Praise Whistlers Abroad
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About tuning, and stable whistles
http://praisewhistlers.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=3159
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Author:  Susi [ Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:55 am ]
Post subject:  About tuning, and stable whistles

Hi there!

As you know I'm a lover of Tony Dixon's whistles, and I mostly play a Dixon Trad that I love (but haven't tried any D whistles above that one) dearly, but now I'm taking lessons and my teacher plays a Generation D brass and we're not completely in tune with each other. Or does it differ with the weather or stuff like that? Should I take for granted that it's her whistle that isn't in tune, since I'm the one with the more quality whistle?
Now, I would never ever dream of playing a Generation again!!! Mine is tunable, but I didn't manage to get it in tune with hers. Not that it really matters too much, but it frustrates me.

What do you think of plastic whistles vs the nickel one? Dixon has some really nice polymer whistles, I have one C and one E, and I love them. Don't know if they're better than the trad, they do have nice sound, but it may just be the more mellow sound of a C whistle... not sure. The website says that the plastic whistles are more stable than nickel/brass whistles. What do you think?

Author:  jrc [ Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: About tuning, and stable whistles

While I found the tone on my Trad a bit 'sterile', I checked the tuning with a tuner and it was spot on. That's why I chose it for the group recording of 'Hyfrydol'. A tuner would eliminate any questions. And I think players would have to account for some stability in pitch as well. An unsupported (breath-control) whistle may be a bit flat. I can pull mine a bit either way.

Author:  Adrian [ Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: About tuning, and stable whistles

zoukie wrote:
Hi there!

As you know I'm a lover of Tony Dixon's whistles, and I mostly play a Dixon Trad that I love (but haven't tried any D whistles above that one) dearly, but now I'm taking lessons and my teacher plays a Generation D brass and we're not completely in tune with each other. Or does it differ with the weather or stuff like that? Should I take for granted that it's her whistle that isn't in tune, since I'm the one with the more quality whistle?
Now, I would never ever dream of playing a Generation again!!! Mine is tunable, but I didn't manage to get it in tune with hers. Not that it really matters too much, but it frustrates me.

What do you think of plastic whistles vs the nickel one? Dixon has some really nice polymer whistles, I have one C and one E, and I love them. Don't know if they're better than the trad, they do have nice sound, but it may just be the more mellow sound of a C whistle... not sure. The website says that the plastic whistles are more stable than nickel/brass whistles. What do you think?


I think it is correct that plastic whistles are more stable. Certainly my Susatos are more reliable than my Overtons and Chieftains in the cold weather.

There are different ways of tuning an instrument and so the tuner does not tell you the whole story. Some whistles are tuned to 12-step equally tempered (12ET) tuning, which I think is the most common model used these days. However, some whistles are tuned to one of the forms of just intonation. I think Fancypiper just ordered one of those.

I think I would be tempted to play a brass Gen when playing with your teacher to avoid the out-of-tune sound.

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