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Tin Whistle problems in sessions !

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GUEST,Seany 15 Apr 01 - 10:46 AM
Bernard 15 Apr 01 - 11:35 AM
Bernard 15 Apr 01 - 11:44 AM
GUEST 15 Apr 01 - 11:46 AM
gnu 15 Apr 01 - 12:50 PM
Liz the Squeak 15 Apr 01 - 12:56 PM
Bernard 15 Apr 01 - 01:04 PM
Sorcha 15 Apr 01 - 01:05 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 15 Apr 01 - 01:11 PM
Liz the Squeak 15 Apr 01 - 01:18 PM
Ruthie A 15 Apr 01 - 01:43 PM
GUEST 15 Apr 01 - 06:32 PM
GUEST,Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin 15 Apr 01 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,Brían 15 Apr 01 - 08:26 PM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Apr 01 - 10:27 PM
GUEST,Ex Sessioneer 15 Apr 01 - 10:52 PM
Extra Stout 16 Apr 01 - 02:40 AM
radriano 16 Apr 01 - 11:20 AM
mousethief 16 Apr 01 - 11:21 AM
selby 16 Apr 01 - 12:05 PM
mousethief 16 Apr 01 - 12:13 PM
Twiz 16 Apr 01 - 06:04 PM
Twiz 16 Apr 01 - 06:15 PM
JeZeBeL 16 Apr 01 - 06:16 PM
Sarah the flute 17 Apr 01 - 05:07 AM
GUEST,ex trad session person AGAIN 17 Apr 01 - 05:18 AM
Seany 17 Apr 01 - 06:01 AM
Bernard 17 Apr 01 - 06:08 AM
dulcimer 17 Apr 01 - 06:57 AM
Whistleworks 17 Apr 01 - 07:53 AM
Bernard 17 Apr 01 - 08:14 AM
Jenny the T 17 Apr 01 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Rag 17 Apr 01 - 08:25 AM
Jenny the T 17 Apr 01 - 09:51 AM
Scotsbard 17 Apr 01 - 12:08 PM
Seany 17 Apr 01 - 01:28 PM
GUEST,oh no Its that persona gain - ex pro trad et 17 Apr 01 - 07:30 PM
Bernard 17 Apr 01 - 07:56 PM
Helen 17 Apr 01 - 08:24 PM
Helen 17 Apr 01 - 08:27 PM
GUEST,Hi again Bernard 18 Apr 01 - 12:26 AM
GUEST,Rag 18 Apr 01 - 08:19 AM
GUEST 18 Apr 01 - 07:06 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 18 Apr 01 - 08:36 PM
GUEST 18 Apr 01 - 10:43 PM
GUEST,re Sam 19 Apr 01 - 03:21 AM
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Subject: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: GUEST,Seany
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 10:46 AM

Hi,

I have noticed that at sessions the tin whistle gets drowned out by the accordion, the violin and the flute - unless the tune uses the upper octave (overblow) in which case the piercing sound carries over the other instruments.

Now, my question is, what tunes do you know on the tin whistle that use the upper octave effectively i.e. the nicest part of the tune or one of the nicest parts is played on the upper octave ?

Cheers,

Seany


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Bernard
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 11:35 AM

I've found the 'D' to be most useful - it's easy enough to play in G and Em. As a classically trained flautist I can extend the range higher than 'normal' by using flute-style cross-fingerings.

One word of advice - when playing the different octaves, lowest D (on the 'D' whistle) is all six holes covered, the next octave up is five holes - leave the one nearest your mouth uncovered, and the next octave two fingers only - no right hand fingers (assuming you play conventionally with your left hand nearer your mouth).

The notes blow easier, and are in tune.

 < mouth end
Low D: * * * * * *
Mid D: o * * * * *
Hi D: o * * o o o


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Bernard
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 11:44 AM

Tunes
  1. Statten Island
  2. Steamboat
  3. Foxhunters
  4. Church Street
  5. Bonny Kate
  6. Speed the Plough
  7. Rakes of Kildare
  8. Horses Branle (tricky Bb!)
  9. Haste to the Wedding


Will they do for a start?!


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 11:46 AM

Thank you - though not quite what I was after ...


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: gnu
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 12:50 PM

Perhaps an example, then ?


