All posts by The WhistleSmith

All About Whistle Tuning Slides 

 

Tuning a stringed instrument works by tightening or loosening individual strings to  achieve exact pitches on every note. Pianos, guitars, harps etc. all work on this principal and you can use static turners and tuning forks to set the individual strings.

Drums are tuned by tightening or loosening the head of the drum.

Whistles do not have a true tuning slide.

Each whistle is tuned to an individual key. The slide on a whistle exists to allow the mouthpiece and tone body to be separated for ease of carrying the whistle and for the maker to correct any length measurement error between the head and the holes in the tone body when assembling the instrument.

This slide also sets the exact distance from the bottom of the sound hole in the mouthpiece to all the other holes in the whistle including the overall whistle length at the butt of the whistle. When this distance is set, the whistle plays exactly to the measurements of the original design and is tuned as closely to the notes in the frequency scale as is possible.

You cannot tune the whistle one note at a time like a stringed instrument, so the whistle is not tuneable to another instrument by moving the slide up or down. Adjusting the slide up or down will only make the whistle play out of tune by being sharp or flat on all the notes at the same time.

Once the whistle is set to specification on the slide, then all the notes may only be PITCHED Up or Pitched Down as a unit. The whistle has very close tolerances and adjusting  the slide can move the whistle tuning completely out of tune. You should find a setting mark on the slide to show where the whistle smith set the instrument when it was made. You can tune to a guitar, mandolin etc. by using the whistle as the pitch pipe for the other instrument to tune to.

Whistles are tuned to get an even run between notes in both octaves to eliminate any small variance  in individual notes. Whistles made of hard machinable materials like aluminum, brass, silver and polymer plastics do not lose their tuning and play well as long as the instrument is kept clean and buffed inside the bore and played in a warm place.

Polymer whistles play “warm” because the polymer material has an insulating factor and retains heat.  This is the best material to make a whistle that plays well in cold temperatures and an instrument that drys out quickly when playing in a damp location. Whistles made from wood that has been stabilized is in effect, made from polymer and works well in a range of temperatures.

A Short List of Whistle Tips

The reason whistles play out of tune is cleanliness. Over a very short period of time, whistles begin to develop an interior coating from saliva and bits of food the same as your teeth get plaque buildup.  Here is list of simple and quick things to solve this problem.

1.  Swab your whistle frequently while playing and always swab before putting you whistle away for the day. Move the swab back and forth in the bore of the whistle. Next, insert the swab all the way to the mouthpiece plug. With the mouthpiece hole blocked, blow the whistle very hard at least twice. Saliva in the mouthpiece will blow into the swab and be absorbed without making any sound. Remove the swab and set it aside to dry out for the next time it is needed.

Occasionally you must rinse the swab in mild soap and water and stand it up to dry over night.  Spraying the swab with Lysol disinfectant is a good idea.  Clean the mouthpiece and all the finger holes with a Q tip.

2.  Air conditioners and fans will disturb the air pressure in your playing area. Fans disrupt any echo you may have and add background noise that makes hearing your playing difficult.

3.  Temperature is important for correct pitch in your whistle. Too cold an area will increase the moisture in the whistle bore which in turn dulls the whistles ability to make proper low notes. The whistle will play flat until it regains the heat it has lost.

Very hot temperatures will make whistles play sharp. Keep your whistle in the shade and out of the sun when playing in the summer.

Try to avoid playing the whistle and then laying it down for a period of time. When you pick the whistle up to resume playing it must warm up again and moisture starts to collect.

4. Lift your fingers over the holes high to avoid “shading” your sound. Finger holes are really little jets of air escaping the whistle and you want to keep them working properly.

5.Use hand cream to keep the tips of your fingers soft and pliable. The tips of your fingers will seal the finger holes easier and more completely and you will not have to grip the whistle as hard to play proper notes.

6. If your whistle has a joint to take the whistle apart…make sure it is tight and does not leak air.

If the joint is loose, the whistle will most certainly not play right or perhaps not at all!

Beeswax is excellent to seal the joint and will keep  the joint from moving. If you need to break the beeswax seal, just warm it up and it will soften and let go.  When replacing a beeswax seal, be sure not to get the wax in the bore of the whistle. Always buff the inside bore of the whistle after doing maintenance to your whistle.

