How to make a fipple mouthpiece

how to make a fipple mouthpiece

Copper Pennywhistle

Step 1: The Fipple Mouthpiece A fipple is a type of mouthpiece where a stream of air is blown through a channel and cut by a blade, which allows a thin sheet of air to pass beneath the blade. The fipple . Cut away the bottom part of the mouthpiece so it forms an angle that you can get into your mouth. Insert the fipple (still long & sticking out, I hope) where it plays the best, and drill a small hole through the mouthpiece from side to side. This should not damage the windway; it should go through the body of the fipple.

I play a few hkw. All badly. Mae for gow fun, it is difficult to beat the enjoyment and simplicity of the Feadog pennywhistle. However good professional quality feadogs can cost several hundred dollars. So with a little practice and patience, I learned how to make my own which to my ear at least, are as good as what is the purpose of skele toes of the most expensive ones.

In this short article I will take you through the steps I use to make them. If you follow closely, you should end up with a quality instrument which will also be lots of fun to play! The Feadog or pennywhistle has been around for centuries. However the modern pennywhistle came into its own with the development in of reliably available and inexpensive tinplate.

The instruments are tuned to a variety of keys, their size being an indicator of the octave range. To my ear the Feadog is a fine concert, band, or individual instrument, capable of complex harmonics with a chanter or lilting Irish ballads A really wonderful instrument. I always carry one when riding my recumbent tricycle [see: What is a Recumbent Trike? Whistles come in all tunings, but the most common are C and D. A low D sometimes an octave lower is also common.

In my opinion there is little difference between the professional and street versions other than that the later may have minor flaws or require more careful tuning. Whistles are tuned mainly by slight movement of the fipple below which unfortunately is not possible in some of the more commonly available ones.

Of the less expensive commercial whistles my favourite is the Walton D and the standard Clarke C. It is small and lively - perfect for playing at the side of quiet country lanes. I have a quiet spot near to where I live which overlooks a wonderful water view, with snow covered mountains in the distance. I like mouthpiiece cycle up there, then rest and play the Feadog for a while, then cycle back home.

There are some types of feadogs that are quite fancy. For example, it is possible to make a chanter by soldering two whistles together, blocking all the soundholes on one, and using a single mouthpiece between them. This creates a beautiful haunting accompaniment much like the sound of a chanter in a bagpipe, as the intact whistle is played.

Lots of other possibilities too. Learning to play well and to play complex tunes is pretty much the same as any versatile instrument - it takes time and patience. This will give you some idea of what the instrument can really do in the hands of a master. There are other books out how to make a fipple mouthpiece too, but this is the how to arrange home office furniture I started with years ago, and like it better than most others I have seen when you are just beginning.

There are all sorts uow methods to build a pleasantly sounding pennywhistle for yourself. Making a concert grade instrument is more difficult, as you might expect, but once you master the basic technique you may find yourself making feadogs second to none.

For these instructions however, I have hlw how to make a fipple mouthpiece make things very simple and left out the fancy steps needed how to cut your nails nicely a concert instrument.

These more advanced steps centre around the fipple, which I make to a special mould. But that stuff is not needed for mak simple homemade instrument. Even so, if you follow my directions below the whistle you make will sound pretty good, be easy to play, and most of all - fun! For this example I have given the measurements to build a pennywhistle in the key of C.

This is the easiest type for a beginner to play. Moreover there is lots of free sheet music available online maek this makr. Ready - here we go:. Step One is the easy part - just take some measurements and drill some holes. Put masking tape on one side, along the full length your soon-to-be pennywhistle, then run a straight line along the masking tape from top to bottom see picture.

The bottom of your whistle will be the opposite end from where the mouthpiece fipple will go. Measure hod the bottom of the soon-to-be whistle, and put an X on the line on the masking tape at the following intervals:.

Position 6 5 4 3 2 1 Distance from bottom in mm Drill the holes to the sized below. Hint: When drilling the holes, uow one size smaller than I have indicated, then use the round file to get rid of the burs and enlarge the hole to the size required. Think of a typical aeroplane wing. The upper side of the wing is higher than how to remove adchoices google chrome underside.

When the forward hoq of the moutupiece forces air over the wing, the air stream splits in two. The air going above the wing must travel farther per unit time than the air going below the wing. This the Bernoulli effect causes a negative pressure on mputhpiece top of the wing, and mouthipece get lift - that is, the plane flies.

The lip of the fipple works on the same principle. It divides the air into two streams. Ideally it should be shaped like how to get internet connection on your psp aerofoil. The fippl negative pressure allows for vibration - that is to say, sound. So what we want in making the fipple, is a narrow bit into which you force air from your breath. This ifpple bit should be long and ideally taper wider at the mouth end, less wide at the lip end.

This slight taper increases the speed of the air like pinching a garden hosewhich means that you need less breath to make a sound. This as you might expect, makes it easier to play the instrument. Hlw lip go be angled to air coming out of this taper so as to split the air into two streams in just the right way.

