avoid drowning out the neighbors' yelping pups.

Most keyless instruments come with a little paper or booklet telling you "how to play the #@!% .... whatever," invariably telling you to "blow harder" to play the second octave. While for most such instruments there is a minimum pressure/velocity needed for forming a stable tone inside the instrument, with proper "back resonance" tuning inside your head you'll find you can flip between octaves/registers quite easily with nearly indiscernible change in how hard you need to blow: and you'll be able to do it at much lower - or when needed at much greater - loudness.

Pucker up and blow (gently) in tune, as if you had an instrument, and you needn't annoy anyone. It will help when you get back to a place where the noise of the instrument is acceptable.

John


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Subject: RE: Problem: practice whistle-flute quietly
From: GUEST,Baerdric
Date: 15 May 16 - 10:40 PM

I know this is long past, but I was looking for a electronic tin whistle or six hole flute I could use with my headset, and found this.

To make a quiet practice I blow across the window and not in the windway. or sometimes I will tap the finger holes but that isn't really good practice.

But thanks for the method of putting your lower lip on the windway, I had been blowing sideways and that's not really good technique either, I guess.

I think someone might want to make a smartphone app that simulates six hole fingering. I might try, I've made a few apps, but multitouch would be necessary and I haven't played with that.


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