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 12:56 PM

I just bought a smaller whistle and went for the high descants... although in my case it was a recorder, rather than a whistle. Then everyone else started to play the whistle and I went back to the lower recorders. You may not be able to hear the difference yourself, but others in the session will be able to....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Bernard
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 01:04 PM

I think the 'not what I was after' was aimed at my first posting - then I realised I'd mis-read the question, and posted some tunes!!


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 01:05 PM

Ideally, of course, the accordian player could shut up, and the fiddle could play softer, or not at all. I either use the mute, or the whistle and I take turns on the breaks. Muting an accordian is not real possible, and, with most of the accordian players I know (note: I said most getting them to stay out once in a while is not an option either. (Bill Sables is NOT like that, OK?)

Tunes with a high part:
Angeline the Baker
Rakes of Mallow
Gal (Girl) I left Behind
Kerry Polka
Old Joe Clark
Cluck Old Hen
Over the Waterfall
Swallowtail Jig
(doesn't exactly have a High part, but it will overblow well)
That's a start, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 01:11 PM

Guest, I can't bring to mind tunes that match your requirements, if only because I've never thought to classify tunes that way. You might start by skimming through collections of sheet music. If you can't read music, you just need to know that where dots are up around the top two lines of the stave and above, they are representing notes that will be played in the higher register. Note the names of tunes where these higher-register notes predominate.

Beyond this, there are areas of the net entirely devoted to the whistle, where you will get a better response to a specific query like this. For starters you could try Chiff & Fipple, which has a lively messageboard, and Dave Auty's Penny Whistle Workshop. As well as offering huge amounts of info, they have good links.

By the way, it's a good idea to put something - anything - in the "from" line when you post anything here, if only to distinguish you from anyone else who may overlook (or deliberately ignore) this detail.


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 01:18 PM

There is a way to mute accordians but it involves a penknife and a quick getaway!!

LTS *BG*


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Ruthie A
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 01:43 PM

I play a tuneable whistle by susato; it sounds a lot like a recorder but is significantly louder, especialy in the lowest register. 'The Laurel Tree', 'Maggie's Pancakes' and 'Brenda Stubbit's' are my favourite tunes oin whistle.

Ruthie


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 06:32 PM

Fionn; thanks for your post - I've added those two sites to my favorites list!
Seany; treat yourself to a G whistle - mine too is a Susato. Lovely tone, and it will extend your range considerably.


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: GUEST,Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 06:55 PM

You could always play both bits of the tune in the high register.

Whilst you may not feel that it provides the differentiation between an A and B music you would like, at least you may be able to be heard.

But is that the point? If you are playing and contributing to the overall ambience of the session, does it matter that you are not coming over on an 'individual' level?

Obviously it does, or you wouldn't have asked, I suppose. There must be a difference between simply not being able to hear yourself above the rest in some sessions, contrasted with someone wanting to be identified or identifiable as an individual contributor.

I think this may be the philosophy of the arts rather than practical help!

Shoh slaynt,

Bobby Bob


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: GUEST,Brían
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 08:26 PM

Try "The Wind that shakes the Barley"& "Star of Munster","Ships are Sailing", "The Silver Spear". With more confidence playing in noisy, smokey seissiúns, you'll be surpired that you can hear yourself better than you think. Beidh mé ag caint leat arís.


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 10:27 PM

Seany, you are struggling against an almost-universal convention in Irish and Scottish dance tunes. Turn the pages of a collection such as O'Neill's Music of Ireland, and you will find that the A part of a tune is the best part and the B part is rather mechanical. But to make up for this, the B part almost always goes high, in order to substitute energy for beauty and to create the impression that something is going on.

Therefore, the combination of good music in the high register just doesn't occur often.

Why don't you see if you can get the band to play some airs and vocal pieces where you might get the chance to shine.


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: GUEST,Ex Sessioneer
Date: 15 Apr 01 - 10:52 PM

Most folk listen to the Tin Whistle and Fiddle (GRING) no matter what the rest are doing, except in rare cases where there is a good Piper, ohhhhh there are lots of student Pipers since it takes 14 years to get it half right. (Is that why they play half sets ? ..... )

There's a few records out that are great even if one does not play, Mary Bergin, Miko Russell - good starting place

Have fun


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Extra Stout
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 02:40 AM

When I started to throw a bit of whistle into my band's mix,I was surprised at how it carried. People heard more of it than I thought they would. The same thing happened to me practicing at work, in a stamping plant. I was surprised that my boss heard it so clearly and from so far away.


