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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:58 am 
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Hi, can someone provide me with a chart to learn different scales on a D whistle? I been playing by ear and I usually start on the second hole to produce a minor sound in the key of E. Sometimes I start on the 3rd note to give me an F# minor sound. If I want to play in D minor I would start on the first hole, and half hole the second hole to put me in Dm. Other than what I’m doing, I really have no idea of what these scales are. I would like to be able to play as many different scales as possible on one whistle. I like to play along to Jazz and blues music mostly. Thank you for any help!!

~Andre’


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:17 am 
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A Google search of Modal Scales images may give you a chart or two that could be useful. There is a separate search of Jazz Scales that could get you more specifically what you are looking for if Jazz is your goal. An image search will give you charts. A general search will lead you to videos and and explanations.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:01 am 
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Quick answer on starting with E on a D whistle is that is in mode "E Dorian", a minor-sounding key with the 3rd and 7th flatted. In general minor-sounding keys have a flatted 3rd.

If you start on B, you are in "B minor", aka "B Aeolian" mode, flatted 3rd, 6th, and 7th.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:04 am 
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Here's a reference on modes -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_(music)

This are the scales you get if you take a standard instrument and start on each of the seven notes.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:13 am 
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Thanks guys. I was only able to find a chart that shows fingering for D & G major and E & B minor for a D whistle. Seeing that B minor scale definitely opened a door for me. I know I get a minor type scale also from starting at the 3rd hole (F#) also. Are there anymore minor scales or any other interesting scales that are worth learning?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:37 am 
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leearn2turn wrote:
Here's a reference on modes -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_(music)

This are the scales you get if you take a standard instrument and start on each of the seven notes.


I think I understand this. So basically I would always start at the first note then I would start playing half notes or cross fingering to achieve the other scales? Like if I play a C whistle on a Dorian scale I would have two flats, a Phrygian scale four flats, Lydian would have one sharp, ect?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:23 am 
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Dreday wrote:
I think I understand this. So basically I would always start at the first note then I would start playing half notes or cross fingering to achieve the other scales? Like if I play a C whistle on a Dorian scale I would have two flats, a Phrygian scale four flats, Lydian would have one sharp, ect?

That approach would work for a chromatic instrument, such as a recorder. The easier approach for tin whistle is to switch whistles for different keys. For example, to play a C Dorian scale, use a whistle in the key of either F or Bb.

Each key of whistle has eight modal scales that are easily played without half-holing. Grey Larsen has explaned it here: https://greylarsen.com/FreeDownloads/Charts_of_Tin_Whistle_Keys_and_Scales.pdf


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:24 pm 
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Dreday wrote:
leearn2turn wrote:
Here's a reference on modes -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_(music)

This are the scales you get if you take a standard instrument and start on each of the seven notes.


I think I understand this. So basically I would always start at the first note then I would start playing half notes or cross fingering to achieve the other scales? Like if I play a C whistle on a Dorian scale I would have two flats, a Phrygian scale four flats, Lydian would have one sharp, ect?


Not exactly. Using the regular fingerings.

When you start on all closed (D), you get a D Major or Ionian mode.
When you start on one open (E), you get E Dorian mode.
When you start on two open (F#), you get F# Phrygian mode.
When you start on three open (G), you get G Lydian mode.
When you start on four open (A), you get A Mixolydian mode.
When you start on five open (B), you get B (Natural) Minor or Aeolian mode.
When you start on six open (C#), you get C# Locrian mode.

The two most common are Major aka Ionian mode and (Natural) Minor aka Aeolian. There are a fair amount of tunes in Dorian and Mixolydian also. The others are less common.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:28 pm 
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Maddie wrote:
Dreday wrote:
I think I understand this. So basically I would always start at the first note then I would start playing half notes or cross fingering to achieve the other scales? Like if I play a C whistle on a Dorian scale I would have two flats, a Phrygian scale four flats, Lydian would have one sharp, ect?

That approach would work for a chromatic instrument, such as a recorder. The easier approach for tin whistle is to switch whistles for different keys. For example, to play a C Dorian scale, use a whistle in the key of either F or Bb.

Each key of whistle has eight modal scales that are easily played without half-holing. Grey Larsen has explaned it here: https://greylarsen.com/FreeDownloads/Charts_of_Tin_Whistle_Keys_and_Scales.pdf


That chart is very informative. Though I wish it gave the actual fingering because I’m not really familiar with these modal scales. I play by ear. I guess I have to do some homework now and learn the actual notes to each modal, then figure them out on a whistle. I’m assuming once I learn the fingering on one key whistle, I’ll be able to transpose for the other keys.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:38 pm 
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If you want a good example of modes, look up the fiddle tune "Drowsy Maggie". You'll find a gazillion examples of sheet music, recordings, and tutorials. The entire tune can be played on the natural notes of a whistle without any half-holing; it always uses the same notes (and always has two sharps). But, the A and B part sound different. That's because the A part (1st eight bars that repeat twice) is in E Dorian which has a minor sound. The B part (2nd eight bars that repeat twice) is in D Major and has a brighter major sound. It's the same notes but because the phrases start and end on different notes of the scale, it sounds like a different key.

-l2t


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:44 pm 
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Sorry for my previous post. Now I think I understand now. That the fingering of the various modal scales would be the same as playing, let’s say D major on a D whistle, but my root note of the particular modal would determine what hole to start on, and I’d just play the series of notes going higher up the whistle until I hit the 2nd octave root note. I don’t have to worry about half holes or cross fingering.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:12 pm 
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Dreday wrote:
... That the fingering of the various modal scales would be the same as playing, let’s say D major on a D whistle, but my root note of the particular modal would determine what hole to start on, and I’d just play the series of notes going higher up the whistle until I hit the 2nd octave root note. I don’t have to worry about half holes or cross fingering.

You're so close to understanding it, but there is one more consideration. There is so much information conveyed in Grey Larsen's chart, it's hard to grasp it all at once. Looking at the row for a D whistle, the right (shaded) cell shows four scales: D Ionian (major), A Mixolydian, E Dorian, B Aeolian (natural minor). The same cell also has "2 sharps" in the upper right corner. That means those four scales all use the same fingerings for notes as the D major scale on a D whistle, with 2 sharps, so they will work the way you posted.

Where it differs is for the four scales in the middle cell of the D whistle row. The upper right of that cell says "1 sharp." That means on a D whistle, you need to play a C-natural rather than a C-sharp for those four scales: G Ionian (major), D Mixolydian, A Dorian, E Aeolian (natural minor).

This page gives fingerings for four scales for a D whistle: https://www.whistletabs.com/whistle/ . You can see that two of them use C-sharp, while the other two use C-natural. You can compare them to Grey Larsen's chart, which shows either 1-sharp or 2-sharps for a D whistle.

Dreday wrote:
I’m assuming once I learn the fingering on one key whistle, I’ll be able to transpose for the other keys.

Yes. You would switch whistles for different keys, but they would all use the same fingerings that you had already learned on your D whistle.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:48 pm 
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A while ago I did some work on a penny whistle fingering chart. Hopefully this will also prove helpful in your musical expansion process!

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-- A tin whistle a day keeps the racketts at bay.

-- WhOAD Survivor No. 11373


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:53 am 
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I want to thank everyone that helped and added some info on this. All this info was a big help!
Thank you!!

~Andre’


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