The Howard Classic Whistle

40 years of craftsmanship, heritage, and innovation

The Original Brass Low Whistle

Developed over 40 years by master craftsman Brian Howard, the Howard low whistle has benefitted from continuous design improvements to bring you an affordable, professional instrument of world-class quality. Recent developments on the whistle head, the result of David O’Hagan’s extensive experience as a instrument maker and sound engineer, mean that the Howard low whistle is better than ever.

The Howard Classic Whistle’s Unique Design
-With The New M3 Head-

Unique airway design balances breath requirement and back pressure

Moulded head allows an advanced internal acoustic structure to be realised

Laser-engraved Howard Music logo

Contoured holes help with note bending and provide easier coverage and comfort

Tuning is accurate and stable over both octaves even when played expressively with dynamics

Sonorous, resonant thin-walled acoustic brass, made to our own specification

Hand-finished contoured head allows unimpeded airflow and feels smooth as silk

Raised walls around fipple gives a full-bodied tone

Tuning line incised around the barrel for quick reference of pitch

Lightweight design, play effortlessly for hours on end! All the advantages of brass, yet as light as aluminium

Internally polished brass body

Hole size is an excellent compromise between playability and a facility in note bending/half notes

Large bore brass tubing for a deep powerful root note and rich harmonics

“Stands out in the crowd of other brands, as it is the oldest continousley made low whistle on the market”

Kamil Baranowski Barendt -via email

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Handmade In Sheffield, England

Howard whistles are made in Sheffield, a historic home of fine craftsmanship, metal work and precision engineering.

They feature a unique two-piece design developed by master craftsman and instrument maker Brian Howard over the last 40 years.

Specially drawn thin-walled brass tube

The whistle body is crafted from a specially drawn large bore, thin-walled tube of brass, the alloy of choice for fine instrument makers through the ages.
The metal is a German-made alloy of 63% brass and 37% tin, our specific specification to achieve optimal acoustic properties.

The two-piece design resolves tuning issues without the use of perturbations in the bore, making it accurate and stable over both octaves at all volumes.

Specially drawn thin-walled brass tube

The whistle body is crafted from a specially drawn large bore, thin-walled tube of brass, the alloy of choice for fine instrument makers through the ages.
The metal is a German-made alloy of 63% brass and 37% tin, our specific specification to achieve optimal acoustic properties.

The two-piece design resolves tuning issues without the use of perturbations in the bore, making it accurate and stable over both octaves at all volumes.

Head made from robust virgin ABS resin, with advanced acoustic design.

Howard tuneable heads have an improved finish which makes for a fluid playing experience and a balanced, refined tone.

Moulding allows the realisation of a smooth internal structure with low air friction – in comparison to a 3D printed or poorly finished metal head, which are rougher and disturb the air flow. Each head is individually made, carefully hand-finished, and tested against a reference.

Reference line for tuning

Howard low whistles are tuneable with a clearly engraved reference line.The two-piece design allows for a tuneable professional whistle at a competitive price.

Reference line for tuning

Howard low whistles are tuneable with a clearly engraved reference line.The two-piece design allows for a tuneable professional whistle at a competitive price.

Engraved with the Howard logo.

A hand finish and beautifully engraved logo match the quality of the design engineering.The result is a sonorous and playable whistle which allows for a range of dynamics across registers, maintaining timbral qualities and accuracy in pitch.

Review (excerpts) of the Howard Whistle by Stephen Howard (no relation) of SH Woodwind Repairs

The maker, Brian Howard, has been making whistles for over thirty years (the present design being in production since 1985) – and if there’s one thing he’s famous for it’s never sitting still.
The best way to keep up with the changes is simply to replace the head, which’ll cost you about a third of the price of a new whistle.

The build quality is superb.  You’ll find no rough edges here, nor any burred finger holes.
The head itself isn’t much to look at, but it’s very much the ‘engine’ of the instrument – and a lot of what goes into making this part is a closely guarded secret… it’s what makes every whistlemaker’s instruments distinctive.

The volume is the first thing that hits you. It’s easy enough to make a higher pitched whistle that can belt out a note, but as the pitch drops it becomes that much harder to maintain the volume. The Howard low whistle manages to maintain a good volume in the lower register without sacrificing the tone.

Of course, the whistle’s true potential comes through when you back off the volume and allow it to find what I like to think of as its ‘resonance’. It’s a bit hard to describe exactly what this is, but it’s effectively that point where volume and tone (and tuning) balance each other out. This is when a whistle starts to sing.

