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Thread: Any Penny Whistle Players here

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    Default Any Penny Whistle Players here

    Although I play a mandolin in our musical group I am wanting to learn the penny/tin whistle ! Any suggestions for a beginning player ? I would be playing Irish genre music.
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    Actually we have at least one member that makes them.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    I play a susato low whistle. I would probably start learning on the regular whistle first though. The low whistle has a long stretch between the finger holes

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    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    I have a couple. Love to hear them. But mine are so lonely just stuffed in my accessories bag.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    It took me a while to find it but Paul Busman has a website.

    www.busmanwhistles.com
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    It took me a while to find it but Paul Busman has a website.

    www.busmanwhistles.com
    Thank you !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    Although I play a mandolin in our musical group I am wanting to learn the penny/tin whistle ! Any suggestions for a beginning player ? I would be playing Irish genre music.
    Get a basic high D whistle first - even an inexpensive one is OK, the idea is to learn the fingerings, tunes, and ITM style, which is very important to sounding like a real Irish whistle player.

    Some stuff to get you started:

    http://www.andersonstownmusicschool....inary-Book.pdf

    http://www.nfaonline.org/Annual-Conv...a%20Bohnet.pdf

    "Whistles - start with one in D!!!!!!
    1. Almost any cheap whistle is great to start on - decent makers are Clarke, Walton, Oak, "

    https://www.chimes.com/images/docume...ring-chart.pdf

    https://www.scribd.com/document/3652...Tutor-Book-pdf

    http://civilwarfieldmusic.weebly.com...912/book_1.pdf

    Some Irish music and fingerings

    Also you may wish to look at the Chiff and Fipple forum, for whistle players:

    http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/

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    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    and check out chiff and fipple, which is where a lot of whistle players hang out (sort of like the café for whistle players).
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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    I'll second or third the recommendation to check out the Chiff & Fipple forum. It's the main online community for Irish whistle players (and flute, and Uilleann pipes).

    A good source here in the USA for whistles from many of the makers is The Irish Flute Store. I've bought several items there -- one of my current flutes, a Reviol low F whistle, and a nice combination Syn whistle (one head with a D body and C body). It's a good outfit. They carry Busman whistles, but you'd probably want to buy direct if you go with one of those.

    In addition to links posted above, another good resource for learning is the OAIM, the Online Academy of Irish Music. It's a series of video tutorials on different Irish trad instruments, taught by some of the leading musicians in the genre. Full access is a monthly fee, but there are free samples of the introductory lessons you can check out. I had a subscription for a while with the flute courses. Some instructors are better than others, but short of a live teacher (or Skype lessons) it's the next best thing for picking up examples of good technique.

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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    Thanks for all your help !! Two builders I first contacted were Eriktheflutebuilder from Florida and Milligan from Colorado. Familiar with these two builders ? I did check out Bussman whistles but I don't want to spend $300. on one and looking at $180. or a little less.
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    Milligan whistles are fantastic.

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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    Thanks for all your help !! Two builders I first contacted were Eriktheflutebuilder from Florida and Milligan from Colorado. Familiar with these two builders ? I did check out Bussman whistles but I don't want to spend $300. on one and looking at $180. or a little less.
    Well, I haven't tried everything out there... haven't tried many, in fact, but I'm very happy with the combination C/D set from Syn at the Irish Flute Store: https://www.irishflutestore.com/coll...nt=44103105732

    It's $125 for the set, so well within your budget. Both bodies have nicely beveled finger holes that are comfortable, and the tone is good. Not too harsh, and I'm kinda sensitive to overly bright whistles. The bodies can be easily tuned, and the intonation is good.

    You'll spend most of your time with a D whistle, but I like having the C body available in this set for playing the occasional Irish tune in D dorian, which is very difficult on a D whistle (you need to half-hole the Fnats). With the C body, you just finger it the same way you would E dor on a D whistle. Of course you could do the same thing by just getting a D whistle and another one in C, but this keeps the "fipple feel" and back pressure constant by using one head.

