What Instrument Should I Learn ?

What Instrument Should I Learn ?

Hi I’m fourteen years old and do not play any instrument though I would love to learn something . Me and my brothers go home to mayo every year along with my parents . I Love
fast upbeat instruments and was thinking of learning the pipes . Any advice on what to learn will be greatly appreciated .

Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

Whatever you end up playing, definitely buy a tin whistle first off. You can throw it out if you don’t like it, and it’s a manageable place to start.

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Thanks , Theres a few in my house anyway so ill have a go on it to practice , Thanks Alot πŸ™‚ .

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yeah i would say the whistle is a good place to start, haha you sound exactly like me. I picked up the tin whistle last year when i was fourteen too!

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Whistle is also great at limbering you up for the future ~ which might be pipes, or fiddle, or anything else. And, it will help raise your understanding and appreciation for music as a whole. A lot of pipers and fiddlers carry whistles in their cases, and many started out on the whistle… Be sure to also try to get out to some workshops or find someone whose playing you like to get some pointers and lessons from. Avoiding bad habits early is wise. Best of luck…

If you search the discussions here you’ll find a lot of useful advice and recommendations - book-recording tutors, DVDs, recordings, muting your whistle, etc…

Plus, give lilting a go too, something that will help you learn and retain tunes that you can letter carry over to you instrument(s) of choice…

‘letter’ should have read ‘later’ ~ further about lilting, if you can sing a melody then it is usually much easier to then play it, after getting the basics down…

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Thanks everyone and I would also love to learn Low whistle , Are the basics the same as the Tin Whistle ?
Will be hard to get someone to help me though as my father left mayo 40 years ago , Miss Ireland , Living in Liverpool .

Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

The tin whistle and low whistle are the same instrument, just an octave apart. Some differences in how you grip it, and in the amount of air you blow through it, but that is it. And flute is also closely related to tin whistle, like the low whistle it is an octave lower, and it is trickier to blow into, but very similar. There are lots of things on the internet and youtube that can help you learn, and I’m sure that there are people in Liverpool who could show you some stuff.
Good luck and enjoy!

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Massive thanks , Will go the irish club and ask for advice in there , Always had a passion for the sound of the low whistle and will have to learn one now , πŸ™‚ Will I need a Expensive low whistle as my first one , Wont buy one for atleast a year anyway though , Just Wondering πŸ™‚ ?

Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

Low whistle is something to play on the side, not as a main
instrument. Also it sounds like mush if you play it too fast.

Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

"Will I need a Expensive low whistle as my first one"

I wouldn’t say so. Plus, you can find some pretty good deals on places like eBay for things like that. You just have to be careful that you know exactly what you’re getting. But, as said before, starting on the tin whistle would be ideal. I wouldn’t even be thinking about low whistles yet, mainly because it will probably drive you to get one much sooner than anticipated. πŸ™‚

I was 12 when I start with ITM (only 14 now though). I started on the recorder, then went on to the flute/whistle and fiddle. But I also had a background of classical piano, viola, and violin. So I got somewhat an edge. The instrument that I want to learn are the pipes. I tried them a couple weeks ago, and I will definitely say that if you want to play the pipes, above all, learn the tin whistle first! I would say spend at least a good year or two on the tin whistle before you try to tackle the pipes.

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Thanks to everyone , Better get practising on the tin whistle then πŸ™‚ Propably master the tin whistle for 2 years then buy pipes or low whistle πŸ™‚

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Tin whistle is the way to go - might take more than 2 years to "master" it, though. Take your time, you’ve plenty of it. Best of luck.
And a personal suggestion / recommendation - don’t waste your time with a low whistle, go for a flute or pipes.

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Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

yeah, flute or pipes - real instruments for real men (and women…)…

Seriously, you can just do so much more with flutes or pipes than you can with a low whistle. And you can always own a low whistle as well for the few things that it does well.

Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

"Low whistle sounds like mush if you play it too fast"

Anything sounds like mush if you play it too fast. That’s the definition of too fast. i.e. if it don’t sound like mush, it’s not too fast. The actual speed has nothing to do with it.

But as to what I think you meant to say. that you can play a little whistle faster than a low whistle without it sounding like mush, rubbish. They are exactly the same instrument. It’s just that one’s a little harder to be accurate with, that’s all.

However, Kenny’s right. Get a flute or pipes. Cut out the middle man.

