Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Hello I was wondering if it is okay to copy the playing style of a famous player like Mary Bergin or if I should be looking into finding my own style after playing for six months. Also sorry if I’m not allowed to have two active threads I’m still relatively new here.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

If you can play like MB, you will have everyone’s respect, I can tell you. I used to be acquainted with a fabulous whistle player who had studied with MB, although I only knew MB by reputation. When I finally got a chance to hear Mary, I realized my friend had learned from the best, and to the degree that they sounded alike, my friend only profited by the comparison.

On the other hand, be careful that you don’t try to run before you can even crawl. Concentrate on learning the music and become flexible enough to play like Mary Bergin because you’re actually that good, not because you made a study of copying her.

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Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

So, should I focus my efforts on finding my style?

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

No, at six months you’re very very early into this music. Just keep learning tunes and do a lot of listening to other players you enjoy. You’ll grow into your own style in 5 or 10 years.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Your individual style should come about on its own, Kellie. At 6 months I’d say just concentrate on the rhythm, lift, and proper playing mechanics. While I wouldn’t advocate anyone trying to sound like a carbon copy of someone else, I would recommend trying to mimic the playing of a good player at first when you learn tunes. You aren’t going to sound like Mary Bergin after playing for a short time, but you will learn a lot from discovering how a good player does this and that, and get a better understanding of the music from trying to do things as they do.

At 6 months in you are still learning how to play in general. Your own style should come about on its own, as the result of your own touch, as well as all of your influences, provided you don’t spend 10 years trying to sound exactly like one person. For now though, try to play the tunes just as you are learning them from a skilled player and work on finding out how they are getting the sound they have.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Wouldn’t hurt to listen a lot to Mary Bergin from the start, get acquainted with her style and ornamentation. If you can internalize her music you will be able to play like her when you’re ready for it.

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Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

As you listen to the music and learn the techniques involved you will develop your own taste. By the time you can play a tune like Mary Bergin you will probably choose not to as you will develop your own sense of what you like and don’t like. You’ll hear a version of a tune or some ornamentation that’s different from how she plays it.

Also many more advanced players may play the tune differently each time or try new things, new ornaments etc so learning to play from how she played it on a recording may not be useful. She may not even play it like that anymore.
I was told to listen twice as much as i played when i started and that’s good advice although I didn’t really want to do that as I wanted to get stuck in to the whistle.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Can you do cuts, pats and rolls? Can you play in time at tempo along with another player, recorded or otherwise? Can you play a tune all the way through without stopping to take breaths or losing time because of them?

If not, those are the things that are important. I said this in another thread recently, but "style" is a bit of a trap, especially to the beginner player. Oft times they will confuse lack of technical ability for style. A good player choses what they do to establish a personal style, and a novice settles for what they can do.

I encourage you to do a great deal of listening to Mary Bergin, if that’s who you want to sound like, but if you can’t do all of the stuff I listed early with confidence than I caution against trying to emulate her.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Hi Kellie, and welcome to the wonderful obsession that is whistle playing!

I’d go along with the idea that at six months in you should probably be focusing more on getting to grips with a) the mechanics of the whistle itself and b) getting acquainted with the music itself. To simplify things, a + b + enough time = your style!

In terms of getting to grips with the instrument, I’d say the absolute best thing is to get personal tuition from a good whistle player with a strong background in the tradition. If you don’t have such a person nearby then you can probably find someone who will tutor over Skype. The whistle is a simple little instrument but it takes time to really get to grips with it and all of the ornaments and articulations that you’ll be using to play Irish music - there’s no way I was up to scratch at all after only six months (many might argue I’m still not up to scratch after 9 or 10 years 😀 )

In terms of getting a feel for the music itself, this only comes with listening to as much of it as you can. Listen to as many good whistle players as you can. I gave a bunch of recommended listening to another budding whistler not too long ago:
https://thesession.org/discussions/39247#comment793267
This is definitely based on my personal tastes, so YMMV, but I think they’re pretty decent recommendations. There’s no shortcut here. Listen, listen and listen some more. Listen to whistle players, listen to flute players and uilleann pipers as they tend to play tunes that also suit whistle, and listen to fiddlers and box players and whatever else you can find too. Let it all sink in. I think once you’ve absorbed enough you’ll probably gravitate towards a particular ‘style’ of playing, and even that may change over time.

