Mudcat Café message #274780 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #13579   Message #274780
Posted By: Uncle Jaque
09-Aug-00 - 10:45 PM
Thread Name: Big Whistles - Little Fingers
Subject: RE: Help: Big Whistles - Little Fingers
The big whistles can be a challange; I've made a couple, and the stretch can take some getting used to. It does help to stagger the bottom hole off to the right just a tad to cover with the tip of the right ring-finger (or pinkie if it's a really long stretch), and the 3rd hole a bit to the left for the other pinkie. The other fingers are extended - not too stiff - and inclined slightly downwards as when playing the pipe chanter; the top hole is covered by the fleshy part of the left index finger just ahead of the first joint. The holes come closer to the fingertips as they go down, until just the tip of the ring finger caps the 3rd. I usually hook my pinkie under the barrel to help hold and stabilize the instrument. It's the same progression with the right hand from holes 4 - 6. Various makers are coming up with all sorts of innovations to overcome this obstacle, so stay tuned to Chiff & Fipple for late-breaking developments. I recently wrote a review on the C&F discussion board

about some "Indian Flutes" (actually variations of endblown whistles) recently encountered, including a recent innovation by Flutesmith Werner JOHN crossing a "flute" with an ocarina, resulting in a very short, stubby, yet low-pitched instrument. Stay tuned!