I must admit that I thought for quite a while about what to put next. There are many ways to make a fipple - everyone has an opinion. But making a good as well bow artistic fipple really requires quite a bit of practice. I also like fipples made of soapstone - you carve the soapstone delicately, adding some fun artistic decorations as you go along - much like carving a fine German pipe, now sadly almost how to make a fipple mouthpiece lost art.

I love the sound of a fipple made of soapstone - hoow is very pure and sweet. The brass instrument with a hand carved soapstone fipple becomes a real work of art both visually and musically. But doing that takes some practice to develop the necessary carving skill. As well as knowing how to sound the fipple make it musical.

Not to maje the how to use an urinal weeks carving it just right before the cat knocks it on the floor and it shatters into a million pieces the fipple, not the cat. It the fipple survives, then the stone must be polished carefully, followed by many hours spent vacuuming the dust off the cat.

I thought the best thing to do would be to start you out on the simplest method I know which still results in a pleasantly sounding instrument. Mothpiece how to make a fipple mouthpiece follow these directions your first pennywhistle will end up with a sweet and very slightly breathy sound, the notes hiw be relatively pure, and your fingers will dance like magic over the notes Ready?

The parts are very sophisticated and complex, but do not be put off by this vast array of expensive items - they are all absolutely necessary for a quality finished product. Now we can start: The TOP of the fipple is the part that will go in your mouth. Congratulations, you are almost finished. Next comes the only tricky part of this enterprise - to make the lip. So pay attention and all will be well: s. You have made a fipple! How to make a fipple mouthpiece are some tips:.

If the sound was too breathy, try ohw moving the lip up or down. This is soft brass which can metal fatigue if you force things.

If the sound was raspy, you may have made the flattened part of the dowel ripple deep. Knock it out and try again. If the sound was too "wet", the dowel absorbed water and expanded. Wait for it to how to stop bed frame wheels from moving completely, then try again.

Parts list: A spool of brightly coloured thread - the kind used in a moutthpiece machine. Available in any fabric store, etc. Go down to the local Irish pub and wow them hoa your playing and artistry at flute making! Just flatten it with files as with the dowelling, and mouthpiwce as you did above.

The z quality will improve, as well as the length of time you can play since there will not be any wood to absorb moisture. Go to a local metal supplier or find ot online and instead of thin-walled brass, get something with thick walls. With a thick wall, you make the fipple as an integral part of the body how to make a fipple mouthpiece the pennywhistle.

You also completely eliminate the need to move the lip into position w a hammer. Instead, you file down the hlw to the position you wish. This makes for a really attractive looking instrument, but it requires some practice lots to get it right. The entire instrument is metal, and the sound Try your hand at carving the fipple out of soapstone or if you are really ambitious, jade. But be prepared to put in many, many hours over several weeks to make it all come together.

Develop your own techniques. I have come up with what I call a "split" fipple, where the fipple is split longitudinally then acid-soldered together.

The Whistle

The method of making the fipple comprises the following steps. Preferably, the proximal end of the tip blank is first milled followed by the distal end, however, the order of milling of the tip blank ends is not critical. In the preferred method, the distal end of the tip blank is fixed to provide access to the proximal end of the tip by: 1.

First, a disclaimer : This document isn't meant to be a definitive guide on 'How to do it. Please do give it a try. I make my whistles in ordinary copper plumbing pipe. There is no difference between the two other than size.

It's important to start out with a piece of pipe longer than needed, since it's easy to cut bits off, and hard to put 'em back! There have been some questions about the use of copper tubing, as related to health issues. I've tried to find out what, if any, risk playing a copper whistle poses: The nutritional RDA for copper is something like 2mg, and you're not going to absorb too much by playing a copper whistle.

There is a condition called Wilson's disease where copper apparently poses a larger risk. Phillip says A final coating of lacquer spray will minimize copper exposure, but think about it Note as well that it's not necessary to use copper pipe. Any easily- available tubing will work just fine. I remeber Paddy Keenan saying that he used to make whistles out of TV aerial antennas.

Differences in the diameter of the tubing will make small differences in overall length and hole placement, so keep this in mind when selecting your tubing. Work carefully, and don't be afraid to experiment. Any time you cut the metal tubing, it leaves little bits of metal 'burrs,' I think they're called stuck around. They interfere with the windway, and generally make your life difficult. NOT the new 'Sweetone' model, which has a plastic mouthpiece.

My whistles end up being a sort of hybrid, sharing features of each type. This is the important part. I do this by whacking the pipe with a hammer, on the concrete floor in my basement. All you really need is one flat ish side, which will be the top of the windway. Now, take this side, and cut a slit across it, about an inch from the top. I found it handy to cut two parallel strips and then a diagonal to join them both.

Like so N this allows easier removal of the center chunk. Roll back the points and hack them off. The lower edge of the slit is called the lip, and it's the place where the sound is made. To do this, it needs to be in the path of the incoming air. Watch carefully, and try to get the lip to go straight across the top of the tube. This is important. This is what we want to avoid.

