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The Carbony pennywhistles are our favorites of the fine handmade whistles. They follow in the footsteps of the legendary, highly sought-after (and rarely available) Michael Copeland whistles, in tone, response and conical-bore shape. Due to the very thin walls of their carbon fiber bodies, Carbony whistles are as light as a feather (just over one ounce for the high D), and virtually indestructible. They come with a lifetime warranty.
The Session Whistle in D is incredibly easy and satisfying to play – the high notes of the second octave speak very easily. Intonation is superb, and of course they are tunable, with their two-piece design. Each one comes with a fabric drawstring carrying pouch. Scroll down to view videos of Grey Larsen demonstrating the Session D whistle, as well as the High Whistle in D and the Quiet Whistle in D.
This Session Whistle has a larger bore and requires a bit more air to speak the second and higher registers when compared with the more soft-spoken Carbony High Whistle in D. The Session Whistle is a robust instrument, perfect for sessions or noisy environments. It still maintains the warmth and resonance of the carbon fiber construction. The tapered design allows for close finger spacing for rapid passage articulation and optimal volume balance in all registers. Includes anodized aluminum serialized laser engraved fipple body with ebonite tip.
Extra Thumb-Hole Options: You may choose to add a thumb hole for the top-hand thumb and/or bottom-hand thumb. Each additional thumb hole adds $20 to the whistle’s cost. The top-hand thumb hole gives an additional and very useful way to finger C-natural, this in addition to the customary cross fingering for that note. The bottom-hand thumb hole gives an easy and agile way to finger F-natural, a much more practical method than using a half-hole fingering for F. These thumb-holes also make it possible to play the Irish “roll” ornament on C-natural and F-natural. F-natural strikes and finger vibrato also become possible. Note that when you are not playing C or F with the thumb holes, you must keep those thumb holes closed. The top thumb hole is located behind and about halfway between the top two finger holes, while the bottom thumb hole is located behind and just above the fifth hole (i.e. the middle finger of bottom hand).
You may want to consider the advantages of getting your whistle as a Leading Tone Whistle, with an extra hole. Please read on for the reasons to consider this.
The Leading Tone Whistles are seven-hole whistles that allow the player to reach down to the leading tone (i.e. low C-sharp on a D whistle) which is situated one-half step below the usual bottom D. This very small seventh hole is operated by the pinky of the bottom hand. The hole’s position does not interfere with the common use of the pinky as a balance finger. There is plenty of room to rest it in its normal place, simply reaching down a bit further as needed to play the low leading tone.
This extra hole can also be used to play the leading tone (C-sharp) in the upper register, providing a second, alternative fingering for that note.
Very importantly, one can use the seventh hole to play the Irish ornament/articulation called a “strike” (also known as a “tap” or “tip”) on low and high D. This cannot be done on a standard six-hole whistle. And, since you can strike D, you can also play the Irish ornament called a “roll” on D. This is a great bonus when playing Irish music. These added capabilities are also valuable in other musical traditions such as Scottish and Gallician.
You may also use the seventh hole to produce finger vibrato on the second note of the scale (i.e. E on a D whistle), something which cannot be done on a six-hole whistle. And, one can simply ignore the extra hole to play in the traditional six-hole manner.
Use of the low leading tone is quite common with traditional Irish tunes, and even more so with Galician traditional music.
Listen to Grey Larsen play the Carbony Session Whistle in D and the Carbony High Whistle in D, for the sake of tonal comparison. The tune is the traditional Irish reel The Sunny Banks. You may also listen to him play a Leading Tone Whistle in D to demonstrate the use of the low and high C-sharp fingerings. On that whistle he plays the traditional Irish polka The Gullane and the traditional Irish jig The Rose and the Heather.