What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

I hate the buildup. What I have done so far is roll a tissue on a table and push it up there. This works after a fashion but because it has no rigidity it is hard to get up there as is the case in the bedroom.

I see there are cleaning brushes but I don’t want a brush I just need a rod so I canwrap the tissue around it.

I guess an old pen will do now I think of it. No need to buy anything special.

If I keep the spittle down after every tune or so then I can kind of stand it but it is seeing that those heavy glistening drops careen down the whistle which turns my stomach. So I will go for proactive prevention.

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Hmm a pen is too short. Are there any other household items which would be good to act as a sweep?

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

There’s this:
http://www.chamberlainmusic.com/productdetail.asp?productid=ACR-FLP&gclid=CPn0yqXnqtECFVEo0wodw1EN7Q

and this:
http://www.mickleburgh.co.uk/helin-flute-mop-e1610?gclid=COfNtNnnqtECFYoaGwodp6wJ-g

You could probably improvise something 0ut of a wire coathanger - or a knitting needle. It all depends what items you have in your household.

I would recommend using a cloth or rag rather than tissue paper. Tissue paper tends to disinegrate when it ges wet, leaving behind little bits that could build up over time, eventually clogging your windway.

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Longer pen.

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

There’s no real way to prevent it to my knowledge. I mean you’re blowing in a metal tube, condensation is just going to build up.

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Unless you suffer from some sort of medical condition that causes uncontrollable drooling, it’s probably not spit at all - just plain old condensation. If you’re going to play whistle you’ll just have to live with it!

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

They make cleaning rods (or swabs) for woodwinds, long alloy ones for flute, short plastic ones for recorders.

They have a slot on the end you put a small piece of cloth through.

I regularly swab out wooden flutes. I’ve never needed to swab out whistles. I just put a finger over the window and blow hard in the mouthpiece which clears the windway. You can just give a whistle a shake to shake out the excess moisture from the tube.

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

I second the condensate arguement. You’ll find you get more in cold conditions too. Someone I used to know said that condensate forms on a surface when there is greater than 5 degrees celsius between the warm air (your breath) and either the surface the condensate forms on or the atmospheric conditions the surface is a barrier for, can’t remember which, I’d have to look it up. Since our breath comes out at nearly 37 degrees celsius and pretty moist, condensate is always going to form unless you are outside during a heatwave. You get more forming on a metal flute on a cold day than you would a high D whistle on a hot day (shorter tube, less mass = warmer instrument in warm surroundings compared with a longer, more massive tube surrounded by cold air).

The old friend and I were trying to work out how to transport an art exhibition by truck and ferry without ruining the artworks, so had had to conclude the sea journey made dampness inevitable because of condensation. We used absorbant crystals to protect them.

You have to conclude that condensation is inevitable for woodwind instruments, and stop getting grossed out about it. Real spit would be gooier and very germy, and the insides of woodwinds might get truely horrid. Instead they are just very damp when we play them, so we dry them out to protect the instrument and stop the lower levels of stray bacteria multiplying in the hours afterwards. If you don’t like stray drips during playing, mop up with a cloth as you go. Then swab out at the end, but dry out, change, or wash your swabs between use because these can get buggy if left wet or changed infrequently.

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Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

The ‘its not spit its condensation’ arguement is a load of hogwash.

The moisture is from spit or else where else would it be from? it is condensed spit.

Can you get plastic whistles and would they prevent this to a large degree on not really?

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

I see plastic ones are available but I wonder how much they reduce this issue. I wouldnt mind paying more for one if it almost got rid of this disgusting issue. Would be well worth it.

Then again I remember that recorders do it as well and they are plastic so I guess not :(.

I want to explore all my options first though before I abandon ship and go back to the sterility of my string instrument.

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

When you see water on the inside of Windows, it’s actually not condensation, it loads of people spitting on the window.

if it is spit, how did it get condensed ?
do you understand what condensation is ?

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

"I want to explore all my options first though before I abandon ship and go back to the sterility of my string instrument."

