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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 8:40 pm 
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G'day Y'all!

So. As a new whistler I was looking through YouTube for whistle tutorials. From previous experimentation with the whistle I knew about Ryan Duns' videos, and reading here acquainted me with Blayne Chastain and the Irish Music Academy. But I also ran across tutorial videos, in both english and gaelic, from a fellow named Angus MacKenzie at Feis Rois-
https://www.youtube.com/user/FeisRois/videos

I watched the first one and rather liked it. I enjoy his somewhat lugubrious manner, and the fact that he doesn't start one off with "twinkle, twinkle little star" (petty of me, I know :wink: ). So I'm sticking with it for the moment. I'm only just starting lesson 2 - I'm going very, very slowly, and really working on breath and control - but I have to say I'm in love with Morag of Dunvegan (don't tell my wife).

Anyway, long lead to the question, I haven't seen these tutorials mentioned here on C&F. I've been reading back through time on the forum (only up to page 13, less than a year ago), and the three resources listed at the top get frequent recommendation. A search revealed only one previous reference to the Feis Rois tutorials, back in 2012 -
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=86061&hilit=Feis+Rois

So, has anyone else used the Feis Rois Tutorials? Seen them? Have any opinion on them? Just to be perfectly clear, I'm not spruiking for them in any way. I like them so far, as an absolute beginner. But I'm an ignorant noob and I'd really value the opinions of more experienced forumites!

Cheers

Marc E

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:52 am 
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Just watched part of the first lesson (a demonstration performance of An Cóineachan) and really don't like the way he's constantly curling up his unused fingers for supposed clarity. So, sure, he then explains why he's doing it and says not to but, with the visual element being such a strong part of the video 'message', I still can't help seeing it as a model that's bound to get copied!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:36 am 
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Following on the visual thought in whistle tutorials... I just don't get it when the instructor is holding onto a high end whistle, Abell, O'Riordan, Sindt, etc., while telling the viewer to get a Generation, Clark, Feadóg, etc., or failing to mention that the whistle has been tweaked in some way. Just saying.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:59 am 
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If you find the tutor useful, go for it. You can easily ignore the curled finger thing and what whistle he is playing. As in any instruction, what seems to you to suit you best will be the most useful. The important thing is for you to play and not develop bad habits. Playing will teach you the most and if you are inspired by this tutor, then it is useful to you. It may not fit someone else. Whatever gets you playing is the best for you.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:37 pm 
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Thanks for those replies!

It hadn't occurred to me that the curled-finger-thing might be a problem. He says at the beginning why he does it, so I've been ignoring it pretty much. That said, I don't know whether it does make it easier to "read" the notes he's playing and play along, or if it would be just as easy if he didn't curl his fingers.

Whatever, I think I'll stick with it for the mo', and graduate onto something like Mary Bergin's tutorial when I've got a better grasp on the basics (and have saved up my pennies!)

Cheers!

Marc E

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:19 am 
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Whatever, I think I'll stick with it for the mo', and graduate onto something like Mary Bergin's tutorial when I've got a better grasp on the basics (and have saved up my pennies!)


You'll probably have to bear in mind this tutorial has a pretty specific flavour. If you're aiming for Irish music, maybe going straight to one that focuses on Irish music would be a good idea. The Bergin tutorial will take you through the early stages in great detail.

Sometimes stylistic choices have to be made early on, if you know what music and which style of playing you'll be aiming for, start right there and pick a tutorial that will introduce you to that particular music or style. Starting somewhere else altogether will only have you having to un- or re- learn things at a later stage.


As an aside observation : I don't like the sound of the whistle used in this tutorial at all.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:01 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
If you're aiming for Irish music, maybe going straight to one that focuses on Irish music would be a good idea...

As an aside observation : I don't like the sound of the whistle used in this tutorial at all.


Thanks Mr. G!

I'm not actually aiming at any specific style, at least for now. I love Irish traditional - the first Chieftains LP was one of the first records I bought, and it blew my mind. But I'm equally passionate about other kinds of music as well - folk and classical traditions. The kwella I've heard is intriguing! I've got no illusions about ever becoming a very skilled whistler, I'm starting too late, and there are too many other impediments in the way for that. But I'll be happy if I can just play well enough to please my own ear! :)

As to the whistle Angus MacK is playing, I don't think my ear is well-enough trained to really offer a critique! :) I have been trying to work out what it is. I've thought I had it identified several times from my seemingly-endless window-shopping on various whistle-maker's sites, but there are quite a few makes on that basic pattern, and the video isn't really good enough quality to be sure from the appearance.

Thanks again!

Cheers

Marc E

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:23 am 
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As it happens, Scottish style is what I'm looking for, and Morag of Dunvegan was the first fiddle tune I ever learned. Thank you very much for the pointer Poohze.

Fèis Rois has an extensive website, which lists the songs in each lesson here: http://feisrois.org.uk/index.php?lang=eng&location=tin_whistle_lessons. I see another tune from my meager fiddle repertoire, The High Road to Linton, in Lesson 3. I play it on the whistle with cuts between notes, but now I'm working on using additional cuts to accent the downbeats.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:09 am 
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Tunborough wrote:
As it happens, Scottish style is what I'm looking for, and Morag of Dunvegan was the first fiddle tune I ever learned. Thank you very much for the pointer Poohze.

