Recommendations for ‘substantial’ reels - 3 parters+ or just unique that work well on the whistle?

Recommendations for ‘substantial’ reels - 3 parters+ or just unique that work well on the whistle?

Wow I rambled on quite a bit like usual, so just answer the title question if you do not care for my meanderings.

For some reason I like very few reels of the common session ones I look up.

I can easily find jigs I really like in maybe 5 - 10 minutes, even of the popular ones, but going through the various lists of tunes on this site I have spent weeks just trying to get a collection of reels I like. So many of them seem to blend into one another the majority seem very monotonous to me in all truth.

I am not like this about ALL reels mind you, there are plenty I have loved in the past, but they were not common ones in general vs jigs, as I say, which I find it easier to find distinctive and enjoyable ones of the popular stock.

Even while not being carried away with the reels I have picked them randomly and just learned ones which are common just for the sake of learning and I find I don’t want to practice them again after I learn the actual notes.

I can however say that generally the reels I like are 3 part ones or more. Not just the number of parts of course, but it seems that most 2 parters can be of the ‘little ditty’ variety as someone once called them whereas more often when a player has gone to the trouble to make to make 3 parter or more then they more often have given the tune a more proper treatment.

I am generalizing but that has been my general experience is that the ones I find unique of the ones I have known and wanna keep coming back to are the longer type of reels. But sure some 2 parters are great too so I don’t wanna say ‘3 parters+ or nowt!’.

The other day I learned ‘Morning thrush’ by Seamus Ennis’ father which I am still happy with however that is the only reel that springs to mind in the last month that I feel I still want to play and I was picking up a couple a week.

I have been watching a lot of the new tune a day (I find you end up back on them often times when looking up tune names and then find the corresponding video on youtube) and it is so rare that a reel jumps out at me.

There are lots of tunes I really like from o’neils but it is a question of learning ones which will be popular and I am not that into vs ones that are rare and are really interesting to me. It is hard to find the former + that really call out to me.

Oh yes, another issue is when I do find ones I like popular or not whether they will be suitable for whistle or not. Surely all tunes could be adapted and that can be part of the fun and if I do away with trying to conform to popular tunes then I am not then constrained by having to have the tune played a certain way (key or the setting played commonly).

Thinking about it this is the ‘natural’ way to learn anyway isn’t it? as when you watch the Come West Along the Road vids and such the players will often break out unique tunes that they like most and tell a story about the given tune and how they came about it.

I tried to learn ones to ‘fit in’ in the past few months but I think I will go off the track again for a while as the less trodden and rare tunes interest me the most really.

So with that said, recommendations for ‘substantial’ (don’t have to be long but interesting and different even if they were two parts) reels which go well on the whistle.

Re: Recommendations for ‘substantial’ reels - 3 parters+ or just unique that work well on the whistle?

As a fiddler, I love Bucks of Oranmore.

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Re: Recommendations for ‘substantial’ reels - 3 parters+ or just unique that work well on the whistle?

Seán Sa Cheo, a nice short 3 parter that’s great on the whistle.
The Foxhunter’s Reel, 5 parts and if you want a bit of a challenge you can learn it in both G (whistle friendly) and A (fiddle friendly)
The Mossy Banks, is a 3 part reel that is just fun, especially on the whistle.

Re: Recommendations for ‘substantial’ reels - 3 parters+ or just unique that work well on the whistle?

Surely you hear random tunes at your local session and think, ‘that’s good!’. And it’s the way they are playing it on that occasion that makes it stand out. I can’t understand how you find it all so same-y! Select one and make it your own!!! The simplest and corniest can be the best!!!

Re: Recommendations for ‘substantial’ reels - 3 parters+ or just unique that work well on the whistle?

