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 Post subject: Changing keys
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:51 am 
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I know there may be a thread out there, but does anyone have good advice about moving to othere keyed whistles besides the D? I've played a C on one song for church, but it was pretty controlled, and I learned the notes for the song, over a long period of time.

I have a few whistles in other keys, but am hesitant to play them on any piece with my wife. She usually changes it to D or G for my benefit, even if it doesn't suit the piece. I've played the D long enough that I'm comfortable reading music and playing the piece instantly. Not the same for the C and definitely not for the others. I'll try to play by ear, but my confidence level drops precipitously.

Any advice for moving beyond the shallow end of the pool? How have you all transitioned to other whistle keys in your histories?

Jorg

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:57 am 
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I generally just hold the second whistle between arm and side while I play the first. Then I do a quick switch. It has the added benefit of keeping the whistle warm until it's needed. I don't mess too much with half-holing in performance. I found out the hard way that when you're nervous you'll squeak out when you half-hole until you get experienced at it.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:41 pm 
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There's a little thing called the Circle of Fifths (see below) that should help.

Normally, the "easy" keys for a whistle are the key the whistle is in and the key immediately counter-clockwise from it on the Circle of Fifths. The key immediately clockwise from it is also fairly easy, but may require a half-hole on the third hole down from the top.

Which whistle you choose will depend on how high or low the piece goes and, of course, what whistles you have available. There are also lots of exceptions to the rule, for example, Coventry Carol is in A minor, the relative minor of C, but is much easier to play on a D whistle.

The Circle will come in handy especially if you are accompanying someone who is playing from standard notation.

Hopefully this helps.

Slan,
Jim

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:44 pm 
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Remember if you have learned to play a tune in D on a D whistle you can play exactly the same on a C whistle (exact same fingering) and your tune will be in C. The same is true for any other key whistle. I only learn tunes for D whistle then I choose a whistle in the Key I want to play.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:54 pm 
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RonKiley wrote:
Remember if you have learned to play a tune in D on a D whistle you can play exactly the same on a C whistle (exact same fingering) and your tune will be in C. The same is true for any other key whistle. I only learn tunes for D whistle then I choose a whistle in the Key I want to play.


Works for me too .. I transpose songs in other keys to D and then just play them in the key needed on another whistle. Have D - C - Bb - Eb - F - and G just for that purpose. Of course .. I don't ever play with anyone else so it really doesn't matter I suppose. :roll: :D

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:48 pm 
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I don't play with anyone else either Jim. But I am just too lazy to learn to read music for 13 different whistles. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 5:17 pm 
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RonKiley wrote:
I don't play with anyone else either Jim. But I am just too lazy to learn to read music for 13 different whistles. :)

Ron ... it is not "lazy" It is wisdom accquired from years of learning how to do whatever it is .... as easy as possible ... and still obtain suprerior results.

That is my story and I am sticking to it! :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:05 pm 
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i agree completely with jim.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing keys
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:05 pm 
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Jorg wrote:
I know there may be a thread out there, but does anyone have good advice about moving to othere keyed whistles besides the D?

It kind of depends on your understanding of some music theory. I know the fingering/notes on the D whistle because they very closely match the flute, which I played all through school. So if I pick up a C and read along, I transpose to the key of D in my head on the fly.

I can't do it really fast or it makes my brain hurt. :lol:

Dude, I'd say you're just gonna have to get the music in advance and then memorize the piece.

Kitty

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 Post subject: Re: Changing keys
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:09 am 
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KittyR wrote:
Jorg wrote:
I know there may be a thread out there, but does anyone have good advice about moving to othere keyed whistles besides the D?

It kind of depends on your understanding of some music theory. I know the fingering/notes on the D whistle because they very closely match the flute, which I played all through school. So if I pick up a C and read along, I transpose to the key of D in my head on the fly.

I can't do it really fast or it makes my brain hurt. :lol:

Dude, I'd say you're just gonna have to get the music in advance and then memorize the piece.

Kitty


But if you learn to play by ear, which is a skill learnt through working out tunes on your own without written music, then you won't need to transpose as you will be able to play without thinking about which notes you are using.

As for which whistles you would need in your arsenal: A 'C' is most people's second whistle and it is very easy to play in the keys of C, F, major, also D and A minor (and a few others with more half holing).

If your worship is keyboard led then Eb and Bb are well worth considering as pianists love these keys. If your worship is guitar led then you will also need to play in the key of E, for which I find an A whistle is usually perfect for as a high E whistle is HIGH.

Personally I have found that my praise collection grew to include at least one whistle in 10 of the 12 possible keys because the guitarists here love to play around with capos. What we need is a whistle capo! ;)

Have fun, and order that C whistle.


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 Post subject: Re: Changing keys
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:33 am 
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Adrian wrote:
KittyR wrote:
Jorg wrote:
I know there may be a thread out there, but does anyone have good advice about moving to othere keyed whistles besides the D?

It kind of depends on your understanding of some music theory. I know the fingering/notes on the D whistle because they very closely match the flute, which I played all through school. So if I pick up a C and read along, I transpose to the key of D in my head on the fly.