Best of luck on this adventure. If you’re not careful you might find it becomes a gateway to other terrible afflictions like flute playing or (gasp!)… uilleann piping!

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If you like Mary Bergin’s style then why not learn from her. Her tutor’s are not cheap but I’ve tried many tutors and not found any to compare with them. Not only do they teach you all aspects of ITM but she even includes advice of where to tongue notes and where not to. I’ve been through Books 1 & 2 (still working through the latter) but eagerly awaiting the final Book 3. Buying a book also entitles you to membership of her on-line club which she will get sorted out once Book 3 is finished … hopefully fairly soon and that will have loads of additional free tutorials. The books are, as I say, not cheap, not each one is really only the price of two or three lessons and you get much much more for your money. Check them out at http://maryberginwhistle.com/

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

This is traditional music. Learn the tradition first.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Trust me the only music I’ve listened to for the past 6 months is Irish Traditional Music. I can do cuts strikes rolls, and triplets. The only thing I would say I urgently have to work on is breathing techniques. Don’t get me wrong I’m still a beginner who has a lot to learn, I just put a large amount of time into learning those ornaments.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

I would argue that the rhythm, phrasing, and breathing are much more important than the ornaments themselves, and I’d put those things at a much higher priority. A lot of new players will be pretty hung up on throwing in ornaments here and there, but they rush through the tune, play sloppily, breath in awkward places, have poor timing, and there is no pulse or proper phrasing. This applies to the vast majority of whistle videos you will find on Youtube, etc..

This is why I recommend trying to mimic a good player when you are still new and learning a new tune, because you avoid the aforementioned issues if you learn to do these things right from the start. If you learn something from notes, or just pull the general structure of the tune from another player and try to do your own thing before you actually know how to play, you might end up missing out on these critical points early on.

And, as mentioned above, listen to more than just whistle players. A lot of insight can be gained from good players of any instrument, particularly flute.

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Maybe a recording of your playing would be helpful to determine? http://vocaroo.com/ is a pretty great site for that purpose, assuming you have a microphone available.

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I don’t think anything that has been said here requires a recording.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

My train of thought is that the question was posed "should I try to copy this player?" To which the answer was given "do you know enough about playing whistle to do so?" The response was "I know how to execute all of the elements of whistle playing."

So given all that, it’s a pretty simple solution to just play a tune a couple times through and it will be apparent. Recordings hide nothing.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

http://vocaroo.com/i/s0lM5uczKOLO this is me playing a reel known as Green Mountain I still do lose the rhythm slightly but I think I’m at least mediocre at playing.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Sorry if the quality is awful but I had to use my laptops camera to record the audio.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Kellie, you’re obviously experienced with music. What have you done before discovering whistle?

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Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Well I’m in a show choir, regular choir, a barbershop quartet and an acapella group. Do you think the recording is good?

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

The rhythm is everything. If you lose the beat then you can’t dance to the music, and that was the whole point originally. You can accomplish the cuts and rolls for the most part but they are sloppy. Good for 6 months of effort, but sloppy. Slow all of it down and be deliberate. Before you can hope to emulate another players style you have to be able to play with the correct rhythm and be able to articulate properly.

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I’ll try to do a better take to be honest I kept messing up and started to get annoyed so I went with the first take that sounded decent.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

The recording is not what I typically hear from someone who has played an instrument for only a few months. Yes, your playing is remarkable for someone who has only recently come to the whistle.

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Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Thank you so much AB!!!! Your kind words mean so much!

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

I stand by my previous comment. I would add that you need to work out a pattern of where to take your breaths, you can’t just stop the tune to breath and pick up right where you left off.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

And yes that is loads better in other categories, however it still needs a good bit of work.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Take your time. Listen to the recordings yourself. Your progress comes down to you, Kellie.

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Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

I think it’s typical, once the basics are more or less under control, for a new player to latch onto a Hero and do their best to mimic them. It’s what I did, for sure.

Then at some point you’ll find a new Hero, and begin learning their tunes and style

This might go on for years, and might involve a number of Heroes in sequence.