7. When playing your whistle you must fill the bore of the whistle by tonguing the whistle on the starting note and when you take a breath of air to keep the whistle bore filled.

You cannot just blow the whistle, you must always tongue it to get a clear sound.

8. You get air from two sources when playing the whistle. The first is the breath in your throat and the second source is by taking a deep breath and filling your lungs. The small high D whistle generally can be played using only light breathing because it requires a minimum amount of air to play.

You will sound better if you take a deep beginning breath and then play.

Low whistles must be sharply tongued to fill the larger bore of the whistle. This requires a beginning deep breath or you will embarrass yourself by running out of air. The deep breath may need to be touched up a bit if the piece of music is long or louder than usual and you will have to practice to find where you inhale the extra air without it being noticed.

The Best Places to Play your Whistle

You should look for places that have a natural echo that will bounce the sound of the whistle back to you. This natural reverb or return echo is a sound your whistle lacks and will give you the missing link to getting great sound from your whistle.

Look for hard surfaces that echo or amplify sound and give a good sharp whistle return. Use a clear loud shout to see if you get a quick return echo. The quicker the return echo the better your music will sound.

There are bandstands that have been constructed in a lot of communities that are perfect for an impromptu concert in the afternoon. In Maine almost every town has a bandstand available for community use and folks gather there to talk, tell stories and make music.

Be prepared to draw a crowd of folks passing by that like your whistle music. Most likely, you will get a round of applause at the end of your performance. Play what you like and folks generally like what you play. I suggest a short medley of familiar tunes that your are confident in playing to finish up your concert in the park.

Playing music in the city provides lots of chances to find places to play your whistle. Brick buildings and alleys are excellent backdrops. Over passes, outside on an open porch, your garage with the doors open, a grassy knoll with surrounding hard surface buildings, are just a few spots to try out some music and find out how differently your whistle sounds outdoors.

Read my article on playing whistles at the Standpipe in Arlington Heights, MA for more insight on where to go to play outdoors.

Highways have lots of flood culverts with huge openings that are dry and accessible along the side of the road. I see folk playing, singing and recording music on their phones all summer in these types of places. There is a Trans Canada hiking trail and the Appalachian Trail in the US that will take you to places to play your whistle that are really unique. The two most common instruments that hikers like to play around the campfire are harmonicas and whistles and they both can be played while marching along the trail for company and to warn the bears that you are coming to visit.

Avoid things that interrupt the air in and around your whistle playing area. Inside the house stay way from air conditioners, fans, washers and dryers that are running, wood stoves and furnace registers. Try to play where the temperature is about 70 degrees and avoid extreme temperatures above 90 degrees because that will make the whistle play sharp. Warm air travels faster in the whistle bore, therefore the pitch will be faster and higher in the heat.

Overhead lights that have slow moving fans will make your whistle out of tune or hard to play slower tunes. Acoustic ceiling tile will absolutely cut the volume off the whistle you are playing by at least 30%. Acoustic ceiling tile is made to absorb sound and it is excellent at it’s job.

Your whistle will be at it’s best if you find a spot to play that has natural reverb and you will quickly notice how you whistle responds with better sound.

I have noticed that many players can play better with their eyes closed when learning new repetitions or when playing a new song and committing it to memory. By totally concentrating and shutting out everything around you, it is easier to memorize the music.

Mountain Made E Flat Whistle

mountain made Low Eb

The Mountain Made Low Eb Whistle has Easy Reach Fingering
NO Bagpipe Fingering! Use just your fingertips to play!

If you have small hands, arthritis, joint stiffness, carpel tunnel, or problems gripping a whistle, you will enjoy playing The Mountain Made Eb whistle.

Folks with large hands will find this instrument to be as comfortable as a small whistle for them to play. Customer after customer is amazed at how easy the Mountain Made Low Eb whistle plays. Customers purchasing this whistle remark on its agility and clarity of play.

The Mountain Made Low Eb whistle is a totally new design whistle with curved wind way and plays with less breath, less reach, and more volume. Test players have been impressed with the clarity and tone of this all new design whistle.