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Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

I’d suggest starting out with whistle, having a low whistle as a bit on the side but if I were you I’d go for fiddle. With whistles you occasionally need different whistles for different keys, whereas with fiddle, its pretty simple and you can play in any key. <3

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@mandolinist Yeah, you have a good point, but I personally prefer playing the flute more than the fiddle, although the fiddle is still fun. It seems like the flute is easier, more relaxing and such for me than the fiddle. But I know someone will say something against that πŸ™‚ Oh, back to the original topic, coming on to this board and asking what instrument to play, and expecting only 1 or 2 answers is like asking a dog to meow. Possible, but unlikely.

Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

The whistle is a great way to start. I would also recommend you try to learn reading music as you start. People who start reading after learning to play get frustrated because they can’t read as fast as they can play. Learning to read as you learn to play is the best way.

Another important skill is to be able to play stuff you hear. So as well as getting tunes off paper try playing tunes you already have in your head.

If you have any other instruments at hand there would be no harm in giving them a try too. The main disadvantage of a tin whistle centres around trying to accompany yourself singing with one.

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Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

The reason i came on here was to get lots of replies to hear the upsides and downsides of all the instruments therefore i know whats best for me and i’ll try learning to read the music , Thanks for all the advice BFR.

Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

πŸ™‚

Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

And don’t forget to try a Vulcan arse flute when you are in your music shop. It might just be the one for you.

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"Another important skill is to be able to play stuff you hear."

Way much more than important, it’s vital. It’s the prerequisite.
And hand in hand with that is teaching yourself to actually hear properly. To hear actual sounds, not hearing just what you want to hear, or hearing just what your uneducated ear can hear.

Learning to read music is as important or unimportant as you want it to be, many a great player has thrived without it, but you’ll never be able to play if you can’t hear

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Re: What Instrument should I learn ?

Thanks Michael , My one problem is trying to hear particular instruments in music such as the tin whistle because most of the bands I listen too e.g. Planxty and the Bothy Band seem to dominate all songs with Mandolin , Pipes and Flute . Hard to hear the tin whistle . Any advice on how to pick up that skill ? πŸ™‚ ;D

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Get the Mary Bergin albums, Ruairi.

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Thanks will check her out πŸ™‚

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Fantastic player , Will help alot considering its just a whistle . πŸ™‚

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*check out, CHECK out
…hurry up, edit facility!

Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

Sorry was practicing a basic tune explained on internet will have a look now . πŸ™‚

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And I think also, that the tin whistle is an instrument every should have a crack at, no matter what instrument you may consider your main thing or your main thing of the future.

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Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

Brian Finnegan is one who doesn’t sound like mush on the
low whistle. He gets around the problem of the large
holes by using tonguing instead of finger articulation. Having
a fresh look at one of his youtubes this morning I also see he
doesn’t use piper’s grip - must have Michael Jordan paws.

Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

Brian Finnegan doesn’t use tonguing instead of finger articulation because of any other reason than that’s the way he plays - he plays small whistles the same. Anyway, he plays rolls too.

I’m not keen on that much tonguing in Irish music, I think it has less ebb.

However, I’ve been really enjoying it with the baldy band Kan. It goes really really well with Aidan’s splendid fiddle playing.

http://soundcloud.com/kan-3


Buy the CD. It’s great.

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Indeed. Great drumming on that Kan cd. Have you thought about playing percussion Ruari?

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Yes, really great drumming. (couldn’t bring it to a session though eh?)

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Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

There’s some good flute playing on Stockton’s Wing’s self titled album. There’s at least one tune where you can hear flute either by itself or just with a drum. I hear that theme a lot on CD’s, where the flute or whistle goes it alone for a tune or two. Deanta’s Ready for the Storm has a good flute solo of Baltimore Salute (It’s listed as Landsdowne Lass… and I’m not entirely sure the track number is correct, but it follows Larmor Plage. There’s a best of Irish Flute album, maybe there’s a best of the tin whistle?

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I have considered playing Percussion but i would love to play something more traditional

Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

Learn the high whistle and if you still love the music in a couple years take up the pipes or flute.
(Do a great deal of research before starting/buying pipes or flutes.)
You can learn a great deal about all three instruments at Chiff and Fipple fourm.
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/

I haven’t seen this link, and it might interest a new whistler;
http://www.rogermillington.com/tunetoc/index.html
Some great music and comment there.

Here’s a list of whistle recordings, from the C&F forums;
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=72798

Good luck.

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Re: What Instrument Should I Learn ?

Thanks Mate , Will carry on with the Old whistle then πŸ™‚
Then in a good few years might buy something else πŸ™‚