Mudcat Café message #1737671 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #91367   Message #1737671
Posted By: The Fooles Troupe
10-May-06 - 09:46 PM
Thread Name: need advice flute, recorder, cold weather
Subject: RE: need advice flute, recorder, cold weathe
oooooooo, oh, he said fipples...


Was just about to suggest that - it doesn't take much practice to play a whistle effectively with the holes turned towards the body. You just have to wrap your hands further around the instrument so that the fingers reach the holes. Feels really strange at first, but most non-musos probably won't even notice what you are doing. A recorder may be a bit harder, because you need to use the little fingers. Can't see how the hell you could do that sort of thing with a transverse flute though.

You could consider the old fashioned 'gloves with cutoff finger tips' - they look a bit weird at first, but they are very effective. You would need to practice playing wearing them before the performance though.

I used to run some hot tap water thru my Chieftains (totally metal) in very cold weather - they would often come out of my transport case like ice, but if you can't get easy access to hot water, you will have to keep them close to a warm body for a good 20 mins beforehand. I used to hold the whistle under the tap and trickle some water from the open end, rather than subject the fipple end directly. This would often get the whole instrument up to about 30+ degrees Cent, but the mass of the instrument would then spread the heat evenly and the thing would cool down to nearer body heat in a couple of minutes.

I do recommend the teeny drop of dishwashing liquid on the fipple before hand, but the hot water treatment interferes with that, and I found it wasn't really necessary then - provided that you don't stop actually playing the instrument for very long. If you have several in different keys that you are swapping between, you must keep the fipple end under your armpit or similar, or the condensation problem will start up seriously.

To clear the fipple, hold in your mouth normally, block the fipple hole area with a finger or thumb, and blow hard - no noise. You can then flick the moisture out the bottom of the instrument - hold on tightly! You thus have a useful weapon for annoying at a distance small dogs and children!