All fingering is exactly the same as a regular whistle. The Mountain Made Eb plays in key of Eb, Ab, and Gm without any tricky cross fingering and makes great addition to your collection.
The Mountain Made Low Eb has a rich, full voice and balanced high and low octaves.
The mouthpiece has a dark gray poly plug and top cap slides off for easy cleaning.
The mouthpiece is nicely curved and buffed to smooth finish
No tuning slide for the smoothest bore and best tone possible.
The Mountain Made Low Eb has a rich, full voice with plenty of volume.
Upper and Lower octaves are balanced and octave changes from low to high notes are easy to play.
Low Eb whistle is 22″ overall length. Maximum hand reach is 2.5″ from tip of pointer finger to tip of ring finger (Approximates ladies glove size large) using enough pressure to seal the finger holes.
The Mountain Made Low Eb has a full color label with a clear wrap giving the whistle a coordinated color combination. The key of your whistle is included in the label for easy reference when switching instruments.

A color coded 11″x17″ fingering chart and instructions sheet, a quality hand made cleaning rod and beeswax tablet are included to help you maintain your new whistle.

Consider purchasing a WhistleSmith Thumb Ring and get a grip on your whistle. Thumb Ring is made to fit your whistle and will ship with your whistle order.

Whistles are made for RIGHT HANDED PLAYERS (right hand bottom…left hand top), and have offset fingering holes for each ring finger.

Email rodbrewer@rodbrewerdesigns.com when you place your order to verify you are a Right handed player and can make the 2.5″ reach necessary to play this instrument.

Eb whistles are available in limited amounts with inline finger holes for left handed players (left hand bottom…right hand top) and folks that play using bagpipe grip.
Email rodbrewer@rodbrewerdesigns.com or call 1-800-675-4206 toll free to check availability on this whistle before ordering.

If you are a beginning player or are uncertain about the playing requirements for Low whistles, feel free to call 1-800-675-4206 during regular shop hours. We are pleased to take your whistle order over the phone if you prefer.

Articles are posted on the www.whistlesmith.com on how to play Low whistles
and if followed will make your initial playing experience a good one.

Whistle is Black with silver striping as shown in the photo.
Allow four working days for shipping.
Shipping Calculated at checkout
Priced at $69.95

Hi-D Whistle – WhistleSmith Mountain Maid

photo-one-of-Mountain-Maid

A new whistle just for the ladies.

The new Mountain Maid logo and pink label makes your whistle stand out wherever you play.This whistle is completely made by hand in my whistle shop on a mountain in Maine. The whistle is handmade and tested with electronic tuning before shipment to insure your playing experience will be a good one.

photo three of Mountain Maid

The new Mountain Maid Hi-D whistle measures twelve inches long overall. The instrument is well balanced and feels substantial in your hand. There is no tuning slide,thus providing the cleanest playing bore possible.

High D- Mountain Made
High D- Mountain Made

Tuning starts with a steel template and laser drilling of the finger holes. The foot of the whistle is bored larger to make octave shifts easy and precise.

mountain-maid-D-in-pink-LOGO

The WhistleSmith Mountain Maid Hi-D Whistle comes in pink and is very easy to play. The body is cream in nature and the key of the whistle is on the label.

The mouthpiece contains no wood or metal and the top slides completely off for cleaning. Using light, precise tonguing produces clean, clear notes and runs. Breath requirements are minimal.

The Mountain Maid Hi-D lets you play in the Keys of D, G and Em without having to learn any tricky cross fingering. The Mountain Maid Hi-D will play indoors at a session or outside in cold and windy conditions. This is a very handy whistle to add to your collection.

Mouthpiece top cap is made of white polymer with a front bevel for lip comfort. The mouthpiece and tone body are one piece and utilize a dark gray poly plug from IMG plastics.

The tone body is a cream color and the Mountain Maid pink and black logo has a clear wrap giving the whistle a coordinated color combination using just the natural colors of the materials. The key of your whistle is included in the label for easy reference when switching instruments.

The Mountain Maid Hi-D has a rich, full sound you will enjoy, with balanced high and low octaves. There is plenty of volume for any type of music and octave shifts are easy and precise.

  • Easy to clean with a take apart mouthpiece.
  • No tuning slide for a smooth bore and better tone.
  • Precise hand tuning for accurate tuning in both octaves.
  • Pink label and silver striping looks great and is very durable.

