Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

Hello everybody and thank you for reading. I introduce myself: I begun studying the whistle some month ago, and this is my very first approach with making music.
I’m learning using the Ryan Duns SJ video lessons on youtube and a beginners tune book as primary sources of learning, while I’m using thesession.org primarily for reading the people’s discussions (I fear that the tunes here are too hard for me, yet).

Well, now it’s my turn to ask for something here :-).
My problem is that I would really need to critically reduce the volume of my whistles - possibily without altering the tones too much.
That would permit me to study without stress, both others and (most important :-) ) myself while studying, concentrating more on what I do, than on avoiding to disturb others (breathe slower… it’s too late… choose a lower whistle… and so on).

I’ve seen in a shop a device used to silence down recorderers, here it is:
http://www.sordinella.it/index2.htm
(link to the english version is top left on the page).

I wonder if such a thing can be fine with a whistle too, or if there are any other tricks that people do to solve the problem. I suppose I’m not the only one to suffer from this issue :-)

Thank you all so much!

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Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

Well a blob of blu tack on the fipple,covering some of the air way works. Flattens the pitch as well mind, . creates a breathy sound. not the bit you blow in, mind, the other channel. Experiment.

Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

Hello Anal,

The tone ring on my Every whistle will allow you to adjust the volume of your whistle with the twist of the ring from loud and clear to "quiet as a mouse" as one customer said. Your breath control - something that gave me problems for a while - remains pretty much the same, which makes for good practice.

You can return my whistles if you are not happy with them, so aside from a little postage, there is no risk to you in trying one. I think you’ll like it.

And thank you breqwas for the reference. (Again <g>)

Carey Parks
Parks Whistles

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Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

If a paperclip will fit down the fipple, that softens the sound nicely. It does, however, eventually leave a metallic taste in the whistle.

You can also practice with the fipple against your chin or below your lip (rather than in your mouth) and blowing air downward at the windway. It’s so quiet it sounds like the wind is making music.

You can also do what a guy I know used to do when he was starting out: practice in his car (while parked).

Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

I was totally stressed out about bothering the neighbors and finally I decided to talk to them about it. To my suprise they said they liked to listen to me practice. I usually do about an hour and a half then put the mute on if I will be playing longer.

My house is only connected to the neighbor on one side so I practice in a room that has a stairway on that side of the wall. It kind of acts as a buffer for sound and since that is also where their stairway is they tell me the can hardly hear me when I play in that room.

Of course we all have to respect our neighbors but don’t be over sensitive. Do what you love and practice to do it well

Mary

Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

Hmm,

So you’re all really responding to a posting from a guy called Anal who claims to be learning the whistle while watching videos of a Jesuit priest on Youtube and seemingly has problems with his English while constructing a sentence such as ‘My problem is that I would really need to critically reduce the volume of my whistles - possibily without altering the tones too much.’?

Ever been had? (And not by me, I should add)

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Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

What a lot of bother, and how silly is that thing for the recorder. Fipple players have muted their whistles for ages, and not by buying anything. The blue tack thing is new, but if you use blue tack it will eventually leave a dye trace. The ‘old’ way that still works is just get any old piece of castaway plastic, like a margarine tub. Now get some scissors and cut a strip as wide as the windway window on your whistle, maybe 2 or 3 inches in length. Bend it over, like a V, but with one leg half as long as the other. Now slide the smaller leg into the window, away from you, and set it over the knife edge, that beveled bit of plastic that cuts your wind and makes the sound. You can then bend it again a little ways down so the longer leg lies against and in line with the whistle rather than sticking out.

That is dead simple and free, except for a few minutes of your time, and it won’t damage the whistle or colour the head of the instrument, or stick. you can carry spares. Hell, even cardboard works but gets soggy eventually. Some plastics will also break when bent, so you need some flexibiltiy. Hey you’re even being environmentally active by Reusing trash. Also, the thicker the plastic the more it will mute the whistle, it basically dulls the cutting edge you blow against. I have known it to make it so quiet you could practice on a bus and make a lot less noise than a walkman…though you might still get odd looks…

Good luck!!! If anything isn’t clear, just ask… Don’t spend your money on a mute, save it up for another whistle. You know you want one…and it probably won’t stop there… ;-)

Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

I know one fella who used to practice in the wardrobe !

Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

His name wasn’t Jim by any chance?

Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

Steady on, MacCruiskeen, I once knew a girl who said that she loves him!

Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

I see that our friend breqwas is Russian.Brecwas is Welsh for breakfast.It couldn’t possibly be the same word in Russian,could it?

Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

Hello and thank you all for replying and for every kind of suggestion. I had fun reading you all!
About my english, I’m very sorry: I know it’s far from perfect, please be patient about it. It is not my native language, I am italian.

Ciao :-)

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Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

dafydd, Russian word for breakfast is ‘zavtrak’. My nickname is generated with random numbers generator, and has no meaning. :)

Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

That’s only if you believe a random numbers generator is really random… 8-) Who’s to say your not edible?

~ & served up best in the morning? :-/

Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

I don’t thik that FreeBSD’s random number genetator is edible. :)

Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

Just to be clear, the cheap mute is for existing whistles, and there was no intent to cast a shadow on the Parks Whistles, in fact, someday I’d love to give one a try myself. God bless anyone that gives time to making musical instruments…even the bizarre ones I’ve seen, like the Afghanistan flutes and uilleann pipes that smell of camel shight… It’s not the maker fault, they were requested by others… And there was the square uilleann pipe set made up of nails and plywood and I think I remember clothes pegs for the regulator keys? It was a long time ago… 8-)

Hey breqqie, if free radicals are edible why not randomly generated numbers?

Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

Uh, sorry for breaking up the discussion about UN*X random generators edibility. :-)

Just to update you about the story and share my experience. The blue tack failed :-) I tried to model and put it in many ways, but I always ended up with a solution which affected too much the tone, or which randomly squeeked when playing, or which didn’t allowed me easily to use breath control to differentiate between the two octaves, in the best case.
I will try the ceolachan solution when I’ll find a suitable piece of plastic, meanwhile I perhaps will try that sordinella thing (it costs only 2 euros, so I can try). Parks whistles would even be a solution, although I’d rather prefer to build one myself at that point. Let’s see.

Thanks again you all!
Nice community, indeed. :-D

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Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

In the old days wax was used instead of blu tack.
It works for me, i guess i am happy with the sound, and you are not..If i could draw a picture but…. I cover about half the gap on the front of the fipple. one side. is that what you did?
I suggest the whistle mentioned above, after all, most whistlers have a collection of different keys and makes.

Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

Anal,

(ugh - why did you choose this nick? ;-) )

maybe you might be interested in purchasing an Every whistle, complete with mute ring? I got one from Carey, it’s simply fantastic. If interested, feel free to contact me. Incidentally, I’m Italian too.

Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

PS - Guidus is about to have two, because we couldn’t imagine customs taking four months! We assumed they were lost and I sent a duplicate. Now the second whistle is somewhere between here and there, trying to find it’s way to him. At least it has a month head start from this point. If anyone in Italy is interested it would be the quicker option to contact Guidus.

Carey

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Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

2 euros are 2 euros, and really, it is just a fancier version of the margarine tub mute… If you just keep saving your 2 euros you’d be able to buy one of those whistles with the ring that cjp makes… ;-)

Re: Lowering down the volume (for neighbors’ sake)

I resume the thread because I finally ordered and got my Parks whistle delivered.
It’s a lovely item, it’s the best whistle I ever played. It’s comfortable in mouth, it sounds beautifully, and yes, the volume can be EASILY, comfortably lowered down, without resulting in a squeezing tube, at all, AND MORE, and most important, it still plays beautifully even when silenced!

I got the latest addition to mr. Parks collection, this one which is splittable in three (!) pieces making it even more easy to carry.

http://www.parkswhistles.com/Whistles/EveryWalkabout/Default.aspx

Actually, my opinion as a musician counts nothing, since I’m still a beginner, and while I wanted to recommend this one to ANYBODY interested in getting a very pleasant whistle to play, my so called two cents are not that worty in this sense.

BUT I’m sure that my opinion as a frustrated learner IS worthful for a lot of people in the same situation of mine.
With this whistle I CAN now play with no hassle, tension, problems, leaving peace in the houses, (mine and neighborhood ones), thus having a excellent and pleasant music and practice experience.

If you care in practicing easily without disturbing others, stop playing in the car, or in the wardrobe as I read or anywhere else, and just get one of those.

Best regards

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