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: radriano
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 11:20 AM

Ditto to what Bobby Bob said in his post.

I have heard that in Ireland the A part is called the "tune" and the B part is called the "turn." By its very nature the pub session, unless it is a small one, is not kind to the whistle. And playing the whistle in its high register can result in a very shrill and sometimes unpleasant sound. You stand the chance of being heard more but liked less.

I don't know if there is a sensible solution to this problem. Maybe start a smaller session somewhere else? Or get together with friends in someone's house. In the session setting you might be better off just knowing that you're adding to the mix. Wait a minute, there is a solution! Learn tunes no one else in the session knows.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: mousethief
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 11:21 AM

Why not have the accordion stop playing during the tin whistle's solo?

Alex


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: selby
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 12:05 PM

I thought the the point of a session was that everyone went to play music and the enjoyment was playing as a whole rather than solo spots.


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: mousethief
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 12:13 PM

Then I'd say a tin whistle just isn't an ensemble instrument. There are physical limitations one must acknowledge. Trying to ahve a tin whistle heard among all those other, louder instruments is a pipe dream (pun intended).

Reminds me of the PDQ Bach thing where Schickele says the Lute is such a quiet instrument that if there's even another instrument in the ROOM, even if it's not playing, you can't hear the Lute.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Twiz
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 06:04 PM

Hi Seany,

I would say if you really want to be heard buy a Susato whistle, It will cut through a lot of noise. You need to be quite confident to play one though as it can sound a bit shrill on the high notes. If you have an ordinary whistle like a 'Generation' then learn reels such as "Over the Moor to Maggie" which has a nice second part and uses the higher notes. This reel has three parts and you should go through the paces until the middle bit then go for the throat!! Most tunes have a higher second part. A few more reels I can think of are.. Saint Anne's The Sligo Maid Ships are Sailing The Green Gates Jigs.. The ship in full Sail Boys of the Town Pipe on the Hob The Legacy Hornpipes.. The Boys of Bluehill Manchester Hornpipe The Honeysuckle

Or start off some airs like Sheebeg and Sheemor,or Blind Mary, that way the other players would have to be very crass to override you!! and if it is a good session there should be some nice quiet accompaniment. If you want any of these tunes please email me here

Twiz


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Twiz
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 06:15 PM

Seany,

Sorry about the lack of commas it should read Saint Anne's reel, Ships are Sailing, The Green Gates. Jigs... The Ship in Full Sail, Boys of the Town, Pipe on the Hob, The Legacy. Hornpipes...The Boys of Bluehill, Manchester Hornpipe, The Honeysuckle.

Twiz


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: JeZeBeL
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 06:16 PM

One of my mates had a really good idea the other day. Wot you do, if your accordion player is as loud as Sam Pirt,is, before he arrives, you hook all the whistles and other quite instruments up with pick ups and then when he arrives and starts playing, everyone else deafens him for a change. Just for a laugh of course. We have nothing against ur playing Sam. Just thought it'd make an amusing change.Only problem being that we wouldn't be able to get all the equipment into the Jug Inn. Worth a try anyway. Hehehehehehe

Other option is get a tuneable susato as many people have said. You may find that you need to saw a bit off though if you are interested in getting it perfectly in tune on thouse really high notes, like in Si bheg Si more. Very nice slow tune by the way that you can put lots of expression and feeling into. Try:

Kesh Jig Irish Washerwoman Rakes of Kildare Blackthorn Stick Jackson's Favourite Rose in the Heather Blarney Pilgrim (affectionately known as Barmey Piglet) Rakes of Mallow (or, erm Marshmallows!!) Drowsie Maggie Off She Goes Salley Gardeners Blaydon Races

Is that enough to be going on with.

Emma xxxx


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 05:07 AM

If it's a really noisy session and I want to be heard I use a pickup which is a little tiepin microphone wrapped around the instrument with some sponge foam over the top to stop the breathing noises and a little battery powered amp/speaker. It looks a bit strange but it does the trick and doesn't take up much room.