Fèis Rois has an extensive website, which lists the songs in each lesson here: http://feisrois.org.uk/index.php?lang=eng&location=tin_whistle_lessons. I see another tune from my meager fiddle repertoire, The High Road to Linton, in Lesson 3. I play it on the whistle with cuts between notes, but now I'm working on using additional cuts to accent the downbeats.


Glad to be of service! :D

And thank you for the link to the Fèis Rois website! That'll keep me busy for a while! :wink:

Cheers

Marc E

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:13 am 
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As it happens, Scottish style is what I'm looking for,


Well, that was my point, you'll be fine with that site. To someone saying they'll move on to the Bergin tutor though i'd suggest moving away quickly or prepare themselves for a fair amount of backpedalling and relearning.

I think it's a great misconception that's alive and well on the forums that if you pick up a whistle you will have to learn all the cuts and rolls and what have you. These things and how they are used are very music specific. So you learn them as appropriate to the music you're playing.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:45 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
To someone saying they'll move on to the Bergin tutor though i'd suggest moving away quickly or prepare themselves for a fair amount of backpedalling and relearning.

I think it's a great misconception that's alive and well on the forums that if you pick up a whistle you will have to learn all the cuts and rolls and what have you. These things and how they are used are very music specific. So you learn them as appropriate to the music you're playing.


Fair enough, and thanks! :) However, most of the more detailed and comprehensive tutorials I've seen seem to be oriented to specifically Irish trad whistle, perfectly understandably. For someone in my situation, without the desire to necessarily dedicate myself to a single tradition, but wanting to improve my whistling as much as my circumstances will allow,...well I'm at a bit of a loss. :-?

I'm planning to order the Bill Ochs book-&-cd (when my wallet replenishes), because it has music from many sources. But I gather it's instruction is pretty much targeted at beginners. All the non-tradition-specific tutorials I've seen seem to be targeted at beginners - if I'm missing some, please let me know! :) And while that's appropriate for me now, I am going to want to move beyond that at some point. And as Mr. Gumby says, early choices have consequences down the line.

Is that just the nature of the beast? To move beyond beginner stage one needs to choose a tradition? :-?

Hmmm, I'm getting too philosophical here, I think. :lol: It's past my bed-time down here in the antipodes, so I'm off to the land of nod.

'Night all, and thanks again for the thought-provoking!

Cheers

Marc E

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:19 am 
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Is that just the nature of the beast? To move beyond beginner stage one needs to choose a tradition?


No, it's what you learn on them. The tutorial you linked to teaches you ornamentation and ways to do things that I would not recommend if you were interested in playing other music than the one they're teaching. In the same way I wouldn't recommend the Mary Bergin tutor to anyone not interested in playing Irish music. It won't be of any use to them. It's a consequence of teaching a particular music along with teaching an instrument. It's a bit like learning guitar from a tutorial that teaches you to play the blues, you set yourself on a very specific road.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:35 am 
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In my world it's a lot of Old Time and fiddle tunes. With some Gospel tunes, and a few Irish, Scottish, and English tunes. Some of my dulcimer friends like my whistle playing and asked if I could teach them. I'm not musically trained, but I came up with a plan and it seems to be working. I've been asked to teach at some dulcimer festivals and enjoy doing it. So I geared my teaching to the songs we play. It's been fun to show them how they can use cuts and taps and get them moving along. It's a cool instrument that can travel many different styles. But, I do so love to hear the real "masters". Good post, enjoying all the input.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:03 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
Is that just the nature of the beast? To move beyond beginner stage one needs to choose a tradition?


No, it's what you learn on them. The tutorial you linked to teaches you ornamentation and ways to do things that I would not recommend if you were interested in playing other music than the one they're teaching. In the same way I wouldn't recommend the Mary Bergin tutor to anyone not interested in playing Irish music. It won't be of any use to them. It's a consequence of teaching a particular music along with teaching an instrument. It's a bit like learning guitar from a tutorial that teaches you to play the blues, you set yourself on a very specific road.


Ah, ok, thanks! With the benefit of a good night's sleep, I think I've got you now. :)

That still leaves the question of more advanced tutorials that aren't so tradition-specific... Maybe I need to start a new thread to address that topic. Not right now, though. I've got to finish breakfast and get on with the day! :lol:

Dulcimer Bill wrote:
In my world it's a lot of Old Time and fiddle tunes. With some Gospel tunes, and a few Irish, Scottish, and English tunes. Some of my dulcimer friends like my whistle playing and asked if I could teach them. I'm not musically trained, but I came up with a plan and it seems to be working. I've been asked to teach at some dulcimer festivals and enjoy doing it. So I geared my teaching to the songs we play. It's been fun to show them how they can use cuts and taps and get them moving along. It's a cool instrument that can travel many different styles. But, I do so love to hear the real "masters". Good post, enjoying all the input.


Thanks for that! I was actually born in Indiana, although I've lived in Australia now for nearly fifty years. I love the old time music too, and it's one of the genres I'm keen to explore!

Cheers All!

Marc E

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:05 am 
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Poohze wrote:

As to the whistle Angus MacK is playing, I don't think my ear is well-enough trained to really offer a critique! :) I have been trying to work out what it is. I've thought I had it identified several times from my seemingly-endless window-shopping on various whistle-maker's sites, but there are quite a few makes on that basic pattern, and the video isn't really good enough quality to be sure from the appearance.


Looks like a Merlin.


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