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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:42 pm 
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Hello everybody,

I just received my first Clarke Sweetone soprano D whistle a few weeks ago and have been playing nonstop since. I live in Hawaii and know of no other whistle players nearby, but I've always wanted to play and I've found some great tutorials on YouTube and a few other sites online. At this point, I'm already feeling comfortable with the basic fingering, changing between the octaves, making decent transitions between notes, and I can even work through a rendition of Loch Lomond and a few other tunss, but I have a couple questions for you all:

1. I find that the high D and C# in the second octave sound awful, particularly when transitioning from lower notes on the scale, and that if I blow harder (adjusting my breath strength carefully) the notes seem to slip into the highest 3rd octave and instead sound even worse, completely out of tune with the given song. I can play these (and other high notes) in the first octave, but is there a trick in coaxing the higher notes in the 2nd octave on this particular whistle? I'm so new at this that I was hoping there might even be a modified fingering style when playing the high notes in the 2nd octave? (For example, I play the high D with my top finger removed and all other holes covered, and the C# as just open holed...).

2. With all the above in mind, could any of you recommend any beginner tunes that sound appealing in the higher octaves? I like the tone of this whistle in the lowest octave, but it just feels so good to blow a little harder and hear that beautiful, somewhat piercing second octave, however all the beginner songs I'm learning appear to be predominately in the lowest scale with only occasional use of of a higher note. At least for my ears, the highest octave on this soprano whistle is almost deafening and makes me feel bad for my dog and anyone else in the area! With that said, do you more experienced players know tunes that make good use out of that highest octave on this soprano whistle?

3. Finally, I'd welcome any advice you all may have on how best to approach this beautiful instrument - in other words, from your more-experienced perspectives, what are some good beginner techniques or strategies to progress towards playing more confidently (assuming I put the years in, of course)? I am completely enamoured with traditional Irish/Scottish/Celtic music, so I aspire to play more intricately one day. Any other good online resources?

Thank you to those who took the time to read this far! I apologize for any misuse of musical terminology - I am 36-year-old dude with very little musical experience, but the tin whistle has already been a great joy to learn and I can't wait for more!

Many thanks,

Rich


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:19 pm
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Location: Bitter-cold Michigan
Though I'm not a terrbily experienced player, I will certainly do my best to answer your questions! I still have the occasional problem when hitting the upper octaves, but it's now mostly when going from high D to high E (which I do when playing "The Sally Gardens") or if I fail to completely cover a hole. Most of the tunes I can play only feature the high D in the upper octave. For what its worth, the Irish tunes I can play--and haven't mentioned already--are "Believe Me If All These Endearing Young Charms," "Cockels and Mussels," and possibly "The Wild Rover," though I may need a little more practice with the latter. Otherwise, just keep practicing...I shoot for at least a half-hour a day, but will cut it short if I know I'm having a less than successful practice session. And above all, keep your whistling fun!

_________________
Whistle No.1: Walton's Irish, soprano D
Whistle No. 2: green Feadóg Original, soprano D


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:21 am 
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Location: WV to the OC
moonlitnarwhal wrote:

1. I find that the high D and C# in the second octave sound awful, particularly when transitioning from lower notes on the scale, and that if I blow harder (adjusting my breath strength carefully) the notes seem to slip into the highest 3rd octave and instead sound even worse, completely out of tune with the given song. I can play these (and other high notes) in the first octave, but is there a trick in coaxing the higher notes in the 2nd octave on this particular whistle? I'm so new at this that I was hoping there might even be a modified fingering style when playing the high notes in the 2nd octave? (For example, I play the high D with my top finger removed and all other holes covered, and the C# as just open holed...).


First, about nomenclature, are you referring to what pipers and (generally) fluteplayers and whistleplayers call "middle D"?

So that we can know which notes you're referring to, common ITM nomenclature would be, over the usual 2-octave gamut, from low to high:

Bottom D

1st octave, or lower octave, E, F#, G, A, B, C, C#

Middle D (or "back D" in piper's terms)

2nd octave, or upper octave, E, F#, G, A, B, C, C#

High D, or 3rd octave D


It's common for the lower octave notes to be written in upper case, upper octave notes to be written in lower case (yes I know it's backwards!)

I have beginners practice octaves, playing slowly, with no tonguing or break in the airstream, and no change in fingering,

D d D d D d D d D d D d D.... (breathe)

E e E e E e E e E e E e E... (breathe)

F# f# F# f# F# f# F# f# F#.... (breathe)

And so forth up to B b B (etc) 2nd octave B being the highest note usually encountered in most ITM tunes.

