Posts

How to place a tin whistle in the mouth and blow it

The tin whistle is a simple instrument and you’d think that how to place it in the mouth and blow it would be simple and obvious. That’s until I read some rather strange advice from anonymous people on the web.

Tin whistle reviews

In my view, videos made of people playing whistles are basically worthless for judging the qualities of a tin whistle. What do they signify? They are more an indication of the microphone being used, the acoustics of the place where the recording was made, the skill of the player and the loudness and treatment of the recording. Not treating the recording (eg. compression, equalisation) is a treatment in itself. You are only hearing what a microphone recorded through whatever loudspeakers/headphones/earphones you are using.

Why the melodeon?

People often assume that I chose to play the melodeon because there is something specifically special about the instrument that attracted me. That is, something about its sound or aesthetics. The answer is, no. I started playing the melodeon through a set of chance happenings. I decided to join a morris side (a Border Morris team that was just starting up), and that included some melodeon players. I already played the tin whistle, but for a while had wanted to learn to play another instrument.

Will you play at our charity event?

This can be a touchy subject, and I certainly do not intend to offend anyone. In the ceilidhs and band events I play for we offer a professional service with expensive musical instruments and equipment. To be able to play events we have had many years of experience in performing and many thousands of hours of practice. In my view, booking an experienced dance musician is akin to engaging a plumber or electrician to work in your home.

Is it English Country Dance, Ceilidh or a Barn Dance?

English social dance has something of a nomenclature problem, which comes from its long history and modern misconceptions or assumptions when using historical terms. Country dance The longest lived term is Country Dance. It is the term used in the earliest dance manuals or descriptions (16th/17th century), in the diaries of contemporaries like Pepys who described Country Dance at the royal court. It is the term used in dance books and music books throughout the 18th and 19th centuries and by authors such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.

Generation whistles -links and examples

See also my comments on “Bad Generation whistles?." It’s simply to help counteract some of the more hysterical comments you get about Generation whistles and demonstrate their worth as instruments and give anyone starting on the tin whistle confidence in buying a cheap whistle such as Generation. So, to showcase the Generation whistle here are some videos. I am, of course, not saying that Generations are the only tin whistle worth having, or that all these players only play Generation whistles.

Bad Generation whistles

The story seems to have several variants: Beginner or inexperienced player writes on a discussion board that they didn’t want to buy a Generation because of the dangers of flaws, or had read about bad quality control of Generation whistles so they didn’t buy one. Beginner or inexperienced player buys a Generation whistle and cannot immediately play all the notes correctly, cannot immediately get all the second octave notes, and/or plays it into tuner and decides that it’s “out of tune” … then they go online, read some other comment about “bad Generations” and declare that theirs is also a “bad Generation”.