Whistle comes with a color coded 11×17 fingering chart,
whistle care and playing tips sheet, a quality handmade cleaning rod and a
beeswax tablet for maintenance.

Allow 4 working days for shipping.

Consider purchasing a WhistleSmith Thumb Ring and get a grip on your whistle. Made to fit your whistle and ships free when you buy this instrument.

Priced at $39.95  Shipping calculated at checkout

Wicked Good Thumb rings now available! Order your thumb ring with your WhistleSmith whistle or flute and we will ship it for free! Why do you need a Thumb Ring? If you ever dropped your car keys, you know the answer to this question. Don’t drop your whistle! Get a grip on your whistle that doesn’t slip and play with all fingers open with confidence!

Mountain Made Low G Whistle

Mountain made Low G

The Mountain Made Low G is electronically tuned, hand reamed and fine polished to make a very precise and attractive whistle.

The Mountain Made Low G plays well indoors or outdoors or when entertaining around a campfire with friends. Wind and cold conditions are not a problem with the Mountain Made Low G.

I recommend the Mountain Made Low G as the whistle to play for folks moving from the Hi-D whistle to a Low whistle. Playing the Low G will improve your overall technique with fingering and proper tonguing of the whistle. The Key of G is a very popular key and handy to have in your whistle collection.

The Mountain Made Low G whistle is perfect for playing in the Key of G, C & A minor with no tricky cross fingering to learn.

  • Whistle is 16″ long with a one piece body made of white polymer. This is an easy whistle to carry when traveling .
  • The mouthpiece has a dark gray poly plug and top cap slides off for easy cleaning.
  • The mouthpiece is nicely curved and buffed to smooth finish
  • No tuning slide for a smoothest bore and best tone.
  • The Mountain Made Low G has a rich, full voice with plenty of volume.
  • Upper and Lower octaves are well balanced and easy to play.

The one piece tone body is white with a full color logo and clear wrap. Whistle has decorative silver dazzle striping on the foot of the instrument.The key of your whistle is included in the label for easy reference when switching instruments.

Whistle comes with an 11″x17″ color coded fingering chart and whistle care and playing tips sheet. A quality handmade cleaning rod and beeswax tablet are included to use when maintaining your new whistle.

Easy Reach fingering is 2.5″ from tip of pointer finger to tip of ring finger on both hands. Finger holes are in a modified straight line for best grasp of the whistle and make the whistle playable for either left or right handed players.

Use a ruler and check to make sure you can reach the 2.5″ reach requirement.

Priced at $39.95

Shipping calculated at checkout.

Whistle Color

A Whistling Adventure across Portugal and Spain

Greg Dorr purchased a Low A and a Low F whistle this fall with the intentions of playing them while he hiked through Portugal and Spain.

He has returned from his adventure and was kind enough to send photos and a description of his route for us to enjoy.

Number 1

Number2

Number 3

Left from Boston for Portugal on Nov. 6th. Spent a few days in Lisbon which has a active street music scene along the Rua Augusta. All types of music with a strong leaning towards jazz standards for which the Low F was most versatile.

Then I hiked from Porto to Santiago de Compestala (on the Portuguese Camino) and found the Low A played the easiest while walking – a good length and fit my hands comfortably.

The low range is less startling to the people who overhear your playing as you wander along. While walking I largely played celtic tunes.

13 days to Santiago and then I turned West and walked to Finisterra (another 5 days often in the rain which made the rainbows that much more welcome).

Again, I greatly enjoyed your instruments.

Mountain Made Low D Whistle

blog-low-d-2017

The Mountain Made Low D is the whistle with Easy Reach Fingering!
This is a completely new design Low D whistle!
This is the Low whistle that plays using your fingertips!
NO Bagpipe fingering is used to play this instrument!

If you have small hands, arthritis, stiff joints, carpel tunnel problems, or problems gripping a whistle because you have limited strength in your hands, you will enjoy playing this low D whistle right out of the box.

Folks with large hands will find this instrument to be as comfortable as a small whistle for them to play. Customer after customer is amazed at how easy the Mountain Made Low D whistle plays. Customers purchasing this whistle often remark it is the “easiest Low D whistle I have ever played.”

This is the Low D whistle that plays with less breath, less reach, and more volume. All fingering is exactly the same as a regular D whistle.
The Mountain Made Low D has a rich, full tone and balanced high and low octaves.

