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Can't play some notes on my ocarina; I bought an ocarina and some notes are not working
Topic Started: 19 May 2013, 05:44 PM (812 Views)
Pample
Beginner
Hello!

Firstly, I want to warn you, I'm French and my English may be quite approximate... I'm sorry for that, I promise I'll try to do my best!
I recently bought an Ocarina on Ebay for my boyfriend's birthday. He's a Legends of Zelda's great fan. I received it last week and gave it to him yesterday. He was very, very, very happy, until he tried to play it... he said it wasn't working.

Actually, when he tries to do some notes, the ocarina doesn't do any song. For example, when he wants to do a Fa, he blows in it and there is no song but the song of the breath. No note.
He told me that he couldn't play sol, la, ti, do, re, mi, fa. The higher notes are not working.
I guess it is not really normal...and I'm so disappointed of it because it was my present to him, I want him to be happy with it.
What can we do? Is anyone has a solution for our problem? Is there a technic to blow that we do not know?
I thank you for your time and I'm waiting for answers.
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Achint
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Fat Mouse >^_^<

Hallo!
Do you know which ocarina you gifted him? Could you provide a picture?

Also, try to do the 'acute bend'.
The acute bend is a technique where you bend your neck and bring the ocarina close to your chest.

Here is a post to show you how it looks:

http://theocarinanetwork.com/single/?p=1176&t=101541
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Furnace with wings
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Tolkienite, Whovian, Book-loving Polymath.
Could we get a picture or type of ocarina? Any info you could give might help. What brand it is, how many holes, things like that.

Is actually silent when he hits the notes, or is like a whistle or squeak ?
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Grimat
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Hi, I'm Mathew :)
If it is a plastic Ocarina you could be suffering with condensation.
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Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

^^ If condensation is the issue, just cover the voicing (the sound hole) and push a quick blast of air through the windway (mouthpiece).

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Pample
Beginner
Thanks for your quick answers!
I'm writting for my boyfriend, but he is reading your answers at the time so he's gonna try the "acute bend" you told him, I will told you if he says that it works. :-)

Here is the link : http://www.ebay.fr/itm/Legend-OF-Zelda-OCARINA-OF-TIME-with-SONGBOOK-Triforce-Link-12-HOLE-/330910944975?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d0bd44ecf

The seller sold 60 ocarinas, I hope it means that they are not so bad... It was quite expensive so I really want it to work!
It has 12 holes.
When he hits the notes (thanks for the vocabulary!), the ocarina stays "silent", as if he was not blowing in anything. We only hear the song of the breath. It's not a whistle and not a squeak. Just the "wind" of the breath. I do not know if I'm clear enough? If you want more details I'll do my best :-)

We first thought that there was something stuck in the ocarina, but we checked and nothing seems to be inside.

It's not in plastic but in ceramic :-)
Edited by Pample, 19 May 2013, 06:32 PM.
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Furnace with wings
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Tolkienite, Whovian, Book-loving Polymath.
I've seen this one around the US eBay site. As my French is limited to 20 words, could you tell me if there is a maker name or brand?
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Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

Do you have a smartphone or a tuner? Try playing it with a tuner. If the note is flat, try blowing harder. As you go up the scale you will need to use more and more breath. It is possible he may be underblowing considerably. For the highest three notes, you'll definitely want to use the acute bend.

Also, I made an overview for this ocarina. You may want to watch the Performance Advice section.

If none of that works, then you may want to contact the seller.
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Pample
Beginner
Hi, i'm her boyfriend, here is the information in English : http://www.ebay.com/itm/Legend-OF-Zelda-OCARINA-OF-TIME-with-SONGBOOK-Triforce-Link-12-HOLE-/330910944975?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d0bd44ecf

And i tried to do everything you said but nothing works :(.

http://vocaroo.com/i/s0zJsZVkFhXX (sorry for bad quality) i did Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Si-Do


Edit : We sent an email to the seller and are waiting for him to answer. Other persons who also bought the same ocarina said that their ones work...
Anyone has another idea to fix it?
Edited by Pample, 19 May 2013, 07:10 PM.
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pandorado100
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Premium Poster
Can you and your boyfriend post a picture of the back of the ocarina? I'd like to see the voicing. Also, it sounds as if he's blowing really hard into the ocarina. Try using less air. Sort of like the soft blow you would use to make your breath fog up a window pane.

