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Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin

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Big Mick 21 Aug 98 - 10:53 PM
alison 22 Aug 98 - 12:30 AM
Barbara 22 Aug 98 - 02:03 AM
Big Mick 22 Aug 98 - 04:45 PM
O'Boyle 23 Aug 98 - 03:50 AM
Art Thieme 23 Aug 98 - 06:26 AM
Big Mick 13 Apr 99 - 10:52 PM
catspaw49 13 Apr 99 - 11:08 PM
Big Mick 14 Apr 99 - 12:07 AM
Barbara 14 Apr 99 - 02:09 AM
SeanM 14 Apr 99 - 02:47 AM
Tucker 14 Apr 99 - 06:41 AM
Vixen 14 Apr 99 - 08:53 AM
Vixen 14 Apr 99 - 03:44 PM
alison 15 Apr 99 - 05:25 AM
Vixen 15 Apr 99 - 08:55 AM
Bert 15 Apr 99 - 09:00 AM
alison 15 Apr 99 - 09:12 AM
Vixen 15 Apr 99 - 10:41 AM
Bert 15 Apr 99 - 10:55 AM
Colin The Whistler (inactive) 15 Apr 99 - 04:41 PM
Alex 16 Apr 99 - 01:51 AM
Vixen 16 Apr 99 - 10:04 AM
Bert 16 Apr 99 - 10:14 AM
Big Mick 07 Sep 01 - 05:33 PM
mcpiper 08 Sep 01 - 05:53 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 08 Sep 01 - 08:08 AM
Whistleworks 08 Sep 01 - 09:02 AM
Sarah the flute 08 Sep 01 - 09:55 AM
MudGuard 08 Sep 01 - 02:27 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 12 Feb 02 - 09:55 PM
Clinton Hammond 12 Feb 02 - 11:12 PM
GUEST,Pied Piper 13 Feb 02 - 08:34 AM
Momma 22 Feb 02 - 09:19 PM
GUEST,pauperback 19 Dec 17 - 10:42 PM
Jack Campin 20 Dec 17 - 06:47 AM
GUEST,pauperback 20 Dec 17 - 11:52 AM
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Subject: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Big Mick
Date: 21 Aug 98 - 10:53 PM

Well, we know what kind you all like. And we know what tunes you all love to play. How about we all share with each other our secrets for tweeking our whistles to get the best sound. And how we maintain them. I think there are some good tricks to be shared.

I would like to know how some of you clean your whistles when the gunk starts to build up in the fipple. Do you soak them? If so, in what? I usually just soak them in water and take a q-tip to it. There must be a better way.

A very good website for whistlers can be found at www.wwisp.com/~dwisely/table2.html.


Search for "Whistle" threads


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: alison
Date: 22 Aug 98 - 12:30 AM

Hi,

Metal whistles with plastic mouthpieces, (eg Generation),can be cleaned by.... placing upside down in a cup of hot, (not boiling) water. This should make the mouthpiece loose enough to come off. Then I either use the Q tip method or take a small sharp knife to it and scrape the gunk out.

The plastic mouthpieces are usually glued on when you get the whistle, but by soaking them off like this you are able to tune your whistle. You may need to use vaseline or somthing to get the mouthpiece back on again.

Slainte

Alison


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Barbara
Date: 22 Aug 98 - 02:03 AM

Some ammonia in the water really hustles the gunk off, and doesn't seem to harm the plastic, but I'm not positive about that...
Over time (and we're talking years, here) a couple of my rarer whistles have had the plastic fipple crack. I've glued them and then put a small hose clamp over the bottom of the bit, and tightened it down...makes 'em look kind of like clarinets, if you don't look too close, and it does amuse people.
Also have found time and travel changes the base of the bore on my whistles so they are no longer entirely round, and this sometimes improves the sound. N.B. Do not use a whistle as part of a percussion ensemble involving a wine bottle - even though it sounds pretty good; it fills the whistle with little dings that prevent it from playing after that.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Big Mick
Date: 22 Aug 98 - 04:45 PM

I knew that the two people I could count on to jump in here would be Barbara and Alison. Thanks and keep em coming.

I am going to try the ammonia thing tonight on my Susato.


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: O'Boyle
Date: 23 Aug 98 - 03:50 AM

I find stabbing banjo players with whistles makes everybody (else) much happier, but that's my opinion.

Slainte

Rick


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Aug 98 - 06:26 AM

KY is water soluble & works much better than vasaline to get the plastic mouthpiece back on the whistle. Can be rinsed off easily after.

