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What Pennywhistle Keys?

Dharmabum 06 Nov 05 - 02:23 PM
Leadfingers 06 Nov 05 - 02:31 PM
Mooh 06 Nov 05 - 02:34 PM
jimmyt 06 Nov 05 - 05:28 PM
Snuffy 06 Nov 05 - 06:20 PM
Dharmabum 06 Nov 05 - 07:03 PM
Bob Bolton 06 Nov 05 - 07:04 PM
Artful Codger 06 Nov 05 - 10:34 PM
jimmyt 06 Nov 05 - 11:28 PM
Kaleea 07 Nov 05 - 02:22 AM
Dharmabum 07 Nov 05 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,Robin Madge 07 Nov 05 - 07:44 AM
Mooh 07 Nov 05 - 08:20 AM
Dharmabum 07 Nov 05 - 03:51 PM
nutty 07 Nov 05 - 06:29 PM
Mr Happy 27 Oct 08 - 08:03 AM
Vixen 27 Oct 08 - 09:23 AM
Mr Happy 27 Oct 08 - 10:03 AM
SteveMansfield 27 Oct 08 - 10:08 AM
Mr Happy 11 Dec 08 - 11:49 AM
Little Robyn 11 Dec 08 - 01:24 PM
Willie-O 11 Dec 08 - 02:02 PM
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Subject: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Dharmabum
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 02:23 PM

I'd like to give my daughter a few more pennywhistles for a Christmas gift this year.
She now has a set of "Generation" brand whistles in the keys of;
G,F,Eb,D,C,& Bb.
As I'm not a whistle player,what additional keys would any experienced Pennywhistlers here suggest I purchase?
I'm looking to purchase another 4 or 5

Also,any suggestions on moderately priced brands of P.W.
I bought the set she has now ,here (U.S.), 6 or 7 years ago,for about 10 to 12 bucks a piece ,if memory serves correctly.
They seem to've held up pretty well.

Thanks,D.B.


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 02:31 PM

Thats a fairly comprehensive set of keys , and if you want any extras you are going to have to pay a bit more than for Generations !
Tony Dixon does nice Low A , Low G , Low F AND Low D , though the Low D does need a reasonable finger stretch . Check out Tony's web site - They are NOT silly prices , compared to Chieftains and Overtons , and are better than the Susatos in my opinion ! Failing that , get your daughter the new Dixon High D - Aluminium body , PVC mouthpiece - A lovely whistle to play , and a LOT nicer than a Generation , though a Generation that DOES work is a Good Whistle .


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Mooh
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 02:34 PM

www.chiffandfipple.com has some good advice. Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: jimmyt
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 05:28 PM

I have a set of Tony Dixons that I absolutely love. Great whistle for the $ I have PVC ones that are tuneable but had a chance to play Leadfingers' aluminIUM D at Getaway and it is a great sounding instrument.


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Snuffy
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 06:20 PM

She definitely needs a low 'A' - mine's a Shaw, but other makes are probably as good or better. It enables you to play a lot of tunes in 'D' while using the normal 'G' fingering of a 'D' whistle.

And a low 'G' gives you the same option with tunes in 'C'.

Perhaps an 'E', but the one I have is terrible, so I hardly ever use it


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Dharmabum
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 07:03 PM

Thanks for the info everyone.
Very helpful.

D.B.


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 07:04 PM

G'day Dharmabum,

Snuffy's suggestions of "low" (well ... really "mid-range" ... ) whistles that can be played equally well in two related keys is a very handy way for a whistler familiar with the fingering (often referred to as "Irish" ... but commonly used before the Irish ever saw a whistle) used to play "G" on a "D" whistle to keep to a minimal set of whistles.

All these suggestions are bigger whistles ... and not in the Generation range - so you'll pay as lot more ... but they should be better than mass-produced whistles ... (although I find that Shaws, such a Snuffy has, need a lot more wind than any whistle I would make!).

I don't know if Generation ever made the "E" whistle ("Folk" model)they proposed to the Liverpool group The Spinners ... about 35 years ago. I've never seen one in that key ... but I don't have much need for it in my usual repertoire, so I've never looked all that hard!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 10:34 PM

You could also check into "sewer flutes"--transverse flutes with tinwhistle fingerings made of PVC pipe. These have a wonderfully low, husky quality, though they require a lot of breath to play and good embouchure control.


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: jimmyt
Date: 06 Nov 05 - 11:28 PM

you can purchase an extra headjoint for a tony dixon D and convert it to a flute


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Kaleea
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 02:22 AM

I think that we are presuming that the daughter is not a child, but grown, & is somewhat serious about playing. It is important to remember that the size of the person and their hands/finger does matter. The low whistles are often difficult or almost impossible for a person with small hands, short fingers to play. If one is playing in sessions &/or with a group of Irish/Contradance Musicians regularly, I would suggest a better D whistle--that's usually what most whistlers (of Irish Music) are looking for. I found that my Susato is what I play most often in sessions & in a ceoli band as it can be heard & is well in tune. They also sell sets. Then there is the step up to the keyless Irish Flute. I have not liked the plastic ones as I found them too light to keep balanced in my hands during fast & furious reels & other tunes. By all means, go to the chiffandfipple for lots of suggestions.


