My want to whistle  has been nagging me many a year.  I remember watching and listening to an old school friend playing a tune with the local Trad group. Darren is a long time member, he plays Whistle, Banjo, Guitar and Fiddle and  all incredibly well I might add. Less isn't expected as he's been at it from before his teen years with some regrettable absences (his own thoughts) Whistle playing at his level is always out of reach for a wannabe whistler and that kept me from getting started the doubt the lack of confidence but the wanting to always nagged and never went away.

More years than I care to mention have passed from I first went to a Traditional night and since then I had taken up acoustic  guitar got a grip on some chords a little finger style and even took a good old run at some theory that I'm glad to say took away lot of the mystery of music but didn't make the physical act of being able to play much easier.   

I be chatting with Darren back an forth and remember him saying Ach sure playing whistle is easy playing guitar is easy even though as a beginner it wasn't easy but the more I played the easier certain things where getting like holding the guitar that was much easier after a few weeks/months lol

So anyways back to Whistling..

I bought my first whistle on the 14th of July 2012 or there abouts a Clarke Sweet Tone it was like Christmas  and I even took the whistle up with me when I went to bed  so I'd be reminded to practice in the morning (nuts I know) I had played recorder at primary school and can read music from studying guitar so I wasn't going to go to a teacher immediately and bought the Bill Och's Clarke Tin Whistle tutor book with cd from the net and proceeded to learn and it seems to be working.  Here's a recrding of the first hurdle I hit and that was right after I had failed to jump @ Oranges and Lemons :)  I did get it eventually.

 Katie Bairdie my first recording (Jul 25, 2012)

I persevered with practice  learning gradually getting to grips with the beginners  physical aspects of playing seeing the note and translating that to the right fingering and within a few weeks (Bill Och moves pretty fast) I am Tonguing and Slurring notes and most importantly enjoying the learning experience.   

Here's my first Slurring and Tonguing tune it's not perfect I know from listening while watching the music but it's mine and it sounds better than any of the earlier tunes I have worked and I'm kinda proud of it :)

 Lewis Bridal song  (Aug 20, 2012)


I kept going back over the initial lessons and drilling the exercises and have now got a decent practice routine fixed into my daily schedule.  My latest hurdle is a ornament challenge cuts, strikes and eventually simple rolls technique I'm not panicking about this as time and some good video I've sourced on You Tube will help me reach the goal. 

The finale to this post is a re-recorded Katie Bairdie as I wasn't reading the notation very well in my first recording this is getting closer to how Och plays it on books accompanying cd.

Katie Bairdie t2 (August 23, 2012)











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Comment by J.D. Lemonhead on September 1, 2012 at 12:21

Hello Mike,

Thank you for commenting on my Blog and giving me feedback and encouragement on my whistling :) I've taken your advice and added some groups to follow I'll get a better look at these as I get accustomed to the site layout.  It's a great place very diverse and lots of stuff is a  happening. All the best for now.



Comment by Mike "Ormepipes" Orme on August 31, 2012 at 22:14

I think it is great that your are at last following your hearts desire and learning to play the whistle. I've just heard all of your sound clips and I think your doing very well with it, certainly in the time you have been playing. Your other musical knowledge is helping you loads (I can tell that). In particular, your timing is very strong.

I hope you have joined the whistling group on here, I'm sure you will get some interesting reading out of it at the very least and there are lots of useful links for you to investigate.

The world needs more whistle players and now we have another one !!  10 x 10 - hold on tight and enjoy the ride!! - oh, and you might have started learning, but the truth is that you will never actually stop !!!

Best of luck with it mate,



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