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: GUEST,ex trad session person AGAIN
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 05:18 AM

Does not think folks are READING what is here!

Say again - Listeners DO not LISTEN to THE loud ACCORDIAN

They listen to the MUSIC which is in the WHISTLE and FIDDLE - no matter what you think they HEAR!

Second point now that I am getting into this, the ACCORDIAN is not capable of properly expressing all the stucture of the tunes SO a fiddle or whistle is BOUND to come across as better.

Last thang- in the USA the air is not kind to whistle so do not work tooo hard - tell ya what emigrate to Europe and do yourself a favor - Better cheese, beer and lower cost Guinness.


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Seany
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 06:01 AM

Apologies - I was not at my usual computer when I posted previously and was cookie-less as a consequence.

I have read with great interest the replies sent back and am particularly grateful for the lists of tunes.

I am also fascinated by this idea that the A and B parts are so arranged that the tune is in the A part and the B part is provide energy. I would like to read/discuss more on this subject.

I am not trying to take over the session but would like to make sure that in a two hour period there were maybe 3 or 4 tunes that provided me with some recognition from the others ( and from myself as I can hear that I'm playing ok !)

Here is a list of tunes so far, and this is certainly enough for me to be going on with :-

Statten Island Steamboat Foxhunters Church Street Bonny Kate Speed the Plough Rakes of Kildare Horses Branle (tricky Bb!) Haste to the Wedding Angeline the Baker Rakes of Mallow Girl I left Behind Kerry Polka Old Joe Clark Cluck Old Hen Over the Waterfall Swallowtail Jig The Laurel Tree Maggie's Pancakes Brenda Stubbit's The Wind that shakes the Barley Star of Munster Ships are Sailing The Silver Spear Over the Moor to Maggie Saint Anne's reel Ships are Sailing The Green Gates The Ship in Full Sail Boys of the Town Pipe on the Hob The Legacy The Boys of Bluehill Manchester Hornpipe The Honeysuckle. Kesh Jig Irish Washerwoman Blackthorn Stick Jackson's Favourite Rose in the Heather Blarney Pilgrim Drowsie Maggie Off She Goes Sally Gardens Blaydon Races Si Bheag Si Mhor

Cheers,


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 06:08 AM

On the subject of miking up a flute or whistle, Sarah, you didn't point out what isn't obvious to some - the mic must go on the mouthpiece, or as near to it as is practical. That is where the sound comes out, hence the need for a windshield.

On my flute I wrap an elastic band around the 'stop-end' so that the tie-mic can 'look across' the mouthpiece. With a whistle or recorder this is not possible, so a good compromise is alongside the mouthpiece - not pointing into the airstream directly, but parallel to it.

Don't forget they will hear you speaking unless you rig a switch! The switch should 'short out' the microphone pair, but leave the ground screen alone. PM me if you need more info.

Clarinets, oboes and saxophones (which don't need miking at sessions!!) are miked from the 'bell' end.


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: dulcimer
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 06:57 AM

Seany, I am certainly not trying to be unkind or suggest your ego is getting in the way of enjoying a session. I play a very quiet instrument-mountain dulcimer. For years, even when asked to play, I couldn't be hear. (Finally, I bought a dulcimer with a louder volume and can now be heard as a lead instrument. But that really wasn't the solution.) So for many years I sat in sessions with guitar players, singers, and fiddlers and sat on the edge playing back up and picking up technics. Sometimes I would just find a smaller session or play by myself. BUT, at some point after hanging around, people began to notice I could play with them and would throw me the melody during their tune or ask me for a tune. I learned a lot during those years of sitting on the edge and am a better player and I hope person for it. So the moral might be--learn your craft well and you will be recognized by people that really count. If people won't respect your playing--allow you to be heard during a two hour session--you may be playing with the wrong people.


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Whistleworks
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 07:53 AM

From reviewing the tunes mentioned thus far that have a "B" part which uses more of the high notes of the D whistle, it appears that probably every other tune in any session will have something like this.

There is another option which is costly, but effective. The traditionalists will shout, but maybe buying a Copeland or Burke which do have the "punch" and are considered "louder" may be helpful.

