Saturday, December 08, 2012

Penny for your thoughts?

Bought this little baby off Denmark Street today for the low low price of £5 - it's a Generation Tin Whistle (aka Penny Whistle) in the key of F.

This is a marvelous piece of kit and I would wish that when we were kids in school, to have this replace the soprano recorder instead. Having only 6 tone holes, it's waaay easier to hold them down tight, versus the two tiny holes at the far end of a recorder.

This tin whistle has F as its lowest note and plays the F major diatonic scale right out of the box; starting from the next note up it's G dorian, so improvising over Gm is easy, and unlike choromatic instruments, it's just lifting up one finger for the next note up.

Played it today in my office's back stairwell, and produces a very nice rounded tone. The long reverb tail in the stairwell is just bliss. Notes take seconds to die out and mix in beautifully with the newer notes. Ah, the real thing (tm). I only managed perhaps A above the octave break, and it was very easy to get to the next octave by overblowing.

Unlike my other flutes, this little one has a fairly small air requirement, and I could sustain a note for a fair while - plus putting in extra air means overblowing it.

I also tried vibrato on it, could do but quite difficult. I think it's due to the short length of the body.

Also, as it is a keyless instrument, it is quite critical to cover all the holes properly with your fingers. The F whistle is actually quite small for my paws (for some reason I might have read the key of F was used for titanic, but I'm probably wrong - but that's why I bought it in F) and my fingers are all squished up side by side. Should have got a regular D, or even the larger Bb whistles.

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