Articles are posted on the WhistleSmith web site on how to play Low whistles and if followed will make your initial playing experience a good one.

Low D whistle is 22.75″ overall length. Maximum hand reach is 2.5″ from tip of pointer finger to tip of ring finger (Approximates ladies glove size large) using enough pressure to seal the finger holes. The Mountain Made Low D has offset finger holes for both ring finger positions.

The Mountain Made Low D is one piece for the most efficient air flow and a reamed foot to increase volume. A highly polished glass like bore and a high density dark gray poly plug in the mouthpiece complete the whistle. Tone body is double coated with black vinyl and has dazzle silver striping.

The Mountain Made Low D logo is full color with a a clear wrap giving the whistle a coordinated color combination. The key of your whistle is included in the label for easy reference when switching instruments.

An 11″x17″ color coded fingering chart and instructions sheet, a quality hand made cleaning rod is included to help you maintain your new whistle.

Consider purchasing a WhistleSmith Thumb Ring and get a grip on your whistle. Made to clip securely to your whistle and ships free with your order.

Whistles are made for RIGHT HANDED PLAYERS (right hand bottom…left hand top), and have offset fingering holes for each ring finger.

Email rodbrewer@rodbrewerdesigns.com when you place your order to verify you are a Right handed player and can make the 2.5″ reach necessary to play this instrument.

Low D whistles are available in limited amounts with inline finger holes for left handed players (left hand bottom…right hand top) and folks that play using bagpipe grip.
Email rodbrewer@rodbrewerdesigns.com or call 1-800-675-4206 toll free to check availability on this whistle before ordering.

If you are a beginning player or are uncertain about the playing requirements for Low whistles, feel free to call 1-800-675-4206 during regular shop hours. We are pleased to take your whistle order over the phone if you prefer.

Articles are posted on the www.whistlesmith.com on how to play Low whistles
and if followed will make your initial playing experience a good one.

Whistle is Black with silver striping as shown in the photo.

Allow four working days

Shipping Calculated at checkout

Priced at $69.95

Whistle Color

Letters from Alaska About our Whistles

I received this letter from Vance Whelpy  after he got his new Low G whistle.

Dear Rod,
I got my Low G Whistle today and it rocks.  You make a very wonderful
product and well worth the $39.95. I only wish I had gotten it on eBay so
more people could have read a positive feedback from me. It plays very
smooth and your tuning slide is simple and effective. I picked it up at the
post office before going to the Dr and I played all the way from Eagle River
to the Drs in Anchorage.
My wife was driving and enjoyed it very much.
Your Whistle played fantastic and I like the fact I can take it apart and clean
 it. I also like the cleaning stick, all of the information and fingering chart
you included with it . It’s a fun instrument.

I have an aluminum Dixon D whistle which is my favorite whistle…this
whistle might have replaced it. 
It’s nice playing tunes I play in G on a D whistle and transpose them on to
the G whistle starting with my bottom right hand. Nice mellow tone. I like
 playing tunes in C as well. It’s just a great all round whistle and I love it.

Yours Truly,
Vance Whelpy
Eagle River, Alaska

PS it’s 1:00AM here and I am still playing

I received this letter from Vance  about a week later.

 Dear Rod,
I bought a Low G whistle from you and I am very happy with it.  But I am
happy with something else you gave me for free.  Polishing out a bore with
a Shotgun mop.  It also works on cheap wooden flutes from Pakistan.  I used
it with good results on a small cocus wood flute in F sold on eBay.
 I could only get the top three notes to play and looked in the bore and saw
 wood  bits hanging from the drilled holes and it looked rough.  I cleaned out
 the bore and oiled it and I got the 4 top holes to play.
I remembered the mop trick and got out my drill and started polishing.
I was able to get it buffed smooth.  I oiled it again and assembled the flute
and it played  like a charm. 

Thanks for the tip and I thought I would pass this on.

A happy Whistler and Flautist.
Yours truly,
Vance Whelpy

Ultra Low C Whistle at a Wicked Good Price!

ULTRA LOW C  GIF

The Mountain Made Low C is handmade one at a time to better fit your playing requirements.

 I custom make this single order whistle to your specification on volume,reach,tone and breath requirements. I can usually make your custom whistle within a two to three week period.