Do you not get dead skin and assorted gunk clinging to strings?… ;-)

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Oh, OK, but how did the spit get on all the paintings in the sealed containers when they made the ferry crossing? Because now I’m really comfused…
; )

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Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Yes water in the air in these cases but if it were the same case that it is only water then if I put the whistle in the oven say then it would have the same amount of condensation as when playing.

Debunked!

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

The air in the oven is dry, the air coming from your lungs is pretty moist. Even if you put a tray of boiling water in the oven to stop your Christmas cakes from drying out too much, then put your whistle in the oven as well (poor whistle), everything in the oven would be about 150 degrees celsius, so no condensation forms. Compared with 37 degree wet air from lungs condensing on a whistle played in an 18 degree room. So different conditions cause different amounts of condensation. At least I hope so because otherwise distilled spirits might actually be spit too… OH NOES!!!

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Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Yes so the moisture on the lungs causes it and what is ‘moisture’ in the lungs if not spit?

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

"The moisture is from spit or else where else would it be from? it is condensed spit."

Arthur - I think you need to do a few simple scientific experiments. If you breathe onto a window (especially at this time of year), the window goes misty - because the water vapour in your breath condenses into small droplets of water. For the same reason, when you go out on a cold day, you can ‘see your breath’ (what you actually see is a cloud of water droplets).

When you blow into a whistle, the same water vapour forms a mist of droplets on the inside wall of the whistle - which merge together into larger drops and drip out of the bottom. Depending on the player (how much tonguing you use, how much you salivate), there might be a small amount of saliva in the mix as well (so it might potentially be possible to identify the owner of a lost whistle from DNA traces). But the only way you are going to have saliva cascading down the inside of your whistle is if you actively and resolutely spit down it instead of playing the thing.

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

"Yes so the moisture on the lungs causes it and what is ‘moisture’ in the lungs if not spit?"

It’s water, plain and simple. Saliva is a much more complex mixture of substances, with specific physiological functions https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saliva .

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Available from supermarkets are Solv-X bamboo skewers - 100 in a pack - which are approx 10" length (250mm)
They are low cost, very durable and flexible yet strong. Combined with previous contributor’s suggestion of small piece of cloth (I use narrow strip of cotton to dry wooden whistle) this works amply sufficiently.

If this doesn’t suffice to end this thread, which seemed to be getting bogged down in science, can I respectfully suggest you ram that whistle where the sun doesn’t shine, and that certainly will solve the problem once and for all.

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Q. What’s brown and sticky?
A. A stick.
Use a piece of dowel!

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Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Ah good shout on the bamboo skewers.

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

"I want to explore all my options first though before I abandon ship and go back to the sterility of my string instrument."

Do you not get dead skin and assorted gunk clinging to strings?… ;-)

….. I had to laugh, I’m sorry. (Even with my horrified brain screaming, "Abort visuals!") Guess I’ll think twice before wrinkling my nose at winds and brass now…

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

How about A Petticoat Loose?

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

24 replies.

RIP, TheSession.org. It’s been a great run, everybody! High fives all around!

:-)

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Yes, that’s right Jason, and yours was the 25th. (not that I’m disagreeing with you).

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Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Whew.

Think I’ll stick with the sterility of my stringed instrument. And remind me not to sit next to any whistlers.

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Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

I’d gladly exchange germs, with the right person, of course.

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Clearing wind instrument moisture?

Mr. Gondolor, please don’t ram anything up any opening which you intend to use to make music. It’s incongruous.

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Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

"I’d gladly exchange germs, with the right person, of course."…. Well that’s REAL spit though isn’t it Aaron? My advice is that French kisses are okay but avoid those Belgian kisses. I’ve heard that the Belgians are Phlegmish!

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Tin Whistle

If you cannot play an instrument because it’s prone to wetness you’re probably not ready to play the instrument.

Wind instruments get wet. It’s that simple.

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Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Gobby, I might be willing to exchange germs using fake spit, but I think I should find the right person first, and worry about the medium after that.

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Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

A high magnification photo of your fiddle strings and fretboard would probably horrify you.