But truly, one person made it clear that the purpose of a session is for all musicians to play along with each other and not try to outdo or out volume the rest.

And in the "For What It's Worth" department, try The Rights of Man. That one will get you heard.

Good luck and happy whistling.


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 08:14 AM

"the ACCORDIAN is not capable of properly expressing all the stucture of the tunes"

Wild generalisation!!

Maybe there are many accordion players who aren't capable, and some instruments aren't up to the job.

Click here! ...and eat your words!!


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Jenny the T
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 08:22 AM

Not being able to hear yourself in a session isn't limited to whistles.

When I play mandolin, I run into the very same thing--can't hear myself, and must struggle against an inclination to "force" it, playing harder and louder (and sounding worse as a result).

You should ask amongst the listeners if you can be heard, and not rely solely on your own ears. I'm told that the mando, being a different "voice," cuts through quite well: it's only me who can't hear (maybe 'cause I'm sitting behind it?). The whistle may present the same situation--in our local sessions, I can always hear the whistler. and we've got the whole gamut--accordion, pipes, fiddles, the odd bouzouki and harp ...

If the consensus really is that you're inaudible, get a louder whistle. I have a three-barrel Susato set (D, C, Bb) that I rarely play precisely because it _is_ so darn loud. It wasn't too expensive (@ 10 dollars per barrel) and might solve your problem.

Why limit yourself to a subset of tunes? If your whistle isn't loud enough, get a louder whistle, I say.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: GUEST,Rag
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 08:25 AM

Some of the best sessions I've been to have been those where musicians don't try to drown out the player leading the set. Simple rule of thumb, if you can't clearly hear the person leading the set, you are playing too loud. Having people voluntarily show respect to players that way avoids all kinds of problems and also lets everyone hear and appreciate the music.

Some of the worst sessions I've been to have been where one or more loud instruments along with thumping feet bully the tune into a different speed and drown out the musician who started the set, sometimes even forcing them to stop.

Bit of common sense all round makes everything go a lot smoother. It;s not a competition or an ego parade. Let the music breathe a bit. Get musicians to think about the overall effect and you've got it sorted.


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Jenny the T
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 09:51 AM

Right you are, Rag. A session isn't about "me, me, me;" it's about everyone fitting together.

The point about bullyin' speed freaks taking over--seen it done many a time, but thankfully not much at our local session. Just plain rude, that is ... unless the person starting the tune has bitten off more than they can chew, and someone _needs_ to take over for the poor soul. Just blasting a tune so as to "show 'em all and shut down them no-talent newbies"--that's someone whose brain is far more developed in the Ego area than in the Manners area.

But I don't think the original post was about drowning out anyone; just about being audible. That particular desire seems fair enough to me.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Scotsbard
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 12:08 PM

From the perspective of a usually fingerpicking guitarist who has fallen victim to WAS (whistle aquisition syndrome) during the last few years of learning to play them ... *LAUGH* ... the brand or type of whistle seems to make a big difference in volume and carrying power, and none of them seem completely uniform across the octaves. In the spirit of experimentation, I've aquired a basketful of different D, A, and low-D whistles, mostly as a result of inane impulse purchases ...

Here's a quick rundown of some of the lower priced "D" whistles from an admittedly novice player. Based on the range or type of tune, I often pick up a different instrument:

D - Clarke; tapered metal with wooden plug, well tuned across the octaves, but windy in upper register
D - Walton; brass tube with plastic fipple, tuning just so-so, shrill upper register, medium low end volume
D - Walton; larger nickel tube with plastic fipple, tuning just slightly worse, sounds slightly mellower
D - Walton; thin aluminum tube with plastic fipple, tuning very so-so, windy sound, erratic volume
D - Susato; molded plastic, edgy sound, tunes very well, moderate low end volume
(and in the not so low end)
D - Sweet; turned maple, mellow sound with surprising low end volume and upper octave a little sharp
D - Chieftain; turned aluminum, breathy sound, tuning ok and more rangey with pressure than others, nicely centered volume in middle register

The low-D whistles from Chieftain and Susato sound generally similar to their smaller counterparts. The Howard low-D has a nice haunting hollowness and volume in the lower register, but tunes poorly in the upper octave.

