Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

So I thought my learning by ear was getting pretty good.

I began learning last night from this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwTiRDjBGSc


I thought I would take a quick look at how it was notated on the various versions here and as far as I can see non conform to what is played in that one?

Is it because it is in a different key or am I wrong and my by ear skills are not up to par - the latter would sadden me.

I do not know what key is what but I know what note is what (or so I thought) and I was looking at the different dots posted here to see the version which goes to c or high c on the second note (and subsequently) on the second part, that is, from d up to c, (ready your ears for whistle!) but couldn’t find any that go anywhere near it on the listed notations.

This is what has led me to question my ear (it hasn’t failed me when learning most other tunes or maybe I have been under a false premise all this time! but no I have been able to play along with songs before after having learnt them from the original recordings).

I only really looked at those notes posted here to see which might be the best one to learn for whistle.

I was doing fine learning from the recording and maybe I have tangled myself up by looking at those notes. I only did so because that high see is going to sound quite outrageous since it repeats so much (although it is C nat rather then sharp which will soften the blow a bit) on the whistle. Well, to my ear, the fiddler in the video plays on the lower octave and then the piper plays in the higher octave after him.

So I was learning from the fiddler playing it last night I was playing it on the lower octave and folding the couple of notes I noticed that went below such as low D, C, D (I don’t attest to the accuracy since I only started it last night and sometimes will correct what I heard on further listening, so maybe it is D F D or something like that after all).

Just opening the discussion to clear up my quandaries and as to what might be the most advised version to learn on whistle as I have been known to learn tunes on whistle in keys which were much less suitable to it than may have otherwise been.

I actually hadn’t bothered to compare it to other recordings and whether they were played in different keys which I probably should have; I was just eager to start learning it so went with the favored recording on my cursory look on youtube.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Oh ye, I just clicked on another one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK9LXdl-6eo and that starts on B rather than D with the original clip.


So my question would be, which one would be best to learn on the whistle? and how do I prevent wasting time in future by learning tunes in ‘bad keys’ for the whistle?

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

The dots version starting on a B will be more suited to a D whistle.

If you’re finding a lot of notes that go outside your range or require half-holing, another key of whistle may be better suited (they may be playing instruments tuned to a different baseline). There are a LOT of recordings tuned a half-step above standard pitch.

But you’re never "wasting time" by playing along with recordings — you’re developing your ear! 🙂

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

What I meant is the time is better served avoiding having to learn it twice; I know all practice is better than non but the time is better spent learning it once I think in the ‘right’ key than learn it twice in the other.

Just to clarify I was not ‘off’ in my initial judgement of the notes and it being high C right for the original tune? (I need to be re-validated) 🙂

For future I am just wondering how you know what key best fits the whistle if I don’t know keys and just going by listening to a tune? Currently the only way I find out is when I start learning a tune from a recording and it has loads of half holing or notes out of range then I figure there must be a more suitable version and only look that up after first trying and seeing the initial one was not that suitable. I am wondering how I can skip that step and know just from listening without having to get half way through learning the tune first?

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

If you are going to learn Scottish Highland bagpipe tunes, then learn them from someone playing Scottish Highland bagpipes, and use an Eb whistle.
eg :
https://youtu.be/FyJqZNxeX74

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

As a rank learner myself, if it doesn’t start on the low d, g or b, I tend to assume it is not in D, G or Em and try my C whistle. After that, I try to transpose - helped by the fact I am inexpert enough to only try simple stuff and I can hold the tune/notes in my head mostly - just can’t play in time 🙂

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

> Just to clarify I was not ‘off’ in my initial judgement of the notes and it being high C right for the original tune?

Yes, the version you posted has been arranged to suit Sievane’s gaita, which is in C major, and the fiddle is playing an octave down from "normal".

The tune was originally written for highland bagpipe, and as Kenny says recorded versions will sound like E flat, but often sharper, sometimes close to E, so can be tricky to learn from sometimes. To play with *this* recording, I would suggest playing in the lower octave of a C whistle.

> which one would be best to learn on the whistle? and how do I prevent wasting time in future by learning tunes in ‘bad keys’ for the whistle?

I would learn the version that starts on B. At a glance, the version posted by Yooval here looks like a good setting. That is the key most people who play it are likely to know.

