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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:31 am 
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Location: scotland
as a newbie myself and having all sorts of whistles the 3 i play most are my Dixon low d and my generation blue top (and a little Guinness whistle i take to work )

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:07 am 
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Location: Grass Lake, Michigan, USA
I think you are all right. Many less expensive whistles to have around my house and in my car. I will start with the High D but some mention the low D. Should you stay away from this to start?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:10 am 
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Good luck and welcome! The people here are great and will answer all your questions. Remember you can also get a two piece Clare to keep in your pocket - their sound is not always good but you can upgrade it with a Hoover whitecap later, and you've always got it with you. I started (too long ago) on a Generation, but if I were beginning now I might well go for an Every whistle as they have a great sound, are cheap and may well inspire you to make your own! Get lots of cheap ones to see what you like, read the recommendations on here and then choose a higher end one. Personally I would learn a bit on the high D before trying the low: it is not hard but it helps to know where your fingers are going, which is easier to learn on a high D.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:38 am 
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Location: Grass Lake, Michigan, USA
Speaking of Clare, The only whistle/tutor/CD combo I can find at a music store within a 100 miles of me is one by Clare McKenna, it comes with a Clare High D Nickel whistle, learning book and CD with all the exercises and tunes.

Has anyone heard of this lady? Only other option will be buying off the internet.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:53 am 
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Perry Prevo wrote:
Speaking of Clare, The only whistle/tutor/CD combo I can find at a music store within a 100 miles of me is one by Clare McKenna, it comes with a Clare High D Nickel whistle, learning book and CD with all the exercises and tunes.

Has anyone heard of this lady? Only other option will be buying off the internet.


Well, I don't know the lady :wink: but I bought this combo a few years ago, just to have a different medium (rather than hanging on internet pages all the time). I think it is not the worst option for a beginner, but you will want to have some further books later. You might combine learning from books an videos on the internet.

Silvano

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:12 am 
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I own the set and like it just fine (I had to buy the book and CDs seperately and it didn't come with a whistle). The book intially shows tablature which helped in learning but drops from using tablature later on. If one doesn't know how to read music, it does a good job in starting you off.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:45 am 
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Location: Wollongong, Australia
Welcome to the forum. I'm also no expert, but I am an expert in being a beginner. :D

I have two main whistles I use a lot - actually three, with the extra barrel. The Sweetone by Clark (D) and a tweaked Mellow Dog by Jerry Freeman (both D and C). Each of them are whistles I really enjoy. The Sweetone sits in the console of the car and goes everywhere. Actually the other day, whilst in my daughter's car it broke down - the car, that is. Waiting for the roadside assistance and then the tow truck was actually enjoyable because I had my whistle to play :lol:

I too have the Clare McKenna "The Irish Tin Whistle" book and CDs which I have found pretty good but am waiting, waiting, waiting, for the Grey Larsen book "The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle" to arrive. Others have recommended this on the forum.

I also use the internet and listen as much as I can.

Above all, have fun!!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:31 am 
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Location: Grass Lake, Michigan, USA
I found the Gary Larson "The Essential Tin Whistle Tool Box" and the Bigwhistle site says this is considered to be a steeping-stone to the "Essential Guide To Irish Flute and Tin Whistle.

Would the Tool Box book be better first? Or can you start right off with the other book?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:49 pm 
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fancypiper wrote:
Pay no attention to the man behind the FJohnSharp curtain :twisted:.


:)

My reasoning is that playing the Clark Original is more an exercise in breath management than breath control, and a beginner shouldn't have to be trying to manage that and also learn fingerings and tunes. I believe it's best to minimize the variables. JMHO. Otherwise I like the Clark.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 3:20 pm 
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Here's my own personal experience as a flute player who also plays whistle (I got a whistle to start learning before my flute came) and who is new to trad and been doing this about a year now.

I bought an Acorn. They had them for sale next to the cash register. $10. Not a big decision to make.

I used the Ryan Dunns online tutorials to get started. Attempted some WhistleThis! tunes. Some were easy, some were way too hard.

I started listening to trad all day at work. I consider that to be as important as practicing.

Eventually the flute and the big Grey Larson tome came in the mail and had a lot of trouble right of the bat. I think the book is written for accomplished classical musicians to make them understand how trad is different. Working through the book front to back the first tune was too hard and I got stuck.

Instead, I ordered June McCormack's Fliuit book. How she breathes and the different variations she does on the CD were very instructive. She sounds more spontaneous and less show-offey with the ornaments than Grey Larsen does and her tune choices seemed easier for me, although some of them are kind of boring tunes.

Also useful: Matt Cranitch's fiddle book because he's got a bouncy, dotted rhythm on all his tunes which I like and his tune choices are really nice.