I knew a couple who didn't know the difference between K-Y jelly and window putty !

Their windows fell out !

Art


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Big Mick
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 10:52 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Apr 99 - 11:08 PM

I know you're expecting company here, so I'll be quick. I think all of us need to respect the opinions of Barbara, World's Creator of the Possum' Ass Whistle. A round of applause here folks!!! Okay, that'll do, don't overdo it. New a fellow once who got so much applause he had to pack the extra in with his guitar. When he got home he discovered his guitar was totally smashed and ruined......all he had then was a bad case of clap.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Big Mick
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 12:07 AM

I hereby award Catspaw a black belt in the discipline of Thieme Kwon Do.

Grand Master Mick


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Barbara
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 02:09 AM

Is that an Art Nouveau award, Mick?


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: SeanM
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 02:47 AM

Sad to say, but back to topic...

You can flatten those oversharp notes with a small amount of tape blocking the nearer lip of the holes, and sharpen the flat by boring out the hole a bit...

Or is it sharpen with tape and flatten with the drill?

Hmmm...

Personally, I've come to the point that I'm buying chromatic sets for different gigs. I've never been fond of the tuneable kinds (not that there's anything wrong with them), and having multiple whistles of multiple makes helps cover all weather and area conditions. Expensive, but increasingly worthwhile. Brass whistles sound SOOOo nice in studio, but are almost worthless in the sun.

M


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Tucker
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 06:41 AM

Being new to whistle playing and I guess duly corrected in my remarks to the person wanting to know what made the sound in the Titanic track........I have a simple Feadog whistle. So far I haven't had to resort to KY jelly or vaseline. It goes easily in. I clean the brass part with brasso and the plastic part in some very warm bleach water. Kind of reminds me of when I wanted to start playing banjo. We all hear threads on what kind of guitar to buy, but having found my true love there in 1963, I haven't bought much in the way of moreinstruments ( I am keeping my eye out for a D-45 however). Anyway, I went to a music store outside town and saw two beutiful banjos. One said $700 and the other $5200. Both had resonators and what seemed to be the same amount of head clamps. I asked the clerk the difference. He said "pick them up". Sure enough the $700 model was a lot lighter than the $5200 model. I said "So". He said " Now, play something" I fingered a ditty on both and sure enough that heavy old $5200 was much better. Long winded here and not sure of my point except to say we all start somewhere. When I see Tommy Makem play the tin whistle I see a person take a simple ancient cheap instrument and turn it into a baby grand as far as I am concerned. And there are many others out there just as capable with it. Tommy, do you use KY on your's..................


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Vixen
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 08:53 AM

Mornin' 'Cats!

I've just started playing the pennywhistle, and I have a D Oak and a C Clarke. The Oak appears to be chrome over something and sounds great. The Clarke seems to be a tapered, folded over piece of tin, painted bright greeen, and doesn't, in my opinion, sound so good--it has more of a tendency to have odd vibrations in the notes. I have one album of pennywhistle music, Billy Novick's Pennywhistles from Heaven, and he's phenomenal.

I tend to go with the chromatic set idea, since tuning my guitars and recorders is more tuning already than I enjoy. One of the reasons I'm learning pennywhistle is I don't have to come up the fingering for Bb or C# or any other odd keynotes on the fly--I just have to start out with the right whistle.

Also, the pw is addictive. I can carry it anywhere, and play it endlessly, by ear. I've made myself a nuisance everywhere. I saw some kind of new age ensemble on TV awhile ago, and they had a guy playing a pennywhistle the size of my alto recorder--it sounded beautiful. A friend of mine said it was probably a "low" pw, very expensive, and, evidently, "haute musique." I want one!

I've only been playing since February, so all this enthusiasm might wear off, but regardless, I've just learned how to clean and lube my pw, and which ones to play in the studio and which ones to take outdoors, and that's always good to know!!!

V


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Vixen
Date: 14 Apr 99 - 03:44 PM

I've just been rummaging around in the other pw threads here, and visiting pw websites (I'm SPOZED to be correcting papers) but I haven't seen anything described like an instrument I've got that plays like a pw.

