Tin whistle clogging obnoxiously
I recently bought my second tin whistle, about two months ago. My first tin whistle that I’ve been playing for the past year is a Clarke D:
It’s cheap but wonderful, and over the course of the year I learned to play with pretty good tone quality even on higher notes. If it weren’t slightly flat and non-tuneable, I would still be playing it as my primary whistle now.
I then bought the Dixon Trad D in January as my next step up:
However, I’ve really had a hard time warming up to it. The higher octave "squeaks" quite easily, particular notes have almost a metallic grating sound (particularly the E in the second octave), and it overall seems more sensitive to the amount of breath. Some issues are surely because I’m still getting used to the whistle, but others are not improving even with practice.
Most significantly, the upper octave kept "catching" and playing both octaves at the same time, if that makes sense. I finally figured out that I had to blow out the clogged spit in order to get back to a more clear sound.
Maybe I was a bit naive to not know to do this, but in an entire year of playing the Clarke D, I NEVER once had a condensation issue. With the new whistle, I have to clear out the mouth piece every two songs!! I tried the trick with the soap and it didn’t seem to change anything.
Perhaps my playing technique has an influence, but I can’t imagine it could be this extremely different than with the other whistle - my technique didn’t change! A fellow tin whistle sessioner has the exact same model and has not experienced these issues.
Is it just because "higher-quality" whistles are more finicky than cheap whistles? Seeing as my friend never experienced these condensation issues, did I get a defective product? Is it because I’m playing wrong? Do I just need to buy a better whistle?
(A lot of you will say yes to this last question… My idea was to buy the cheapest whistle as a beginner, a mid-range whistle now that I’m an intermediate player, and an even nicer one once I improve more. I wasn’t planning on buying multiple at this stage, though I would if need be…).
Overall I like the sound of the whistle - when it cooperates with me - and I find it to be more "mature" in tone than the cheap Clarke D. That said, the clogging issue alone makes me want to go back to my good old whistle, even if it’s flat. I’d like to know if there’s something I can do to overcome these issues, or if they’ll most likely disappear as I get more comfortable with the whistle… or if I just need to suck it up and buy a different one.