The question of how to know in general, well, that’s a tricky one. If you’re learning from a recording, ask yourself if it is the instrument that is forcing the choice of key. In your video, it has to be a C instrument to match the gaita. If it’s a fiddle tune, say, then maybe the player just transposed it to show off how clever they are, but maybe it fits well in that key.

What I would say though is learning tunes in multiple keys might be a frustrating process, but it’s a valuable one, and the better you get at it the less you need to worry about picking the "wrong" key to begin with…

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Your first is with a Gaita in C tune played in Dm.

Cross post with Calum

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

I actually prefer to ‘bend’ tunes to fit the D whistle rather than use another whistle.

I had no idea it was a ‘bagpipe tune’ I just know it is an awesome tune I wanted to learn to add to my slower repertoire.

I like the D for its size, don’t want anything bigger, even minutely, and I am cheap I prefer just 1 whistle for all, even though I have several D whistles that is another matter of still trying to settle on a ‘perfect’ one.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

"I actually prefer to ‘bend’ tunes to fit the D whistle rather than use another whistle."
Good luck with that.

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Life of Apple Pie, you mention not wanting to waste time. Seriously, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing trying to play Highland pipe tunes on a D whistle. Get and Eb, as Kenny suggests, even one for a tenner. When you come to play with a fiddler they’ll play it in standard tuning if not playing with pipes, then you can play it on a D. Even keyed flute players in Scotland usually use an Eb flute to play along with GHB.

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Not my flavour, I would much prefer to learn one of the great Paddy Fahy tunes, or some of the Ed Reavey tunes, like the great reel In memory of Coleman, just saying.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

As helpful as ever, Goose.

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Thank you Calum, I like to steer anyone interested in our music in the right direction, otherwise they could develop bad habits.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

I agree I love that reel of ed reavy, but we were not talking about reels.

But glad you reminded me of that one, I will look it up again as it fits what I was looking for in another post when requesting reels.

Oh that is great The Whistler to the rescue again having transposed it to a (more) D whistle friendly key https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHyD9z4v2UQ

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

You are welcome LOPP, I taught you were talking tunes in general.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Shouldn’t that be ‘LOAP’ which has a nice ring to it.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Sorry "typo"

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

To me playing by ear doesn’t just mean replicating each note you hear. To me a true ‘ear player’ should be able to get the tune firmly into their head (wait till you can whistle or lilt it) and then transpose it to the key that they prefer, or, more to the point, the key that comes naturally to the instrument. It’s more a case of playing by memory than playing by ear. I do that all the time when I want to learn something unknown to me on my fiddle from say,- a video of somebody playing the highland pipes in what for my fiddle is an awkward key. I do generally stick to the keys that you would commonly find in the tunes section though. I usually check with a quick listen to the midi file (though I am rarely wrong). However, as you say you are fairly new to ‘ear’ playing, all of that that takes practice. It will come!
One other thing…….. I’m not sure if I misunderstand your earlier meaning, but in this music you don’t usually identify the key of the tune by the first note played, in fact the last note is more likely.

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

>then transpose it to the key that they prefer,

That assumes you instantly know how to transpose into any key by just hearing it?

I am not new to learning by ear, I have done it for a few years now, but I do not know how to just flip it to another key even if I know the tune.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Nah, sometimes transposing means some rather-unattractive messing-around until one gets it right. At least it does for me.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

As someone above said. it is being played in Dm, with a transient change into the relative major of F in the second half. I have usually played it in Bm, (going into D) as do most of my session-playing friends on non-bagpipe instruments - and I guess in that key it would fit OK on a D whistle.
And yes, in this video, they are using a key that fits the Galician Gaita.
As for transposing on the hoof, it IS possible if you know a tune well enough, but, like anything else, is a skill that can only be acquired with practice. I tend to think of tunes in intervals and scales which is how I can do it, which is using a combination of ears and theory - but use whatever method works for you. Good luck!

