cheap low D whistle

cheap low D whistle

A friend in London wants to revive her whistle playing but is afraid to use a standard D whistle in her flat because it’s too shrill for the neighbours’ ears. So she wonders about a low D. But she said these seem expensive = 40 pounds or more. Any advice re cheaper but not horrible ones?

Re: cheap low D whistle

I think at least 100 pounds would be needed for a decent whistle. However, low-whistle is completely different than standard whistle and learning the fingering would take a lot of time! I suggest a Bb or F whistle!

Re: cheap low D whistle

the Tony Dixon all-plastic Low D whistle is rather quiet and sweet-sounding, and besides is perhaps the most ergonomic Low D around.

It has a conical/tapered shape which makes it thinner (for me the thinner the tube the more comfortable it is to hold) and also brings the three lower-hand finger-holes closer together. These three lower-hand finger-holes must be rather spread out on a Low D that has a straight tube.

And the Dixon is one of the least expensive Low Ds around.

A high D whistle doesn’t have to be shrill. I have an old Feadog D that is quiet and sweet-sounding. In particular the 2nd octave is extremely sweet, not loud or shrill in the least.

Re: cheap low D whistle

Under £40 I think you’re looking at making a PVC whistle for a low D. 19mm bore pipe is easy to get and can make a quiet whistle. Plenty of instructions and plans out there, few tools needed and it’s not hard…..

The cheapest off the shelf low D I know is the Tony Dixon one piece at £55. I’ve got the two piece version and it’s decent for the price. It “mutes” very well with a fold of thin plastic as described in the discussion linked above.

“Alto” whistles, in the range between low and high D can be really nice. The Generation Bb can be a lovely whistle and is very cheap and Tony Dixon again has G, A and Bb under £40.

Re: cheap low D whistle

Agree about some of the older Feadog high Ds, the ones with the chunkier head.

Re: cheap low D whistle

I do not think a low D whistle is the answer to this particular problem. Get acquainted with mounting putty (e.g. Blu-Tack). Cover half of the fipple aperture with a blob and the volume is decreased significantly, and you do not fall out with your lovely neighbours. Some of the Parks whistles (http://www.parkswhistles.com) have a similar specially designed volume control.

Re: cheap low D whistle

To get back to the original problem, it is easy to mute a high D whistle. Buy some of the sticky putty like stuff that is used to put posters up on a wall. Roll a little bit of it into a ball, mold it into the fipple of the whistle partially covering the airway, and, voila, you have a muted whistle. The amount of muting can be adjusted by covering more or less of the airway. I can practice tunes in a room with my family without bugging them, and I’ve done it in hotel rooms for years.

Re: cheap low D whistle

Oops, just read Nigel’s post. Sorry about the duplication.

Re: cheap low D whistle

Can you still get both octaves with the putty trick?

Posted .

Re: cheap low D whistle

You can!

Not to mention, there are a lot of quiet whistles out there. When I first started playing whistle I used a tweaked Clarke Original for awhile. It was pretty volume-friendly in situations where one should not be too loud.

Re: cheap low D whistle

Thanks . .

I had a Shaw Low d that was very quiet but the amount of air it required was ridiculous.

Posted .

Re: cheap low D whistle

I’m not sure what tradguy means by saying low D is completely different fingering. It’s exactly the same, unless by chance he means the piper’s grip, which is a different way of putting down exactly the same fingers. I wouldn’t get a Bb or F because you can’t play those in most sessions. I like the idea of a Clarke Original; those are very quiet. But a low D, in my opinion, would work just fine, except as you mentioned most are expensive.

Re: cheap low D whistle

I play a Kerry Optima which cost me 59 quid on special offer. Its not too loud, and it plays well. Its tunable. However, the finger stretch may or may not suit, unless the player is willing to use the piper’s grip. It suits me without the piper’s grip, but my hands are on the bigger side.

Paul

Posted by .

Re: cheap low D whistle

If your friend is keen to play a high D whistle then tell her to have a look at the Parks Every D tuneable whistle - it has a “tone ring” that you can set to play at normal volume or close to the point where you can play very quietly - see it on the Big Whistle Music website - http://www.bigwhistle.co.uk/shop_results.asp?search=2&maker=51&highlow=1&key=*&tunable=2&cat=*&GO=GO+%BB
I have one and it is great for when we are away staying in an hotel etc.

With regard to a cheap low D I would suggest you get what you pay for - under £50 is unrealistic for a whistle of any quality in a Low D (£100 to £250 being the norm). I would also get your friend to check that her hands can stretch enough to play a low D - you see very few female low D players around purely because it is too difficult to cover the holes with small hands.

Re: cheap low D whistle

I got a Dixon low D for similar reasons. The lower octave can be very quiet. Upper, not so quiet. Maybe once my breath control is more developed.

Another source for quiet high whistles is http://praisewhistlers.org/mackhooverwhistles/

Re: cheap low D whistle

Although I can’t vouch for sound or quality. Becker whistles in Missouri, U.S.A. makes a non-tunable low “D” out of PVC for about $18.00 US. His non-tunable high “D” PVC whistle for $8.00 US is actually quite good, but I’m not sure how the low “D” compares.

Re: cheap low D whistle

Re Becker Low D whistle: I think I’ve got one of those (I’ve got hundreds of whistles), and if I remember correctly they are amazing for the price. Yep, just found it, and for the price it cost (including shipping to the UK), it was a bargain.