Can’t get brass whistle to stop squeaking

Can’t get brass whistle to stop squeaking

Hi guys,

I’ve bought a generation Eb brass tin whistle and I have a feadog brass in D. For the life of me I can’t get a good sound out of them. Is there a trick I’m missing when it comes to brass?

Thanks in advance

Sarah

Re: Can’t get brass whistle to stop squeaking

This has nothing to to with the material per se. When it squeaks make sure that you’re covering the holes properly and that you’re not blowing too hard. Especially Generation-/Feadóg-type whistles are quite sensitive to breath pressure.

Re: Can’t get brass whistle to stop squeaking

Yes what Sebastian says. Also, many inexpensive whistle makers have poor quality control, and I’ve seen many Generations and Feadogs which wouldn’t play in the 2nd octave, but just make air sounds or squeak. They’ll nearly always play in the low octave, though, if you blow very softly.

It’s best to get an experienced player to pick out your whistles for you, so that you know any squeaks aren’t the whistle’s fault.

Re: Can’t get brass whistle to stop squeaking

I’d love to find one of these shops that allows anyone, let alone a handily present experienced player, to pick through the whistles they have in stock!

If you are just starting out it can be quite a struggle to find the correct breath pressure and finger technique to get a decent tone. Even a crappy whistle will play a bit and its easy when you are just starting to blame everything on the instrument. A good player will make a rubbish instrument sound alright if not great sometimes. Even an average cheapo will make a reasonable sound most of the time if it’s played well enough.

Take your time to familiarise yourself with the whistles you have. Don’t just start playing tunes if it was that easy everyone would be doing it. There are loads of threads about whistles on these boards. Many are complete hooey IMO just completely nonsense comparisons of the merits of one make over another. It doesn’t matter, really it doesn’t. Dig up the threads that give tips on technique.

Learn to tongue the notes individually, slur runs, play octaves, hold steady notes. These are the basics that you need to practice over and over whilst making sure your fingers are covering the holes properly. If you can do that and still hear that your whistle isn’t sounding right then think about changing it. Don’t be another one of those posters looking for salvation from bad technique by the purchase of yet another toy.

If the actual shrillness and volume of the whistle is disturbing you and making it difficult to confidently try for the higher notes, in particular, dig up the threads about quietening down a whistle and look out for Ceolachan’s tips.

Re: Can’t get brass whistle to stop squeaking

Somtimes ye the cheap whistles play badly and need a little tweeking look up jerry freeman he explains his tweeking process online

Re: Can’t get brass whistle to stop squeaking

I’m not a brand new player and I can get lovely sounds from my Shaw and Clarke Whistles but yeah the brass ones just seem to hate me. I just wanted to give them a go because a lot of people love their Feadog’s.

Re: Can’t get brass whistle to stop squeaking

If you haven’t played those whistles much you might still need to adapt your blowing to the new gear. If you know your stuff and aren’t just looking for unrealistic immediate results fair play to you. I had a look at the Jerry Freeman "tweeking" info and it seems quite comprehensive and informed. If you’ve something that doesn’t and won’t ever please you to play I suppose there’s no harm in giving the tweeks a go.

There’s no reason at all from the scientific perspective that a brass whistle will perform any different to a nickel whistle. You can’t blow hard enough to make the blindest bit of difference to the walls, the only thing that remains are the dimensions and the accuracy of the manufacturing process.

Re: Can’t get brass whistle to stop squeaking

Any excess flashing in the head joint of the whistle? Shaw and Clarkes wont have that, but many cheap whistles do…pull the heads off and look for it and cut it off with an exacto/hobby knife.

If none is found, it is probably that you are blowing harder…your other whistles take more air than your new ones.

Re: Can’t get brass whistle to stop squeaking

I find that I need to blow warm air into mine,especially if it’s cold. This seems to help. I have a Sweetheart (wooden) and a Sousato (sp?),and they play much differently than the brass one.