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

LOAP, I shouldn’t have used the word ‘transpose’. That is a deliberately calculated act, and what I was trying to get at is something like this:- Get a tune in your head. Whistle it, lilt it, hum it, whatever. Now what key are you whistling it in? Well unless you are skilled enough to have perfect pitch you won’t be sure. But what does it matter? It may or may not correspond to your whistle but if you understand your whistles you should then be able to then play the tune in whatever keys are natural to that instrument I.e., you may be whistling in ‘Eb’ but how hard is it to imagine the tune in ‘D’. And then….

"That assumes you instantly know how to transpose into any key by just hearing it?" Well YES, my brain does that. I mean, it’s the same tune whatever the key. I kind of find this hard to explain, but I’m sure there are lots of other ‘ear’ players who grasp what I mean. Nowadays, after many years of playing, I usually go to the correct key on my fiddle instinctively. It has in fact amazed me recently, that the note I have in my head is spot on to the starting note on my fiddle. I rarely stop to think what key I’m in but I am rarely at odds with the commonly played key.

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

"For future I am just wondering how you know what key best fits the whistle if I don’t know keys and just going by listening to a tune?"

I don’t have perfect pitch, so just listening to it might not give me the right key - but probably the right fingerings. If it’s in the whistle’s "home" key or not (and if so, which one that is). If the melody seems to be in the whistle’s lower range or not. If it goes very high. Accomplished wind instrument players feel if it’s "D fingerings", "G fingerings" or something else.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

The fingering will be the same no matter what whistle you use. The pitch of the whistle will determine what key you are playing in. Hope this helps you. Good luck.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Yes I understand what you say about the fingerings being the same but..that is not always true is it?

I mean it is only true for having learned a tune on one type of whisle (a D say) and then just playing it on an Eb whistle.

Just for those two videos I posted above the fingerings are completely different, which is the whole point of using a version more suited to the D whistle right.

So two seperate things I think, or rather two sides of the same coin? one is learning any version of a tune and finding a whistle that fits it vs finding the best version (key) of a tune which will fit a certain whistle. They are opposites. So what I was saying is I prefer finding keys that will fit a D vs learning a version and finding a whistle to fit it. ‘My’ way seems the more economical one.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

To trish or anyone else who can answer to what she replied…

The talk of keys doesn’t mean much to me though, as I don’t know what one is what 🙂?

Which key is it played in in the second bagpipe version I posted? Or can you post a recording of the key you recommended in your post if it is not the same as the one I posted?

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Assuming that you don’t have perfect pitch one thing to try might be to sing along with a recording you like until you have it in your head then play the start note on the whistle (people have said B for a D whistle) and sing on from there. Then copy your singing phrase by phrase on your whistle.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

At this point I think the best way to answer your questions is not by trying to reference recordings and standard whistle keys and fingerings, but by suggesting that some basic music theory would get you a long way. Learning how to construct major scales (please, no-one say ‘circle of fifths’) and how they relate to one another will help you a lot.

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

@Life of Apple Pie: in that second video, it is in Bm (just checked it against my digital piano which is in tune!) As I said before, that is the commonly used key in sessions, and can be played on a D whistle, so if you learn by ear, try learning it from that version rather than the first video.
(Btw, if you’re not familiar with the work of the late Gordon Duncan, do go and listen to some more of it!)

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Commonly used key in sessions Bm? I don’t think so, more likely to be in D or G, if you look up any of the ONeill collections you won’t find much in Bm.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

thanks for clarification @trish, and yes I had planned to look into more of his work after this tune having made quite and impression on me.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

You won’t find Gordon Duncan’s tunes in the O’Neill collections, Goose! You have totally misread me! I said that THIS tune that the thread is about - The Sleeping Tune - is commonly played in Bm in sessions.
As I said further up the thread, the relative major to Bm is D, so it is perfectly playable in Bm for a D whistle player. It is a Scottish tune (sorry, this is an site for Irish tunes, I know), and as it happens, we do have a good number of tunes in Scotland played in Bm. Furthermore, both the Bm scale and the D maj scale contain the same notes, and share the same key sig! (Maybe in different order, as Eric Morecambe once famously said!)

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Back to the clip of Susanna Seivane, seems like that gaita is in C, so it’s basic scale is the same as a C whistle.

