Whistle/Flute cross-fingering

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Re: Whistle/Flute cross-fingering

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Okay, great!
Andrew Mowry
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Re: Whistle/Flute cross-fingering

Post by Phil53 »

A request and suggestion

G# - is XXOXOX possible ? XXOXXX doesn't work in the second octave on many simple system flutes. The 18C single key flute fingerings in the second octave are XXOXOX and XXOXXO. That would allow second octave fingering as if playing flute. If I get too used to XXOXXX on the overblow I may end up with nasty squawks on the flute. I don't think it would clash with anything.

With the 'chromatic' fingering pattern using the seventh hole for Eb and C# seems logically related to using that finger on a flute key for those notes. F natural from XXXXOX seems like cheating but is great to have! One thing missing is the low C natural available on an 8-key flute or seven hole whistle. I wonder if having XXX XXX X giving C natural on the 'non-chromatic' fingering pattern would break anything? That would be as on the soprano recorder fingering pattern. So Eb and low C# would be on one fingering pattern and low C on the other. One problem might be having to keep the pinky away from that hole with slide and vibrato enabled - and I guess also maybe a reason for not having Eb available on the 'non-chromatic' pattern.

I find this chart of single key flute fingering patterns handy http://www.oldflutes.com/charts/onekey/ Even though my one-key flute is more like a 19C 8-key than a baroque flute the chart gives fair idea what might happen.
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Re: Whistle/Flute cross-fingering

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Thanks for the suggestions-- I think the G# fingering would be fine.

I like the idea of the low C natural, but my only hesitation is that some players like to anchor the right pinky, which is actually why I added the "standard" pattern, without any pinky functionality. Let me consider this a bit... I guess it might also be possible to use some sort of cross-fingering in the chromatic version to allow both the C and C#?

There's also the possibility of adding a separate fingering chart for single-key flute. Would that be useful, or do you think it's close enough to whistle that it's not necessary?
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Re: Whistle/Flute cross-fingering

Post by Phil53 »

Regarding a single key fngering pattern I think you would be best to talk to someone who plays a 'real' 18C-style single key flute as covered in that fingering chart. Since you are not constrained by acoustics I guess you could treat the bottom hole as if covering it was pressing a key that opened a hole.

I think my flute is typical of many modern ones in that it is basically a keyless flute with an Eb key added to get the one note that cannot (unlike on a soprano whistle) be half-holed wth any success. Apart from the G# overblowing with first octave fingerings gives the right notes. Other fingerings may be better but nothing bad happens. The WARBL is great for silently working on awkward fingerings - I have a piccolo that uses OXXXOX for C but never practice it enough for the sake of the neighbours.

As for the low C# I can't think of a cross fingering that is not contrived and acoustically illogical. I guess the soprano recorder fingering pattern has the same problem. A recorder has two holes there and on my seven-hole whistle I can half-hole. Would it be possible to have a modification of the slide/vibrato system to allow a half-hole? With vibrato depth at 50 cents it is almost possible to get down to C# before the note cuts off (with the key set to D) or before it 'locks onto' C# (when using the Eb/-1 semitone workround). So C# would be almost possible with a C natural for XXX XXX X.
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Re: Whistle/Flute cross-fingering

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Yes, actually if we set xxx xxxx to C natural then using “slide” without any modification would allow you to half-hole a C#, because the way slide works is it approaches whatever note would be played if the hole would be completely closed. In other words, sliding halfway down to the C would produce the C#. I guess it’s just a question of how many people would miss having the C# without having to half-hole it.

By the way, you could get a similar half-holing effect currently (on that particular hole, for testing purposes) by increasing the pitchbend range in Celtic Sounds to 4 semitones and either using slide or using vibrato only and setting the range to 50 cents. You could turn off vibrato on all the other holes.
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Re: Whistle/Flute cross-fingering

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I added XXOXOX as a G# to the attached version if you'd like to try it. I haven't made any changes to the C/C#, because I'm a bit hesitant to force people to use half-holing to play the C#, as it seems like C# would be slightly more commonly needed than C, and not everyone uses the slide capability. Does that sounds reasonable? We can certainly continue to discuss this and other options, though.