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Dharmabum
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 07:24 AM

Yes,my daughter is 26 & has been playing since childhood.
Although,not playing professionally,she does appreciate good quality instruments. As we all do.

The Chiffandfipple website looks to be very informative.Thank you for the link.

At this point,I'm leaning toward getting her a better quality D whistle & possibly something in the key of A.

I'm a little concerned that some of the lower key whistles may be a bit of a hand stretch.
She doesn't have large hands,but she does also play guitar & keyboard.
The largest whistle she's now playing is her Bb which she doesn't seem to have much trouble playing.

Thanks,D.B.


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: GUEST,Robin Madge
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 07:44 AM

Hand stretch is not the same as hand size. I have medium size hands and can cope with a low D whilst a friend has large hands and cannot.
On the other hand I cannot cope with a guitar because as I curl my fingers around the neck the finger tips converge and I have very little sideways stretch in this position.

I think you just have to work out what works for each person.


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Mooh
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 08:20 AM

A summer or two ago an Alba low whistle really turned my crank, but we were on holiday out east and a little short of cash. Very very sweet timbre. I'd have bought it except...well, you know, peace in the family and all that.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Dharmabum
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 03:51 PM

I'd just like to thank everyone who's responded to this thread.
You've all been a great deal of help.

         Thanks,D.B.


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: nutty
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 06:29 PM

Remember, the Digital Tradition Mirror Site   CLICK HERE presents all its tunes in Pennywhistle notation transposed into whichever key is required.


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 08:03 AM

I'm a novice player & enjoy accompanying others with counter melodies & harmonisations.

My whistles are a mix of makes, Generation, Waltons, some unknown + a wooden one in E.

The keys I have at the moment are D, C, F, G, Bb

I'm able to play in G,D, & A on my D whistles.

What keys are available from the others?


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Vixen
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 09:23 AM

Hi Mr. Happy--

We met (briefly) in Middlewich in 2005...I can't believe it was 3 years ago!

I've got C, D, and G whistles, and here's what I've found...

Anyway, if you can play in G and A on the D whistles, you can comfortably do G and F on a C, D and E on an A, etc.
In theory, you have mastered the fingerings to play in the 1, 4, and 5 keys of the whistle in hand. You also can probably play in the associated minor keys--Bm for D whistle, Am for C whistle, Em for D whistle.

I've found that I can also play in the minors for the 4 and 5 keys: for example, on a D whistle, I can play in G and A. I can play tunes in Bm. I can also manage some tunes in Em and F#m.

On your Bb, then, you should, with the skills you already have on the D whistle, be able to play in Bb (of course!) and it's associated minor (Gm); the 4 (Eb), and it's associated minor (C#??? not sure what that one is); and the 5 (F) and it's associated minor (D).

I hope that helps! Have fun!

V


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 10:03 AM

V,

Thanks.

Another query,

whistles will often squeak as they can get too much moisture inside.

Flutes & recorders have a brush for cleaning.

Is there something similar for a whistle?


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 27 Oct 08 - 10:08 AM

Just my 0.02p worth, but after years of looking for 'the' high D whistle I bought one made by Stephen Harper and have never looked back. Loud without being strident, nice in the mouth and under the fingers, and less susceptible to tuning problems than some of the high-end whistles, and most importantly of all of course, a lovely rich full-bodied tone across the whole compass.

So, IMNSHO, if you're looking for a decent D whistle I'd thoroughly recommend you try one of those.


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 11:49 AM

Anyone know if there's a brush specifically for whistles?


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 01:24 PM

Anything that will fit up a recorder will suit a tin whistle as well.
I don't if anyone makes them specifically for whistles but I have one for my smallpipes.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: What Pennywhistle Keys?
From: Willie-O
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 02:02 PM

Doubt you need a specialized tool--I just run water through em, but you could use a narrow nylon-bristle bottle brush if there was something really icky in there. I prefer regular watering!


After decades of playing cheap D whistles, I went on a bit of a buying jag last year. Got a Susato A--neither high nor low, it's an alto--then wanted a real low whistle so followed up with a Howard Low D. The latter is a fine instrument, but I've found the Susato A much more my style. It plays well in D or A, and the fingering and breath requirements are much easier to adjust to than those of a true low whistle.

I still like cheap high D's but not Generations. I get Sweetones (by Clarke). The conical barrel works better than the straight one for pumping the air through.

If I was thinking of expanding my whistle collection, I'd get more Susatos. Lots of models, tuneable and interchangeable mouthpiece/barrel combinations, reasonable prices. OK, they're made of high-impact plastic, but sound great and quality is very consistent (which makes them the opposite of Generations).

W-O


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