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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 7:31 pm 
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Tunborough wrote:
So, um, not musically qualified, not qualified to play well, possibly no educational qualifications, .... What then qualifies them to teach tin whistle? I think that's the original point: when looking to learn from someone, check that they have a background that qualifies them to teach you, not lead you down some dead end. The ability to get attention does not automatically qualify someone.


As I mentioned before, at least they're fairly honest about their ability or lack thereof. Some aren't even that forthcoming. But I certainly wouldn't continue watching a video after a disclaimer like that if I wanted to actually learn something.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:22 am 
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When I read "bigsciota"'s OP, experience inclined me to sympathy. Then I realised which video he was referring to, and I understood his need to have a little rant. Did it make any difference? I don't know. I hope it made "bigscotia" feel better and it at least raised a debate.

Simply put, the self-appointed teacher has no real idea of the time signature (9/8), phrases the tune awkwardly across the rhythm and adds bits (mostly pauses) that further screw the rhythm. He basically seems to be someone who learnt the tune for some sort of tab, can play the notes clearly, but also clearly has no idea of how the tune works.

Unkind? Not really. He's not just some person who stuck a video on Youtube, or someone who got caught by a bystander in a video. He's setting himself up as an authority on how to play this tune. He's telling those he considers his students what and how to play, he even plays it slowly so they can follow etc.

I had a go at playing along with his rendition (I don't really play the tune, but I know it), and it didn't go well. If he came along to my session, and we are a kindly lot, he'd be in for some gentle re-education.

To those who took some sort of offence (seemingly second-hand offence too). It's not about getting you to play Irish music. No-one is trying to make you play Irish music, it's not about *you*.

And it's not about me either. I play a lot of English music on the tin whistle, as do a lot of people. This is not about trying to make everyone play Irish traditional music on the tin whistle.

Incidentally, the slip jig "Rocky Road to Dublin" is a development of an English 3/2 triple hornpipe called "The key to the cellar", which in turn was a development of an English/Scottish border tune simply called "A hornpipe". I say that "Key to the cellar" is English, but it was quite evidently also played in Scotland (as so many tunes are) and made its way to Ireland where it was turned into a 9/8 slip jig. That, apparently, was a common fate for many English and Scottish 3/2 tunes in Ireland.

Triple hornpipes have a kind of rolling rhythm, as do slip jigs, that kind of wraps round on itself (I'm sure there are better ways of describing this technically) and lends itself to unphrased dances (ceilidh/eceilidh/country dancing). I will often use a 3/2 hornpipe for unphrased dances.

Edited: for typos and spelling

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Last edited by ecadre on Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:21 pm 
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ecadre wrote:
Simply put, the self-appointed teacher has no real idea of the time signature (9/8), phrases the tune awkwardly across the rythm and adds bits (mostly pauses) that further screw the rhythm. He's basically seems to be someone who learnt the tune for some sort of tab, can play the notes clearly, but also clearly has no idea of how the tune works.

Have to say my curiosity finally led me to seek out this video, which there are more than enough clues in this topic to identify beyond doubt. And, yes, it's terrible (its deficiencies compounded by the guy's cosy familiarity and attempted Irish accent), but that's ultimately the Internet... a great resource if you can sort the wheat from the chaff and potentially worse than nothing if you can't!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:25 pm 
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ecadre wrote:
When I read "bigsciota"'s OP, experience inclined me to sympathy. Then I realised which video he was referring to, and I understood his need to have a little rant. Did it make any difference? I don't know. I hope it made "bigscotia" feel better and it at least raised a debate.

Unkind? Not really. He's not just some person who stuck a video on Youtube, or someone who got caught by a bystander in a video. He's setting himself up as an authority on how to play this tune. He's telling those he considers his students what and how to play, he even plays it slowly so they can follow etc.


Exactly, and tying in Peter Duggan's point, I just posted this to hopefully help someone separate that "wheat from the chaff." A lot of people are just good enough that they sound knowledgeable to a complete beginner, but seem obviously unqualified to someone who knows better. If a beginner reads this hopefully they'll be a bit more circumspect about who they end up following on YouTube. It's not a coincidence that I worded the title similarly to the "Beware of cheap eBay flutes!" thread on the flute forum. People post pictures of flutes on eBay both to show what the typical crappy flute looks like and to ask about whether a flute in question is one of the bad ones. I felt a little weird about singling people out by posting their tutorial videos here, but I figured a general post would at least cause a bit of discussion.

ecadre wrote:
To those who took some sort of offence (seemingly second-hand offence too). It's not about getting you to play Irish music. No-one is trying to make you play Irish music, it's not about *you*.

And it's not about me either. I play a lot of English music on the tin whistle, as do a lot of people. This is not about trying to make everyone play Irish traditional music on the tin whistle.


Ultimately, it's about trying to make sure that the beginner is getting good instruction, whatever they want to play. There are definitely things that I wish I had learned right away on some of the instruments I play, things that took a long time to re-learn after not quite getting it right the first time. So if this post helps a beginner be a little more discerning, I think it's worth posting.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:10 pm 
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kenny wrote:
Are we referring to the person who gives all of these "tips"on how to play the tin-whistle without actually ever playing a whole tune through from start to finish ?


That would be me!

I don't understand that that's a problem.

It's like saying a video on how to install a new toilet is bad because they don't build a house from start to finish.

There are plenty of "tune" videos, they're great for tunes, the "tune a day" ones.

Mine are "technique" videos. I discuss and demonstrate a specific technique. If somebody wants to learn a new tune, that's not the video for them.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:24 pm 
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TxWhistler wrote:

I have zero desire to learn to play the tin whistle and play only traditional Irish tunes the traditional way. I do not want to limit myself to playing Irish tunes and nothing else.