It's made of clay, or some other ceramic type of material, glazed in raku style on the portions that are untouched by fingers, and consists of a fipple with two pipes. One has no holes to finger and simply sounds the root note or its octave depending on how hard I blow. The other pipe has 6 finger holes and plays like a pw. I haven't determined it's key, but it seems in tune with itself and has an incredible hauntingly "cold" quality. I bought it at a craft fair from a potter who, for cheapie-type goods made ceramic ocarinas which also sound pretty good...I bought a little one of those. Anybody seen one of these two-pipe-fipple-flutes/know what to call it?

Also, sort of like a banjo player, I tend to drool when playing my pw...I don't have this problem with any of my recorders. Does anybody else have this problem, and is willing to admit it??? What do you do about it??? I'm thinking I need to wear a bib...

V


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: alison
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 05:25 AM

Hi Vixen,

don't know what the proper name is..... but I have made one myself from plans called "making a tin whistle with a drone."

the easy way is you take two whistles and cover all the holes in one with tape, (personally I only cover 5 so I can play minor tunes with an E drone).... then you attach the two together with rubber bands.. and play tunes as usual on one while blowing them both together..... interesting sound.....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Vixen
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 08:55 AM

Alison--

Wow! This is terrific! Thank you! Now I can make one in any key I want. And if I decide to start playing music composed by Charles Ives, I can tape two different keys together and play polytonally or whatever it's called! Watch out world...

Pennywhistles Rule!

V


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Bert
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 09:00 AM

Wouldn't that be called "A Tuppeny Whistle"?


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: alison
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 09:12 AM

Hi,

Only one small snag,.. you have to find tunes which stay inside the one octave.. otherwise it is almost impossible to get one whistle to stay in the lower octave while you are playing high on the other..... I love the idea of calling it a tuppenny whistle.

Whistle with drone

Slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Vixen
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 10:41 AM

Oh boyoboyo...I need a vacation....gotta play with my whistles...how many do I need to make a farthing-flute?

yes, that 'h' is spozed to be there...

;>

V


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Bert
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 10:55 AM

Ah! the poor little farthing. Brings back memories when an item would be priced "Nine pounds, nineteen and elevenpence three farthings". Back when LSD meant money.

I don't quite know how you'd MAKE a farthing whistle because that would be a quarter of a penny whistle. 1 1/2 holes perhaps??

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Colin The Whistler (inactive)
Date: 15 Apr 99 - 04:41 PM

Whistles..whistles..whistles..Just like women..can't live with'em can live without them. Some nice points raised there...Alsion's one about taking off the mounth piece is a good one..but once off, take a hacksaw or file and remove 3/4 cm or so of the top, filing away the egdes. Whack the oul lid back on and you can tune it. New and expensive models are tuneable. These days there's no excuse for the playing out off tune at sessions. The days of tunning to a guitar string or whistle have gone. Buy a simple tuning device for a few bob. If, for example your playing with pipes, who's tuning can vary, you should be able to adjust the length of the shaft by lowering or highering the mouth piece.

Cleaning : leave them in a bleech water solution overnight. Reeks the next day but its de-gunged

Tip: Pour cooking oil down the shaft, especially Low D's It puts a coating on the inside that gives a mellow sound and also protects against slime & grime build-up.

Any of you crowd just starting, try and pick up a Mary Bergin cd. Take one or two tunes you like and concentrate on them. Don't fall for the 'Trying To Learn As Many Tunes As You Can' habit. One good tune played is better that 10 played wrong.

All this oul Guff was passed to me a by a fellow called Leslie Bingham, Kelly's Cellars, Belfast years ago..Anybody Know him.

Jesus, That brings back memories of thumping session's.. Billy McCormack, Brian Sutherland, Crickard Brothers, Paul Bradley, Cruncher...

Anyway.. Pick Up A Whistle And Pop Till Ya Drop !!!!

Slainte Colin Ballygally


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Alex
Date: 16 Apr 99 - 01:51 AM

I discovered that my workshop is the ideal place to tune a pennwhisle. If I put it on the grinder, it gets sharp, and if I pound it with a hammer it gets flat. Personally, I prefer to use my 10lb sledgehammer when flattening a banjo.


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Vixen
Date: 16 Apr 99 - 10:04 AM

Bert--

I never did get the hang of English cash, but I trained horses with an Englishwoman in the 1970s, and she did use some financial terminology that I found confusing. In refererence, for example to Colin's comment about a "tuning device," I'd say a pw with 1 1/2 holes would be a "bob whistle," since it's been "bobbed" but actually, wouldn't a bob whistle have MORE pws since a bob is worth more...or am I STILL confused about the English money system???

