Complete beginner to low whistle (D)

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davest
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Tell us something.: I bought a low D whistle back in the 90s and failed to learn to play it. I still have it and having recently retired I'm debating whether it's time to try again or candidly to stick to the instruments I already play and sell the whistle I have to someone who'll get better use from it. This looks like an excellent community site where I can perhaps get some advice.

Re: Complete beginner to low whistle (D)

Post by davest »

Hello

I'm also new to the forum and whistles in general and this thread has answered my initial question too. Can I start on a low whistle?

I'm sort of new in that about 25 years ago I was smitten when hearing Callow Lake by Davy Spillane. On impulse I found a local shop and bought a low whistle. I tried at the time but in the pre-internet days there were a lot less resources readily available, I did struggle to progress and eventually shelved it. It wasn't helped by living in a flat with poor soundproofing and feeling somewhat conscious of the noise I was making.

I've recently retired and have dug out the whistle which I fortunately kept for another try and, with the help of forums such as this I hope to progress.

Mike - I'm not sure if you're new to instruments in general so please ignore this if it's something you already know. I also play guitar and have done now for a long time but around 3 years ago I listened to an audio book called 'the practice of practice'. This was a revelation for me and I have friends whom I've recommended it to when starting out on guitar who've found it extremely useful. It's not specific to any instrument but provides insight into what practice is/isn't and how to go about it. I can throughly recommend it. I can confirm that I'm not affiliated to the author/publisher in any way :)

Thanks to all for the info on this thread it's been very helpful.

Dave
Polara Pat
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Tell us something.: In an effort to ease from lurker to forum member; I'm hoping that this elite gang of whistlers will help this very green player to advance to the next stage. My current stage is slightly below novice and is only permitted in the garage like the dog I am. Oh yah, not a robot.

Re: Complete beginner to low whistle (D)

Post by Polara Pat »

pancelticpiper wrote:Cool, a used Tony Dixon Low D like I was talking about has just come up for sale here at a very good price.

viewtopic.php?f=35&t=110599
Shame it's only available in America, I was tempted to jump on this as well. I've also been considering giving low whistles a try.
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BigDavy
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Location: Larkhall Scotland

Re: Complete beginner to low whistle (D)

Post by BigDavy »

Polara Pat wrote:
pancelticpiper wrote:Cool, a used Tony Dixon Low D like I was talking about has just come up for sale here at a very good price.

viewtopic.php?f=35&t=110599
Shame it's only available in America, I was tempted to jump on this as well. I've also been considering giving low whistles a try.

Dixon TB012D

David
Payday, Piping, Percussion and Poetry- the 4 best Ps
Polara Pat
Posts: 279
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:01 pm
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Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: In an effort to ease from lurker to forum member; I'm hoping that this elite gang of whistlers will help this very green player to advance to the next stage. My current stage is slightly below novice and is only permitted in the garage like the dog I am. Oh yah, not a robot.

Re: Complete beginner to low whistle (D)

Post by Polara Pat »

This thread has inspired me to also start a low D search. I like the idea of getting something used since the price for even entry level whistles is pretty high.

Anyways, I hope the OP finds what he's looking for and sorry for the hi-jack
bassbone_mh
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Tell us something.: I love all things bagpipe. I'm in year 4 of GHB and am very interested in making a set of smallpipes

Re: Complete beginner to low whistle (D)

Post by bassbone_mh »

[Thread revival. - Mod]

I started learning GHB when I was 40. Granted I have a background in piano and brass instruments but I didn't find it all that difficult to learn. After all, there are only 9 ( or in the whistle's case a handful) of notes as opposed to 88.

With enough time and the right level of passion, you can learn anything. 5 years later, I'd say I'm pretty proficient and am looking forward to learning the low whistle next. Just stick with it and remember: it's for you - if you find enjoyment in it and it fulfills creative and emotional needs, then go for it! Enjoy the journey! Cheers
Narzog
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Tell us something.: Can play several instruments at an unimpressive level. Currently most interested in whistling with a side of flute.

Re: Complete beginner to low whistle (D)

Post by Narzog »

bassbone_mh wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:20 pm
I started learning GHB when I was 40. Granted I have a background in piano and brass instruments but I didn't find it all that difficult to learn. After all, there are only 9 ( or in the whistle's case a handful) of notes as opposed to 88.

