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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 4:36 pm 
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I already play ukulele and harmonica and bodhrán. I found a D whistle that I bought years ago. Any recommendations on a study guide?


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 12:26 am 
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I found the Bill Ochs Clarke's guide was all I needed.

But to tell the truth, all beginner's guides are approximately equal. The difference isn't them, it's you. If you stay with the guide and work through its exercises, you'll make it. If you constantly go shopping for 'easier' material, you'll never be a whistle player. Learning to be a musician involves learning a bunch of stuff that comes hard. What comes hard is different for everyone, but there is some for everyone. If you can tackle it, you might be a musician. If you can't you'll never be anything but an amateur.

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 8:11 am 
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From your post it seems you've been playing music at least a little for years now. The difference in 'learning resources' between years ago and now is video- specifically Youtube. I don't mean to 'dis' printed books, which are great, but you'll find dozens of people have posted beginner whistle tutorials on YT. You can browse through them until you find those that seem to suit you. Keep in mind you'll have to sort through some crappy youtube 'lessons' along the way. There is something really invaluable about actually seeing/hearing a technique while it's being described.

Additionally, if you hear a whistle tune on YT that seems like a tune you might like to tackle, you can punch in a Google Image search with either just the tune title +sheet music (if you can read sheet music and can find the tune in a key that's accessible to your whistling), OR with the tune title +whistle... which might just pull up a penny whistle tab for that tune that you can print out for your learning purposes. Obviously, easier Irish tunes might more likely result in whistle tabs intended for beginners. Pay attention to the other playing tips included in the tutorials- not just 'how to play the tune' but how to do cuts and rolls and tongue-ing, breath, etc.... and practice that too. It's true that the rate at which you improve is pretty strongly tied to how productively you study and practice, but I like to make practice as tempting as I can, by working through enjoyable tunes that utilize techniques I'm trying to improve on.

If you find a few tunes that you love for your practice sessions at home, you'll naturally look forward to practicing. I do! I'm still very much a beginner at whistle. I've collected a few dozen tunes that I adore into a looseleaf book- some that are (now) very easy for me to play, and others that are still a great challenge. I keep the easy tunes in my practice queue as warmups. I've also learned a lot by attempting to transpose tunes into different keys- sometimes it's successful, sometimes not, but I learn from that too. Not sure that would be useful for everyone, but it has helped me understand certain practical whistle-ish concepts. (now say "whistle-ish" three times fast..lol) Switching between different sized whistles seems to help me too- a high D and say a low A or Bb. I find that challenging and fun- to get the nice variety of high-low tone and make the fingers work to adapt.

I mostly play music at home for my own enjoyment or with my husband (a fiddler), but speaking for myself, I long ago decided that it's the process of learning and the act of playing music (of whatever level) that is the most wonderful thing to me. The destination or plateau jumps and achievements in my playing level are a very cool thing that make me proud of my efforts, but that's not really as important to me as the happiness I experience when playing a simple pretty tune that makes my heart sing or soothes my soul. I do play occasional music gigs (not on whistle yet) but most of all I love playing at home alone, with my husband, or out with a few friends informally. We make plenty of mistakes, but it's such a joy!

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 8:18 am 
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Quote:
if you hear a whistle tune on YT that seems like a tune you might like to tackle, you can punch in a Google Image search with either just the tune title +sheet music


There is ofcourse the option where you just listen to it a (good) few times and then play it. You'll find it will be more rewarding in the long run.

For a bit of guidance to get you going, have a look at Bro Steve's whistle pages

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 9:04 am 
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Yes, learning by ear is highly recommended. There are many beginner books that could fall in the favorites category. Bill Ochs Clarke's guide as mentioned is a good one. http://www.pennywhistle.com/clarkepage.html

Some books that I found helpful with multiple learning methods, staff notation, diagram fingering, ABC letter note, and CD (or YouTube example) include:
http://www.ceoltracks.com/
https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywo ... ca40xyk3_e
http://www.irish-folk-songs.com/tin-whi ... SRL_8KGOM8

On YouTube Ryan Duns was very helpful:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 38B53CC6D4

Playing your whistle... a lot... will get you much further along learning than reading all of the books or writing on all of the forums.
So there are many choices to be made about how you want to approach your whistle learning. Hope this helps... and keep it fun!


Last edited by ytliek on Tue May 23, 2017 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 9:15 am 
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I have found that reading the exercises from the School Recorder book not only helped me play that instrument, but it helped me to begin to read music. And if you can read music then any book of simple one-line melodies will help a player to learn any single line instrument. Of course as you get more accomplished you will want to specialise in traditional Irish music if that is your thing.

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Last edited by AuLoS303 on Thu May 25, 2017 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 11:44 am 
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I like the Bill Ochs book too. It starts you at zero and gradually and logically leads you through learning to read treble clef music*, breathing,simple tunes,simple ornaments in tunes, and complex ornamented tunes. The CD that comes with it lets you hear each exercise and tune.
Yes, by all means play a LOT and listen a lot. Not necessarily just whistle players. Listen to any and all traditional music, or whatever genre you prefer.

*many people don't think reading music is worth learning but I definitely do. Remember that the written notes are just the bare skeleton of the tune. Only experience will teach you how to turn those bare notes into real music.

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 10:44 pm 
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brewerpaul wrote:
*many people don't think reading music is worth learning but I definitely do. Remember that the written notes are just the bare skeleton of the tune. Only experience will teach you how to turn those bare notes into real music.


The people who say that are usually the ones that simply don't want to put in the effort to learn, and they come up with the usual cheap excuse of "It will hurt my ability to be creative and original." I usually respond with "Yeah, totally! Just look at those jazz guys like Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and Miles Davis. They all knew how to read music, and they weren't creative or original at all, right?!" Some people get the joke, others it goes right over their heads, and I say "Look those guys up and you will see what I mean."


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:05 am 
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Don't waste your time trying to figure out how to play from a book. Your best option, by far, is to sign up for subscription with the Online Academy of Irish Music and start working through their amazing whistle lessons. If you learn from them, and you're persistent, you will be on the right track to be a world-class player. https://oaim.ie


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:06 pm 
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Hey, just got the Bill Ochs book and it starts great! Love the recordings (ripped them to mp3 for my phone.. it's hard to get a laptop/pc with a CD around me :D - and I can slow them down with ASD Lite too!), for now it's the best book I've picked up (not a musician)! Thanks for the suggestion! :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:07 am 
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I started with the book by Bill Ochs, too:
http://www.pennywhistle.com/clarkepage.html
In my opinion, this is a very nice one to start with, covering the essentials really well.

My second book just contains tunes, and it came with a CD as well:
http://www.buecher.de/shop/floete/irish ... /33345088/
There is not much text in it, but it covers English, French and German.

Finally, even though I am not half way through the above, I also got The Essential Tin Whistle Tool Box by Grey Larsen:
http://greylarsen.com/webstore/books/
But okay, this is not really a beginner's book, and I mainly got it for discovering things Bill Ochs might not teach in detail or at all.

I don't think that learning from books is useless - however I strongly agree that it can't replace additional listening and playing by ear.

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