I’m more of a jig person too and also flute player so this may help you (* = 3 parts or more)

Some slow reels I like to play:

250 to Vigo : https://youtu.be/pFPH8pm9c00 - https://thesession.org/tunes/2711

Am Monadh Ruadh : https://youtu.be/rA_toQDa-ww - https://thesession.org/tunes/16550

The Boxing : https://youtu.be/H2V_4vaIHbc - https://thesession.org/tunes/17485

Harvey’s : https://youtu.be/YDGEfyDV9V0 - https://thesession.org/tunes/16113

Lunchtime Boredom : https://youtu.be/KFgU0lN_d_A - https://thesession.org/tunes/10364

The Sunset : https://youtu.be/zrm_FNdEgmc - https://thesession.org/tunes/908

*The Trip to Pakistan : https://youtu.be/1Z9S8Y-oHFk - https://thesession.org/tunes/112

The Yellow Flowers : https://youtu.be/qg7CckFNxpk - https://thesession.org/tunes/19269


Some fast reels I like to play :

Bombay Dog : https://youtu.be/WzPMTEQc9-w - https://thesession.org/tunes/8571

Eroticon VI : https://youtu.be/OzyTfHHRv1c - https://thesession.org/tunes/10845

The Glass Case of Emotion : https://youtu.be/EhKNcbjn2fQ - https://thesession.org/tunes/17476

Good Morning To Your Nightcap : https://youtu.be/yrkd2s_94x0 - https://thesession.org/tunes/513

*Gravel Walks : https://youtu.be/4yJuZVHNIKc - https://thesession.org/tunes/42

The Hour Before Dawn : https://youtu.be/_R_YLmuPEmw - https://thesession.org/tunes/12733

Minute 5 : https://youtu.be/1peV4hxLOa0 - https://thesession.org/tunes/16362

*Musical Priest : https://youtu.be/Dd48lJARfHA - https://thesession.org/tunes/73

*Pressed for time : https://youtu.be/nP7GH_tLQds - https://thesession.org/tunes/2589

Sleep Sound Ida Mornin’ : https://youtu.be/Ixp05m4BsUw?t=194 - https://thesession.org/tunes/1001

Superfly : https://youtu.be/KFgU0lN_d_A - https://thesession.org/tunes/9942

The Windy City : https://sylvainbarou.bandcamp.com/track/06-the-windy-set-3 - https://thesession.org/tunes/4383

*The Wizard’s Walk : https://youtu.be/DS22K_LvJgA - https://thesession.org/tunes/885

Re: Recommendations for ‘substantial’ reels - 3 parters+ or just unique that work well on the whistle?

I’d say you are best off finding a band or artist on Spotify and hunting for music you like yourself. Spotify is quite good in giving suggestions for similar artists.

Alternatively, perhaps post some tunes that you rellly enjoy and perhaps people cma give some suggestions. Like, I have a load of tunes that I absolutely adore to play but chances that you have an identical taste are quite slim..

Still some suggestions for some tunes are quite different;
Trip to the market
Aye right
Daly’s reel
Windbroke
Superfly
Road to Errogie
Maggie’s Pancakes

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Re: Recommendations for ‘substantial’ reels - 3 parters+ or just unique that work well on the whistle?

Sure. I would say I like ‘serious’, heavy, tunes thick with emotion.

Can’t think of one for now but I will have to get back when I remember a specific example as I only have the lackluster ones I have been learning recently at the fore of my mind.

Re: Recommendations for ‘substantial’ reels - 3 parters+ or just unique that work well on the whistle?

"I would say I like ‘serious’, heavy, tunes thick with emotion."

Most reels were originally composed and intended for lively dancing, which isn’t a format where I would expect terms like those to describe the music. Dance tempo is how they’re usually played in sessions. However, you’ll often see performers slow down a reel in concert or in a recording, milking it for expression.

Here’s an example of the "dance version" and the "slow version" of "The Morning Dew" reel. I like playing at the slower tempo on flute, although that’s just at home and I haven’t tried introducing it that way in a session:

Dance tempo, Kevin Burke on fiddle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8-aDWIzC9E


"Slow reel," John Doyle on guitar:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_keBFMDaoc

Re: Recommendations for ‘substantial’ reels - 3 parters+ or just unique that work well on the whistle?