With enough time and the right level of passion, you can learn anything. 5 years later, I'd say I'm pretty proficient and am looking forward to learning the low whistle next. Just stick with it and remember: it's for you - if you find enjoyment in it and it fulfills creative and emotional needs, then go for it! Enjoy the journey! Cheers
Awesome! Welcome to low whistling. I've heard so many people say they want to learn an instrument but can't. But I feel like if they would just start learning it, they would get somewhere. Its amazing how much interest and enthusiasm changes ones ability to learn something.
Nanook69
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Tell us something.: Starting to play the low whistle,highland piper starting a new musicical adventure
Would like to play the Irish pipes someday if I get the low whistle down and learn to use bellows

Re: Complete beginner to low whistle (D)

Post by Nanook69 »

I highly recommend the hardy tutorials they are fantastic. Do not skip around , do them in order ,get one down then move to the next one. The low whistle book is good but most any whistle book will do. I would get through the tutorials before the books.Some books are better then others. You got yourself an mk pro so you picked one of the best so you should never NEED another low d. Stay with this whistle till you feel comfortable then think about other keys. I started the bagpipes at 45 and the whistle in my 50’s. Pick out the tunes you like and learn them one at a time.move on to the next one when you have the first one down. Best way to learn is break it down into phrases. Learn a phrase. Get it down,learn the next phrase get it down play the two together,get it down. Move to next phrase etc.etc. Soon you will have the whole tune.this is how I was taught the bagpipes and it has served me well with the whistle. Everyone has their favorite whistles and ideas on learning to play them but find what works best for you because making yourself happy is the most important thing when playing an instrument.enjoy
learn2turn
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Tell us something.: I play mostly my Dixon Trad High-D and my Dixon Polymer Low-D. I have a bunch of other cheap high-Ds and a few whistles in other keys a dabble with once in a while. Also play some guitar and mando, mostly bluegrass and related folkie Americana. Can't sing for squat. Can pick out chords and simply melodies on keyboard but that's it as far as playing but it's good for understanding theory.
Location: Massachusetts USA

Re: Complete beginner to low whistle (D)

Post by learn2turn »

I'm a novice also and play with both a High-D and Low-D (and have some cheap inbetweens I dabble with). Lots of good advice above on low-Ds. If you want to start with the low-D follow the advice. But decent high-Ds are inexpensive so way not get one also? You can leave it on the coffee table when you feel like playing for 90 seconds turing a TV commercial or waiting for you lunch to microwave or whatever. The Dixon Trad High-D is about $28 US and plays very well, much easier to hit the notes that the $12-16 cheap whistles and <$30 is really almost a non-investment when it comes to expense.

-lwt
Tremendouz
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Tell us something.: I'm a beginner low whistle player. Looking to discuss and perhaps buy/sell/trade whistles from other people.

Re: Complete beginner to low whistle (D)

Post by Tremendouz »

Just my 2 cents as a beginner who started with low D: if you want to play low D, it's fine to start with one instead of playing something you don't necessarily like the sound of.

I know for sure that if I had started with a high D I would've quickly given up because I don't like how ear-piercing it is (I have a Clarke Sweetone in C and D). I got these high whistles to be used in music production but because of the loudness I can't really say I enjoy playing them for longer than 5 minutes at a time.
Narzog
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Tell us something.: Can play several instruments at an unimpressive level. Currently most interested in whistling with a side of flute.

Re: Complete beginner to low whistle (D)

Post by Narzog »

Tremendouz wrote: Tue Nov 30, 2021 3:37 am I know for sure that if I had started with a high D I would've quickly given up because I don't like how ear-piercing it is (I have a Clarke Sweetone in C and D). I got these high whistles to be used in music production but because of the loudness I can't really say I enjoy playing them for longer than 5 minutes at a time.
This was me. Most of the music I listened to was low whistles. But high whistles can be cheap, so I got one. The whistle I own with the least time played, is my first one. My sweet tone D. If I need to play high d or C I wear my headphones as poor mans ear protection haha.

A cheap low D is still less expensive than most other starter instruments, so if its what someone wants they should just go for it.
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