    Whatever make you get, I'd highly recommend one that can be tuned with a slide or slip joint at the head. Even if you never play with others, it will help you play along with recordings or online lessons.

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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    I have sheet music ( The old man) with notation and fingering diagram in key of G. Using a D whistle can I play this song in key of G ?
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  18. #14
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    A tune in the key of G can usually be played just fine on a D whistle, barring the odd accidental. Most Irish tunes center around the keys of D, G, and the relative minors (Em, Am, Bm), and that all fits on a D whistle (barring accidentals).

    You "cross finger" to get a C natural, and "half hole" to get an F natural or G# when those show up. Although, since whistles are a fairly cheap instrument, many whistle players will just swap to a different whistle when a tune has a lot of Fnats for example, like Julia Delaney in D dorian that's easier to play on a C whistle.

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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    Just ordered a Milligin D cocobolo/dymondwood whistle with practice mouthpiece. My wife said she finally survived through me playing the mandolin from Mary had a little lamb up to Reels and Bluegrass but she can't take it all over again with a new instrument so I went with the quieter practice mouthpiece ! Wish me luck !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    I've been playing whistle longer than I have the mandolin, and I also teach classes in penny whistle. You can download the tutorial sheets from my class from http://www.nigelgatherer.com/classes/cwbeg.html, and I also have a number of wee lessons at http://www.nigelgatherer.com/whistle/tut.html. They might be useful, yankees1, and good luck!

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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel Gatherer View Post
    I've been playing whistle longer than I have the mandolin, and I also teach classes in penny whistle. You can download the tutorial sheets from my class from http://www.nigelgatherer.com/classes/cwbeg.html, and I also have a number of wee lessons at http://www.nigelgatherer.com/whistle/tut.html. They might be useful, yankees1, and good luck!
    I have been looking over your information and appears very useful ! Thank you !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    Hi-- A beginner you certainly don't need one of my hand made whistles. At this point you have no idea exactly what you want in a whistle.
    For starters, you would do well with an inexpensive whistle tweaked by Jerry Freeman. He makes them in many keys but you won't need anything but a D for a long time. In fact, you may never need anything else. That's what I take to sessions and most session tunes are D whistle friendly.
    I highly recommend Bill Ochs' The Clarke Tin Whistle for learning. The book/CD combo starts out assuming you know nothing at all about music,teaches you to read sheet music (a very valuable skill)and proceeds gradually and logically from simple tunes to complex ornamented tunes. The CD lets you hear each exercise as it is meant to be played. Quite a few online sources carry this.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
    www.busmanwhistles.com
    Handcrafted pennywhistles in exotic hardwoods.

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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Busman View Post
    Hi-- A beginner you certainly don't need one of my hand made whistles. At this point you have no idea exactly what you want in a whistle.
    For starters, you would do well with an inexpensive whistle tweaked by Jerry Freeman. He makes them in many keys but you won't need anything but a D for a long time. In fact, you may never need anything else. That's what I take to sessions and most session tunes are D whistle friendly.
    I highly recommend Bill Ochs' The Clarke Tin Whistle for learning. The book/CD combo starts out assuming you know nothing at all about music,teaches you to read sheet music (a very valuable skill)and proceeds gradually and logically from simple tunes to complex ornamented tunes. The CD lets you hear each exercise as it is meant to be played. Quite a few online sources carry this.
    Thank you for information !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    There's a clue in my username ;-) Although I play the whistle very rarely these days, I started learning the whistle and mandolin concurrently and continued to play both instruments on a more or less equal footing until the fiddle moved in and got all the attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Busman View Post
    Hi-- A beginner you certainly don't need one of my hand made whistles. ....
    I highly recommend Bill Ochs' The Clarke Tin Whistle for learning.
    Whilst I would not doubt the quality of your instruments, I would have to agree with you that a hand made whistle is overkill for the beginner - I played on nothing but Generations and Feadógs (untweaked!) for many years.