I developed this whistle after an inquiry from Dave Manners in the UK expressing the need for a low C whistle with easy to play fingering.

Testing in the shop was very positive, so I had two very good whistle players check the playability and tone of the new whistle.  Their response to the new instrument over several weeks of playing it was “Don’t change anything…leave everything alone!”

The Mountain Made Low C whistle is a unique design that plays with less breath and increased volume. The whistle is easily cleaned, fully tunable and has Easy Reach Fingering on all of the holes.

Easy Reach Fingering is comfortable for folks with hands equal to a mans size large glove. Maximum finger reach is 3 inches from tip of pointer finger to tip of ring finger using enough gripping pressure to seal the finger holes. Both hands have offset finger holes for the ring finger positions. Sound is rich and full with balanced high and low octaves. All fingering positions are exactly the same as a regular Hi-C whistle.

The Mountain Made Low C is 25 inches long and takes down at the tuning slide to 18 inches. Mouthpiece is newest model with improved volume cut on the wind way. Mouthpiece is made from white polymer pipe with a high density dark gray poly plug.

Tone body is air brushed with vinyl black color coat, clear coated logo with key of whistle and silver striping. This whistle is perfect for playing in the Key of C, F, and Dm with no cross fingering to learn.

If you currently play a WhistleSmith Low D, you can play this new Low C with only slightly more reach. No “bagpipe fingering” required!

Please specify if you are a Right or Left Handed player when placing your order.

If you play right hand bottom and left hand top, you are a Right Handed player.

If you play right hand top and left hand bottom, you are a Left Handed player.

I custom set the fingering for either left or right handed finger holes or a straight up set of holes if you prefer.  Please check at 1-800-675-4206 toll free with your requirements and to order and get a delivery time.

Whistle comes with a color coded fingering chart and  instructions sheet. A quality handmade cleaning rod and beeswax tablet are included to use for maintaining your new whistle.

This whistle is no longer available.

Mountain Made Hi-D is a Wicked Good Player

 MOUNTAIN MADE HI-D 55

The Mountain Made Hi-D is here! A great Hi-D that plays the way WhistleSmith buyers said they wanted it made. Hundreds of feedbacks and players have had their say and The Mountain Made Hi-D fits the bill with all these features.

This is a Limited Edition whistle using precise tuning and hand work to make a very precise whistle. The Mountain Made Hi-D incorporates hours of development and feedback from folks all over the globe.

Whistle measures twelve inches long. The instrument is well balanced and feels substantial in your hand.
There is no tuning slide. Thus providing the cleanest playing bore possible. Tuning starts with a steel template and laser drilling of the finger holes. The foot of the whistle is bored larger to make octave shifts easy and precise.
The mouthpiece contains no wood or metal and the top slides completely off for cleaning and can be adjusted to best playing position on the top and bottom octaves.

 Using light, precise tonguing will give clean, clear notes and runs. Breath requirements are minimal. The Mountain Made Hi-D lets you play in the Keys of D, G and Em without having to learn any tricky cross fingering. The Mountain Made Hi-D will play indoors at a session or outside in cold and windy conditions. This is a very handy whistle to add to your collection.

Straight Shot mouthpiece cap is made of SPIF white polymer with a top bevel for lip comfort. The mouthpiece and tone body are one piece and utilize a dark gray poly plug from IMG plastics. The tone body is a light tan color and a five color decal with clear wrap gives the whistle a coordinated color combination using just the natural colors of the materials.

The Mountain Made Hi-D has a rich, full sound you’ll enjoy, with balanced high and low octaves. There is plenty of volume for any type of playing and octave shifts are easy and precise.
• Easy clean features a take apart Straight Shot mouthpiece
• No tuning slide for best bore and sound
• Precise hand tuning for best tonal qualities.
• Great appearance using natural colors of materials
• Play this whistle for years and retain a great looking whistle.
• Great price for a handmade whistle!