I was at that point for years. My playing sounded exactly like what it was: a pastiche. I’d sound like a poor-man’s Matt Molloy on tunes I learned from one of his albums, a poor-man’s Paddy Carty on his tunes, and so forth.

Eventually you will get past that immature point of aping your Heroes and a personal style will emerge, one that blends all of your various influences with your own instincts of what sounds right.

I’ve been playing nearly 40 years and I think I’m finally at that point. I know that when I learn a tune I move things around until it suits how I want to play. I don’t worry about how somebody else plays it- I know what sounds right to me.

About the tonguing thing, that mystified me for many years. Eventually, without consciously thinking about it, I began tonguing when it felt right. Is it right? I don’t know.

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Learning WHEN to take a breath takes time and doing a lot of listening and playing.

One of the easiest ways for those who can’t figure it out is to take a breath in middle of a long roll.

A long roll is three 8th notes of the same pitch. Remove the middle note, and cut the first note short. You just touch on that first note, then come in on the 3rd note.

So GGG becomes G ’ G. The ’ stands for taking a breath. If I could do a staccato mark on my keyboard I’d put it over that first G.

Tunes with loads of rolls give you plenty of breathing opportunities.

Before anyone jumps down my throat I’m not saying that this is the only way, or the best way. I’m just saying it’s an easy-to-understand-and-do way for newbies.

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http://vocaroo.com/i/s12C5wxBxPj9 this is my best recording yet I do mess it up a bit but I keep a pretty consistent rhythm I worked with my breathing a bit and I think it’s pretty good but then again I’m not a professional.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Give it some time and just listen. It takes longer than a day for it to click.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

I thought it sounded great kellie. Ok the lads above have made some important points but your doing well.
I will however repeat my standard advice; strip out all the ornaments and just play the tune . Do that and slow down and lean into the rhythm . By that I mean stress the first note of each bar so that these first notes themselves form a rhythm and pulse , really lean into those notes , like if you were singing or lilting the tune they would be longer and more pronounced .
There is a great desire to achieve your aim , we all dealt/ deal with that , so I think it’s important to be really clear about that aim and what you need to do and accomplish it. What exactly do you wish to achieve? You don’t need to tell us, but figure it out.
AFAIC the ornaments are the icing on the cake, some people like a simple plain cake with little icing , and some slather it on with a shovel 🙂 but what’s important is that the cake itself is good , because all the icing and baubles won’t make up for a lack in the cake departement.
So get your basics solid , play your tunes with excitement, verve , lift , energy rhythm nyah and swing so that you put the notes under the dancers feet. It has to be solid as a rock.every note absolutely and clearly in exactly the right place. Not an iota of lag or drift.
Then , and IMO only then do you have something where ornaments become appropriate. Until that point they are merely a distraction.


As written in Elements of Style,
“The beginner should approach style warily, realizing that it is an expression of self, and should turn resolutely away from all devices that are popularly believed to indicate style—all mannerisms, tricks, adornments. The approach to style is by way of plainness, simplicity, orderliness, "

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

As you are a singer what happens if you try singing or lilting the tune? I suspect that, as is happening in your last recording, the phrases between breaths will get shorter and you will start to find more places to fit them in that sound good.

If I decide to base my playing of a tune, to start with at least, on a recording I that like I usually find a transcription that is a reasonable match and note on it where the player takes breaths each time round the tune, then try that myself.

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So I should play the first note of each set of four notes a little longer than the other three notes in that set of four notes?

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Miko russel was a slow tin whistle player from Clare based on tradition he plays from the heart and won the all Ireland senior tin whistle competition he was not like the whizz kids of to day playing 100 mile an hour the legs hopping of the ground you cant beat an Irish tin whistle player traditional OF COURSE