Very useful: I asked for lists of tunes at my session and looked up the dots on thesession.org. Some of that original list of session tunes a year later are still too hard for me. But I keep plugging along. I've been so shocked I can keep up at session speed on some of them now.

To get off total reliance on dots, every week I take my flute to the session and try to unobtrusively pick up tunes by ear. I am still quite pathetic at it but improving. Lately I can play the outlines of many tunes I don't know. Yes, it's true! You don't have to play all the notes! You can play just the notes you can hear and manage!

I know a lot of sessions hate it when people do that but mine doesn't hate me for it at all because I don't make an ass out of myself when I do it. They are happy I want to learn and have told me to keep doing what I'm doing.

All of this is total immersion, by the way. I have not done just one thing. I've done everything that appealed to me or that I was capable of all at once.

Every now and then I pull out my Acorn and am amazed at how nice it sounds. I have a few other whistles now, and although some whistles may have qualities I like better than others I don't think I could have ever known the Acorn had so much potential when I first bought it.

So if any of that sounds like it might work for you, there you go. If you hate the way my flute clips sound (I'll completely understand as they are quite embarrassing), then now you know what not to do. But you must understand. It's not about the whistle. Just spend a piddly $10 and get started! It won't be your last whistle. I have over 15 flutes and whistles now.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:17 pm 
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Perry,

If you ever get to Ann Arbor, which isn't too far from Grass Lake, call ahead to Music Go Round ((734) 662-1080, near the Target store just south of I94 at Ann Arbor-Saline Road) and see if they have any Feadog whistles in stock. I got one there a couple of years ago for about $8. Although it isn't as sweet sounding as my Dixon trad, I much prefer it to the two Generation D whistles I have. My Generation D whistles have "scratchy" upper octave Gs (worse on one of the whistles than the other), and a tone I do not like so much. (I do like my Generation Eb a lot though.) I also like the Feadog better than the Sweetone, but that is personal taste. The Sweetone might be less prone to squawking for a beginning player, but it requires more air, so you need to breathe more often. Another cheap whistle I've come to like is my Oak D, but that whistle requires more breath control in the first octave than I had as a beginner. The Oak D also has a sometimes not very nice upper octave E, and I can't get the head loosened on it to tune it. OK, I've rambled on enough. Bye.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:13 am 
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sbfluter wrote:
... and the big Grey Larson tome came in the mail...


Mine finally arrived to day. It is a big book!!

Now onto page 1... :boggle:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:35 am 
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Location: Grass Lake, Michigan, USA
Just so you all know all these opinions are very helpful.

sbfluter, thank you for the insite on the Gary Larson tutor.

celticnot, I go past that area every day. I work in Ypsi. will check them out. What ever happen to Al Nalli Music in Ann Arbor? Use to go there all the time, a long time ago thou. There number is disconnected.

Ctrl Alt Del, what is your first impression of the book for a beginner?

The reason I am asking so many questions is because there isn't much local around here that I know of so I will mostlikely get most of my stuff from the net and just want to have the best 1st exp. I can. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:40 am 
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Perry Prevo wrote:
Just so you all know all these opinions are very helpful.

sbfluter, thank you for the insite on the Gary Larson tutor.

celticnot, I go past that area every day. I work in Ypsi. will check them out. What ever happen to Al Nalli Music in Ann Arbor? Use to go there all the time, a long time ago thou. There number is disconnected.

Ctrl Alt Del, what is your first impression of the book for a beginner?

The reason I am asking so many questions is because there isn't much local around here that I know of so I will mostlikely get most of my stuff from the net and just want to have the best 1st exp. I can. :)


Perry, you have a good attitude for it as well. Again, welcome to the madness! :)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:42 am 
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Perry Prevo wrote:
...Ctrl Alt Del, what is your first impression of the book for a beginner?

The reason I am asking so many questions is because there isn't much local around here that I know of so I will mostlikely get most of my stuff from the net and just want to have the best 1st exp. I can. :)


1st impression? Daunting.

It 480 pages long. :boggle: But it looks like a really good reference book. I come from a classical etc background so I'm not new to playing (although very rusty) so I can read music etc.

After the introduction it has sections on
    The instruments (both flute and whistle)
    Ornamentation (over 150 pages!!)
    Phrasing, articulation and use of the breath
    after a section called 'final matters' there are 49 studies for ornamenation practice, some other tunes and finally some 'great performances transcribed'
    also comes with a couple of CDs.


Like you I have no local input from anyone with regards to ITM so I'm trying to devour what I can. After I get into this book a bit I think this book will be a great asset to my collection.

I'll let you know as I start to use it.

happy whistling

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