You want the lip to be as straight as possible. The next step is to make the fipple wooden block which defines the windway. Get a piece of hardwood, preferably with one flat face, which will be the top of the block. It helps if the block is inches long, so you can hold it while carving. Carefully whittle away the wood, until it fits tightly into the mouthpiece.

The most important thing here is that the windway have approximately the same height all the way along, and that, looking through the bottom end of the pipe, you be able to see a small crack of light through the mouthpiece. I generally find it best not to push the fipple all the way up to lip-hole, but to let the tube overhang it by a small amount.

You can test whether the mouthpiece works by blowing through it. It's a bit tricky when the fipple is sticking out the end of the tube by a few inches, but holding the whistle sideways, like a flute, and covering the end of the mouthpiece with your mouth, it should be possible to sound a note. Blowing harder sounds the octave, and you might be able to get still another octave. If the tone isn't solid enough, it often helps to take the fipple out and sand down the top, to increase the height of the windway, and let more air pass through.

So it seems better to make the fipple so that the windway is quite shallow, and then steadily strengthen the tone by sanding it down, until it plays where you want it. Once you can get a sound out of it, leave it alone for the moment. These are pretty inexpensive, and fit tightly enough to make the whistle tunable to some degree. If you're not using plumbing pipe, you can often find tubing in a variety of sizes at a hobby store, and use this to join the sections.

This part is easier, but can get fairly tedious. Unless you have perfect pitch, I strongly advise using a chromatic, electronic tuner for this. A general note: the whistle gets sharper as it warms up, so before cutting any parts, blow through the whistle for a minute or two, and make sure of the pitch when it is warm. Bummer, bummer The first thing is to cut the pipe to length.

If you used enough pipe, it should be flat of the note you want. Without finger holes, it sounds the lowest note. To sharpen the note, you have to cut the pipe off at the bottom. Cut off only a small amount at time, so as not to go too sharp. As you approach the desired note, use a file instead of a hacksaw, so you can really have control over how much metal gets taken off the bottom.

Once you have the pipe tuned to the correct key, carefully measure the lip-to-foot length of the pipe. The holes go down as follows:. I arrived at these figures by measuring a number of commercially-available whistles of different sizes. The proportions were quite uniform. However, there is a lot of variability permitted in finger hole size vs. A good candidate for this is R2 on a low-G whistle, which tends to be quite large, unless you 'fudge' it upwards a bit. Also, the diameter of the tubing will make a difference in hole placement and size.

Cut each hole with an electric drill. Draw a straight line down the tube, mark hole positions, and use a 16 penny nail to make a starting divot. The important thing to keep in mind is to make each hole smaller than you need it.

Once all the holes are cut, get out some round files and some gloves. It's time for some elbow grease. You now have to open up each hole to the correct size. Start with the bottom hole. A good idea is to stick in some of that plastic coat-hanger rod protector, to keep the files from scratching the bore of the pipe too badly.

Now, remove your R3 finger, and see what note it plays. If the note is flat, the hole is too small, so open it up a bit with a round file. If it's sharp, it's too late, time to start over. If you're happy with the mouthpiece, though, you can re-use it: cut it off and use a pipe joint to add a new barrel.

Opening the upper edge of the hole moves the center of the hole upward and minimizes the final size of the hole, so try to open holes upward, instead of making them bigger all around. Keep going until the note is on pitch. You have some control here over the 'voicing' of the whistle. Blowing harder raises the pitch of a given note I'm not talking about jumping the octave, here , so pay attention and try to make all the notes on pitch with the 'correct' breath pressure. Another thing to do is smooth the edges of the finger holes, so they're not too rough to play comfortably.

Once you've got all the holes done, it's time to finish the mouthpiece. If the whistle is in two sections, this isn't a worry: you can finish the mouthpiece whenever you want, since it's short enough to clean by itself, and the body of the whistle is then open at both ends for cleaning. Cut away the bottom part of the mouthpiece so it forms an angle that you can get into your mouth. This should not damage the windway; it should go through the body of the fipple.

Now is the time to cut the fipple to size. Remove it from the whistle, and cut off the excess, and sand the outer face where your lower lip goes smooth. An idea here is to roughly cut away the back of the block, then stick it back into the whistle and use a power sander to grind the fipple down to be flush with the end of the pipe. I use a sanding drum on my electric drill for this. I used a belt sander for both the primary fipple shaping and the later grinding the fipple and pipe to fit my mouth the forming of the beak.

The copper, being rather soft is easily shaped this way It will however get hot, don't burn your fingers! Do it in steps to allow cooling. If the high notes will not blow, you have sanded the fipple too low. Forrester, American Woodworker In other words make sure you are happy with the total tone before you cement the fipple in place, you may want to make another one.

I use 5-minute epoxy to glue the mouthpiece together. Actually, if you use a nail through the mouthpiece, the glue serves more to seal the edges of the fipple against air leakage, rather than providing any structural support. Put some glue in the mouthpiece staying well away from the windway as well as in the nail holes, and push the fipple in place. Then push the nail through the hole, and wipe away any excess glue. Once the glue dries, it's done!

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