8-hole whistles?

8-hole whistles?

I’ve seen several flutes with 8-holes, the two extra holes being vents (or impossible to finger notes) that allow the flute to be longer.
Do any whistle makers do this? It seems the extra length would make sounding the lowest notes a little easier.
I’ve made af few low D whistles from PVC and they all seem to work but it’s really hard to get that lowest note.

Also, can the "flutomat" be used for whistles? Where would the embouchure measurement be?
I’d like to try to make some whistles from found objects and flutomat seems to have enough variation to use just about any tube you can find.

Re: 8-hole whistles?

Recorders have eight holes (if you count the two lowest double holes as being one hole each).

Re: 8-hole whistles?

On simple system D flutes, the two holes you see at the bottom are for C# and C keys, if you want them.

The reason you’ll find it hard to get the low notes on your wistles will be because they are not very good.

Posted .

Re: 8-hole whistles?

Actually the two lowest non-fingered holes on keyless flutes are not for C and C# - they were originally inspired by keyed flutes where the relevant keys had been removed because they were never used. Or, as Llig says, they were not added to modern flutes on cost grounds. To add the keys, the holes would need blocks, and a different shape (to take pads) and there would be an EFlat hole too. You do see feet like this on 6 key flutes with an eflat key and blocks and holes for C and Csharp keys to be added later - but they are rarer.

Much more common than this is the foot with two vent holes which were never intended to be used. This is an aesthetic choice, the only influence on playing being the changed weight distribution of a longer flute - some people like this. A shorter foot has the advantage of needing less space in a cramped session and allowing for a lighter flute overall.

Taste…

Llig is also right, the reason for difficulty getting the lowest notes will be quality problems with your whistle, or your breath support. If anything, opinions seem to tend towards the short foot making for a stronger low D.

Re: 8-hole whistles?

You can make and glue blocks on later. They don’t have to be turned from the original in one piece.

Posted .

Re: 8-hole whistles?

True. Post mounted keys are also an option. However most keyless flutes with a long foot are not intended to have the keys added. If someone wanted to add the foot keys it is more likely that they would just have a new foot made from scratch. I am not even sure if the holes would be in the right place since venting is very different for a hole with no pad compared to a hole with a pad held closely over the hole even when open.

Sorry, but I cannot manage to get my replies into single terse sentences.

Re: 8-hole whistles?

Paul Busman is a whistle maker that can make a D whistle with an extra bottom hole for the low C. If you’re thinking of trying to make a whistle like this, he may also be able to give you an idea of what extra holes can do to the tone of the bottom D.
www.busmanwhistles.com

Re: 8-hole whistles?

Colin Goldie makes whistles with an extra hole for a low C and a thumb hole for Bb (I presume). In other words the whistle with all the holes closed is pitched in C but if you ignore the bottom hole you have a standard D whistle.

Re: 8-hole whistles?

Colin Goldie can (likely) make a whistle with any note you want.
I think it’s Jubilee whistles who make whistles in various modes.
Michael Burke will make a Cnat back hole. I have one of those.

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Re: 8-hole whistles?

As of today, I own one of the whistles No Cause just described. It’s really cool, although it just had a trial by fire in a pub session. It came in the mail while I was in aforesaid session, so I bolted from the session to pick it up and then return to the session. LOL. The thumb hole for the right hand is for an Fnat, not Bb. I need to go home and learn to play it before going out tonight.

Re: 8-hole whistles?

Aha, It arrived then TSS, let me know how you get on, I really fancy one myself :-)

Re: 8-hole whistles?

A thumb hole on the right hand? Sorry I presumed it was the left hand - where the thumb key is on a flute. My mistake.

Re: 8-hole whistles?

The thumb hole for the right hand is indeed for an FNat. I don’t know what it is like on a whistle, but when I tried adding it to a pvc flute that I own, I found it a bit awkward to use since it was not where my Right thumb would normally be. It wasn’t impossible though.

The hole stays shut and the flute plays like a standard one. If the hole is opened while RH1 and RH2 are down then you get an FNat - no other fingerings are affected, as long as you keep the hole sealed while playing. I don’t have this hole on any of my real flutes - I prefer either the keys or half holing (depending on which flute it is…)

On the other hand, the left hand thumb hole for a Cnat is definitely a worthwhile option, especially for players of the Boehm flute who will be able to keep their B, C# and CNatural fingerings as they are used to. The only drawback is that the normal position for the bflat key on a keyed flute is impossible to use with a LH thumb hole. I have a right hand Bflat touch on my keyed flute.

(by the way, the CNat on a D whistle is equivalent to the BFlat on a C Whistle - this may be the source of confusion amongst a couple of the earlier posters?)
Chris.

Re: 8-hole whistles?

Will do, Bogman. I am sure you will have a go on it next time I’m up north. :)