***Current Wait Times for new orders are approximately 6 months***
Attractive whistles with sweet, pure tones and an incredibly satisfying second octave.
To hear one of my high D's in action, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ_eXuahP7I&t=13s
These whistles are totally handmade by me in my shop. They feature a remarkably wood-like appearance and texture, though they are actually made of plastic polymer. These are my highest selling flutes, and I've shipped over 1200 of them out so far. I offer a full range of keys, ranging from High D to Low C, and all play a major scale at standard concert tuning and are not tuneable. The color options are Brown Woodgrain or Black Woodgrain finish. All prices include domestic shipping. For international orders, see my shipping guidelines in the "Policies" section of this site.
The keys and prices are as follows:
High D $45.00
High C $50.00
Low F $70.00
Low E $75.00*
Low Eb $80.00*
Low D $85.00*
Low C $90.00*
*Please do note that all keys with the * symbol are considered large flutes and those with small hands may need to learn a "piper's grip" to play them effectively. For a tutorial on the Piper's Grip, see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHc3GkB9LA8
I also offer A=432hz or A=444hz root tuning by special request. I can even do other exotic scales for these whistles, like the Pentatonic Minor, Ahavah Rabbah or Magen Avot. Email me for more information on custom scales if interested at firstname.lastname@example.org
I only offer these tuneable versions of the Celtic Whistles at certain times of year, and usually only sell them as $1.00 auctions on ebay. Check me out on ebay at: https://www.ebay.com/usr/theancientpaths
Just when you thought my Celtic Whistles couldn't get any sweeter...
If you aren't sure why you need a Sweetbrass, then 1.) watch this video and listen to the high notes, and 2.) play that same song on your current whistle and you'll know why you need one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx9YhU31IW0
Each Sweetbrass whistle features the same head design you will be familiar with from my Custom Celtic Whistle line, but the whistle body is made of very thin-walled brass. These produce a little more volume than does the standard Celtic Whistle line, but not at all at the expense of the sweetness of tone, as is often the case with whistles. I only offer these in the key of High D at the moment, but development is underway for several other keys, so stay tuned for updates!
Each Sweetbrass whistle has a tuneable head. This means if you push the brass tube all the way up into the head, the whistle will play in A=444hz, which is slightly sharp of standard. With the body pulled out a bit, the whistle will play standard. Pull the body out some more and you will play around A=432hz, which is flat of standard. So, no matter what weather or other musicians may throw at you, this whistle has you covered.
Each Sweetbrass whistle features a carefully selected thin-walled brass body. Brass is known to give woodwinds a unique "light" and "pure" tonality. It also comes in very precise sizing options, so each and every different key of Sweetbrass Whistle has it's own unique bore size, which sets it apart from most other types of whistles which commonly share bore sizes across different keys, which can cause variation in performance.Not so with the Sweetbrass whistle. Also of note, the whole layout I use favors the traditional OXXOXO fingering for C natural, as opposed to the OXXOOO fingering which will blow a little sharp on these whistles.
The Japanese didn't just start being superior craftsmen during the age of automobiles. This flute tradition is about 900 years old.
This clip shows the tonal complexity of these masterful instruments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQsXH3SUypo
These exquisite works of art are each the products of literally decades of work by highly skilled craftsman. A perfect bamboo stalk is harvested only when totally mature, then fired for a light curing, then left to air cure for preferably a decade, but no less than two years. Once cured, the stalk is carefully worked by a craftsman inside and outside until you have an instrument that plays in 3 octaves. No small feat for a flute body that grew straight from the ground. Some Shakuhachi have natural bores (Jinashi) and some have very elaborate plaster cast bores (Jiari). There is endless debate surrounding which is superior. I'm firmly in the Jinashi camp. For formal practice you will need a 1.8 size Shakuhachi, which plays in Low D.
The mouthpiece area, or "song mouth" in Japanese is where the air is blown to make the sound. Because bamboo is brittle and fragile when cut thin, even when fully cured, a small insert of buffalo horn is installed into the blowing edge. This reduces the likelihood of breakage, and is replaceable, unlike the bamboo itself. The shape of the insert will either be a triangle (Kinko-ryu) or a rounded "smiley face" shape (Tozan-ryu) depending on the school the craftsman belongs to. The blowing edge is cut to a very precise angle to allow for perfect octave balance. The player may then adjust their head position to cause it to play sharp or flat, or to inflect as desired.
More modern Shakuhachi will typically have a joint where it can be broken down into two pieces. This does not serve as a tuning slide, as with joints on other types of flutes. It is still a very elaborately designed joint, nonetheless, as it uses actual bamboo for the male side of the joint, whereas other types of flutes typically insert machined metal for the joint to be safe. Shakuhachi bamboo stalks are almost always harvested with the root section intact. The individual roots are then filed down to where they only barely stick out at the bottom. This adds incredible aesthetic value, but it is rumored that this also served a somewhat martial purpose in antiquity. It is said that after swords were banned from being carried in cities that the Samurai would bring along their Shakuhachi to serve as a club in case a fight broke out. When you feel how sturdy and rigid that root section is, it is easy to see how it could be used as a weapon.
You won't find a purer tone in all of the flute world than that of the Xiao
Here's a link to my favorite Chinese Melody "Trail of the Angels" performed by its author Chen Yue on the Xiao: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J2R11x_qHc
Perhaps the most versatile of all simple system flutes, the Xiao offers a wide range of flute players an old world option that can still compete in tone and range with the modern Boehm flute. The Xiao in its more ancient 6 hole form is actually the ancestor of the Shakuhachi, and is one of the oldest flutes in the world, being seen in Chinese archaeology from over 2000 years ago. Unlike Shakuhachi, the Xiao can be crafted from a wider range of bamboo species, typically being made from purple bamboo in China.
The Xiao features a very unique mouthpiece area design. It is formed by cutting a circular notch into the bamboo precisely at the node. The more traditional flutes will then leave as much of the node as possible to help seal the windway and serve as a chin rest. Unlike the Shakuhachi, the Xiao's windblade angle faces inside the flute body, similarly to how a Native American Flute's does. This allows for a different range of tones and affects the bore profile necessary to produce them.
The Xiao traditionally had 6 holes throughout most of its antiquity. Within the last couple hundred years, as Western influence grew, the 8 hole Xiao design began appearing, since it made playing western scales much easier. Both styles feature a thumb hole, but the 8 hole design features extra holes at the left middle finger for a flattened 6th, as well as at the ring finger for a flattened 3rd. I make both styles of Xiao, and in both of the popular keys.
More Information regarding my irish flutes and NAtive AmericaN flutes is coming soon.