    I would also second The Clarke Tin Whistle Tutor - it set me on the right path some 20 years ago. It clearly sets out the essential principles of breathing, phrasing, articulation and ornamentation - in fact, I have since used what it taught me as the basic framework for teaching others the whistle.

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    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    Quote Originally Posted by whistler View Post

    Whilst I would not doubt the quality of your instruments, I would have to agree with you that a hand made whistle is overkill for the beginner - I played on nothing but Generations and Feadógs (untweaked!) for many years.

    .
    I've actually advised some potential customers who were newbies not to buy one of my whistles at first. I'd like to think they're pretty good but the fact is that they may be not to some players' taste.Nowadays there are a LOT of whistle makers out there in all price ranges. It just makes sense to me to have some experience under your belt before you sink a significant amount of money in an instrument. Just as with the mandolin, buying the same instrument as your favorite musician is not going to make you sound like that player.
    For a very long time, Generations and the like were all that was available, but that didn't stop people including pros from making wonderful music. Some pros never switched,even when "better" whistles came around.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
    www.busmanwhistles.com
    Handcrafted pennywhistles in exotic hardwoods.

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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    Yes, a fiddle moved in and took all of the attention.
    In my case I went from guitar to fiddle. But very early in learning Irish trad music I had a D Generation whistle that I would play around with. Now I think I have at least four whistles. I never got very good at whistle, but it really helped to understand the phrasing of tunes and even some ornaments as a fiddler. And I'm still awe struck at how such a simple instrument can make music as profoundly moving as anything out there. (Including fiddle.)

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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    Yes, a fiddle moved in and took all of the attention.
    In my case I went from guitar to fiddle. But very early in learning Irish trad music I had a D Generation whistle that I would play around with. Now I think I have at least four whistles. I never got very good at whistle, but it really helped to understand the phrasing of tunes and even some ornaments as a fiddler. And I'm still awe struck at how such a simple instrument can make music as profoundly moving as anything out there. (Including fiddle.)
    We shall soon see as my new whistle arrives tomorrow ! I have always bought much better instruments than my playing requires ! But, I like very good equipment and at least I can't blame the inferior equipment when I sound inferior ! I have worked hard and been lucky in investments and I'm not getting any younger so I buy what I want ! Besides, I have very talented grand daughters in music so I will have someone to pass these instruments on to ! But---not just yet !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  32. #24
    Registered User bruce.b's Avatar
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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    I started out on whistle and flute. I could never play flute well due to injury, but got ok on whistle. Fiddle has also pretty much taken over my life. I’m trying to still fit in some tenor guitar to keep my chops up. Just recently I bought a Milligan high D whistle and am having a ton of fun with it. It’s an incredible whistle and is beautiful to just hold and look at. The tone is gorgeous and intonation is great. A high end whistle is pretty inexpensive compared to other instruments. If you are serious about checking out whistles I’d get a good whistle. I think it’s a bad idea to get a cheap one that is likely to play poorly, not be in tune, and just generally be uninspiring. The quality of good whistles for one or two hundred dollars is amazing. It’s exactly like playing a great mandolin, it makes you want to play it more often.
    Last edited by bruce.b; Nov-15-2018 at 1:25pm.

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    Default Re: Any Penny Whistle Players here

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce.b View Post
    I started out on whistle and flute. I could never play flute well due to injury, but got ok on whistle. Fiddle has also pretty much taken over my life. I’m trying to still fit in some tenor guitar to keep my chops up. Just recently I bought a Milligan high D whistle and am having a ton of fun with it. It’s an incredible whistle and is beautiful to just hold and look at. The tone is gorgeous and intonation is great. A high end whistle is pretty inexpensive compared to other instruments. If you are serious about checking out whistles I’d get a good whistle. I think it’s a bad idea to get a cheap one that is likely to play poorly, not be in tune, and just generally be uninspiring. The quality of good whistles for one or two hundred dollars is amazing. It’s exactly like playing a great mandolin, it makes you want to play it more often.
    I did as I bought a Milligan D Cocobolo/Dyanwood whistle ! Will have it in hands tomorrow !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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