Using a "G" or "A" whistles when the tune permits allows the player to stay in the middle range of the instrument, with usually better volume and control. I've also been goofing around with the Susato "A" (both small and large bore) and their "G" whistle, and also with the Sweet "A" and "D" simple wooden flutes. Just for grins, I also got a Walton high-G, but the holes are almost too closely spaced for my fat fingers.

Basically, the Waltons and Susatos are cheap and durable, so they tend to ride around in the car for practice during road trips and traffic jams. The other ones only make it out of the house when I'm actually headed for a session. The Howard is good for slow aires, but I avoid the upper octave. The Sweet is also good for airs or fills behind vocalists.

The Chieftains are new aquisitions, and have crisp edge that will probably make them my choice for quick instrumentals after I get used to the difference in pressure needed to tune the upper octave well. Its interesting that they have more volume (and the pitch varies with volume) range on a given note than any of the others.

... whew ... longer than intentioned, but the difference in whistles might be worth pursuing.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Seany
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 01:28 PM

Fascinating discussion - no-one can disagree that there is a complex relationship between the tune, the instrument, the person playing it and the group they are in.

I guess I was just looking for a few tunes that were geared towards the whistle e.g. Si Bheag Si Mhor does sound really good on the whistle as does The Town I Loved So Well and Charlie Hunters. I will, over time, go through the list above.

As I am still learning the whistle I just enjoy playing tunes by myself and it is more pleasing if the tune sounds good on the whistle and if it also sounds good in the first overblown octave then I know I can play at a session and gain some credibility quickly.

Cheers,


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: GUEST,oh no Its that persona gain - ex pro trad et
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 07:30 PM

Well Bernard there are a very very small - less than 7 - accordianists ever who managed to get it vaguely correct. Mr Gallagher of Co Sligo being the one today. It used be Joe Cooley but he died - too much smoking Players Navy Cut and drinking Guinness - Actually I never did meet Mr Gallagher but have heard enough to know the rumors are correct. He is a Musician who plays the Accordian not the other way around.

Eating my words - one Brother and a Sister both played it, one cousin and several Professional retired now friends -

They would tell you the same thing as I have. Just play the Tin Whistle as best you can and eventually you will out play any free reed instrument under the table - but please remember to lift the Guinness before it gets spoiled.

Yes the Accordian is beautifull, yes it is capable in Celtic, but it is not the source nor the leader of the Genre as are the Tin Whistle and Flute.

Because it is loud does not make it better - it just makes it louder. IMHO a session of capable fiddlers and flutes is far far better for the lack of the unmentionable and indeed it is only since 1890 or so that the knee organ has become a part of the tradition.

Now in case you think me prejudiced - I actually can play a few tunes on it and it is fun to do, but if I want to get 'into' a good tune I do it on the fiddle or those I can play - on the Penny Whistle.

Now will ya not have a large glass of Guinness with me and tell me a good story?


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 07:56 PM

I'm a musician who plays accordion - I'm also a church organist, so I know that loud isn't always best, but it's handy to have that advantage if you need to lead.

If I'm in a session I like to 'doodle' quietly in the background - sometimes on my accordion, sometimes on my flute, sometimes on my mandolin, or maybe playing a guitar accompaniment.

It's all down to respect for the person leading the set - though there is a tendency for some people to play their favourite show-off pieces which are obscure, so no-one else gets to join in.

One session I used to go to was just like that - there was a clique, a mutual admiration society. Yet when I played one of my favourites (which people could join in with, BTW) I was 'reprimanded' by one of the clique at the end of the evening. I've not been back.

There are times when it seems that I'm the only one being polite, showing respect, etc., and that privilege isn't being reciprocated - almost as if they resent my ability, yet I know it isn't that.

Okay! Moan over!!


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Helen
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 08:24 PM

Hi Seany,

Just to add another tune or two to your list. I can still hear in my head a friend of mine playing the high notes on the tin whistle, with a little bit of harmony thrown in, on Come By the Hills, accompanying an amazing accordion player and singer called Mick O'Brien (who came out to Oz for a few years and then we lost contact with him). That was at a session at my place about 20 years ago.

That tune is still one of my absolute favourites.

