Wicked Weather and Comments to Start Winter…

snow removal

While the snow snows and the wind blows steadily from the North Pole. We Mainers like to touch up the landing strip for the four wheel drive.

Ebay auctions are interesting and you receive a lot of questions about your auction item. I have found that most buyers are concerned that the details of the whistle or flute on auction are clear, factual and truthful. I have probably said that I feel the buyers on eBay are not looking for a cheap instrument, but a good quality instrument with features that are important to them at a reasonable price. So, here are some quotes and answers from eBay buyers and a few from the website as well.

My favorite recent feedback on a Low D whistle comes from Australia.

Received my whistle on the 4th. Excellent service, awesome sound. Many thanks.The koalas on the back trees love it too. Beauty mate!

When you get a message like this, you have received feedback that lets you know everything you needed to know. Looks like poetry to me!

Another person in Australia wrote me a short letter about her Low D whistle.

Dear Mr. Brewer, I purchased a Low D from you about a year ago and learned to play it in about a month. Recently, I thought I would like a more professional whistle to play and sold the WhistleSmith and ordered another whistle for a lot more money than I paid for yours. By the way, I sold the Low D and made a slight profit on it, even though it was used to my neighbor. She really likes it and plays everyday.

Anyway, my new whistle arrived after four weeks wait and it was everything I had expected. The finish was beautifully done. The aluminum was a nice weight and overall it was as nice as I had expected. The only problem was that I cannot reach the fingering despite trying every thing I can think of. There is no use buying an expensive whistle that looks great if you cannot play it. I would like to order a new Low D in magenta with the silver stippling you do on some of the custom whistles on your website.

And the letter goes on a some length with some requests on voicing. I shipped her the new whistle the same week she ordered it and she has responded that she is very satisfied.

The same questions about the Low D come in every week. Are the facts about playing the Low D factual? What is a whistle with small hands playing sound like? What if I have large hands and will I be able to play the whistle? What is the distance between holes?

I try to answer these questions as clearly as possible. The email that really raises my ears is the one where you repeatedly get asked if your claims about the whistle are FACTUAL? W e l l . . . yes of course they are or why would you bother to type out a great big list of features if it was just something you made up?

I finally realized where this IS IT FACTUAL? query comes from. It is from all those folks who bought a Low whistle that requires BAGPIPE FINGERING. This is the myth that you can play a whistle with huge holes and a long reach for your fingers by using your BAGPIPE FINGERS. I would guess you get BAGPIPE FINGERS by tying your fingers to the bumper of your neighbors car and stretching them until they fit your new Low whistle.

If you have small hands, BAGPIPE FINGERS are not part of your bag of tricks. (How is that for a neat play on words?)

There are thousands of Low whistles available in new and used condition that require BAGPIPE FINGERING in on-line stores and auctions. They are usually accompanied by the sellers sad tale of a lack of time or patience to play the Low whistle and they are now selling the whistle in excellent condition on auction. If it says the whistle requires BAGPIPE FINGERING, please use your ability to solve puzzles and DON’T BUY IT!

A bagpipe uses a big bag full of wind to play. This steady flow of air makes a bagpipe playable. Unless you have the lungs of Goliath, you cannot make a whistle function in the same manner as a bagpipe. Extended fingering is another way of saying BAGPIPE FINGERING. Avoid the word EXTENDED when reading descriptions of whistles, unless it says EXTENDED WARRANTY. Enough said, I am sure you get the point.

While on the subject of Low whistle, I feel I should mention one more time, that you can not dry out and clean the bore on a NEW whistle too many times. I send out a complete sheet about cleaning and how to adjust your WhistleSmith Low whistle. I also repeatedly tell folks to read the instructions before they play their whistle and auto flutes to get the best results. Please read the instructions and you will have fun with your instruments and will give them the attention they need to break in and play properly.
I will tell anyone that has not played a Low D whistle, that it takes two to three hours to get even moderately good at breath control and fingering the whistle. You should clean and dry the whistle a minimum of every half hour while you are breaking it in. That is a minimum of six times in three hours play…if you follow the instructions, you will have a swell playing whistle.

If you do not read the instructions and break the whistle in properly, it will not respond properly until you take the time to read the instructions and BREAK THE WHISTLE IN PROPERLY!

Several folks who have purchased the new Low A Traveler whistle responded with comments. Three of the remarks made by almost everyone is that the whistle has a nice heft to it and that it is accurately tuned and the octaves are well balance. I played this whistle all summer and on vaction and that really sums it up. No unwanted tricks to playing this whistle and people who got an on the road concert liked the sound of the Traveler.

Several dozen Low G Auto Flutes were sold on eBay auction for Christmas presents. Most folks played the automatic mouthpiece right out of the box with no problems. Six people called on the 1-800 line to find out the mystery of how the flute worked and had a good laugh about how easy it was. If you have a serious problem with anything you receive from the WhistleSmith, please just call and Nadiene or I will give you a hand.

And in closing for this week, an individual inquired if I knew where the name WhistleSmith came from and how did I qualify for that title. Well, I made it up to get a website name and it wasn’t my first choice. I suppose that there might have been a Smith that made whistles and they called him The Whistle Smith to separate his identity from the Smith that made tin stuff and was called The Tin Smith. His cousin who lived down the road was called The Black Smith because he was covered with soot from working
the forge in his Black Smith Shop.

A name is a name and WhistleSmith is just something I made up to describe my new business. Did you happen to notice that my WhistleSmith is one word and the S in Smith is capitalized? I never intended to take anything away from anyone else who is a Smith. However, I noticed that my neighbor who is a Smith calls me The Whistlesmith instead of Brewer since I started the website.