The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #39658   Message #1329429
Posted By: Bob Bolton
16-Nov-04 - 10:28 PM
Thread Name: Which Key of Whistle?
Subject: RE: Which Key of Whistle?
G'day Sue,

I: The whistle ought to have come with some sort of 'fingering chart' ...

2: The best place for all sorts of info on whistles is Dale Wisely's "Chiff & Fipple" site: Chiff & Fipple.
Thjis should even have links to basic ... even learner sites ... if you dodge round all the interesting "expensive whistle sections".

3: The whistle is really a simple form of the 'block-flute', as is its cousin the recorder. There are less fingering tricks to the whistle ... essentially the same fingering for both octaves, the octave played being controlled by the playing pressure.

If you start with all fingers firmly placed and play softly, you get the bottom (key) note. Raising the fingers of the bottom (usually right) hand, in order - then the those of the upper (left) one takes you up to the subtonic (say, 'b' on the 'C' whistle). put all your fingers back ... except the top one ... and play harder and you'll get the octave of the first note.

Put the top finger back down and play on and you will get the notes of the upper octave (same 'top finger off' for the highest note).

Practice (and make sure the fingers are always well seated) and you have basic, diatonic, 2-octave whistle playing.

Semitones, third octave, decorative figures ... are later lessons!