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Irish Tin Whistles

Discussion in 'Whistles' started by Gandalfe, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Some of us can't say 'whistle' without whistling. But there are a number of musicians who have added this to their menagerie of playthings. You can learn more here: http://mysite.verizon.net/lizgott/
  2. I have been using a D pennywhistle for a few years now. Mine is just a standard tin type. There are some custom wooden models that go for about $300. It is possible, but tricky, to play chromatically on them. They're really fun to play.
  3. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    There's another user here named Elsie that's also into penny whistle. I really do like the sound of these and the color they bring to just about any composition they're used in.
  4. There is a very haunting military like pennywhistle line in the movie Gangs of New York. I can't remember much about that movie, but those two notes that were played on the Pennywhistle always pop into my mind from time to time. Funny what sticks in your mind.
  5. really surprised to see a whistle thread, I've played the whistle for about 4 years, and own 5, but not all work that great
  6. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    We aim to please :).

    Seriously: it's a wind instrument and it can be used very musically. I've even thought about picking one up.

    It's definitely an instrument worthy of discussion!
  7. decent gear, here?

    I know it seems odd to think of shelling out serious cash for a whistle, but anyone who has will tell you it is well worth doing. 10 years ago I spent about $1000 building a small collection of really nicely made whistles in various keys. It's an investment I have never regretted - they inspired me to practice them hard, because they sounded so good. I quickly developed another performing genre, and the skill I gained at whistling improved my sax technique as well.
  8. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    What do you recommend in this genre?
  9. bpimentel

    bpimentel Broadway Doubler List Owner Distinguished Member

    If you're asking for recommendations for high-end whistles, Abell or Burke are popular choices. The Burkes are my favorite. Copeland whistles have also been very popular, but the company recently went out of business.

    It should be noted that some of the best and most respected whistle players DON'T play expensive whistles. The Generation whistle is still the quintessential traditional-style instrument and costs less than $10. Conventional wisdom is that you have to try a lot of them to get a good one, but a good one is really good.

    Susato's Kildare whistles are a great choice for an in-between whistle. They are very consistent, play perfectly in tune, come in ALL keys, and are quite reasonably priced.
  10. I play Chieftans, which I know some people don't like. I bought mine sight unseen from various sources in the mid 90's, and they're all great, but I think the quality of manufacture may have reduced over the years. Overton have a great reputation, so I'd probably steer you in that direction.

    Absolutely true. Thankfully I'm neither proficient nor respected for my whistling:-D

    Mine is a tale of personal inspiration found through equipment that inspired me. I'd never actually sat down and practiced with my cheap whistles (none of which played very well at all). When I got my first Chieftan - a Low D - I was driven to practice it. When I later got my hands on a Chieftan soprano D, I was amazed by how much more sound there was inside that big bore compared to my anemic cheap whistles.
  11. When I get a few more paychecks, I'm really tempted to get the full 6 set of those Generation whistles...
  12. Gens are pretty awesome, take a bit of getting used to, my Bflat one is my second favourite one :)
  13. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    So many toys, so few time. I still haven't put the time into my ocarina, flute, pic, s,a,t,b recorders... Well you get the idea. :cool:
  14. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I went whistle shopping yesterday, as I found out I need a C whistle for Pirates of Penzance.

    The Susato whistles Bret mentioned are my fave all round whistles, but the only place in Toronto that carries them was closed yesterday. Since I was just in town for the day, I went to Long & McQuade's instead, since I need the whistle for a rehearsal tomorrow.

    Tried some Generations - the C whistles were all terrible. However, I did find and buy Generations in Eb, F and G - all of which played very nicely.

    The C whistle I got is the Chieftan. Two piece metal, tunable, very good sound.

    I'd still like to get a complete set of Susatos. The D and low D instruments I play were made by them, and they both sound really great. 1/3 of the cost of the Chieftans.
  15. One of Lonnie Donegan's more interesting questions:
    "If tin whistles are made of tin, what are fog horns made of?"
  16. JfW


    In my absence from this forum I did get a bit into whistling. The guys over at http://www.chiffandfipple.com/ have been pretty supportive of Jerry Freeman, who doctors up plain Generation whistles into better playing shape.

    I've bought (and was gifted) a few of his whistles, and they are measurably better than the off-the shelf stuff you'll find at music stores. He sells on ebay and I've been plenty happy. http://www.freemanwhistles.com/
  17. hi i'm wanting to start playing the tin whistle. I'm thinking about getting a Clarke original tin whistle D. Would that be a good whistle to start with.
  18. yes it would be

    Dixon is another popular brand for inexpensive whistles and irish flutes
  19. I recently purchased a Freeman Mellow Dog D tweaked whistle and am thrilled with it. It is well worth the extra cost over a stock penny whistle.
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