Anda di halaman 1dari 6

Tin Whistle

A Complete Guide to Playing Irish Traditional Music on


the Whistle

Stephen Ducke

About the author

Originally from Athlone, Stephen Ducke now lives in a


small village in the French Alps with his wife and two
children. He has been playing the whistle and flute for
over 30 years, and runs Irish music workshops with
Tradschool in different parts of France each year. He
has recorded one album on flute, entitled If There
Weren't Any Women In The World, and currently plays
with the group Bonaparte's Retreat.

Published by Tradschool
Design and typesetting by Stephen Ducke.
Tradschool
05190 THEUS
FRANCE
Web www.tradschool.com
Email info@tradschool.com

Copyright 2012 Stephen Ducke. All rights reserved

Table of Contents
Introduction............................................................6
About this tutor........................................................................6
The Irish whistle......................................................................7

Part One.........................................................9
Beginning the Whistle........................................10
Holding the whistle................................................................10
Blowing the whistle................................................................11
Blowing your first notes...................................................11
Left hand notes......................................................................12
The note B......................................................................12
Exercise 1..............................................................................12
Left hand notes - continued...................................................13
The note A.......................................................................13
The note G......................................................................13
Exercise 2..............................................................................13
Song : Mary Had a Little Lamb..............................................14

Unit 2 : Right Hand Notes...................................15


Song : Hot Cross Buns..........................................................16
Song: Oranges and Lemons ...............................................16

Unit 3 : The Second Octave................................17


Exercise 1..............................................................................17
Exercise 2..............................................................................17
Exercise 3..............................................................................18
Song: Au Clair de la Lune.....................................................18

Unit 4 Scales.....................................................19
1 Scale of D...........................................................................19
2 Scale of G...........................................................................19
Tunes using the new note ....................................................20
Good King Wenceslas...........................................................20

Unit 5 Rhythm, Articulation & Breathing........21


Playing Irish music on the whistle rhythm, tonguing and
breathing...............................................................................21
Rhythm..................................................................................21
Rhythm exercise 1..........................................................21
Rhythm exercise 2..........................................................22
Rhythm exercise 3..........................................................22
Tonguing................................................................................22
Tonguing exercise 1........................................................23
Tonguing Exercise 2.......................................................23
Tonguing Exercise 3.......................................................23
Song : Courtin' in the Kitchen.........................................24
Song Mairi's Wedding..................................................25
Song : The Bog Down in the Valley................................26
Song : Cockles and Mussels..........................................27
Breathing...............................................................................28
Breathing after long notes ..............................................28
Making breath spaces.....................................................30
Some More Tunes.................................................................32

Unit 6 - Putting it together 1................................50


Time!......................................................................................50
Practicing...............................................................................50
Attitude..................................................................................50

Part Two.......................................................51
Unit 7 Irish Traditional Music...........................52
Simple system.......................................................................52
Combining elements.............................................................52
The Basics.............................................................................53
Rhythm............................................................................53
Types of tunes.................................................................53
The structure of the tunes...............................................54
Ornamentation structure and rhythm..............................55
The Details............................................................................56
Making choices...............................................................56
Fast tempo......................................................................56
Ornamentation................................................................57

Unit 8 Listening to Irish Music.........................58


Listening................................................................................58
Why is listening so important?..............................................58
What to listen for...................................................................58

Instrumentation...............................................................58
Repertoire.......................................................................59
Style and technique .......................................................59
Building familiarity.................................................................59
Some players and recordings...............................................59

Unit 9 The Jig....................................................60


Rhythm and tempo................................................................60
Some jigs...............................................................................60
Note Accent and Articulation.................................................65
Jig Rhythm 1 - Basic Jig Accent ....................................65
Some More Rhythmic Exercises....................................66
Jig Rhythm 2 Accent on the off-beat............................67
Articulating the off-beat in jigs.........................................67
Placing the off-beat in jigs...............................................68
Note Accent in Jigs More Examples............................72
Phrasing................................................................................74
Breathing at phrase ends................................................74
Overflowing phrases breathing after phrase ends....75
Breathing and Phrasing More Examples.....................78

Unit 10 The Hornpipe........................................80


Rhythm and Tempo...............................................................80
Some hornpipes....................................................................80
Accent and articulation..........................................................84
Hornpipe Rhythm 1 Basic Hornpipe Accent ...............85
Hornpipe Rhythm 2 Accent on the off-beat..................86
Placing the off-beat in hornpipes....................................87
Note Accent in Hornpipes More Examples..................89
Phrasing and breathing.........................................................90