Whistle comes with a color coded fingering chart, whistle care and playing tips sheet, a quality handmade cleaning rod and a beeswax tablet for maintenance. Allow 4 working days for shipping.
Consider purchasing a WhistleSmith Thumb Ring and get a grip on your whistle. Made to fit your whistle and ships free when you buy this instrument.
Priced at $39.95  Shipping Calculated at checkout

Shipping Calculated at checkout  

Whistle Color

Everything is not Barter… Some things are “Being Neighborly”

IMG_0327

Being Neighborly with a tune at the Scarecrow Festival at Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. Just as this photo was being taken, a tour bus pulled up and I played some tunes to the passengers who thought I was part of the festival welcoming committee.

Barter is doing business without using man made money. Folks display their goods and you display what you will give them in return for those goods. This is the oldest kind of trade, swap or doing business that exists and a common method of exchange between neighbors and friends in rural Maine.

You can exchange splitting wood with someone who has vegetables, milk, tires for your car or welding on your snow plow. Barter is also called “Being Neighborly” by the folks around The WhisleSmith Shop on Griffin Ridge.

Over the years, I have bartered for lots of items and have found it makes friends and let’s you know what’s going on in the neighborhood.

Aroostook is the largest county in Maine and the neighborhood is a very large area. You get to know a lot of good folks to contact that might be interested in your items. Word of mouth increases your reputation and the number folks willing to barter.

Here are a few examples of barter.

An old but sturdy piano for four cords of firewood. I didn’t have a way to move the one ton instrument, but a wood lot owner had wood and some really strong men and the barter was made. Both parties were happy and the new owner got a piano for his daughter.

Furniture that wore out its welcome got bartered for knitted, sewed, tatted and quilted household items.

Many a newborn got a special blanket to come home from the maternity ward in.

Hand labor and work with the tractor making lawns, plowing gardens and leveling driveways, often means you have new lumber, pickles, or fresh eggs and new baked bread.

I always tell children I barter a whistle with that “I expect to hear about how they make out with the whistle and their feedback is very important to me when I make more whistles.”

The best barter is the smile you get from a child in exchange for a whistle.

While on vacation in Halifax, Nova Scotia I met Gwen, who was setting out breakfast at the Comfort Inn. She was in love with the idea of playing the whistle and just full of enthusiasm. I always carry a few extra whistles so I asked if she would like a lesson and a Low G whistle to get her started. She was a good student and was up and going on her new whistle in short order.

The next morning she presented me with a pair of bright red hand knitted wool socks. Thanks a bunch Gwen, I wear them all the time when I’m plowing snow!

Everything is not Barter…Some things are “Being Neighborly”.

Mountain Made High C Whistle

Mountain Made High C Whistle
Mountain Made High C Whistle

The Mountain Made High C whistle is the result of receiving so many requests for a back to basics whistle. Many folks asked for an easy to clean whistle with accurate tuning, no tuning slide, and an extra smooth bore for the best sound possible.

The Mountain Made High C whistle is crafted with a single piece body of ultra white polymer pipe with a dark grey poly plug and removable top cap for quick and easy cleaning of the mouthpiece. Whistle is 12.5” long overall.

The tone body is a large diameter pipe and has medium large finger holes with Easy Reach fingering between holes.The Mountain Made High C whistle is also comfortable for folks with large and extra large hands because of the larger diameter tone body. Larger finger holes make half holing notes easy and adds to the volume and ornamentation possibilities on this whistle. . The mouthpiece top cap slides off for easy cleaning and clips back in place with improved snap action.

The Mountain Made High C whistle has a rich, full tone and plenty of volume. This is a whistle that will take powerful playing and still have minimal breath requirements. Light, sharp tonguing will bring out the clarity, tone and precise pitch of the Mountain Made High C whistle. This whistle is perfect for playing in the Key of C, F, and Dm with no cross fingering to learn.

The Mountain Made High C is a take any where whistle that will play in all kinds of weather and temperature conditions and can take years of play with little or no effect on fit and finish.The Mountain Made High C comes with a color coded fingering chart and whistle tips and instructions sheet. A quality cleaning rod and beeswax tablet are included for maintaining your new whistle.

Wicked Good Thumb rings now available! Order your thumb ring with your WhistleSmith whistle or flute and we will ship it for free! Why do you need a Thumb Ring? If you ever dropped your car keys, you know the answer to this question. Don’t drop your whistle! Get a grip on your whistle that doesn’t slip and play with all fingers open with confidence!

Priced at $39.95 – Shipping Calculated at checkout.

Whistle Color