MK MUSIC BLOG tips & tricks Whistle instrument care

Low Whistle Clogging

Clogging can be an issue for some whistle players.  Because of this we have spent a lot of time creating whistles that are as ‘clog-free’ as possible.  Even still, it can occasionally be an issue for some people – please get in touch with us if this is you! Everyone carries moisture in their breath, but some more than others, and this can condense in the airway forming moisture droplets which interrupt the air-stream and cause air noise.

How do I know the issue is clogging?

Usually it develops over the course of  a few minutes after starting to play.  So if the whistle plays fine when you first pick it up, but then you start getting air-noise after a few minutes, then this is almost certainly because the moisture has been building up.  Temperature may also have an affect.  If the airnoise is more consistent i.e present every time you blow from the moment you pick-up the whistle, then the source of the issue may lie with something else.

What can I do about it?  

The good news is that there are a few things you can try.  A watery solution that we can provide, called ‘anticondense’, can be sprayed onto the surfaces at the end of airway (please see photo).  We don’t have this available to buy at the moment but please get in touch ( info @ if you would like some.    This causes the moisture to form in a thin layer, rather than a droplet (for those with technical know-how this is releases the ‘surface tension’).  It should be applied when the instrument is dry and then allowed to dry before playing.  In most cases this does help a good deal, and it is worth experimenting with.

The problem may improve over time

Do bear in mind that some whistle makes are better than others for clogging – so it may be with experimenting.  It’s also true that players tend to push more moisture through the airway when they are in the early stages of learning.    We have worked very hard to make mk whistles free from clogging – with clever design of the airway.   If you do still get clogging issues then please get in touch !  It is so rarely we come across someone with clogging issues that we’d love to hear from you and work with you to resolve the issue.


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