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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:29 pm 
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I have my whistle ( Killarney) brass D ! With a D whistle I can only play songs in key of D ? I have sheet music "The Old Man" in key of G and the music sheet shows the fingering on the whistle but playing these finger patterns on my D whistle results in a sound that is just not right, so I would need a G whistle to use this song sheet ? Some of the fingering positions sound pretty squeaky when I blow the whistle but I assume it takes a lot of practice to eliminate this squeaky sound ? My whistle has a slide and how do I adjust or use it correctly ? Any help you can give a newbie will be appreciated ! Thank you !


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:54 pm 
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The difference is only one note, C natural. You can usually play an in-tune-enough C natural on a D whistle by using the fingering oxx ooo. Or sometimes oxx xox, or oxx oxo. Or you can "half hole" this: xoo ooo, with just half covering the first hole. Half holing in my experience gives the most accurate pitch but I can't do it at any kind of speed. I'm a beginner though


Last edited by PB+J on Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:27 pm 
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The slide is for fine tuning. If you have a Iphone or android you can get an app for tuning. I use Cleartune. They used to sell a lot of stand alone tuners, but you don't see them around that much any more. If you don't have a phone you could pick one of those up. The Korg is pretty inexpensive I think. Play your a or g into the tuner and get it to register with the needle straight up and down. Then you are good to go. Some tuner apps have a series of red lines that turn green when you hit the note. Your whistle will go flatter when it is longer, and sharper when it is shortened. If you have perfect pitch you can just match yourself to an a or g played on another instrument. If you are playing completely alone it is not critical right away. But it is good to get an idea what the note actually is supposed to sound like. This will help you in the long run if your goal is to play with other people or recordings. As you progress you will learn that some notes go a bit sharp or flat when all the air pressure is consistent. Over time you will be able to make minute adjustments to your air flow to perfect these notes, but that doesn't need to be your focus yet.

As for squeaking, there are lots of reasons for this which will go away as you practice. Sometimes you might not be closing the note holes completely as you move from note to note. This will improve. You don't want to use your fingertips on the whistle holes, but rather the flat pad of your finger between the first knuckle and the tip. This gives you a larger surface and fewer leaks. Also remember you don't need to hold your whistle in a death grip. It will make practice easier if you start out with just enough of a grip not to drop your whistle into your lap. Spreading out the work of holding your whistle up to your mouth to all the fingers is a trick you will pick up gradually.

Sometimes a loud screech will be the result of pushing too much air through the mouthpiece too fast. You will get the a sense of the pressure you need to sound a note over time. Sometimes practicing sounding one note at a time will help with this.

You will be able to play all the tunes in key signatures that contain one or two sharps after you master the c natural pb+j illustrated. Eventually you will be able to add key signatures with an f natural and an a# aka Bb by half holing, but don't worry about that yet. Actually the only note that it is impossible to play on a d whistle is Eb I think, but most of us don't need to hit a G# very often.

Another thing you may find as a newbie is that your whistle clogs a bit more than it will when you are more experienced. It is not uncommon for a new player to be concentrating so hard on the music and the fingers and the instrument's details that they end up making more saliva than usual. A wet fipple might warble a bit before it clogs. With a killarney just swallow hard, cover the fipple hole with your finger and blow hard into the mouthpiece to clear a damp whistle. I've also seen people cover the mouthpiece and blow into the fipple hole to clear a clog.

Have fun! Slow and steady wins the race in the beginning.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:26 am 
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yankees1 wrote:
Some of the fingering positions sound pretty squeaky when I blow the whistle but I assume it takes a lot of practice to eliminate this squeaky sound ? My whistle has a slide and how do I adjust or use it correctly ? Any help you can give a newbie will be appreciated ! Thank you !




The squeaky sound is probably because you aren't fully covering the holes. You need to seal the holes completely, or else you get cracks and squeaks. It's very easy to leave very small gaps, and I do mean small, where air can escape, but job one is sealing the holes completely. You don't need to press hard to do this, you just have to get a good seal. Practice slow scales to make sure you get into the habit of covering the holes well.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:08 am 
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Thanks to all who have posted ! I will keep at it !


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:21 pm 
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yankees1 wrote:
I have my whistle ( Killarney) brass D ! With a D whistle I can only play songs in key of D ? I have sheet music "The Old Man" in key of G and the music sheet shows the fingering on the whistle but playing these finger patterns on my D whistle results in a sound that is just not right, so I would need a G whistle to use this song sheet ? Some of the fingering positions sound pretty squeaky when I blow the whistle but I assume it takes a lot of practice to eliminate this squeaky sound ? My whistle has a slide and how do I adjust or use it correctly ? Any help you can give a newbie will be appreciated ! Thank you !


Nope!

You can play in any key you want on any whistle.

If the "finger positions sound squeaky" that might be a matter of you not fully closing all the requisite holes.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:14 pm 
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Squeaks are disappearing ( so it's me) and I now can play Amazing Grace !


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:36 pm 
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whistlecollector wrote:

You can play in any key you want on any whistle.


:boggle:

Color me intrigued.... It occurs to me that playing in C# Major (7 sharps) on a C whistle could be a pretty serious challenge... :poke:

I think I need some popcorn while I contemplate this one...

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:58 pm 
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jiminos wrote:
Color me intrigued.... It occurs to me that playing in C# Major (7 sharps) on a C whistle could be a pretty serious challenge... :poke:

A lot easier than playing in C# major on a D whistle! C# on a C whistle is like Eb on a D whistle... tricky (especially at speed), but not impossible. C# on a D whistle, however....

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:04 pm 
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How about C# on a D? The only notes that wouldn't hurt my brain overly muchly would be C# and F#... I think... Ouch...

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:58 am 
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Am I missing something ? C# all open holes ? Not saying my sound is perfect but it doesn't seem that bad going from a B to C# ! I had more trouble making a D sound with all holes closed as I was just blowing too hard and practicing to blow softly. For one day of practicing I think I am making pretty good progress. Only problem is that practicing the whistle is taking time away from my mandolins ! :)


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:11 am 
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yankees1 wrote:
Am I missing something ? C# all open holes ?

Yes. We're talking about playing in the key of C# major, not the single note C#.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:55 am 
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Oh, I got it now ! :) I will give it a try !


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:40 am 
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Sorry about that, Yankees1. As Peter said, we were talking about the key of C# Major in resoto the comment about playing in any key on any whistle. I apologize for the confusion.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:42 pm 
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jiminos wrote:
whistlecollector wrote:

You can play in any key you want on any whistle.


:boggle:

Color me intrigued.... It occurs to me that playing in C# Major (7 sharps) on a C whistle could be a pretty serious challenge... :poke:

I think I need some popcorn while I contemplate this one...


Never said it would easy!

The penny whistle is a fully chromatic instrument, therefore, all keys are available. Just a matter of twinkling the fingers in the right way!

I think the highest key tune I've got in my own tune books is 5, so key of B major.

Hmmm...

Will have to try and write something in C# now...

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