Unit 11 The Reel................................................91


Rhythm and Tempo...............................................................91
Some Reels...........................................................................91
Accent & Articulation.............................................................96
Reel Rhythm 1 Basic Reel Accent ..............................96
Reel Rhythm 2 Accent on the Off-beat........................98
Placing the off-beat in reels..........................................100
Note Accent in Reels More Examples.......................102
Phrasing and Breathing.......................................................104
Breathing at long notes and phrase ends.....................104
Removing notes in reels...............................................104
Phrasing and Breathing More Examples...................106

Unit 12 Ornamentation...................................108
Ornamentation 1 The Cut.................................................109
Fingering Chart - Cuts...................................................110
Use of the Cut................................................................111
The Cut in Jigs..............................................................117
The Cut in Hornpipes....................................................122
The Cut in Reels...........................................................125
Ornamentation 2 The Tap................................................127
The Tap Fingering Chart............................................127
Use of the Tap...............................................................128
The Tap in Jigs..............................................................133
The Tap in Hornpipes....................................................138
The Tap in Reels...........................................................141
Ornamentation 3 The Slide..............................................143
The Slide Fingering Chart.........................................143
The Slide - Fingering Chart (continued).......................144
Use of the Slide.............................................................145
The Slide in Hornpipes.................................................151
The Slide in Jigs............................................................153
The Slide in Reels.........................................................155
Ornamentation 4 The Roll................................................156
Fingering chart - Rolls ..................................................157
Use of the Roll..............................................................158
The Roll Accent and Articulation................................163
G Roll ...........................................................................165
F Roll ............................................................................167
E Roll.............................................................................169
A Roll.............................................................................171
B Roll.............................................................................173
The Roll in Reels ..........................................................175
The Roll in Jigs.............................................................183
The Roll in Hornpipes...................................................186
www.tradschool.com

Ornamentation 5 The Short Roll......................................188


Fingering chart Short Rolls........................................189
Use of the Short Roll.....................................................190
G Short Roll..................................................................192
F Short Roll...................................................................194
E Short Roll...................................................................196
B Short Roll...................................................................198
A Short Roll...................................................................200
The Short Roll in Reels.................................................202
The Short Roll in Jigs....................................................206
The Short roll in Hornpipes...........................................209
The Short Roll in Hornpipes, Example 1 Dunphy's...209
The Short Roll in Hornpipes, Example 2 Poll Ha'Penny
......................................................................................210
Ornamentation 6 The Triplet.............................................211
The Triplet Notation and Fingering............................211
Use of the Triplet...........................................................213
FED Triplets on D.........................................................216
The Triplet in Reels.......................................................217
The Triplet in Jigs..........................................................220
The Triplet in Hornpipes................................................222
The Triplet in Hornpipes, Example 1 Dunphy's.........222
Ornamentation 7 The Bounce..........................................223
The Bounce Fingering Chart....................................223
Use of the Bounce........................................................224
The Bounce in Reels ...................................................228
The Bounce in Jigs ......................................................231
The Bounce in Hornpipes.............................................233
Ornamentation 8 The Cran..............................................234
The Cran Notation and Fingering..............................234
Use of the Cran.............................................................236
The Cran in Reels ........................................................238
The Cran in Jigs ...........................................................240
Ornamentation 9 Combining Ornaments.........................242
Tap & Cut......................................................................242
Slide and Cut................................................................243
Slide and Roll................................................................244
Tap and Roll..................................................................245
Ornamentation 10 - Staccato Triplets.................................246
Ornamentation 11 Summary............................................247

Unit 13 Other tunes.........................................248


Polka....................................................................................248
Slide.....................................................................................249
Slip Jig.................................................................................250
Set Dance............................................................................251
Barn Dance.........................................................................252

Unit 14 Playing in different keys....................253


Half-holing...........................................................................253
Cross-fingering....................................................................253
Whistles in Different Keys...................................................255