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Go home Michael you’re drunk.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Kellie the first note of the bar, so in a reel that would be the first of 8, a jig the first of 6 ( or 9 or 12) and if you want like you say in a reel the 5 th But not as much as the first . At the beginning do it slowly and exaggerate it a bit. Then as you get used to it and speed up then you will settle down to a less exaggerated swing.
With all the tunes I suggest lilting them in this fashion , get the nyah in there from the beginning.
A reel has 4 beats strong weak medium weak. So stressing the 1 St strongly and the 3 rd medium will get it swinging. And these are the most important notes to be bang on rhythmically. There can be quite a bit of leeway with phraseing and style in how you position the other notes as long as 1 and 5 are bang on, especially when playing solo you have to mark time clearly. With other players marking time there can be leeway for more expressive phraseing but it’s a good habbit to get into to be rock solid for the dancers .
It’s quite acceptable ( and I’d recommend it at first ) to have every note bang on time rhythmically as though you were a drummer. A very influential book I had was called ’ rhythmic fingerwork’ it’s quite a deep concept actually .
Tap your fingers in time to a steady beat . I’ve got to say your doing remarkably well for just a few months at it but be patient : Rome wasn’t built in a day.

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Is this the same with jigs or do jigs require different notes to be exaggerated to give the tune the lift? also thank you

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Jigs come in 3 flavours, 6/8 9/8 and 12/8 which could be profitably thought of as 2/4 3/4 and 4/4 respectively. Each beat being three notes.
So a 6/8 jig, the majority I think, you need to stress the first strong beat and not the 2 nd weak beat. A slip jig in 9/8 stress the first of the 3 beats ( 9 notes ) strong weak weak, and a 12/8 jig stress the first strong (and third medium beat maybe)
It’s the 1 that’s requires the stress and it can be done in various fashions: IE lengthen the note a bit, or play it louder or accentuate with an ornament or cut etc.
6/8 and 12/8 jigs get mixed up because if the 1 and 3 are evenly stressed of a 12/8 it can seem as though it’s 6/8. So it’s the 1 that is essential to stress.
Same with polkas stress the 1 , and I must point out that if your playing with other people then they might do the stressing such as a bodhran or guitar or anyone for that matter and leave other players free to be more extemporous and rhythmically free. They create the solid frame of rhythm .but again a soloist needs to do that themselves, ( or sound atrocious)
I can’t count the number of players who, because they basically only play in sessions, simply play unrhythmically, in a session they can sound great but alone…… Ouch.
I think it’s good to start out with solid dependable rhythm and eventually be able to relax and add flavour and character by playing over the rhythm, the other way round can and does work in certain situations agreed but it’s not ideal ……

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

"Is this the same with jigs or do jigs require different notes to be exaggerated to give the tune the lift?"

A jig rhythm is made up of two groups of three, so the main accents are on the first of each group of three - i.e. notes 1 and 4. But this is not so much what gives the tune *lift* as what gives it its basic rhythm. Lift is an altogether more subtle thing.

Your recording is impressive for a mere 6 months of learning - you do indeed have your rolls, cuts and taps down pretty well. But, based upon that recording, my main piece of advice would be to SLOW DOWN - and concentrate on keeping a steady tempo (You have a tendency to speed up - and you were playing fast in the first place!).

You cannot go far wrong with Mary Bergin as your role model. I would, however, suggest listening to a range of different whistle players - young, old and deceased. I would wholeheartedly second Michael Moriarty’s recommendation of Micho Russell - whilst his style may not excite you in the way that Mary B’s does, it is a fine example of how simple the music can be, yet still have all its essential components. Also check out Josie McDermott, Jim Donohue, Sean Potts, Bríd O’Donohue, Sean Ryan (Galway), Brian Finnegan, Cormac Breathnach, Gavin Whelan, to name a few. Bear in mind also that many pipers are/were also fine whistle players on the quiet (Willie Clancy, Mick O’Brien, Paddy Moloney…).

Keep playing and keep posting your progress.