Almost any of the harp tunes of Carolan sound good on the tin whistle.

Also there was a tune sung by Christy Moore. I think it is The Galtee Mountain Boy. But a lot of his tunes sound good on the whistle, too.

Helen (who has the volume problem in sessions too on Celtic harp)


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Helen
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 08:27 PM

Hi Seany,

Just to add another tune or two to your list. I can still hear in my head a friend of mine playing the high notes on the tin whistle, with a little bit of harmony thrown in, on Come By the Hills, accompanying an amazing accordion player and singer called Mick O'Brien (who came out to Oz for a few years and then we lost contact with him). That was at a session at my place about 20 years ago.

That tune is still one of my absolute favourites.

Almost any of the harp tunes of Carolan sound good on the tin whistle.

Also there was a tune sung by Christy Moore. I think it is The Galtee Mountain Boy. But a lot of his tunes sound good on the whistle, too.

Helen (who has the volume problem in sessions too on Celtic harp)


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: GUEST,Hi again Bernard
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 12:26 AM

Bar Man - two Pints of Tar and bring the next as soon as we finish them.

Pull up a stool Bernard and wet yer whistle.

Pity you are not where I used session in Europe, not only would they play whatever you liked the guy who owned the Bar - Pro Box Player - would sit down on quiet nights and give FREE lessons, seen many a student pass through those welcoming doors.

I have quickly found out here in the USA that there is - and this is very sad IMHO - a very different attitude to sessions. Seems to me - course I ain't an expert -, that folks here are already accomplished on the instrument or some instrumnet wheras in the weee Islands over the pond they tend to buy the Box get a few basic lessons and jump in feet first, great atmosphere but no fancy moves LOL. Also could not help but notice the offishness of the Classical crowd to a raw Trad Fiddler, they never had it shoved under their feet I guess, so they would quit as soon as a native player begun, even seen one messer - would not even play one tune! get up midtune and walk out in a huff. The unfortunate Trad player finished his tune and also quit bought a Jug for the company and a Piper took over, IOW If these 'queens' are not the center of attention there IS no session.

Once one knows that the popular style here is solo as opposed to ensemble then this behavior is not surprising. Solo is how Jazz and a lot of Folk tends to be played- ie each does his own thing, wheras in Trad the whole point of a session IS TO FOLLOW not deviate from a pattern. So I have little hope of ever finding a good one here. Australia oddly seems to have it's own pulse and way of doing things, but I would not go there just to explore that side of life.

In my gropings for some kind of session I once joined a small outfit here and they leaned over backwards, from the US approach that is, to accomodate a stranger. It was fun though I was actualy playing a Box that time. Sure enough we soon got a crowd - mind you we were not trying anything hard real basic stuff - but well played and that makes a big difference. Any case if you ever heard a player live like Ennis that would be the reaction we got, not that it was intended just a good fiddler and willing string player keeping to the tune. The expressions on the faces of the audience tends in these cases to be a mixture or concern and worry mixed up with pure joy, since the average listener is used to the hurried umpah of popular music they rarely ever hear a player stick a few dotted notes into a folk tune, certainly not in string which is so popular here.

Since I could not go back there again after playing a few simple tunes on Whistle to demonstate the old undecorated Sligo style, showing that breathing makes the tune NOT the fingering, I went home.

The excluders - often mentally challenged in some serious way - one finds them in Bluegrass Oldtime Jazz - IT is a disease, once lately a buddie asked me to play Bass of all things in a Rock Band - geee - Paddy Gon Rock - tooo much - I actually did pretty good considering I never even held a Bass before that night!

I guess what I am saying is move to where the fun phoaks are at. They are not on the east coast nor the west but hiding in the Midwest - from St Paul to New Orleans - every city especially St Louis Miss - Now I never did make it over ther but it is not that far for me - bout - err the other side of Arkansas and a bit, say 20 hours taking it easy.

This year I will be going to but one festival which has nothing to do with Trad - but everything to Folkmusic, thats Woody Guthrie's Birthday bash in Okemah Oklahoma in the first week of June - or there abouts.