Unit 15 Playing Irish Music............................257


Repertoire............................................................................257
Choosing your repertoire..............................................257
Style.....................................................................................259
Staccato vs legato styles..............................................259
Lift and swing...........................................................259
Other stylistic choices...................................................260
Conscious Choices.............................................................260
Learning by Ear...................................................................261
Advantages of learning by ear......................................261
How to learn by ear.......................................................261
Using Sheet Music........................................................262

www.tradschool.com

Playing in public..................................................................262
Sessions.......................................................................262
Sourcing music....................................................................263
Comhaltas Live.............................................................263
Na Pobair Uilleann Source.........................................263
ITMA Digital Library......................................................263

Unit 16 Putting It Together 2..........................264


Learning and playing tunes.................................................264
Practising.............................................................................264

Unit 17 Tunes..................................................265
The Haunted House......................................................266
The Rose in the Heather...............................................266
The Killavil Jig...............................................................267
The Ship in Full Sail......................................................267
Saddle the Pony............................................................268
The Humours of Glendart.............................................268
Out on the Ocean.........................................................269
The Leitrim Jig..............................................................269
The Frost is all Over.....................................................270
The Rambling Pitchfork................................................270
Pay the Reckoning........................................................271
Club Cil......................................................................271
The Battering Ram........................................................272
The Blackthorn Stick.....................................................272
The Mist on the Meadow..............................................273
The Monaghan Jig........................................................273
The Skylark...................................................................274
The Ashplant.................................................................274
Jackie Coleman's..........................................................275
Ships are Sailing...........................................................275
Sheehan's.....................................................................276
Over the Moor to Maggie..............................................276
The Heather Breeze.....................................................277
Lady Ann Montgomery..................................................277
The Teetotaller..............................................................278
Saint Anne's..................................................................278
The Cup of Tea.............................................................279
The Silver Spear...........................................................280
The Humours of Tulla...................................................280
The Green Mountain.....................................................281
Miss Monaghan.............................................................281
Sean Reid's...................................................................282
The Wind that Shakes the Barley.................................282
Micho Russell's.............................................................283
The Earl's Chair............................................................283
The Galway Rambler....................................................284
The Home Ruler............................................................285
Kitty's Wedding.............................................................285
The Boys of Bluehill......................................................286

Appendix 1 Troubleshooting.........................288
Sound..................................................................................288
Tuning..................................................................................288
Rhythm and tempo..............................................................288
Learning tunes.....................................................................289
Ornamentation.....................................................................289

Appendix 2 Reading Music............................290


Music Notation Basics.........................................................290
Notes and the Staff.......................................................290
Key Signatures..............................................................292
Note Values...................................................................292

Appendix 3 - Bibliography................................293
Appendix 4 Tracklist.......................................294

Introduction
About this book
The fruit of many years playing and teaching, both in Ireland and abroad, this 2-part tutor book gives a complete
practical introduction to playing Irish traditional music on the tin whistle. It is aimed either at the complete
beginner, or at those who already play music and are interested in discovering the music of the Irish tradition. As
a novice, you can expect by the end of this course to be familiar with the Irish traditional repertoire and style, to
have a core repertoire of tunes and be able to perform them with the suitable ornamentation.
The course covers the basics of the whistle in Part 1, and Irish traditional music on the whistle in Part 2, which is
much longer and more detailed. It is designed to be initially accessible even to complete beginners, but goes on
to cover more advanced material. Each part of the tutor contains graded lessons, exercises and tunes, giving a
complete introduction to the whistle in Irish traditional music. Both musical notation and tablature are used so no
knowledge of musical staff notation or sight reading is necessary, although those who prefer using staff notation
may do so.
I have tried to reflect the orally-transmitted nature of Irish traditional music as much as possible in this course. I
have also tried to base the course on the stylistic interpretation of the music, to bring the learner to a real
understanding of the traditional idiom. Ornamentation is presented in context, and each new element is
presented with numerous examples.
Ideally, the beginner would use both parts of this course, starting with the lessons in the basic tutorial, while
listening to the audio files from the intermediate and advanced levels. These mp3 files can be downloaded to
Ipod or burned to CD, to listen at home, when working or in the car... The more exposure you have to the music,
the quicker and easier you will pick it up when you arrive at the intermediate and advanced stages. In Unit 8 I
recommend some whistle players and recordings, while Unit 16 lists some excellent online sources of Irish
music.

All musical instruments require work, even a simple instrument like the whistle; however, it is my
firm belief that the basics of tin whistle playing can be acquired quickly, with a little effort and a
maximum of listening time.
Once these basics are acquired, how far you go is up to you!!

www.tradschool.com