Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

I have been playing the scottish bagpipes for years now and over the last few years have been going to Celtic Connections in Glasgow. There I was inspired to learn the Low D whistle. My Dad bought me one for Christmas but unfortunately I have no idea where to find resources to begin learning it. I need to find music (preferably able to be found free on the internet lol) and something which I can teach myself from. Can anybody help me please. Is it and easy instrument to pick up if I have played the bagpipes for some time?
Please help, Kyle

Posted by .

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

I believe that the low whistle is considered difficult to play well. (There’ll be some jokes, I’m afraid, along the variety of the low whistle only being good for hanging curtains on and making whale noises.) I’ll let one of the wind players give you some hints, although you might like to do a search in the archives on "low whistle" as it’s been a question we’ve seen before. I *do* know that some of the fingerings are different.

Good luck, and have fun!

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

I love the sound of a low D whistle. In my case, I must be seated while playing at sea level, lest I pass out. This link talks about the fingering:

http://www.chiffandfipple.com/low.html

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

There is a little on-line tutorial at kerrywhistles.com.
They are the makers of Chiftains low whistles.

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

Well already playing wind instrument will help you and Pipes (hey I play GHBs too) since the 2 use grace notes and ornaments instead of separating notes with the tounge as most wind imstruments instruments do you will not have too much of a problem. As far as fingerings Pipes are closed fingers and whistle is open like how you put you pinkie down on C and D you don’t do that on Whistle same with the three fingers on the E, F, high G, and high A you don’t have those fingers down. Now the music reads differently because the low A on Pipes is a low D so a D (lower thatn the D on Pipes) is written D not A but you should have no other problems. If you need any other help feel free to ask for it MOST people here don’t bite (unfourtunatly some have been latley).

Posted by .

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

Low whistle definitely ain’t pipes, but knowing how to play some sort of bagpipe may help. As mentioned above, the tutorials on Phil Hardy’s site (www.kerrywhistles.com) are useful, he even gets into cranning! depending on the air requirements of your whistle, it may take a little getting used to. But not to worry, it’s a great instrument and once you have the basics down, it all comes pretty easily. Experiment with where you place the fipple in/on your lips, it’s fun and you can get some very nice, very flutie tones!

-Mike

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

MIke, you probably have never played GHBs when you mention air requirments as GHBs take more air than any thing they are a real beast. Take it from me.

So what kind of Whistle is it?

Posted by .

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

I’ve made that journey - well still making it really - I would say the degree of ease with which you gain competence on the low D whistle depends on how good you are on GHB.

Competence at GHB means you should get the stretch no bother and the finger control should be there. However it is a different mind set as unseen122 basically says.

The resources you are looking for depends on how you learn best - from music or by ear or a combination of both. Currently I use JCs ABC for melodies and music but try and get a recording of the tune by a good player as well to get the proper feel. I also attend a couple of very friendly sessions who have allowed me to grow into playing it which has been excellent. Gives good incentive to work on tunes etc

I haven’t bothered with learning what cranning or other stuff means. Good GHB technique should give you a good start for putting expression into the music. I have just tried to copy some of the good players I have heard. No doubt you saw a few at Celtic Connections

I saw Michael McGoldrick week before last week who I noticed used the lowD whistle a lot approx 40/50% of the set - fabulous - I ‘ve been listening to his stuff ever since

Good luck

Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

I have no idea what type of whistle it is. It is black and plastic and I think my Dad got it in America. I have been on Kerrywhistles.com but couldn’t find those tutorials. Can anyone help me finding them from there? Sorry about this btw I am not great at finding things on the internet! Kyle

Posted by .

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

Sounds like a Dixon. I have heard they make nice low whistles.

Posted by .

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

I’ve tried to play GHB’s before, no luck. I know they’re difficult as far as air requirements. That’s exactly why I pointed out for our friend that the transition wouldn’t be too bad.

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

As for the tutorials, go to the movie section of his site and they should be at the bottom of all the names listed. Good luck!

-Mike

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

Kyle, Try this link:
http://www.kerrywhistles.com/dl.php?group=15

Here, I’m trying to go the exact opposite direction as you. I already play high & low whistles along with flutes & fifes, but would love to learn the pipes. I have a GHP set in the house, that a friend gave me after he got too frustrated to continue. I’ve messed around a little but was worried that the fingerings would really throw my flute playing astray. Not to mention the impending divorce if my wife heard them in the house. Any case, GOOD LUCK!!

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

A great idea!. I’m going to buy my one of this for my son forget to play the pipes. 🙂

Posted by .

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

"You just put your lips together and blow"

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

learn the high d whistle. you can get one for $8 usually that will serve you to learn. do this before moving down…you’ll already know the fingerings, and more, and will be able to contend with the difficulties of the low d much better

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

I don’t really agree with sifudave54 advice - as a piper for some time I found the low D a lot more natural to play and it is notable that well known GHB pipers who play both (Fred M, Rory Campbell, Gordon Duncan etc) are not really heard as far as I know playing high D - well not really recorded. Is not the main problem for the lowD in comparison to the highD the stretch on the bottom notes which in my experience any competent GHB player should not have a problem with.

I suppose you could always try both and see how you feel but if seeing and hearing the low D whistle played well at CC has inspired you then my advice would be to follow this.

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

The person that asked if it is a Dixon, well it is. Well done, you worked that out with the least description. Is it normal for a Low D whistle to play out of tune notes once you enter the 3rd octave. I have got recordings of them being played that high and the notes are in tune. It sounds like it is out of tune at this level. If so I am going to have to get a new one. Do you think it is broken?

Posted by .

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

I have never heard of any whistle played in the third octave, but then most whistles you hear are regular D or such and that would break glass!

My Kerry Low D plays out of tune in the third also. Can’t even get up over the first 3 or so notes. I don’t think the whistle is (or can be?) designed to play in tune to a third octave, but I could be wrong. Where have you heard it played there? Are you sure its not just a normal D whistle that takes over? How could you even play for any length with that much air? Am I just ignorant as to the third low d whistle octave? Perhaps you’re hearing a flute up there on the recording.

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

as far as the main problem for the low D whistle goes, alistair, alot of otherwise good players haven’t seemed to take the time to really work on synchronization between proper breathing, tonguing (if tonguing is done), and fingering, resulting in all sorts of unsightly clicks and pops and whirs that annoy at least me to no end. and no I’m not referring to purposeful gracenotes 😛

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

the clicks and pops and such (I think) are a result of air pressure changes (especially when tonguing is involved, but I’ve heard the maker of Kerry Whistles doing it incessantly, at least on his website) as you play and can be ironed out with careful attention to how you’re playing.

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

Maybe it is a higher whistle. That’s kind of good as it means I don’t have to go to the bother of getting it changed. Thanks

Posted by .

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

where i come from low whistles are known by their generic term of w.m.d`s. other w.m.d`s [weapons of mass destruction] include bodhran, guitars and basically any instrument whelding lunatic who hasn`t a clue what their doing, without first having done the obligatory five hours a day six days a week practising, before daring to unleash themselves on the session. my advice to you would be to find yourself a good teacher, and then learn to play a real instrument like the flute. sorry `bout that last piece, guess all us flute players are biased.

Re: Help me I am a beginner on the Low D whistle

Well, some of us don’t have that amount of time.

Posted by .