Even more remarkably, this ‘resonance’ is maintained in the second octave…without the need for any increase in volume. Better yet, although it’s quite easy to slip into the upper octave it’s entirely at your discretion – there isn’t that sense of instability that plagues some whistles. That’s quite an achievement on a low whistle, I reckon.

Tuning? Well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – saxophones don’t play in tune, you play them in tune – and the same goes for whistles. For sure, you need a head start in the shape of a decent bore and accurately sized and placed finger holes, and that’s exactly what you have. It really shows in the upper octave too.

Tonewise it’s rather difficult to categorise this whistle. That, in effect, is the strength of this whistle. I could say that it’s warm, but it’s also bright. I could say that it’s broad, but it’s also focussed. Pick any description you like and it’s probably in there somewhere. This then is the whistle’s forté – it stands on its own.
you’re a beginner and want to start on a low whistle then you’ll absolutely love the Howard. It has an immediate response and a very ‘morish’ tone – it’s quite hard to put it down once you’ve picked it up. It will lean to your preferences to some degree – mine is for a more ‘baroque’ tone, and this whistle will match many an expensive recorder in that respect.

you’re a seasoned whistle player then you’ll already have your own ideas about what constitutes the tone you’re looking for, but there’s a better than even chance that the Howard will give you something that no other whistle will.

From a stage performance point of view it’s worth noting that these whistles work well with amplification and recording as they tend to suffer rather less from sibilance and breath effects than many other low whistles. Stephen Howard   www.shwoodwind.co.uk

From Google reviews

Better than ever ..

I’ve always really liked the Howard Low D as it possesses all the qualities I like in a whistle; an ABS head (I really don’t like putting metal in my mouth) a brass body (it may be hang over from my sax playing days but to me ‘proper’ instruments are made of BRASS, I’m not a fan of aluminium it’s nasty reactive metal prone to corrosion (from saliva) and oxidation, plastic bodies are okay for a starter/practise instrument but you wouldn’t want to play one long term) a STRONG bottom E & D (often VERY fragile on other Low D’s) and a good volume balance between the registers (the Howard excels here) but the thing I love most about the Howard is the tone, it really is unique, quite unlike any other Low D I’ve played.

So as a long time Howard owner/player/lover I was first a little saddened when I read that Brian Howard (the eponymous maker of Howard Whistles) had retired due to health issues (now recovered thankfully and living in sunny Gibraltar where he still makes his famous chanter reeds) but then excited when Howard was relaunched under the new owner/maker David O’Hagan.

A very impressive and professional looking website appeared announcing the ‘New Improved Howard Whistle’ and although I already had a more than serviceable Howard, I succumbed and purchased a ‘New Improved’ nickel Low D. I have to confess I was a little sceptical about the ‘improved’ claim (my ‘old Howard’ did everything I asked of it I failed to see what ‘improvement’ could be made) but as soon as I unwrapped the new one a number of things were immediately apparent:

Better finish on the logo (now laser etched rather than a simple sticker as before) much smoother tone holes (lovely for slides) but the mouthpiece REALLY is ‘improved’, now beautifully polished with no sign of moulding lines, reduced bulk at the part you place between your lips and it has a very nice satin like texture, easily the most comfortable mouthpiece I’ve ever played, but the REAL ‘improvement’ lies within, I don’t know what David has done to the innards but the Howard now has:

Greater back pressure.

Effortless transition to the second octave.

Even greater balance between the octaves.

Stronger than ever bottom D and E (rock solid, you just CANNOT accidentally overblow to the next register)

It’s really is an utter joy to play and I’ve hardly played anything else since I bought it. You do need decent embouchure/breath control to get the best out of it (at the top end in particular) but it’s well worth putting the work in as you will be more than rewarded for your efforts.

In conclusion; for a very modest price you are getting a superb hand crafted instrument (David does EVERYTHING apart from the various coatings/platings and engraving in his workshop) that will last a lifetime (also have to say that David really is a top bloke and his ‘after sales’ service is brilliant)

Your Guarantee

Built to last. Enjoyed by musicians all over the world.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Try it out in the comfort of your own home or at your local folk gathering. Not convinced? We’ll refund you.**

10 Year Warranty

Built to last a lifetime. Your low whistle will be playing music for generations.

Free Shipping Worldwide

We’re all neighbours. Whether you live in Ireland, China, or the USA, we’re pleased to send it out to you for no extra cost.