The Mary Bergin Whistle Tutor

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Mr.Gumby
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Re: The Mary Bergin Whistle Tutor

Post by Mr.Gumby »

Do keep in mind that the book you are using is self-published by non-Irish player with no professional recordings or reputation, three different caveats right there.

I would go with Mary Bergin, the most renowned tin whistle player alive today, born and bred in Ireland.


Hi squid, an unexpected resurfacing.

A quick search will tell you Stephen Ducke is from Co Rosommon but I would agree he is an otherwise unknown quantity. But I'd caution against dismissing or lionising anyone because of where they were born. It's going out on thin ice. Ireland is not free of poor players. And some half decent players have come from elsewhere: surely you wouldn't, for example, dismiss the late Bill Ochs' work out of hand just because he was from New York? Or shun Bro Steve's insights?
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Re: The Mary Bergin Whistle Tutor

Post by papawemba »

Thanks squidgirl ! It's a good point concerning author reputation...
Finally I decide to learn from Mary Bergin's book first. It can only give me a strong basis.
oups sorry about the tongue mistake lol Now corrected (but not the quoted one). :party:

Nicolas
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Re: The Mary Bergin Whistle Tutor

Post by StevieJ »

papawemba wrote:Thanks squidgirl ! It's a good point concerning author reputation...
Finally I decide to learn from Mary Bergin's book first. It can only give me a strong basis.
oups sorry about the tongue mistake lol Now corrected (but not the quoted one). :party:

Nicolas
[apologies for joining in late as usual]

Nicolas... it is surprising to me that you might buy Mary's tutor without realising what you were getting into in terms of her use of tonguing. Have you not listened to her records, or YouTube clips? Or maybe this?

Then you could understand the sound and style that what she teaches in her tutor is aimed at. I'd recommend a few solid hours of careful listening to her (and other good players) every week to go alongside your study of the book.

As Mr. G has effectively said, you need to be careful interpreting the written word without an understanding based on listening. A pitfall that awaits every learner of Irish music, and not just whistle players, who seek guidance on the internet or in books: someone gives them a rule and they endeavour to apply it without necessarily understanding what the person who gave it was driving at, or hearing in their head what sound the rule was supposed to help them produce.

In this case, to me there is nothing at all in the quote from Stephen Ducke that runs counter to the way that Mary plays. He is trying to get you away from the way of playing that many beginners (especially if they have played recorder or flute) will adopt when they try to read Irish music off a page.
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Re: The Mary Bergin Whistle Tutor

Post by papawemba »

Hey Steve, I just listen to the tune from your link and other youtube video of Mary (before buying the book)...
But she plays so fast with so many ornamentation that my little experience cannot define her tonguing style. Sorry !
(ok it’s written here and there but I just didn’t realize it was 4 notes out of 6).

I don't plan to stay on one track but as a beginner, I think it is best to follow one path (and to look on other style only by curiosity).
Now I have more tools and confidence to know where I am going.

Nicolas
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Re: The Mary Bergin Whistle Tutor

Post by squidgirl »

A quick search will tell you Stephen Ducke is from Co Rosommon but I would agree he is an otherwise unknown quantity. But I'd caution against dismissing or lionising anyone because of where they were born. It's going out on thin ice. Ireland is not free of poor players. And some half decent players have come from elsewhere: surely you wouldn't, for example, dismiss the late Bill Ochs' work out of hand just because he was from New York? Or shun Bro Steve's insights?[/quote]

My bad, I seem to have entirely lost my google-fu. I tried looking him up and didn't find much, but clearly I must have been doing it wrong. I was perhaps overly concerned, as I myself had some terrible luck finding good learning materials when I was starting out, until I found Bro Steve via this site.
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Re: The Mary Bergin Whistle Tutor

Post by papawemba »

papawemba wrote:I received the book so I can reply my own question : Coppers & Brass jig is not in the book.
Book is a little disappointment to me:
- Too much ABCs notation which I don't care about (It sometime takes a full page for a tune).
- The triplet lesson is not what I expected at all (not much information) and also focus on that abc notation.
- Too much tonguing for my style. Sound very academic to me :-/

I didn't read it fully yet, but might sell it in the near future.
Well I decide to change my mind about tonguing...and at the end I really like it lol
And can even say this is my favorite tin whistle method.

I finally have the swing going on for jigs, so happy ! Still sound “robotic” but it’s a beginning.
Book is very academic but usually something missing in other book (I have), so it is a good point.
Mary describe a few "rules" she applies about tonguing (example: she always tongue the first note of triplet...) , tools so we can adapt to other tune. Which is a huge plus !

Finally I have real fun with the tin whistle and it’s only the beginning.
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Re: The Mary Bergin Whistle Tutor

Post by papawemba »

Thanks to this tutor (volume 2), tin whistle is now really fun !
I asked Mary Bergin about volume 3...and it's still in her project and working on it (I guess).
So it's good news ! Had the feeling she let it down.

Nicolas
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Re: The Mary Bergin Whistle Tutor

Post by Mr.Gumby »

[Thread revival. - Mod]

Just in time for christmas :D

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