Great atmosphere all the best young talent in the land is usually there and it is very reasonable, think it was 20 Bucks including camping for the 3 days last time I went. Beans, tents, little cooking fires, coffee cans, three legged pots, Open Back Banjos, great Rag Guitar, mighty singing around these little groups, very talented youngsters playing music. It is the wee Islands in the US to me. It has the atmosphere lacking in the fancy Bar Rooms of New York and San Fransisco. You will there hear fine Trad fiddle too, surprised? Last year there was one little kid playing so well I was totaly amazed and surprised. Hey treat yourself to great weekend and come on down :)

Happy Box and Whistle Playing.

You can reach me by clicking this =^QQ^= Cat


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: GUEST,Rag
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 08:19 AM

Great to see such enthusiasm for whistle playing in sessions. My wife plays one and is quite often drowned out by boxes, guitars, fiddles, etc., and it's a real shame. The tunes get swallowed up in the general mash and all the ornaments and flourishes that make whistles so nice, never get out. Occasionally she lets rip on a Susato that has plenty of volume but it shouldn't be necessary. Who wants to belt our Tom Andersen tunes for example?

The issue of cliques is a good one too. When everyone has played together for a long time, they learn each other's sets and that makes it seem quite exclusive to newcomers. It might not be though. There isn't really any excuse for Bernard getting hassled for playing his own stuff. Surely anyone going to a session is interested in hearing tunes whether they already know them or not? And if they do turn out to be old chestnuts, that's no reason to knock them. Pass on some new tunes to the newcomers - do a swap, show a bit of common... I'm sure everyone here agrees with sentiments like these but it's often illuminating to hear what it's like for newcomers trying to get their feet under the table. We all take for granted our repertoires, the mates we play with, the sets, etc. Perhaps we all need to bear it more in mind at sessions generally.


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 07:06 PM

guest, ex trad session
you've never heard Sam Pirt play!


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 08:36 PM

Seany, some of those tunes you listed are not particularly high within the two-octave span. You might try the Controversial Reel, which has a high-ish A part, or the Golden Keyboard, where the whistle will certainly be heard, especially with attacking ornamentation. The Mug of Brown Ale jig is a tune that gets well into the upper register inboth the A and B parts.

The Silver Spear (or Spire) which you listed, has to be altered a bit to be played on the whistle - it starts out from the fiddle's G string, and thus below the whistle's (and pipes) starting point.

Just skimming the sheet music for an exercise like this brings home just how remorselessly routine and mechanical Irish dance music is - all of it totally rooted in the fiddle's first position,mostly diatonic, with modulations few and far between. But for energy and atmosphere, it's hard to beat.


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 10:43 PM

I think ex trad & Dulicimer are on the right track. First, in a good seissiún, its not the musician that is the star, its the tune. Some times you can't tell the accordion from the fiddle or the bag pipes. the listeners & the musicians all get to enjoy the craic. Any solo oppourtunities are really only oppourtunities to pass another tune into the tradition, not opportunies to build the musicians egos. The musicians know this. I am really amazed at how patient many of them were when I over blew and played off tempo. They always found a seat for me and took time to play a tune into me tape recorder or name the 100's of tunes I would never learn, even suggest easier seissiún tunes to start with. Now, I try to enjoy myself, keeping in mind I'll never be Seamus Egan, but am a whole lot better than I thought I'd ever be. I try to give back what I can.


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Subject: RE: Tin Whistle problems in sessions !
From: GUEST,re Sam
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 03:21 AM

Don't doubt it - probably pure free reed nectar - however I want to remind you that they start playing in Ireland at a very early age. Mr Gallagher is one of these - there is NO ONE living today who is anywhere in the same league IMHO - either in Trad, Cajun or Jazz, never mind Barn Dance. You see it is a matter of timing as well as skill - some have the one, some the other, but rarely both.

Its like the Rolling Stones/Beatles, Beach Boys, and so on compared to Hendrix, he was the MAN of rock and roll guitar because he had both talents. In fiddle it is Coleman, in piping it is Ennis, in Folk Guitar it is Doc Watson, in 5 string Banjo it is Scruggs, I think you know what I am saying here. THERE are rare, very rare individuals who are talented in these ways. If you'd take the time to check out Joe Cooley on Accordian then perhaps you'd have a good stick to measure against for me there is not equal dead or living that I have heard.


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