That tunes starts
xxx ooo
xxx xoo
xxx xxo
xoo ooo

which as reckoned for Irish whistle, flute, and uilleann pipes in D, is G F# E B.
But on a gaita or whistle in C the "sounding pitches" are FEDA.
On a Highland bagpipe or whistle in Bb the "sounding pitches" are Eb D C F.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

btw, on the topic of transposing other tunes, I recall there is a way to do it with just the audio and audacity.

I did it before once, but only once and not tried again.

But how would I know what would be the ‘best’ key to shift a given tune to for the whistle?

Maybe a lot of trial and error? and I will work out which ones are best in time.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

"Maybe a lot of trial and error?" Or take Calum’s advice and learn some basic theory.

I don’t know much but for things like this it’s really handy and saves time. Its the main reason I feel I need to know about modes - and which ones are straightforward on a whistle.

I use Audacity like that all the time

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

I use AudioStretch app for changing key and speed

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Can you tell me how this will clear these questions up by learning some theory? Not seeing how it will solve it? Not saying it won’t, I believe you, I just haven’t connected the dots 🙂

How does knowing what a general key is help with transposing a tune in another key?

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Sorry LOAP but it looks blatantly obvious to me, and it must to most others here, that lack of theory lays at the core of your problem.
"How does knowing what a general key is help with transposing a tune in another key?"
I would start by learning to think of the intervals that make up every scale. They remain uniform (e.g., maj to maj; min to min, etc.) and that’s how you can transpose to another key. Although, as I said earlier, as an ear player ‘transpose’ is not the correct word for me. I just automatically know the intervals without thinking. But I did do the note theory in the first place. How else do you know what you are doing? How does anybody know anything without doing the theory? Knowledge adds to confidence and therefore the enjoyment of playing.

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Once again I have to point out: music theory is not *rules* for music, it is finding names for patterns in music that already exists so that you can explain and understand it better. You’re trying to understand patterns that you’re clearly perceiving. Right now, you’re struggling to even formulate your questions because you don’t have the vocabulary.

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Well as I said I was not trying to deny its usefulness.

Why did someone say ‘don’t call them circle of fifths’?

I was not aware that scales were logical step progressions, well I did loosely, tbh I never really thought strongly on the matter. I will have to take a look some basic music theory then and I suppose my questions will be answered.

I am a very logical person outside of trad, don’t get me wrong. It is just that I am often over analytical so music is a way to give that side of my brain a rest and let the creative bit have a go for a change.

I suppose I have been slightly concerned that part of my mind ‘taking over’ like it often has in the past and choking the life out of the music.

Plus I am afraid if I learn it I will no longer to be able to say proudly ‘I don’t know any theory man’ in sessions, as it is used as a badge of honor in this scene.

You kinda lose street cred. I jest, regarding that being my motivation, or lack thereof, but it is true that is how a lot of people are in sessions I have been to.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

"it is used as a badge of honor in this scene".
Which "scene" would that be ?

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

" so music is a way to give that side of my brain a rest and let the creative bit have a go for a change."
Actually LOAP there have been a few studies that suggest that playing a musical instrument improves the brain and wards of things like Alzheimers, and the reason is that it uses and strengthens the neurological wiring between the right and left sides of the brain. Look it up!

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

> as it is used as a badge of honor in this scene.

There are plenty of people who pretend they do not study or practice (particularly prevalent in teenagers) their music, that it just comes pouring out of them in a mighty river of genius, and there is a handy word to describe these people: liars.

In all seriousness, the fear of knowledge supplanting creativity is a common one, but I’m not personally aware of anyone who laments their knowledge of theory.

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

So what am I supposed to be looking up exactly? music theory is a wide subject.

If I look up ‘scales’ I will just get the dreaded scales practice videos I think, not the explanations which what I am after I think?

Oh I see Calum’s earlier comment says ‘construct major scales’. Construct? I hope that will become apparent what that means.

Oh oh, I see the videos are explaining it…

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

"So what am I supposed to be looking up exactly? music theory is a wide subject"

Maybe check out pages 7 and 8 of this for a start. http://www.betweenmebeans.com/itm/ttfs/index.htm

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

"Badge of honor" - nope! Of course, there are some legendary players who don’t read a note of music, but I’ve said it before and will continue to say it, learning by ear, and from notes or theory are COMPLEMENTARY skills: it’s not one or the other.
Scales can be boring, but that’s how I started on my button accordion, where you’ve not just got to remember to blow, as on a whistle, but whether to push or pull. They really DO help you to find your way around your instrument. So learn, at the very least on a D whistle, how to play a D scale and a G scale if you haven’t already, AND the names of the notes you are playing.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Hey I think that is an unfair oversimplification!