V


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Bert
Date: 16 Apr 99 - 10:14 AM

Vixen,

You're right a 'bob' had twelve pennies. Perhaps that's how they invented Pan Pipes!
Bert.


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 05:33 PM

Refresh for those interested.


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: mcpiper
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 05:53 AM

Do what ya gotta, when ya gotta, to tune em. Always have the means to slot the holes to sharpen them, or tape them to flatten them, on your person at all times. This can sometimes be done on the run.
It pays to have as many different makes, keys, colours and sizes as you can afford or carry, but sometimes ya just gotta walk away.
More than this I cannot tell you.


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 08:08 AM

Was about to say you're three years behind the times with that link Mick. Just checked the date you posted it in the nick of time! For anyone new to whistles or Mudcat, click here for the relevant site, which was long since re-branded Chiff & Fipple.


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Whistleworks
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 09:02 AM

Great posts, one and all. Here's my $0.02 about appearance. I have a few brass whistles and some nickel and one sterling instrument. I have found that Pro Mark cymbal polish works well on ALL of the metals. The smell is a bit strong when you put it on, but that subsides. I have been asked by people (INTELLIGENT people) how I was able to get a set of GOLD whistles. And, the shine lasts about 3-4 weeks. I buy the stuff in pairs since I swear by it.

Good luck and happy whistling.

Bob Pegritz


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 09:55 AM

Yipee I can join in again now that my cookie has been reset.

During a long lazy Summer break I have had 2 interesting experiences with my whistles....!!!

The first involved an outdoor gig and a procession when a flying insect of some description decided to fly up the whistle and I had failed to observe it was doing this until it reached my mouth .... any remedies for this???

The second involved playing whistle on my own for an hour at a VERY POSH party in central London where the host wanted an Irish snake charmer!!! .... luckily the snakes turned out to be of the rubber variety. - The things we do for money!!!


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: MudGuard
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 02:27 PM

mosquito-net across all openings?


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 09:55 PM


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 11:12 PM

YA know... one day I just might like to learn to actually play the whistles I have...

;-)


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: GUEST,Pied Piper
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 08:34 AM

Over the years I have obtained various whistles made in India,Pakistan and the far east.I now have acollection ranging from low Ab to high Eb and most of the chromatic keys in between. These whistles are cheap and some have a great tone, but the quality is quite variable so you nearly always have to select from many and "tweek".They'r normaly made of bamboo and you sharpen a note hole by burning(with red hot Iron rod of the appropriate diameter)on the upper edge of the hole,and flatten notes with tape.To alter the bottom note(open end)remove a small ammount at a time using a sharp craft knife till you get it in tune (do this first before altering the other notes).I've seen these wistles for as little as 50p so you can afford to experiment to perfect your tweekology.The better standard of whistles cost a few pounds from Asian shops such as "Allspice" in Bradford and some Oxfam shops.Some of these have a key indicated by a letter but they'r useually a semitone lower.I had to go through a lot before I got my collection but it was well worth it,and in the process I learned to be in charge of my intonation.


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Momma
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 09:19 PM

Hey Fionn, Thanks for the pointer to Chiff & Fipple. Great site.I'm a rookie whistler who gets discouraged easily when I can't get the sound right. After visiting C&F, I've learned not to take my sorely deficient playing too seriously. What a hoot!!


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: GUEST,pauperback
Date: 19 Dec 17 - 10:42 PM

>Anybody seen one of these two-pipe-fipple-flutes/know what to call it?
14 Apr 99 - 03:44 PM 

?MesoAmerican double clay flute?

nativefluteswalking.com 


youtube 


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Dec 17 - 06:47 AM

I'd call it a fake. That design is common in Europe (like the Hungarian "ikerfurulya" which I have two of), but executed in wood. Native Americans made multichamber ocarinas from clay, but not duct flutes. I think some whistlemaker has invented a history that never was, using the European design without acknowledging it. (They have a godawful track record of sleazily exploiting Native American culture, and ripping off the folk instrument making tradition of eastern Europe simultaneously is just what you'd expect).


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Subject: RE: Tinwhistles - tweekin and tunin
From: GUEST,pauperback
Date: 20 Dec 17 - 11:52 AM

Seems to be the official sound for La Raza over here on the Pacific Coast of the US (and to be listened to with hushed reverence and a serious expression).

But the legends go the trickster Coyote gave it to The People and you know that guy he probably did rip it off from some Magyar shaman.


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