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Needing several keys for gigs
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Author:  pancelticpiper [ Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:32 am ]
Post subject:  Needing several keys for gigs

Various related topics come up from time to time here such as

What's the best key whistle to start out with?

What is the second key whistle I should buy?

How many whistle keys will I need?

When these threads come up I'll usually say it depends on the context, whether you'll be playing in traditional Irish sessions, or Church gigs with the traditional hymns in their standard keys, or what have you.

I've mentioned that I've done loads of Church gigs where I'll need to cover from four sharps to four flats, and studio gigs where they music might be in any key whatever.

I thought I'd share my current experience, rehearsing with a trad Irish music group for a series of upcoming St Patricks Day gigs.

It's probably unusual for a trad Irish band, but for this group's songs and instrumental pieces I'll be using whistles in

B (natural)
E (natural)

For whatever reason they play around half their repertoire in the keys of C and F, but also a piece in A Major and one piece in B Major.

Due to my years of studio work I have all those whistles in my roll.

One key I used to have, but don't any more, and which would be handy for this gig, is a G flat/F sharp. It's for the piece in B Major. Yes I have a B whistle, but the range of this tune would make it better played in the "G position" than the "D position".

Unlike for Church gigs, the Bb and Eb whistles will stay in the roll.

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