I can't do it really fast or it makes my brain hurt. :lol:

Dude, I'd say you're just gonna have to get the music in advance and then memorize the piece.

Kitty


Personally I have found that my praise collection grew to include at least one whistle in 10 of the 12 possible keys because the guitarists here love to play around with capos. What we need is a whistle capo! ;)

Have fun, and order that C whistle.


I noticed how you skillfully worded "at least one whistle" in 10 of the 12 possible keys. Truth be told isn't it a lot more than one? I am not sure how it really divides out but the 200 or so whistles that Susan mentioned you had seems to indicate that you believe in having a spare or two around! \:D/ :thumbsup: :laughing:

Get the C ... it is a lovely tone!!!! And .. then print out Adrian's post on the needed whistles. You can be buying whistles for the next several years!!! :D

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:15 am 
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Lunasa’s piper, Cillian Vallely, has taken the music from three of their CDs and put it in notation. When a tune is in a key other than D or G, he has included both the original key and another version in a key that works as if you were playing a D whistle. This just makes it easy for those of us who don’t want to learn to read keys for other keyed whistles. For example, a tune that is actually played in the key of Bb on the CD and played on a “F” whistle, he has transposed to the key of G so that you can read like you are playing a D whistle. In other words, with the F whistle in my hands, I can read the notation in the key of G and actually be playing in the key of Bb. I can play right along with the CD.

Noteworthy Composer is a great tool for transposing notation. I do this with a lot of music. Take the key of Bb, which is 2 flats – transpose it down 3 semitones to the key of G, which is 1 sharp. Play along with a piano who is playing in the key of Bb, and I’m playing an F whistle reading notation in the key of G and using fingering as if I were playing a D whistle.

Have I confused anyone?

So, I admit it. I’m very lazy.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:24 am 
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Jims got so many whistles he can play in all keys twice :lol: :lol: Les.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:17 pm 
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Also,

If you have a C whistle, you can play in ''Dorian" mode - that is, a major scale starting on the second note of the diatonic scale. With the C whistle, you would start on D and finger it like you would usually, but the 'tonic' or root note becomes a D, and in effect you are playing in D minor. But is not a 'pure' minor like the relative minor of C, which is A minor. I use this almost exclusively in lieu of a pure minor. SO ... on a C whistle, you can play in C, G, A minor and D 'minor' without altering any fingerings.

... does any of that make sense? :-s

Edited to add this to Jorg:

If you are comfortable fingering a song in D on a D whistle, but your wife wants to sing it in C, simply have her play it in C and you play the original chart (written in D) on a C whistle. Is that what your asking? I kinda got off on a tangent about the 'mode' thing - sorry - and missed the original intent of the thread. Sorry brother!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 3:23 pm 
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Well I almost agree with Adrian on the whistle in each of 10 or 12 keys. But you need to add one in each key in brass, one in each key in nickel, and one in each key in aluminum. There are those that will say that you should add a few wooden whistles. I think that you can just have flutes in wood and let it go at that. Of course a brass Gen, a brass Feadog and a brass Waltons all have slightly different sounds. We haven't mentioned yet the plastic whistles like the Susato or Dixon and then there is wide bore and narrow bore. But you just need these few basic whistles. :roll: :roll: :) :) :)

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:17 am 
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RonKiley wrote:
you need to add one in each key in brass, one in each key in nickel, and one in each key in aluminum. There are those that will say that you should add a few wooden whistles. I think that you can just have flutes in wood and let it go at that. Of course a brass Gen, a brass Feadog and a brass Waltons all have slightly different sounds. We haven't mentioned yet the plastic whistles like the Susato or Dixon and then there is wide bore and narrow bore. But you just need these few basic whistles. :roll: :roll: :) :) :)


And THEN I need to figure out how to feed my kids!
I do have a stash of whistles that I got on ebay. Mostly generations in a few different keys, and well as an Oak, and Feadog D. (as well as the evil Susato Low D PVC.)

A lot of great information in the above posts, and I think my first step is to understand the scales in each whistle, understand the two major keys for each, and continue to play by ear. It sounds like trying to be able to read music in each key is not worth the trouble. Thanks for the tips everyone! I'm going to copy/paste alot of it into a word doc for future reference!

Jorg

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:53 pm 
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RonKiley wrote:
Well I almost agree with Adrian on the whistle in each of 10 or 12 keys. But you need to add one in each key in brass, one in each key in nickel, and one in each key in aluminum. There are those that will say that you should add a few wooden whistles. I think that you can just have flutes in wood and let it go at that. Of course a brass Gen, a brass Feadog and a brass Waltons all have slightly different sounds. We haven't mentioned yet the plastic whistles like the Susato or Dixon and then there is wide bore and narrow bore. But you just need these few basic whistles. :roll: :roll: :) :) :)


Most of the whistles in my worship bag (a drumstick bag) are Susatos. I also have in it two recorders and I normally have a flute with me. In the church here we have to be ready for 'surprises'. In a more 'organised' church I would need fewer whistles!


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