Crater in Northern Territories, Oz
Serenade for flamingos- Chile
Carol in Mexico
More about what people are saying:
Dear Mr. Whipple,
I am very pleased with my new WipLstix!!! I am unfortunately very particular about workmanship, so you would not be getting this e-mail if my new little fiddle was not truly wonderful. I really like the pretty tailpiece, too! And I noticed your label inside. The fiddle is even more beautiful than I had imagined it to be. I tuned it up easily, and it sounds much better than I expected it to. This was not a cheap purchase for me, but worth every penny. I was a bit worried when the package arrived because I heard rattling inside, but it was just the bridge. Not a scratch on the fiddle, though. I'll find a nice piece of cloth to wrap the fiddle in, so it will be more comfortable in its tube case.
Thank you!! -Edina H.
Hi Bill I love my whipplestick, as you say, what it lacks in tone it makes up for in willingness to adventure. -Karen J.
Hey, I just have to drop you a note to tell you how much I LOVE my WipL. It's a ingenious wonder - the weight (or lack of) - the same spacing of fingers on the neck - the tuning pegs and designed to use a penny for tuning - the tight fit into the PVC pipe - the chin rest - the room for rosin - . . . I took it out of the pipe and played it, fell in love with it and had to return it into the pipe. BUT counldn't get it back in with the bow - tried and tried. Well, then decided to see if there was something else in the box Bob packed it in - voila, directions! The knotch - what an engineering feat - amazing. I just got back from a trip to Europe and the WipL traveled with me. It was so easy. I like to travel with my fiddle but it gets to be too much sometimes with everything else that needs to go. So as usual, I had way too much luggage this time and when I got home I stopped to evalute my luggage problem and wondered if I should scratch the fiddle in the future. NO I will not. Sometimes I don't get to play it often or even at all so a full size fiddle I think that I might consider leaving it behind. But the WipL presents no problem and will travel with me for just incase I get a moment to play. So now the solution is not so many girl things - yikes. So enough - just wanted to thank you for your great creation. -Sue S.
What a neat violin! -Chris I., Airline Pilot
Hi! I got my whipple stix on friday and played it a bunch over the weekend. It's
definitely a lot of fun, and the design is extremely clever. I'm impressed with
how sturdy it is: it withstood the shipping just fine in its tube. I was
carrying it around in pouring rain on saturday but the tube kept it nice and
dry. The inflatable thing was about what I expected. I still think it could be
improved with a more stable system for holding the instrument (some way of
mounting a chinrest and shoulder rest). Also, an electric version would be
incredible. The pitch pipe could be replaced with an end pin jack. I'm already
having visions of showing up at a gig with nothing but a little PVC pipe and a
cord. Also, a conventional violin tailpiece with fine tuners would probably be
more practical (although your tailpiece design looks great). Thanks for building
this little monster. Obviously a lot of great problem solving went into it's
design. I hope you'll continue to refine it and make improvements.
all the best, Harris
Thank you very much for all your efforts and for a great travelling fiddle!
First of all, it is a beautiful instrument - very nice work! I love the
idea of the bicycle inner tube. With a silk scarf wrapped around it, it
feels better on my chin, plus it looks jaunty. I love recycled things.
It is a very unintimidating instrument. I play it out in the chicken coop,
and haven't had a complaint yet. The folks at my local music store fitted me with a bow, and they traded the wiplstix back and forth and loved it. One woman, from England, said she has to get one before she leaves the states.OK, I've had it for 2 full days now, and I'm fully bonded. So, you don't get it back. Thank you, -Clara
Bill, The fiddle arrived Friday. Thanks. Nice work. Clever crafting. I like
the chin rest! -Lee
Could not resist responding to your fabulous page. The Whiplstick is one splendorkious invention.(as we would have said years ago in my original home of Petersburg WV- " yup") -Papa John M.
The stick arrived in perfect condition on Saturday and I've been enjoying it for a couple of days now. The workmanship is great! The neck is very playable and the wood is beautiful. It's exactly what I need for this trip to China. The bow is just right, too, although I'll put horsehair on it when I get back.
Well, I've been thinking about it for a long time, and I've finally done it. I bought a travel fiddle that fits into a tube. It's made by Bill Whipple in West Virginia (You can find him on the web if you put in "wiplstix"). Bill let me try it out, and would've taken it back if I didn't "bond" with it.
Well, I did bond with it. I've been having a great time with it. OK, it doesn't sound stupendous, but it really doesn't sound bad. In fact, it has a pretty nice clear high end. The lower end is a bit tinny, but perhaps if you used better strings - Bill admits he puts on cheap steel strings - it would sound less metallic. When I received it in the mail, only the G-string was out of tune. But, with the penny (included), you can tune it.
The fingerboard feels like a real violin. The "blow-up" chin rest is actually a modified bicycle inner tube (that I put a silk scarf on for comfort). I think I'll try to improve it further, maybe with a chamois chin rest/shoulder rest contraption. I can play it in the living room and my partner can work in the adjoining office. He hears it, but not much. I play it outside in the alley at my work. I can play it in my backyard, while I'm watching my chickens. As a beginner, who is very enthused about practicing, it has enabled me to get an extra hour of practice time in. Best of all, I plan on taking it backpacking with me, to the mountains and to the beach.
It is very un-intimidating to use. People who are shy about picking up and playing "real" instruments, pick it up and wail on it. At a recent gathering of friends aged from 10 to 65, there was one woman who was very shy about wanting to try any of the instruments that were brought. Not the fiddles, the hammered dulcimer, the cornet, the fipple flute, the psaltery. But she did try the travel fiddle!
And for me, as a beginner, music is about people getting together and making it, no matter what their skill level. When I play at home with the travel fiddle (which I will now refer to as "Bedelia"), like outside with the chickens, I use my full-sized Coda bow, because I fear building up bad habits. But when I bring Bedelia to work, I use my 19 1/2" 1/8-sized bow. I usually use my time with her to memorize or to work out new pieces of fiddle music, or to improvise. At home is where I use my good violin and polish things up, and really play. Although I tend to prefer to play classical music, I have found that I am enjoying playing fiddle music on Bedelia because it better suits her swift, casual nature. Besides, it has shown to be more entertaining to my coworkers (and chickens).
Well, I checked out the "wiplstix" website..they're interesting-looking little contraptions. Bowing/positioning might be a little weird at first, but I like the idea of it fitting into a tube--you could take it anywhere. Imagine being able to pull it out of a backpack and play on a mountaintop! (I wonder if he'd ever make a wiplviola...)
I just got my wiplstick in the mail. I think it will be a lot of fun to take on trips. The only problem I see so far is that it rotates on its long axis when I put my left fingers down since it has almost no width. Borzhava, have you had that problem? If so, have you come up with a solution? Thanks.
I'm taking it to the Sierras at the end of August for two weeks!