I have one ocarina from the Fairy Ring Mushroom Co that is extremely touchy about breath pressure. It took me nearly a month of experimenting before I found the right way to coax sound out of it on the high notes D, E, F.
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Pample
Beginner
Thanks for your answer and your advices.
I told him to try to blow softer, unfortunately, it is still the same result as earlier. What you said about your Ocarina reassure me, because I'm quite sure it's a problem of breathing and not because of the instrument itself... Well, actually I hope, because we can't return it to the seller... :(

I'm looking for a solution on many others websites, and I've seen that the high notes are apparently a common problem. But when he tries the high notes, the result is not like in this video at 0:07 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6lcgD8x_zM
In our case, it's more like wind, it's not a whistle or nothing. There's absolutely no effect, his breath goes through the instrument and through the holes but there's no song which seems like a note, not even a bad note.
What is weird is that the low notes work quite well, even if he's a beginner and he will improve his playing.

Here is the picture of the back of the ocarina :
He took it with his webcam because we have nothing else, I hope it'll be clear enough! :-)
Attached to this post:
Attachments: 936389_10200494118849542_1900497434_n.jpg (59.43 KB)
Edited by Pample, 19 May 2013, 10:17 PM.
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pandorado100
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Premium Poster
The voicing looks intact, there's no obvious damage. I can only suggest you try experimenting like I did with using different breath pressure and changing the angle at which you blow into the ocarina. That was what led to my break through moment with my finicky FRM Co ocarina.

Once I finally managed to get a high E to blow it was only a matter of practice before I found the high F too. Although if I haven't played this ocarina for a while, then I lose the technique and have to mess around until I get it back again.
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Maestra
Pendant Ocarinist x 5
Dear pample,
that's a rather weird ocarina you have there! I listened to your recording and was quite astounded that there was no sound at all at Sol and above, while the notes below seemed to work.
As I'm sure that you and your boyfriend have tried everything regarding the breath pressure, I'm guess that it's the ocarinas fault.
Can you perhaps try to look into the ocarina with a slim flashlight? Maybe there's something blocking the windways...
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

I would suggest you just return it. You have a right to under EU law, as described in this article

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-1677034/Two-year-warranty-EU-law.html

regardless of what the seller might claim - they're just bluffing if they say you can't.

This ocarina has a better reputation here, costs less and the seller is honest:

http://www.ocarinashop.com/index.php/startvm/zfans-ocarina-set/ko-12-c3-zelda-db-a-zelda--detail

OOPS. I thought the seller was in France. They're actually in Minnesota, USA, with an EBay page in French. That makes things much more difficult, but you may still be able to insist on a refund:

http://consumer-law.lawyers.com/consumer-contracts/Your-Rights-After-Purchasing-Goods-and-Services.html

Perhaps somebody here knows what "lemon laws" apply in Minnesota, if any.

At the very least, if they won't give you your money back you can give negative feedback on EBay. This thing clearly doesn't work.
Edited by Jack Campin, 27 May 2013, 05:46 PM.
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OcarinaFanatic
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Violin Enthusiast
Good advice Jack. :D
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Endalion
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Triple Ocarinist x 3
It seems to me that the ocarina is defected. Did you pay with Paypal? I suggest invoking buyer protection if the seller doesn't refund the defected product. Ebay might also have some kind of buyer protection that could help you.
Edited by Endalion, 27 May 2013, 06:46 PM.
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