Tin Whistle Key Identification

Tin Whistle Key Identification

First post here. Hello to all and apologies in advance if this is not the correct area to post this query, although I think it is based on the guidelines I’ve read.

Would anyone be able to identify the key of the whistle being played here by John Sheahan?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vT-2hoaLIsU&list=PLcgvIiDEdEJmjF12Bne0bILbCi4Hd4mhQ&index=21


The whistle picks up at about the 2:50 mark. High G, perhaps?

Thanks for any and all help!

Re: Tin Whistle Key Identification

I think it’s an E whistle.

Re: Tin Whistle Key Identification

Yes I can play along with my Low E whistle using the same fingering as that whisteplayer is using.

I took some readings with my electronic tuner, which showed the whistle around a quartertone sharp. Is it?

Re: Tin Whistle Key Identification

Yup piece is in the key of E… need those G# and D# (I always call it Eb!) notes.

Singer calls the key to suit voice and whistle follows. E whistle gets surprising amount of use accompanying singers.

Re: Tin Whistle Key Identification

It’s E alright, but extremely sharp. (Another tell is the D shapes with the capo on the 2nd fret.)

Re: Tin Whistle Key Identification

Thanks everyone! You guys know your stuff.

Much appreciated 🙂

Re: Tin Whistle Key Identification

Any ideas what make of whistle that is? Might it be an Overton? (I have a ‘C’ Overton from around that vintage that looks a bit similar to the video).

Was there any maker offering an out-of-the-box "E" whistle back in those days? Bb/C/D/Eb yup, anything else very exotic (ignoring the Generation F,G ear-piercers!). Wondering if the out-of-tune E might be a doctored Eb whistle?

Other than John Sindt and Susato.. are there any modern makers offering ‘exotic’ whistle keys such as B, E or C#?

Re: Tin Whistle Key Identification

I bought an E Dixon a few years ago (brass) and I love it. But I don’t know if they still make it, because I think they stopped making almost all keys but D.

Re: Tin Whistle Key Identification

gbyrne…I could be wrong but I had read that John Sheahan’s whistles at that time were made by Bernard Overton. Just passing on what I read and unable to confirm either way.

Re: Tin Whistle Key Identification

@partk-c hmmm possibly. https://youtu.be/9s43CYgtYl0 In this interview almost certainly an Overton (around 3:00 on clip). And Paddy Moloney played Generations mostly (start of clip) but is playing a Sindt for the duet.

Re: Tin Whistle Key Identification

"E whistle gets surprising amount of use accompanying singers."
Could it be that singers tend to accompany themselves on guitar, and the bog standard key for guitar is E?

Re: Tin Whistle Key Identification

Bog standard for blues perhaps but a lot less for trad or folk in my experience -E minor maybe , E major rarely!

Re: Tin Whistle Key Identification

"E whistle gets surprising amount of use accompanying singers." I found a B whistle more useful for accompanying a singer whose natural key was E. (Home made B using a Gen C head.)

"(ignoring the Generation F,G ear-piercers!)" I have a little Gen F, I agree it’s high but it has a beautiful clear voice.

Re: Tin Whistle Key Identification

I chopped a Generation Bb to get a nice-playing B.

I chopped a Generation C to get a nice-playing C#.

I think I’m going to chop a Generation Eb to get a…no…maybe I won’t.