The most usefull whistle

The most usefull whistle

Hi,
For you, except what we call Low Whistle & of course high D whistle, what whould be The most usefull whistle in session and for solo works
Thanks

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Re: The most usefull whistle

For sessions a C could come in handy, and maybe an A (or an Eb for those sessions tuned up). Bb whistles are handy to have around, but I don’t think I’ve ever needed one at a session. I have only ever brought a high D to sessions.

I don’t know why there aren’t whistles made in E. In our session a few fiddlers like to transpose tunes into E, and it’s not an uncommon key for singers either. (Burke is the only maker I can find, but I’m not spending that kind of money on a whistle I’m not going to play every day.)

Re: The most usefull whistle

A whistle in C is good for the occasional tune in Ddor like Julia Delaney’s. I’d bring that along with a standard D whistle to an Irish session, if that was my main instrument instead of flute and mandolin.

I have a Syn combo D/C whistle, just for occasionally fooling around with at home or in the car (not while driving!). I leave the fipple head on the C whistle barrel, because it has a slightly mellower tone than the D. That may just be my ear preferring lower tones anyway as a flute player.

Re: The most usefull whistle

Quite a few makers make whistles in E, and yes they come in handy!

I’ve used my Low E quite a bit, as you say for playing fiddle tunes in A Major. You just play them in G Major and they come out in A Major.

Off the top of my head makers who offer Low E whistles are Alba, Goldie, Susato, and as you say Burke.

For a High E whistle I would take a Generation Eb and chop it. I’ve come up with a formula for converting Generations to higher keys which I’ve used to make my Generation B and Generation C#.

About the next-most-useful key besides D yes it would probably be C, oftentimes for tunes in D minor.

I have encountered fiddlers and accordion players who take tunes one usually sees in G or A and drops them down to D. For that G and A “mezzo” whistles are handy.

Re: The most usefull whistle

Mary Bergin seems to use more the Bb than the C whistle …

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Re: The most usefull whistle

I use my O’Riordan low E whistle on a regular basis at sessions. Gary Humphrey makes a low E as well -- I’ve not tried that key, but generally like his low whistles.

I virtually never use my C whistles at sessions. If I have four whistles out, they’re probably high D, low D, low E, and A.

Re: The most usefull whistle

Haven’t tried one yet, but one of the local whistlers plays a low-D MK Pro (http://mkwhistles.com/low-d-whistles) and sounds great!

After trying several different makes, I’ve really liked my Killarney high-D and high-C whistles (https://killarneywhistle.com/). They play well and are well priced.

High-C whistles come in handy for yes, Dmin tunes, but also Gmin, and some Amin where the fingering is easier than on the high-D whistles. Some examples of high-C whistle jigs: Jump at the Sun (Dmin), The Cat in the Hopper (Gmin), The Black Cat (Dmin), Crabs in the Skillet (Gmin), The Sailor’s Wife (Dmin), I Shall Ne’er Wean Her (Amin), and Cleveland Park (Amin).

Re: The most usefull whistle

C whistle looks to be the best compromise, do you finaly agrre with that ?

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Re: The most usefull whistle

Nah, D is definitely the most useful. I just happen to like a lot of tunes needing a C whistle ;) and some of those tunes aren’t terribly uncommon session tunes + keys for them.

Re: The most usefull whistle

^forgot that your original question was about the most useful non-D whistle. In this case, yeah, I would say the C-whistle is the next most valuable for sessions!

For solo works, my understanding is that whistlers often have many many different whistle keys to make this easier, so that you can easily grab the best whistle for whatever song/tune + key you want to play it in.

Re: The most usefull whistle

The one I keep in my car.

Re: The most usefull whistle

I also whistle in my car when i’m stopped at the lights. Isn’t an Eb whistle good for songs? Or is that the C?

Re: The most usefull whistle

Heh heh, Michael Eskin’s response - “the one I keep in the car” works for me!

Maybe 30 years ago, Canberra had a motor registry where you had to go each year to have your car checked before being able to register it. It was very thorough, painfully understaffed, and so the queues were legendary. I remember rocking up in my bright yellow Triumph TR3 A sports car on a particularly bad queue day. Fortunately, I had my trusty whistle in the side pocket, so I laid into playing tunes, slowly edging forward as the line progressed. Finally got my chance to go over the pits to have the car’s entrails checked. The chap disappeared down there, occasionally yelling things like “rock the steering back and forth”, “pull on the handbrake”, etc. Sometime later, he reappeared, came round to the front of the car, leaned on the driver’s side bonnet and mentioned “Picked up a first edition copy of ‘O’Neill’s 1001 Gems, the Dance Music of Ireland’ the other day at a very good price”. Floored me!

Re: The most usefull whistle

My car whistle currently is a Burke narrow bore high D composite.

Re: The most usefull whistle

The whistles I usually pull out ranked in order:
1. C
2. Eb
3. Bb
4. Low F

C, Bb, F is popular to accompany songs I find.
The C whistle/flute has become popular around these parts as fiddlers start tuning down for C tunes.

Current car whistle is an Oak. Vancouver BC is notorious for car break ins so I don’t wanna be putting any expensive whistles in there!

Cheers,

Melany

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Re: The most usefull whistle

Terry McGee- In Australia that’s definitely saying something! I was floored when a co worker told me she used to play reels and jigs on fiddle and was wanting to start again on whistle. Maybe ITM is not so obscure in Aus.

Re: The most usefull whistle

The only instrument you *need* for a session is a POD (plain old D). That’s 98% of everything sorted. POD is “most useful” to the point of absurdity.

If you attend ballad sessions - a C is next most useful followed by Eb (or Bb).

Love the mentions of “car whistle” - mine is a Dixon DX204. Photography is my other hobby and the answer to “best camera” is usually - “the one you have with you”. Car Whistle gets lots of play in dead-time waiting. Imagine in OZ you’d get quite a few peculiar looks (Ireland too!).