Re: Jig Rhythm
I refer, of course, to double (6/8) jigs - the most common kind. Refer to Will Evans’s post above for other types of jig. - Ed.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

+1 on the Bríd O’Donoghue recommendation - I somehow overlooked her when putting together my recommended listening list! There’s a woman who really knows how to put life and soul into a jig.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments of Michael Moriarty and CreadurMawnOrganig regarding Micho Russell. He is proof that playing with soul can make playing simply a beautiful thing. And developing a soul to one’s playing, IMO, is just as important as mastering all the twiddly bits on the whistle. Listening to Russell has actually helped me appreciate that much more and work on that aspect a lot. And it provides a kind of comfort for me in my development. You see, I am good with most ornamentations but pretty subpar with rolls — particularly on A — mostly due to some stiffness in my some of my fingers from a touch of arthritis. Listening to Russell has helped me learn other ways of putting life into a tune and I don’ t necessarily have to roll so much. And I don’t feel as if I can’t play a decent whistle just because I can’t fill my playing with all those beautiful-sounding warbles produced by rolls. By the way, Kellie, thanks for posting samples of your work. I think you sound wonderful for having only played for such a short time. Keep at it and remember, you will be learning the whistle for the rest of your life — that’s what makes it so fulfilling and enjoyable.

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Here’s some whistlers that inspire me :
Willie Clancey
Seamus Ennis
Michael Dwyer
, Donncha O Briain

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I only wish I could find more recordings of Donncha’s work. Love the stuff and hate it that he left this world way too young.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

So I can exaggerate a note by putting an ornament or by just playing the note longer?

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Playing the note longer, or perhaps with a staccato or smear, or usimg some vibrato, etc. Depends on the note and the tune and how you feel. Play around with it — have fun. That is the beauty of ITM as opposed to, say, classical music — there is no one true way to play any of these tunes. But to Will’s point, I believe I have been able to get better faster practicing and playing more slowly. It helps develop my muscle memory with the tune and figuring out where to breathe. And while playing a tune slowly, I find I learn more about the feel of the piece to me and even where ornaments, articulations, etc. can find a home inside that tune. And for the record I am faaaaaaaaarrrrrr from an authority on any of this. I am just like you in having the great good fortune of learning a lot from all these great folks who have a lot of experience and good advice to offer.

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I know right everyone is so nice here. 🙂

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

http://vocaroo.com/i/s1NPp6An3Ksd this is my progress on rhythm so far it is me playing the reel green mountain
feedback and advice is always appreciated🙂

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Kellie, if you’re trying to get a better handle on rhythm try this: As you play the tune you recorded, think BUMP, ba-dump-dump/BUMP, ba-dump-dump for each bar of music. If the music matches that rhythm, you will immediately notice how much more it sounds like a reel, even when played slowly.

After BUMP, there should be a slight pause. Your foot should come down on BUMP and on the first dump. That means your foot will only come down two times per measure.

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Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

You’re off to a flying start, Kellie! If you haven’t been using this resource, well, click here: http://www.rogermillington.com/siamsa/brosteve/
Excellent stuff, including the ‘Further study’ section.

Breathing is at the root of good phrasing and rhythm, so spend lots of time on that. Learning to breathe by dropping notes on the weak or off-beats takes quite a bit of time (it can feel very counter-intuitive at first), but it’ll transform the feel of the tunes.

For practicing ornamentation, break out the metronome. Set it at 60, then hold a note. Click—note—click—cut—click—note—click—cut, etc. (In other words, hold the note and do a cut on every other beat.) Then do that with taps. Then do very slow rolls: Click—note—click—cut—click—tap—click—note, etc. Bit by bit, work up your speed. The eventual outcome is the ability to play cuts, taps, and rolls in rhythm at any tempo.

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Kelly, I think you’d get much more benefit spending some time with a real whistle teacher either in person or via Skype than getting text-based advice here…

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I know I just don’t have the time in my schedule for lessons right now but I was looking into getting lessons from Brian McCoy maybe at a later date. I realize that this is not the best way to learn but it’s the only option I have at the moment.

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Kellie, I just listened to your "Green Mountain" recording - You sure you’ve only been playing 6 months? 🙂 Really nice playing, quite remarkable. Sorry everyone else I just skipped through most of the other posts. Mine here is to congratulate you and encourage you. You are definitely going in the right direction. Keep doing whatever you’re doing. You may have mentioned this and I didn’t pick it up, soz, but do you play another instrument?

