Tips for Playing the Enchanter/Enchantress Whistle


Tips for Playing the Enchanter/Enchantress Whistle

1) First off, don't over blow (hard for a piper!) Whistles take a small amount of air.

2) Try pulling the whistle out of your mouth a bit. You can sometimes find a better sound if it isn't pushed in all the way.

3) Keep some space in your mouth, almost like you have a ping pong ball on your tongue.  This is especially important for low notes.  Try whistling a tune without the whistle.  Whistle a lot note, now a high note.  Notice the way your tongue sinks to get the low notes?  Now pay attention to your stomach, even that muscle changes when you play a high note.  It tightens.  Now try the same with the whistle.

4) Low notes resonate at a lower level and require the air stream to move slower than high notes.  We achieve this by blowing lighter for low notes and harder for high notes. (high notes require a faster stream of air)

5) Begin by playing an "F" note (regular bagpipe F) when you have a nice solid note, play an "E".  Once that is solid, work your way down the scale.  This will help you to identify where potential problems are.  At what point either your fingers are no longer creating a full seal on the holes or at what point you are blowing too hard for the note to resonate properly.  Remember the space in your mouth!  It is usually the low notes pipers struggle with.

6) Because whistles are played by blowing directly into a mouthpiece, they are susceptible to moisture buildup & condensation.  Between tunes YOU MUST clear this moisture by putting your finger over the rectangular air hole on the top of the mouthpiece and blowing really hard.  If you cover the hole properly, you will make no noise.  This shifts all the beads of moisture in the windway.  Warming your whistle before playing can also help cut down on condensation as does regular cleaning of the windway with warm, soapy water.

7) Have fun!!!  The whistle opens the door to some new ornamentation, slides, tonguing, vibrato, etc.

Sample Video clips & Ornamentation Tips

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