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Pipe Chanter and whistle ?

26 Aug 01 - 05:59 PM (#535721)
Subject: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: GUEST,BobbyA

Is there such a thing as a whistle with the same finger holes as a Pipe chanter(Bag pipes) ?

I have a friend who has played the Pipes for many years, knows some great tune, but since the fingering on a whistle is very different is unable to convert easily. It would be great if you get a whistle with the same hole lay out as the pipes

26 Aug 01 - 06:36 PM (#535739)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: JohnInKansas

You don't indicate a particular purpose for getting your friend "playable" on a whistle. I haven't seen any such thing, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

If it's just a matter of the two of you playing together so that you can learn his tunes, perhaps he could use a "practice chanter." Elderly instruments (as an example only) has these
for about $25(US).

If you are wanting to get him into a group, you would need to consider their attitude(s) about such an instrument usage, and whether "pipe tunes" fit in with what they want to play; but that's something you would need to settle with the group.

If you really need a "whistle," I'll defer to those who know more about pipe fingerings and whistles than I do.


26 Aug 01 - 07:20 PM (#535757)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: InOBU

As an Uilleann Piper and Whistle player... I'd say I havent heard a tune you could not play on the whistle that you can on the Pipes. There are particular orniments on pipes, like a ghost D, but even that one can approximate on the pipes... practice old skin, it is not the instrument. Good luck and keep at it, Larry

26 Aug 01 - 08:57 PM (#535812)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: sophocleese

My husband got an adapter for his father's practice chanter. It reduces the size of the bore. Then you attach it to the bag of the bagpipes, stop up the drones and you end up with a quiet version of the pipes suitable for indoor use and playing along with friends. the difficulty with using a practice chanter alone is that you run out of breath, but when it is attached to the bag you can keep going like normal and duracell.

26 Aug 01 - 11:20 PM (#535885)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: Kaleea

The whistle has a different amount of holes than the chanter and therefore different fingerings. I concur with the reccomendation of the practice chanter. One can be obtained which is with or without a small battery operated bellows to do the blowing for you. One session with a practice chanter was all I needed to convince me that the whistle is for me & the pipes I leave to the more adept.

27 Aug 01 - 04:31 AM (#535957)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: Roger in Sheffield

Firstly I don't know what I am talking about here
That said what type of bagpipe is BobbyA meaning?
are Scottish highland pipe chanters different from Uillean?

27 Aug 01 - 05:18 AM (#535962)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: Roger in Sheffield

I see now what you mean
I had never paid much attention to pipe chanters before
I just remembered this from Chiff and fipple a while back (I don't think anyone will mind me reproducing it here)


Colin Goldie calls me up from Germany and tells me that he is sending me a whistle. This is always good news. He told me some of the details on the phone. I was interesting, but maintained the rigorous skepticism that you all have come to expect from The Undisputed King of Internet Whistle Journalism and The Hardest Working Man in Whistle Business. And then the darn thing came. I can't believe it. This is something really new. All of you WhOA (Whistle Obsessive Acquisition disorder) sufferers are doomed, as I am. I'm so, so very sorry.

I wrote Colin an asked him to give us a little information, and I'll let you read some of that now:

*****I had a request from Brian Finnegan that he wanted a high D with an additional bottom C note, so I first thought about that. Then while talking to Steafan Hannigan he had made a wooden D/C as an experiment whilst at college studying how to make musical instruments. We discussed it and when he came to Germany last month to play at Rudolstadt Festival we met up. He brought his wooden one along and I had a look at it. On returning home I made one and it worked well. ******

Now here's me, Dale, writing again: So, let me go over this with you. This whistle has eight (8) finger holes. Seven on the usual dorsal surface and one on the ventral. This is, first and foremost, a D whistle. But, it's the length of a C whistle. The top six holes are just your basic, regular pennywhistle holes. You play them just like any other whistle. The seventh hole, somewhat offset to the right, can be covered with your ring finger to produce the C below the D note. This is cool, in and of itself, because there are a number of tunes on which it would be helpful to dip down to that C note. But, there's more: Recall that the D-major scale is D-E-F#-G-A-B-C#. Since the whistle provides the bottom C-natural note, wouldn't it be cool could easily play the C-major scale? We already have high C-natural which, on this whistle, can be half-holed, or played like this-- O X X O O O, OR now with THIS whistle, played like this X X X X X X x. Wow. So. All we need now is a F-natural. So, there is a hole on the bottom surface, to be covered with your thumb. (The position is a little further down the shaft than where I normally put my thumb, but I adapted readily). To finger the F-natural, the 7th and 6th holes are open, 1-5 are closed and one takes one's thumb off the little special F-hole. Colin picks up our story:

