The Questions People Ask a Whistlemaker
Misha Somerville answers questions often asked about an unusual and incredible profession.
// What are the main differences between the Kelpies and mk Pros?
// I'm concerned I might not be able to make my fingers stretch to play the Low D whistle. Is there any way to tell for sure that it'll be ok?
// I'm not sure if my order has been placed, how can I check?
// I can't track my parcel, what else can I do?
// My parcel hasn't arrived yet - what should I do?
// Do I get a guarantee with mk whistles?
// Is delivery insured?
// If I don’t like my mk whistle can I return it?
The most obvious difference is the tuning slide, which for those that are performing is often a necessity. The tone holes on the Kelpie are also optimised for ergonomics - whereas the Pros are optimised for tuning. Both are, however, great instruments and if you look at the price of other musical instruments you get a lot for your money. For this reason people often just decide to treat themselves to a Pro, though there is also a lot to be said for starting on a Kelpie to see how you get on. Then if are using it a lot, you can treat yourself to a Pro or another key knowing that it's going to get some good use.
Everyone's hands are different so it's impossible to say for sure. It is a very rare case where it is a problem though. We suggest the best way is to try one - you can always return it on our satisfaction guarantee if it doesn't work out. Since we started making whistles we've probably had about two instruments back for this reason - this perhaps gives you an idea of your chances of success! In any case some practise is required to get used to the stretch.
Try not to play with your pinky. There is usually a wee trick which helps: if you use the middle part of the first and second fingers on each hand to cover their respective holes then it becomes far easier to reach the bottom hole with the pad on your third finger. In other words you straighten your fingers (more like a piper would play) and slightly rotate both your hands moving your wrists towards the top of the whistle. Confused? You'll find more information here.
It's a question that's asked a lot and with good reason. Of course it's very difficult to answer this from a distance - there's a lot that contributes to the way a whistle plays and it's always best to try one. This is one reason we offer a satisfaction guarantee so you have the opportunity to try one in the comfort of your own home or wherever you are used to playing. We've certainly spent a long time working on it however, and have not yet had an instrument returned because of the backpressure.
See the owners info page.
Some players blow harder than others and this affects the pitch of the notes. Whistles are also affected by the air temperature around them – even after warming them up by playing. mk whistles have tuning slides so you can fine tune your instrument to your playing style and keep your instrument in tune, even when you're playing in a snowstorm. Brass is used for the tuning slide on mk whistles because it's hard and inert. In other words it doesn't corrode giving off particles which then cause it to jam.
- If after a week you don't have a dispatch confirmation email, but you did receive an order confirmation email, then please simply forward the order confirmation email to us and we'll look into it.
Yes, mk whistles are guaranteed against faults in craftsmanship for 5 years from the purchase date. If something goes wrong with your instrument as a result of the workmanship or materials we chose, we will repair or replace the instrument subject to our inspection. Accidental damage will be fixed (where possible) for reasonable rates.
Yes. If your instrument gets lost in the post we will send you another as soon as it is possible.
Yes. You have 21 days to return it in its original condition. Please contact us if you'd like to do this and we will refund the cost of the instrument. In other words you can try the instrument out for the cost of the postage to and from you.
A whistle's tone is primarily affected by the shape of the instrument. Aluminium is one of the easiest materials to shape accurately – it's relatively rigid and soft and it cuts well.
Anodising toughens the surface of aluminium. It basically means your instrument is going to last much longer. Aluminium which has not been anodised will oxidise (particularly if it is going from wet to dry as with the inside bore of a whistle) and will corrode away until eventually there's none of it left (a bit like a vampire that gets exposed to sunlight).
We do occasionally do other colours by special order. If there is a colour you are particularly interested in get in touch and we'll see what we can do. We will also be adding to our standard colours in the future.