Mudcat Café message #1131963 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #67616   Message #1131963
Posted By: GUEST,leeneia
08-Mar-04 - 11:35 PM
Thread Name: Tuning an Irish whistle
Subject: RE: Tuning an Irish whistle
The original post mentioned a whistle that plays in tune but is not clear. Perhaps it has the problem one of my whistles had - when the maker drilled the holes, the filings (swarf) were left clinging to the edge of the hole inside the whistle. Such craftsmanship!

My sister-in-law took a whistle class from at Milwaukee's Irishfest. She said, "The teacher could play so beautifully. Of course, he had a $150 penny whistle."

I play recorder and flute and have gone to a number of workshops with high-caliber teachers. One thing I've learned is that these instruments respond to your breathing and the shape of your mouth. Today I picked up a whistle and changed the three-finger note by a half step just by moving the tip of my tongue parallel to the roof of my mouth. So it isn't just a question of putting the right number of fingers down and getting the note - ta ta!

In my experience, whistles are so cheaply made and unreliable that it is better to play a recorder when that St. Patrick's Day gig comes around. Unless, perhaps, you have one of those $150 "penny whistles."