>where you’ve not just got to remember to blow

Knowing when to breathe is just as ‘complicated’ as knowing when to push or pull.

I know the names of the notes and how to read music. I just don’t understand the key signatures. When someone say it is in X key, it doesn’t really mean anything.

All I know is minor keys are moody and dark (my favorite) with a lot of flats and when there are a lot of sharps it will most times be a happy and gay tune.

I know what note is what on the whistle and once I learned the tune what note corresponds to what hole (and whether sharp or flat) but I don’t know about transposing from one key to another which is all I am wanting to figure out with this exercise really.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

I would get the little book the ABRSM publishes that covers grades 1-5:

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/First-Steps-Music-Theory-Grades/dp/1860960901

This will be rather more than you need any time soon but for most traditional musicians it will be as much as you ever need as a reference.

As well as that, I would buy the grade 1 theory workbook and work through the exercises in it. Most traditional musicians playing melody would find that a useful exercise up to about grades 3-4, accompanists probably a bit further, but basically go as far as you feel is useful. It will feel a bit slow at first but persevere.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Music-Theory-Practice-Grade-ABRSM/dp/1860969429/

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Haha, I had that book from a few years ago but gave it away in my last move with a bunch of other books I don’t use.

I will look into it again.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

"How does knowing what a general key is help with transposing a tune in another key?"

For one, in this particular case, it would help you to notice that the tune played in Dm on a C instrument would be playable in Em with the same fingerings on a D instrument - and also that Dm would be rather difficult to begin with on a D instrument. You can half-hole and everything, but a lot of things wouldn’t work "as intended" if you don’t have a whistle in the proper key.

"I know the names of the notes and how to read music. I just don’t understand the key signatures. When someone say it is in X key, it doesn’t really mean anything."

It gives me a good idea of what to expect, which notes are likely, the "tonal centre", where it is on the instrument I have in my hands and so on.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Ok, let’s for a moment get away from "The Sleeping Tune" and think about keys in general: let’s assume you only have the one whistle, a standard D whistle, and someone starts playing a tune you are used to playing in D, but it somehow sounds different. Someone tells you it’s in G: great, because that’s another key you can play comfortably on a D whistle, and it means that the tune is based on those notes that are in the scale of G. (The tune may not necessarily start on G, however).
So, this tune that you usually play in D perhaps starts on the third note of the Dmaj scale, i.e. F#: to play it in the key of G, you will therefore start on the third note of the G scale, which is B. That B is 4 notes up from F#, just as G is 4 notes up from D. To play the tune in G, you will therefore shift every note in the tune up 4 notes of the scale.
This WILL mean learning different finger patterns for that tune. Hence learning your scales is a good thing.
(The alternative if you want to use the same finger patterns as for D, is to play the tune on a G whistle, but the fingers will be a bit closer together if it’s a higher G whistle.)
The ABRSM book that Calum suggested would be good, if you are in the UK: any music shop would have it (though not open now!) but many do mail order, as well as Amazon, as he has shown.

As for what I said about blowing: that was to highlight the fact that you get DIFFERENT notes when you pull and push a diatonic accordion, (as also on a mouth organ), and so you have a double learning curve for what each button does!

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

"I suppose I have been slightly concerned that part of my mind ‘taking over’ like it often has in the past and choking the life out of the music"

I wouldn’t worry too much about that. I am also a "logical" person (software developer), and the music offers me much of the same outlet for creativity that you speak of. But the two sides of our brains can work together. You can analyze things about the music as a way of guiding your creativity and progress as a musician without it getting in the way. You don’t necessarily need to be actively analyzing things while you’re playing, but things that you have analyzed and learned can help shape what what kind of sound comes out of your instrument. For instance, you might listen to some whistle players and decide to slow it down to hear what they’re doing in their rolls, and then you might practice that slowly and then faster. Then when you’re playing, the rolls will happen the way that you practiced them, without actively analyzing it at the time…

By the way, a handful of people in these forums might tell you that you’re over-analyzing things, and that you just need to listen and feel what it should sound like. But I have found that having more knowledge that you’ve spent time thinking about is never a bad thing. So analyzing details about the music (like learning some theory) can help provide you a foundation for your playing, and help make you a better musician without squashing any of the fun or creativity.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

To be frank LOAP - you need to learn the sleeping tune in Bm on a D whistle…

This is the key you’ll find it is played in sessions.