C natural is a special case, due to different ways of fingering the note, and many players using one fingering for 1st octave C natural, and a different fingering for 2nd octave C natural. Ditto 3rd octave D.


moonlitnarwhal wrote:
2. With all the above in mind, could any of you recommend any beginner tunes that sound appealing in the higher octaves?


By "higher octaves" I guess you mean the 2nd octave. Traditional players generally didn't play in the 3rd octave.

You can take any tune and put it in a different key to put it into a higher range. Dan mentions Down By The Sally Gardens (not to be confused with the completely different tune Sally Gardens) which he is playing in the D to e range. The tune can also be played easily in the G to a range.

But at this stage I would have you practice octave exercises and get comfortable with getting around on the whistle first, or perhaps in conjunction with learning tunes

moonlitnarwhal wrote:
3. Finally, I'd welcome any advice you all may have on how best to approach this beautiful instrument - in other words, from your more-experienced perspectives, what are some good beginner techniques or strategies to progress towards playing more confidently



I like exercises. Many players detest them!

In addition to the octave exercise I would have you do this one, slowly at first, with no tonguing or breaks between the notes, each line done on a single breath and continuous airstream

D F# A d f# a f# d A F# D... (breathe)

E G B e g b g e B G E... (breathe)

G B d g b g d B G D G... (breathe)

A C# e a e C# A E A... (breathe)

A Cnatural e a e Cnatural A E A... (breathe)

B d f# b f# d B F# B....

Here's Joannie Madden playing Down By The Sally Gardens

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LrZa-QcNQA

The reel Sally Gardens

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1rUGU6m_M8

_________________
Richard Cook
1978 Quinn uilleann pipes
1945 Starck Highland pipes
Goldie Low D whistle


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:53 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
Dan mentions Down By The Sally Gardens (not to be confused with the completely different tune Sally Gardens) which he is playing in the D to e range.

Now I'm not sure which tune I'm playing! Having played both of the YouTube videos Richard linked to, and going off what I know about timing, it sounds more like "Down By the Sally Gardens." I'll have to post a picture of the notes and diagrams for the tune I'm playing.

_________________
Whistle No.1: Walton's Irish, soprano D
Whistle No. 2: green Feadóg Original, soprano D


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:11 pm 
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Aloha Rich, search in your local area for possible sessions and players. There used to be a regular broadcast radio show playing traditional Irish music, but, I'm not sure if still available. You can stream live broadcasts Irish trad over the internet from anywhere in the world keeping in mind the time zone differences.

There was a session talked about here:
https://thesession.org/sessions/349
but, the last comment says session cancelled so inquire whether another session started elsewhere.

Do a little networking with the local groups, not suggesting joining org(s), just inquiry
http://fosphawaii.ning.com/
asking for trad players as I am sure there will be someone. Also, the local schools and universities may have some event information. There were a few Hawaii members here on C&F.

I used to be stationed Pearl Harbor, CINCPACFLT, late '80s before I ever became interested in playing the tin whistle.

Keep practicing the whistle and keep it fun... because it is a lot of fun! Aloha

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https://www.facebook.com/Shamrock-Tradi ... 832489097/
http://shamrockirishmusic.org/index.html
https://www.facebook.com/PVODonnellBranchCCE


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:16 pm 
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ytliek wrote:
I used to be stationed Pearl Harbor, CINCPACFLT, late '80s before I ever became interested in playing the tin whistle.

I've visited Pearl Harbor five times, having been attached to a ship homeported at Naval Station San Diego. Though it's a nice place to visit, I couldn't imagine living there.

_________________
Whistle No.1: Walton's Irish, soprano D
Whistle No. 2: green Feadóg Original, soprano D


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:25 pm 
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Dan A. wrote:
ytliek wrote:
I used to be stationed Pearl Harbor, CINCPACFLT, late '80s before I ever became interested in playing the tin whistle.

I've visited Pearl Harbor five times, having been attached to a ship homeported at Naval Station San Diego. Though it's a nice place to visit, I couldn't imagine living there.

Cost of living was steep but probably not much more than San Diego.

_________________
https://www.facebook.com/Shamrock-Tradi ... 832489097/
http://shamrockirishmusic.org/index.html
https://www.facebook.com/PVODonnellBranchCCE


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