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No, I’ve never played another instrument but I am in choir and I started at the beginning of February but after I couldn’t get a hold on it for a month I picked it back up again so probably closer to 7 months now but not much longer than that.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

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Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

So sing your tunes first. Check out some lifters and some East Clare fiddle players for inspiration. It’s really the best way forward IMO and try to learn tunes by ear as well.
Learning to sight sing was a revelation to me but I’d been singing ballads for decades by ear, rewind rewind and try to figure out what was being said!
There are plenty of brilliant Irish songs to catch and it’s again, best done by ear alone and these classic melodies make great whistle tunes too. I often start a set with a song air then into jigs.
I’d also suggest spending time on slip jigs and jigs, reels are great right enough but jigs just have more of a unique flavour and slips especially.

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If you have time to make recordings and post them here on The Session, you have time to get a Skype lesson! You might get some real benefit having someone work with you in realtime. Trying to explain whistle style and technique using text is like teaching fish to dance. 🙂

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Now I know it seems like I’m just making up excuses but on top of time there’s also money that goes into it Money that I don’t have at the moment because I’m starting step dancing classes this month.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

I’m probably going to not pay for the step dancing and instead go for the lessons with Brian McCoy over skype.

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http://vocaroo.com/i/s1oGze74f2ph I know my reel rhythm is off but what about my jig rhythm I do know my breathing is off with jigs. This is a recording of me playing a jig called Up Leitrim

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Tell me how much money you need for the first lesson w/Brian McCoy. It would be worth it to get you started on a more sustainable method than continuing what you’re after in this line of discussion.

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Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

I don’t know yet still waiting on an estimate from him.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

You’re a cheeky one, aren’t you?

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Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Hmm? What does that mean I’m sorry it was not my intention to come across as "cheeky" I just emailed him an hour ago I don’t know when I’ll hear back from him.

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Great to hear you’re actively seeking an instructor! I think you’ll both enjoy and benefit quickly from the time!

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Yeah I met him at the Dublin Irish festival in Ohio, he is a fantastic Whistler by the way.

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Hi Kellie - just adding my tuppence worth. I have been playing tin whistle for nearly 50 years and I’m still learning. I’ve never had a tin whistle lesson and when people ask how I learn tunes I often tell them I probably copy whoever it is I have learned the tune from…..but when you think about it that’s how we must all learn - no? Unless you read I suppose but most people who learn by ear will be copying what they are hearing I reckon.

As regards developing your own style well I wouldn’t worry too much because it’ll happen eventually without you realising anyway. People have told me they recognise when I play but I have never consciously tried to develop a style so it must happen naturally. Just concentrate on all those lovely tunes. Get out to as many sessions as possible and soak all the music up. Keep listening to Mary Bergin - she’s my champion too. My more recent champion is Kathleen Conneely - beautiful simple player. Her CD The Coming of Spring is constantly on in my house these days. Different style to Mary.

A big hello to Dr Moriarity while I’m here. He talks sense - keep things nice and slow and simple so you can hear those lovely melodies.

Apologies if this is has all been said over and over but I haven’t managed to read all the posts. Patxx

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Kellie - first of all, I’m VERY impressed by your progress after some mere six months on a (first!) instrument. Well done. I basically agree with everybody else above regarding speed. Not that you play fast as in "too fast for the tune to sound like music", but just a little bit too fast for your current level. I just listened to your jig sample, which also was good - but you took short breaks after every second bar (so bar 1 and 2 was a chunk, then a short rhythmical hiccup, then next chunk of bars 3 and 4 and so on). Maybe you were out of breath? Plan your breathing/slow down/minimize your ornamentation/use a metronome/tap your feet/(or change the melody slightly so you can play it comfortably at a steady pace)… There are many ways to practice a tune, and many ways to get out of problems when you get stuck, but personally I don’t take breaks or change the tempo (during the tune, that is).

Good luck!

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

Update: Brian McCoy just got back to me.

Re: Inspiration with tin whistle playing style

I fully agree with Professor Moriarty’s comment about the superb playing of the late Micho Russell. He was a pure traditional tin whistle player, some of whose tunes the Rasher plays on the banjo, including The Boy in the Gap and Sean Sa Ceo.

He won the All Ireland senior tin whistle competition and appeared many times on RTE TV like Professor Moriarty himself. Mary Bergin is the best living tin whistle player in the world in the Rasher’s opinion.

It is such a shame Micho died in a road accident while being driven by two of his American fans.

Rasher O’Houlighan