******The thing with Irish music is that there are tunes which are normally very hard to play on whistle or even not possible because you do need the bottom C. You can get away with half holing the F# note to give you the F but having a hole for it makes it easier. The hole for this is on the underside of the whistle between the 5 and 6 hole. This may sound awkward as the thumb is lower down than it would normally be but with a short practice, it is easy to get used to. I have made a few of these now and also an Alto G/F model. This is much more of a stretch for the bottom hole. This will be a new opportunity for players to get more out of the whistle. I can also make the D whistle without the F hole although if the player does not need to use it, it can be taped up until required. The whistle in this case plays exactly the same as a normal whistle but having the opportunity for the C if needed. As Steafan had the initial idea he wanted it to be called the Modal Whistle which it now is.*****

27 Aug 01 - 08:04 AM (#536006)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: InOBU

HIGHLAND PIPES! Oh! We Uilleann pipers think of our selves as the only ones out here, the low note is a problem on war pipe tunes on the shistle, but if you play them up a fith you can play them... generally,

27 Aug 01 - 10:22 AM (#536054)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: smallpiper

There is a company (Iolaire - that are making tunable elcetronic chanters which have highland fingering but can be switched between the highland and smallpipe sound - they are relatively inexpensive. However, nothing beats practice I play small pipes highland pipes and whistle (not all at the same time)and find that it is easy enough to switch between them.

I like the sound of teh modal whistle. Hobgoblin have a whistle which is played the same way as a uillean pipes and even has a drone - interesting!

27 Aug 01 - 12:31 PM (#536117)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: Roger in Sheffield

Colins Modal
Maybe you should email him BobbyA, he is very helpful.

27 Aug 01 - 03:11 PM (#536224)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: Roger in Sheffield

I don't think he will mind me sharing this so here is what Colin Goldie just sent back in response

I had the same request last week from someone asking if I can make a Low D with the same fingering as the uillean pipes. To be perfectly frank I do not know. I will have a go and see if I can get one working but I will only have time in the next month or so. The problem I see is the cross fingering. As I do not play uillean pipes although I am learning the German bagpipes I am sure there will be big differences. The first one that springs to mind is that on a uillean pipe chanter the bottom of the chanter is closed unless you are playing first octave D. I think because of this there is more air pressure coming out of the holes and this would completly change where the holes would go. What I will do as I say is have a go and see what I come with. The Modal whistle was easy as on the high D/C I just lengthened the tube and added two holes so it still plays exactly the same as a D. What I would probably need to do to make a whistle chanter? would be first to have a look at a uillean pipe chanter just to see where the holes are and the sizes of them in relation to each other. I can let you know more when I give it a try. Hope this is helpful and will come back asap

06 Apr 09 - 12:32 PM (#2605704)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: GUEST,Ken in Fort Worth

Google "GHB Whistle", Elf Song makes a whistle that is the same fingering as a Great Highland Bagpipe chanter

06 Apr 09 - 01:34 PM (#2605737)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: Jack Campin

I thought those "chanter whistles" had gone out of production?

I once wrote asking Overton if he could make me a whistle for Highland pipe tunes - basic scale G A B c# d e f# a, either with six or seven fingerholes. The reply I got was a scrutty little price list of his standard products - he acted as if he had no idea what I was asking.

So I got a G alto recorder instead. It's a far more flexible instrument than anything Overton ever made and much better value for money. The fingering isn't the same as a chanter, but enough notes are in the same places that it helps.

06 Apr 09 - 02:55 PM (#2605814)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: Dave Swan

This page at Elfsong shows their D whistle set up as a GHB chanter. I have one and really enjoy it. It's a lot of fun to hand it to an unsuspecting pennywhistle player.


06 Apr 09 - 03:10 PM (#2605840)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: Leadfingers

Maybe I am a SmartArse , but I have had NO problem with playing Scottish War Pipes , Whistles , Clarinets or Saxophones and swoppping tunes between all of them !

06 Apr 09 - 04:26 PM (#2605913)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: Jack Campin

If you are trying to both play in the same key everybody else uses and with something like the standard ornamentation, it helps to have an instrument in which notes finger in similar ways.

I very much doubt you managed to retain normal Irish ornamentation when doing a tune for the D uillean pipes at the same pitch on a B flat tenor sax.

Doing Highland pipe tunes on a D whistle changes the sound a lot - playing across the octave break means the high notes are much louder, whereas on the pipes the low notes are the loud ones. You can hit all the notes, but a lot of the feel is lost.

06 Apr 09 - 05:02 PM (#2605945)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: GUEST,Dave_

I play GHB, Flute and Whistles, and that chanter/whistle from Elfsong looks neat for the price and it answers the question posed.

06 Apr 09 - 05:16 PM (#2605956)
Subject: RE: Pipe Chanter and whistle ?
From: Bernard

Ummm... try a Bombarde! Okay, not a whistle, but great fun!