Embrace the moisture (condensation, not spit). It’s what woodwinds do. Just blow the whistle out now and then. In a group, blow it out with some respect for those nearby.

I give a friendly warning to whoever is sitting immediately to my right, that I might discretely blow out my flute once in a while, behind our chairs. A bit like a surfacing whale. It’s not really to remove the moisture as such, but that moisture buildup eventually wrecks the tone and that’s the fastest way to remove it.

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Eventually, someone will put a hydrophobic nanoscale coating on the inside of a wind instrument and the spit will just blow through. With the notes. Like a kids bubble pipe…

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

I don’t know if I’d want that because then the condensation would constantly be flowing out the end. would it not?

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

You do realize that I posted in jest, do you not? ;^)

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

No I did not realize that…

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Recorders come with fluffy cleaning mops.
They look like oversize pipe cleaners. Maybe you can pick one up. Or three if they get nasty.

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Would it reduce the spit if you used circular breathing?

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

"Would it reduce the spit if you used circular breathing?"

You mean sucking out of the bottom whilst you blow in the top?

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Woodwind players are minging- do you want to be part of us or not????

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Minging, swinging, and proud of it.

The drip comes in handy too when there’s a session-wrecker sitting next to you. When the offender isn’t looking, just move the end of the instrument over their pint and let ‘er drip.

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Colman, I think they should gag you. You’re a bad influence, filling our minds with dangerous (and slightly disgusting) ideas…. ;-)

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

I would suggest to not get any condensation/spittle running down you pants to lie completely horizontal on a chaise and play away with your whistle to the skies! (but herein lies the other problem of choking on whatever fluid comes out the fipple!) Who knows, it might be better for our posture as well! ;)

Cheers,

Melany

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Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Cotton wool balls in the cheeks.

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Ok Ive mostly got over this now as I realised, like yall said, that it isnt actually spit.

On closer inspection I saw how clear that the droplet are which could not have been the case if it were spit as it would be cloudy and white would it not?

Contrary to what someone said about the science detracting from the thread I found it very informative and helped me ‘come to terms with my discharge’.

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Shake it out when your done, preferably in the direction of the bodhrán player. If you’re concerned, take apart your whistle apart once a month, rinse it out with water, and leave the whistle upright in a glass to dry out.

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Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

"I see plastic ones are available but I wonder how much they reduce this issue. I wouldnt mind paying more for one if it almost got rid of this disgusting issue"

Disgusting? Try playing a trumpet for awhile :)

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Aha! I detect a niche market opportunity here: a device to eliminate condensation in a whistle bore.

On the face of it, there seem to be two possible methods.

The first would be to have some sort of desiccating chamber incorporated in the mouthpiece; hence, a moisture free blow. As this would probably involve crystals or gel that need regular replacement, it provides an added maintenance income for the manufacturer. (Consider how much inkjet replacement cartridges cost.)

The second would be to affect the temperature of the tube either by an insulating sleeve or one that actively provides heat. (Of course, sleeves would have to have spaces to allow for the whistle holes) No doubt a whistler could get his girlfriend/wife/mum/granny to knit an one - but I don’t think there are currently any knitting patterns for whistle insulation sleeves. And a particular problem with the insulation method is that it won’t work properly until the tube has reached around 30C, which may take a fair bit of blowing and the session may be over by then.

The active heating method is definitely preferable; a sleeve with a battery powered element is the way to go. And, as the batteries would have to be kept in the pocket or some such place, it provides a permanent link between the whistler and the instrument so it can’t get forgotten and left behind in the pub after a skinful.

Those of you with an entrepreneurial bent need only consider that players are prepared to pay well over two hundred quid for a penny whistle to realise the potential of such a product.

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

As a player of one of these nasty shrill instruments you’ve probably more than once had it suggested where you could lodge the aforementioned. That would do the trick temparature-wise and would cost you nothing other than a bit of dignity. ;-)

Re: What can I use to ram up the tin whistle in order to soak up the spit?

Use a pipe cleaner.