Tin Whistle needed for tune possibly in C minor or D minor.

Tin Whistle needed for tune possibly in C minor or D minor.

I just need to find out which whistle i can use for a tune im workin on for school. All i need to be fit to do is to play either D or C minor on it. Should i go for a C or D whistle? Or are there other options im missing?

Thanks a million!

Re: Tin Whistle needed for tune possibly in C minor or D minor.

For playing in D minor, a C whistle is probably your best option. They are readily and cheaply available (e.g. Generation, Susato), only slightly larger than a D whistle and give you all the notes you need without the need for half-holes. For C minor, a Bb whistle would be the one to go for.

That said, it can depend somewhat on the range of the tune you are working on. For example, if the tune (in D minor) spends a lot of time below bottom C, it might fit better on F whistle - which is either very small and shrill or large and low. Similarly, for C minor, you could use an Eb whistle. Traditional whistle players are usually quite happy to ‘fold’ the tune (i.e. replace notes below the range of the whistle with the notes an octave higher), but there is skill to doing this well and even then, it may not bring out the best in every tune.

Re: Tin Whistle needed for tune possibly in C minor or D minor.

"… are there other options im missing?"

Among mass-produced whistles, the options tend to be limited, many brands being available only in D, or just C and D. But Generation whistles (one of the cheapest, and still preferred by some) come in Bb, C, D, Eb, F (high) and G (high).

Some of the mid-price brands make whistles for playing in ‘fiddle keys’ like A and E. A high-end whistle maker would make a whistle to order in an pitch you ask for.

Re: Tin Whistle needed for tune possibly in C minor or D minor.

A cheap Yamaha recorder for like 10 bucks will do the job. It’s a chromatic instrument and the sound is a little different.
Just saying.

Re: Tin Whistle needed for tune possibly in C minor or D minor.

@SaiPavel: A recorder might, it is true, lessen the need for having different instruments for each key. But it is not a whistle, which is what the OP asked about. Besides, a descant recorder does not eliminate the need for ‘folding’ notes below bottom C - or playing the entire tune an octave up.

Re: Tin Whistle needed for tune possibly in C minor or D minor.

@CreadurMawnOrganig: On the other hand, a recorder (as suggested by SaiPavel) is another option, as requested by the OP, so it was a fair suggestion. 🙂

My usual approach to selecting a whistle for a tune is to try and pick one which minimises the amount of half-holing and ‘folding’ needed, though sometimes it has to be a compromise between the two. As the whistle is very much a secondary instrument for me, I’d probably switch back to the fiddle (or perhaps the recorder) for a tune that I couldn’t get to fit nicely on whistles I had to hand.

In general, though, I’d go with your suggestions of a C (or possibly F) whistle to play in D minor (though strictly D minor proper has Bb in the scale so would still need a bit of half-holing on a C whistle) or Bb / Eb whistles to play in C minor.

Re: Tin Whistle needed for tune possibly in C minor or D minor.

For me the easiest fingering of a minor tune (if it’s truly minor, that is, has a flat 3rd and 6th and 7th) is using the 2nd note of a whistle.

So for C minor I’d use a B whistle, for D minor a C whistle.

All things being equal I don’t really like using the 6th note of a whistle for the tonic of minor tunes, if the 2nd note works with the range of the tune.

But tunes we call "minor" often really aren’t, rather, they’re Dorian, with a flat 3rd and 7th but a sharp (or missing) 6th. For those I like using the 5th note of a whistle.

So for C Dorian, a mezzo F whistle, for D Dorian, a mezzo G whistle.

Re: Tin Whistle needed for tune possibly in C minor or D minor.

@Richard D Cook I assume you meant a Bb whistle for playing in C minor?!

Re: Tin Whistle needed for tune possibly in C minor or D minor.

Yes Bb, sorry.

I have a B whistle and I have had to use it to play in C# minor (Db minor).

Re: Tin Whistle needed for tune possibly in C minor or D minor.

I don’t think I’ve ever had to play in C# minor. Just as well, as I don’t have a B whistle.