I would say the limiting goes the reverse way.

If you do learn the traditional Irish whistle performance practices, when you go to play a non-trad-Irish tune, for example you're playing a Hymn in church, you can choose to employ as many or as few of the traditional Irish whistle performance practices as you wish.

If you don't learn the traditional Irish whistle performance practices, when you go to play a trad Irish tune you will not be able to choose to employ traditional Irish whistle performance practices.

I played Baroque flute in University. I played Irish flute, I played Bulgarian kaval. I played Bolivian kena. For each of those I learned the performance practices traditionally associated with those instruments.

Never was I constrained to only play a certain set of performance practices on a particular instrument. I had the ability to, but it was a matter of choice. I didn't want not knowing to set limits on my playing.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:59 am 
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I was not referring to you at all, Richard - but if the hat fits............. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:00 am 
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kenny wrote:
I was not referring to you at all, Richard - but if the hat fits............. :)


Well, yes if it does!

I just can't understand the premise that instruction is only worthwhile if it involves playing a full tune in each sitting.

I've taught Highland pipes for 30-odd years and in a lesson it is rare to work on an entire tune all the way through. Instead, a particular lesson will generally focus on a particular technique, first in isolation, then in the context of a phrase, then in context of a part of a tune.

Ditto in Irish flute lessons- especially early on- when an entire lesson will be tone-building exercises, or learning rolls, or what have you.

And those were 30 or 60 minute lessons! Teaching somebody the basics of how to do rolls AND walking them through a full two-part reel in a 10 minute YouTube video is, in my opinion, impractical.

The way I teach, repertoire-building has to come after the person has acquired a certain level of control over the instrument. A person struggling with basic technique can't do much in the way of creating music.

What about this video? The point is to demonstrate a dozen different whistles. If I played a full tune on each one we would be there all day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-fQhvleWq8&t=12s

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:30 am 
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I don't think the question is whether it is needed for good instructions to play a full tune. The thing is rather -- those self-procclaimed "teachers" lack the skills to even manage to play a full tune. That is the difference. And nobody doubts that you, Richard, would have those skills. I profited a lot from one of your short clips about ornamentation for example and I have zero doubts that you could play a 5 minute tune and use all those different ornaments with perfection. But some online "tutors" clearly lack the skills and only play short sequences of a tune or "edit" their videos to somehow fit together a tune from different snippets because they simply couldn't pull it off. And if they can't pull off to play a tune in one piece, they might not be suited to "teach" others anything at all.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:41 am 
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bigsciota wrote:
Ultimately, it's about trying to make sure that the beginner is getting good instruction, whatever they want to play. There are definitely things that I wish I had learned right away on some of the instruments I play, things that took a long time to re-learn after not quite getting it right the first time. So if this post helps a beginner be a little more discerning, I think it's worth posting.

There's a sticky thread up top of forum "Whistle Instruction" that anyone here could've and should've contributed to. I don't claim to be any more than an advanced beginner whistler that still continues to learn and hopefully contribute. There were not very many reliable sources suggested or recommended on the sticky by most of the contributors to this particular thread. If you know of a whistle instruction resource that's worth recommending how about adding it to the sticky?

I have always advocated for beware of YouTube whistle instruction videos (Internet) and that same beware goes for the session forum as well. These are open forums where the less knowledgeable people can also contribute. Just saying. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:33 pm 
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ytliek wrote:
There's a sticky thread up top of forum "Whistle Instruction" that anyone here could've and should've contributed to. I don't claim to be any more than an advanced beginner whistler that still continues to learn and hopefully contribute. There were not very many reliable sources suggested or recommended on the sticky by most of the contributors to this particular thread. If you know of a whistle instruction resource that's worth recommending how about adding it to the sticky?


I know of plenty of whistle instruction resources; they were all covered by other posters in the thread and I therefore had nothing to contribute. And it's worth noting that the very first post on that thread says that

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this thread will only be a listing foremost, so if you wish to ask questions, editorialize at length or offer in-depth testimonials about a resource, this is not the place for it; such will be regarded as off-topic intrusions, and will be deleted. Instead, start a separate thread in the Forum


(emphasis mine)

ytliek wrote:
I have always advocated for beware of YouTube whistle instruction videos (Internet)


In that case I assume that you agree with the OP.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:51 pm 
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bigsciota wrote:
ytliek wrote:
I have always advocated for beware of YouTube whistle instruction videos (Internet)


In that case I assume that you agree with the OP.

Yes, I agree with the OP, although I haven't seeked out the particular YouTube video being discussed. After this thread why bother?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:53 pm 
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ytliek wrote:
Yes, I agree with the OP, although I haven't seeked out the particular YouTube video being discussed. After this thread why bother?


Save yourself the trouble and earache!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:08 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:

Bob 'An seanduine''s sig line I suppose:

The Expert's Mind has few possibilities.
The Beginner's mind has endless possibilities.
Shunryu Suzuki, Roshi




A former colleague of mine said something similar: The further you are from solving a problem, the easier the solution looks.

On the other hand, when confronted with a real poser, I often consult non-experts. Thing is, when you've been working in a particular area for a really long time, you've seen the conventional solution so many times, you might be blind to an unconventional solution. I've recently finished a paper that overturns decades of conventional wisdom, but it's in a field I've never been a part of.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:44 pm 
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Chas, you may be familiar with a possibly apocryphal tale of some psychologists putting an ape in a room with a a chair, a table, a stick, and some rope and an open window high up on a wall. Supposedly there were four different ways to arrange these artifacts to effect an escape. The ape found a fifth way. . . .
When I related this story to a classmate who went on to an advanced degree in psychology, he observed that such a situation pointed up the need for grad students to be ´smarter´ than their subjects. . . :D

Bob

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