This version also adds another octave to the tin whistle/Irish flute chart, accessible by removing the left thumb while overblowing. Many apps won't respond to notes this high, but some might find it useful. This is an experimental addition, so if anyone has any objections, let me know. I don't think it would interfere with normal playing, unless for some reason you don't normally have the thumb hole covered.
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Re: Whistle/Flute cross-fingering

Post by Phil53 »

XXOXOX works in the low octave thanks but whatever I do with my thumb the only overblow I am getting with beta_4 is the D. Have gone back to beta_1 (having gone back once and then redone the beta_4 installation).

Am not keen on having to keep my thumb on the hole in normal use (it naturally falls on the screw head). It's not normal on a whistle. Some keyless flutes have a C natural hole so the thumb is on that for both octaves but it is roughly where the screw head is. I think a Boehm flute player does the same thing on a C key. So, as it is a 'non-standard' thing to do on a whistle how about putting the thumb on the hole for the extra octave? Or would that confuse pipers and recorder players?

It seems that of the 7-hole whistles available some have a low C# and some a low C. Since the 'Tin whistle/flute, chromatic' fingering pattern provides the low C# would a 'seven hole whistle' fingering pattern with low C be possible? With the cross-fingerings and half-holing for Eb and C# it would be chromatic in the same way as a 'flat seventh' 7-hole whistle.
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Re: Whistle/Flute cross-fingering

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Here's another version, with the thumb functionality removed. I didn't realize that it was't natural to rest the thumb there, and I can see how that could cause problems. Similarly, I'd hesitate to use the thumb in the opposite configuration, because I'm used to resting my thumb there all the time and I expect some others do. I'll give some thought to your idea of adding another fingering chart for a seven hole whistle. Thanks!!
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Re: Whistle/Flute cross-fingering

Post by Phil53 »

Thanks that works for me.

My wife is a recorder player and naturaly puts her thumb in that 'high' position on the whistle.

I notice that with vibrato or slide & vibrato enabled the cross fingered notes with some lower holes open do some odd things. XXOXXX and XXOXOX both give G# but going from XXOXOX to XXOXXX flattens the G#. With vibrato depth at its maximum it goes all the way down to G, so we end up with XXOXXX giving G. Similar things happen with the C natural cross fingerings. I can't see that having practical consequences for me, but it might for others and I suppose one could say that it was 'untidy' and un-whistle like.

With vibrato depth at 50 cents I see goes down a whole semitone, so 100 cents. I admit I have not read the manual in detail.
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Re: Whistle/Flute cross-fingering

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Good catch on the vibrato cents-- I fixed that in the Config Tool to show the correct maximum of 100. You'll see that change when your browser refreshes (or should shown up in the WARBL app next time you open it).

The way the vibrato works is that if you lower a finger without triggering a different note, than it will flatten the current note. That's why if you start with XXOXOX and going to XXOXXX flattens the note, but I can see how that can be confusing in that instance. However, if you trigger the XXOXXX fingering to begin with it will play in tune, so hopefully in normal playing it would work okay. If you start with XXOXXX and remove R2 completely and then lower it again, it will once again flatten the note, allowing you to play vibrato with that finger. The confusing part is that when starting with one pattern, then lifting a finger and putting it back down will result in a different pitch, but I decided on that after trying some other systems to allow playing vibrato with any finger on any note. The system is definitely a compromise but was designed to be a "universal" system that wouldn't have to have information about vibrato behavior for every possible fingering pattern in each chart, so there are some behaviors like that one that you found that are probably not entirely intuitive ;)

If you haven't, you could also try the "custom" vibrato, which is only enabled on the R2 and R3 holes and only for certain notes, so it's more limited but also behaves more like real instrument for the notes/patterns for which it works.
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