Thanks for suggestions, I think though maybe the question is too broad and subjective (my fault) 🙂.

Let me ask another: on my own travels, how do I know which is going to work well on the whistle (if it doesn’t happen to be being played on the whistle) either from the audio or the dots - if referring to those unique and rare tunes and settings you usually only find in the original o neil’s?

Sometimes it is obvious when it is in a heavy minor key - though that is sad cos these are often my favorite tunes. I suppose if not worried about playing at a high clip then I can still play the tunes on a D whistle at a steady pace with a lot of half-holing. I know you can get flat whistle but they are slightly bigger, I like the size of the D and don’t wanna go bigger and am up for the challenge of half holing so long as I don’t have to do a lot of it fast!

Ah! ok here is a good example of a tune that would fit the criteria I mentioned earlier - the old grey goose, an epic of a jig, not only long but the tune itself has an epic feel to it and doesn’t seems monotonous unlike some other long tunes that just seem to stretch out for the sake of it - barefoot boy which is very repetitive. So what would be equivalent ‘epic’ types of reels to old grey goose?

Jennies welcome to charlie I would class in that camp. What else?

I am moving the goal posts a bit as I go 🙂, well moreso refining/forking my question/s for more targeted answers.

Cheers.

Re: Recommendations for ‘substantial’ reels - 3 parters+ or just unique that work well on the whistle?

In fact gonna start out on Jennies now, only just remembered of its existence. Apparently ‘The Whistler’ on youtube says it is tough to learn; well better get crackin!

I prefer and tough and interesting learn than an easy and boring one.

Re: Recommendations for ‘substantial’ reels - 3 parters+ or just unique that work well on the whistle?

Right, scrap all the tunes I suggested earlier, sounds like you’re looking for the quite dark and moody tunes while I pretty much only suggested happy uplifting tunes! Hah

Alright I’d say going for Bmin, Amin and Emin tunes (/Dorian) will be your best bet.

Perhaps some of the following you might like:
Roscommon reel
Dunmore lasses
Maids of Mitchellstown
Golden keyboard

As I’m not whistle player I can’t help you there I fear, but perhaps with the above you can offer some direction.

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Re: Recommendations for ‘substantial’ reels - 3 parters+ or just unique that work well on the whistle?

Maybe check out Vince Broderick tunes. As a flute player, his tunes lay easy on the fingers for whistle and he has some classics.

The Rookery
Flagstone of Memories
The Milky Way

Re: Recommendations for ‘substantial’ reels - 3 parters+ or just unique that work well on the whistle?

I like the idea of while I am not proficient of playing most reels up to speed I can just say I’m playing it as a ‘slow reel’ 🙂

What is good is I played around with some of the obscure reels I had shelved and I was pleased to see I was able to make some progress on one of them this eve.

So just keep dat ol rotation going.

Re: Recommendations for ‘substantial’ reels - 3 parters+ or just unique that work well on the whistle?

There are a lot of beautiful old piping jigs with 3 or more parts. I know a lot more reels than jigs, but somehow I think I know more 3+ part jigs than reels..mhm…does someone else feel the same?

A great "big" pipe/flute/whistle reel that seems to be quiet popular and hasn’t been named in this thread is Lucy Campbells (https://thesession.org/tunes/1552). When someone starts playing it, I often mistake it as the Bucks of Oranmore. Another multiple reel that is nice on the whistle is High Road to Linton (https://thesession.org/tunes/1118 look for the 4 part version). Its a really fun and catchy tune. It is easy to play on the whistle - but sounds a lot better on fiddle. A great tune to play together with some fiddles! Definitely one of my favourites…at least if some fiddle players are around to join in 🙂

Re: Recommendations for ‘substantial’ reels - 3 parters+ or just unique that work well on the whistle?

I’m not sure it qualifies as “substantial,” but I think that The Guns of the Magnificent Seven certainly fits the bill in terms of unusual.

As mentioned above, Jenny’s Chickens, The Musical Priest, and The Gravel Walks are also all good ones, and are pretty commonplace (at least in my neighborhood).