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 Post subject: Simplicity
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:53 am 
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Location: Indiana flatland
We were speaking of the simplicity of whistles on the other board, and while we're at it...

Pull your Clarke Original out of the whistle drawer and give it a toot! Is there ever a whistle made simpler, yet having a finer sound? As was recommended by someone here, I finally found the courage to "thumbnail tweak" my D Clarke down to a sixteenth inch at the windway. What a sweet, chiffy, soft, bright sound! And not hard on the ears! I looked at my "thumbwork" and found that the exit hole really isn't bigger than that on my Burke Bb. So I no longer need a third lung to play the Clarke, even with jigs.
My little Clarke used to be almost exclusively an outdoor whistle, but it's getting much more play time now.

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 Post subject: Re: Simplicity
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:33 am 
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Location: Rodhope Mountains, Greece
If I pull out my Clarke Original I might just throw it out of the window. It is a dreadful whistle in my experience. I had my first Clarke in about 1966 I think. Back then it was just a toy to me but since I took up the whistle more seriously more recently it has remained little more than a toy in my whistle bucket. My main complaint is that all mine are terribly out of tune.

However, jrc is a master of the Clark Original and can really make it sing, but I have not heard many people play it well. This whistle does have many fans though.

IMHO the Meg and the Sweetone are far superior to the Clark Original.

Kelly, I'm delighted to hear that you love yours.


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 Post subject: Re: Simplicity
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:47 am 
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Location: Sparta. NC USA
I have both Clarke Megs and Sweetone whistles and they are just to "pure" in their sound to suit my ears. Mine aren't tuned nearly as well as the original.

The Clarke original design is still my favorite suprano D whistle (with the Every whistle giving it a hard run for first place).

I have both a self-tweaked and untweaked Clarke and a Whistle Shop tweaked whistle on order, all of them that I have are very well tuned (but will go slightly flat below about 50 degrees F). I have had good luck with only 2 orig. design whistles that weren't in tune out of the box.


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 Post subject: Re: Simplicity
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:49 am 
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I have several sweetones, two original clarkes... after my obrien maple the original clark is my favorite whistle. I tried to tweak one and almost ruined it heh. My sweettones are not what I would call sweet heh. hmm somewhere in the TPE a couple of my clips are played on the clarke....might have to pull mine out this evening if I get a chance.


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 Post subject: Re: Simplicity
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:20 am 
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Location: Indiana flatland
Adrian, I have had better luck with Clarke originals. Mine have all been in pretty-close-to tune (I haven't played them for the electronic tuner). I like the Meg, used to have one--but I found it sounded toyish if I didn't lean into it (I could've gotten used to that, but the mouthpiece cracked around the tin for some reason). Bummer.

Fancypiper, you are the one who inspired me to take a second look at my Clarke. Thanks! I find I like more chiff than I used to in a whistle. So the tone of the Clarke is more attractive to me now than when I bought it.

Shadoes: I think my O'Brien in C is also my favorite whistle, though I am such a Burke fan it almost hurts to say it. It also has chiff, and that wonderfully woody chirp on ornaments. I would like to hear your clips on the Clarke. I really like it!

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 Post subject: Re: Simplicity
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:04 pm 
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My Clarke original was a favorite after the thumb tweak, then it went out of tune. I'll get another one one of these days.

The Megs my students use amaze me with how they reflect the students' personalities. I once heard a highly respected person say a whistle has only one tone, while flute can be played with many tones. I would have agreed had I not heard my students all playing on Megs. The tyrannical boy who wishes to bend the whistle to his will finds himself on the short end every time he plays it. The whistle rebels every time. Squeaks and squawks back at him. Poor kid. The quiet girl with a respect for history plays and you hear a beautiful, expressive tone. The clever boy plays jigs that make your toes tap, with a completely different, more strident tone than the quiet girl. At three American dollars a whistle they've bought several, and no matter which whistle they use they bend them to their moods in the same way...or the whistle bends them, I don't know.

So if you don't like your whistle, put it away until your mood changes. You may like it better. And hail, hail to the Clarke original.

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 Post subject: Re: Simplicity
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:10 pm 
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Location: Sparta. NC USA
ConnieS wrote:
My Clarke original was a favorite after the thumb tweak, then it went out of tune. I'll get another one one of these days.

It sounds as if the wooden plug has moved.

Try and see if you can get it back into tune by moving the plug, then you can tap the sides with a hammer or use some small nails to hold it in place.

I fixed the two of mine that I got that were out of tune that way.


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 Post subject: Re: Simplicity
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:01 pm 
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Adjusting my Clarke original with the hammer tweak! \:D/ :thumbsup: =D>


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 Post subject: Re: Simplicity
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:04 pm 
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Adrian wrote:
Image

Adjusting my Clarke original with the hammer tweak! \:D/ :thumbsup: =D>


I reserve that same 'tweak' for any of my daughters un-gentlemanly boyfriends as well. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Simplicity
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:16 pm 
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ConnieS wrote:
The Megs my students use amaze me with how they reflect the students' personalities. I once heard a highly respected person say a whistle has only one tone, while flute can be played with many tones. I would have agreed had I not heard my students all playing on Megs. The tyrannical boy who wishes to bend the whistle to his will finds himself on the short end every time he plays it. The whistle rebels every time. Squeaks and squawks back at him. Poor kid. The quiet girl with a respect for history plays and you hear a beautiful, expressive tone. The clever boy plays jigs that make your toes tap, with a completely different, more strident tone than the quiet girl. At three American dollars a whistle they've bought several, and no matter which whistle they use they bend them to their moods in the same way...or the whistle bends them, I don't know.


I agree with what was said about flute and whistle. The thing is not to confuse tone shaping and style. If you got 100 whistlers to play a long in-tune D on the same whistle let's say 5 seconds each you will find that they all sound pretty much the same. Even if they try to shape the tone e.g. by opening or closing the mouth cavity, the differences will be very small. But if you asked these 100 whistlers to each play the same tune one at a time there would be 100 different styles: huffy-puffy (Joshua fit...), crisp and poppy, lazy jazz, staccato like a fife, boisterous, velvet smooth, classical, rough, bouncy etc etc. These are stylistic differences.

Try it yourself with a whistle. Play a long in-tune note lets say for 10 seconds and try to vary the tone. You can vary it but compare that with the vast variety of tone colours that you can get from a flute (not a beginners or low intermediate player of course).


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 Post subject: Re: Simplicity
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:08 pm 
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I agree that you can get more variety of tones out of your flute, but ... still, some variety is possible with a factory-made whistle like the Meg, Sweetone, Generation, etc. I'll record my next intermediate pennywhistle class for you. Won't play you the whole thing, but enough to show what I mean. It's more than style. It's how hard they're willing to blow, the way they take command of the instrument, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Simplicity
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:39 am 
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Adrian wrote:
Image

Adjusting my Clarke original with the hammer tweak! \:D/ :thumbsup: =D>


I'm glad you wore the safety helmet!

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"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." --C.S. Lewis.


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 Post subject: Re: Simplicity
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:41 pm 
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I'm with Adrian. :D :D :D

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