It really is as simple as that.

And honestly - learning to play tunes on the whistle will be your best way into learning all the accompanying ideas - as well as the accompanying culture.

Just learn it in Bm -

I’ve an awful recording of it here that I’m taking down soon:

https://youtu.be/iFbktXpC1kQ


I can’t guarantee pitch is perfect - and I play it as an air so I’m a little ‘romantic’ with the timing…

Regardless- this is what you’re likely to find in a session!

Playing with good players is the best way to learn (assuming you listen).

I keep meaning to add a slightly tighter recording- but this is likely to be up for a few weeks at least!

All the best with your playing!

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Yuck, you wipe both your bare feet with your hands then drank some water out those cheesy palms.

I got tired of this tune for now 🙂 it started to feel cheesy (continuing the post topic) to me. Shelved for now.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Oh, I missed these extra comments til now.

Thanks for additions since my last.

@trish hmm you explanation helped but now you say it, you wouldn’t be able to shift keys on the fly anyway, well I wouldn’t so the knowing keys in that case doesn’t increase fleuncy much, as in just being able to play at will in another key knowing the keys as I would still have to learn it in the other key if only playing on D whistle, which is all I intend to play on.

@Reverend, Me too 🙂 (python and scraping by on a tiny bit of js, I badly need to learn more of the latter but keep putting it off) I just presumed you were a career holy man from your name; like Ryan Dunns, the whilstin’ jesuit tutor on youtube.

Yes now you mention it I do take that logical approach when practicing and it does help as I find it good to keep to a structured approach to learning to better track my progress. For example, lately, I aim to stick to an hour’s practice a day and use a metronome a lot of the time in order to know where I am at on a given tune. I usually start at 65 bpms (2 beat per bar for reels/jigs) and work up in 5 bpm increments so then I know exactly where I am at on a given tune and how well I can play at that speed and take it up or down as I go. Then I work my way up to session speeds which I already garnered averages of that from the many in depth debates on the subject previously on this forum.

So I suppose a bit o theory is no different to that.

I was wondering, what are the good rules of thumb to know when it would be better to change the key rather than trying to half hole or fold the notes which are off the D whistle?

I guess it is just if there were too many of either, too many notes out of range or too many half holed notes to be practical to playing at full speed where a different key would offer less half holing.

Take the Oak Tree reel for example.. The first part (iirc) has a lot of notes off the scale. Is it best to fold them rather than change key? I remember I did that in order to play on D a while ago and was thinking of coming back to that tune soon.

So is it just simple common sense of too many half holes and/or notes off the scale which are the main pointers of when to change key to fit the D whistle?

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

"I was wondering, what are the good rules of thumb to know when it would be better to change the key rather than trying to half hole or fold the notes which are off the D whistle?"

The key of the tune often says whether it’s possible to play at all on a D whistle, and if it isn’t, it usually says which would be a better whistle. And if a D whistle is all you have, the nature of the tune itself usually gives you a hint which would be a more suitable key on. That’s the short answer.

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

And as the tune is predominantly played in Bm it’s perfect for the B whistle - ie no half holes

Simple

If you want to play along with the video then use an F whistle

Simple ;)

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Oh - and don’t worry - that didn’t happen in the video 😀

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Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

On a D whistle its Am G D Em and Bm
A different key requires a different whistle IMO
Which in general would be a C whistle . The 2 should cover pretty much everything.

An Eb for playing inEb sessions
A B whistle for playing B sessions
And i also have a low G and A

Re: Some clarification on the sleeping tune as heard in this recording and best played/learnt on whistle?

Sound advice -

I’d also say that A tunes are fairly easy on the whistle (only requiring the half hole for the G#) - but that might be because there are more Scottish fiddle tunes in A so it’s common in Scotland.

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