Brother Steve's guestbook

Messages in French and English (and occasionally other languages) are all posted here. If you are unilingual, scroll down and you should find something you can understand! Contributions in German and Italian are also welcome - in fact in any language, although I won't post what I cannot understand myself! Cheers,  - Bro. Steve

André Sousa São Miguel, Portugal 2023-06-22
Hi Steve, I'm André and I live on the island of São Miguel in Portugal. I visited Ireland a couple of months ago and fell in love with the country and especially its culture. I bought my first tin whistle there and have been using your website as part of my learning resources, and it has been excellent. Thank you so much for all the work you've put in.   Best regards, André Sousa
Dave Hill Western Australia 2023-05-30
Recent convert to the whistle and loving it. Your site is one of the best for info and lighthearted humour to boot! Please keep up the good work as I am sure there are many whistlers out there who can benefit from your experience and advice. Brilliant website.  Regards, Dave
Paul UK 2022-10-21
Hi Steve, I have just heard about your tin whistle pages. They come highly recommended and I have been very impressed at first glance. I look forward to exploring them in more detail. I have also bought your book, A Dossan of Heather. It is a fascinating historical record and I’m sure it will be extremely rewarding to learn the tunes. Keep up the good work!  Paul
Bernie NE England 2022-09-20
Hi Steve! Years ago I read something that changed my attitude to music for the better, and I've been passing this insight on to other people ever since, but I wasn't ever able to find the original source I read. I just rediscovered your website, and I'm wondering if you were the author of that piece.

It was about how we all have models, players we would like to be like. But we can fall into the trap of feeling permanently dissatisfied with our music, because we feel we will never “get there” and be able to do it “properly” like our role models. I try now to be content with the music I can make today, and not to feel I am always failing to reach some unattainable goal.

Was it you who wrote that stuff?   All the best, Bernie

Hi Bernie. It rather sounds like the sort of thing I might have written somewhere! In any case I heartily applaud the sentiment. Cheers, Steve
Andrew Z Detroit, Michigan 2022-09-14
Hello, Steve. Thank you for making such a concerted effort into elaborating on techniques. I am a reading learner and have benefited immensely from digesting your information. My confidence is up and my ability to perform is greatly enhanced. I would say "keep going" but I'm sure you have plenty of priorities in life already, so, Godspeed.   Andrew
Conor Catchpole Northern Ireland 2020-08-21
Steve: Your tutorials are exceptionally clear, and the embedded scores and audio work better than a book. I particularly benefited a couple of years ago from the advice to finger certain notes differently (e.g. Cnat or high D) depending on what comes before & after them in the tune. This has helped me to hold the whistle more stably and play more fluently. I haven't come across this advice written down anywhere else on the net. I've come back to your site to learn the alternative way of tonguing jigs. Thank you!   Conor
Rick Tucker Newfoundland 2020-06-26
Hello Steve! Well the pandemic is on so I'm spending a lot of time with my instruments. I've been concentrating on guitar and banjo mostly but have picked up my whistles again lately. I'm in Newfoundland, Canada and trad is very popular here.   Rick
Fernando Algo Zacatecas, Mexico 2020-06-06
Hello Steve. I picked the tin whistle a year ago, mostly because I am a big fan of Eluveitie and folk metal in general, so I wanted to learn a folk instrument, but when I started to listen to traditional tunes I fell even more in love with the humble whistle.

I have OCD and that has been a big obstacle in my adulthood, so I stopped learning the whistle while trying to find some answers to my life. Recently I moved back to a familiar place and during this pandemic I have been reflecting a lot. I am now able to practice tin whistle again with more comfort and I have the intention to do it seriously. Unfortunately, my country does not have a lot of connection with irish traditional music (nobody sells whistles here, but I was able to buy some cheap whistles online and I also had to make a couple out of PVC, so there is that), but I think that playing on my own will become a big therapy.

Sites like yours are a great help for people like me, who do not have the money to travel or to pay for premium courses, and want some tips or recommendations to get started. I wanted to say thank you and I also wanted to leave my written promise to keep learning the whistle no matter what.
Cheers!  Fernando
Anne W Wisbech, Cambs 2020-02-25
Hi Steve, On a whim picked up a whistle recently and I am finding your site useful. I don’t intend to play many jigs and reels but like the slower airs which just about suit my pace in everything these days! At least I will know my tap from my slide, even if I can’t do them.  Anne

PS Really enjoying learning the whistle, the cat is less keen, however!
Jan USA 2020-02-03
I started playing the penny whistle last October, as a bridge to the Irish flute, which wouldn’t be ready until January. I’m glad I did as I like the sound and the fact that it’s easier to get good sounds from it, compared to my new flute. It’s much larger and it will take a lot of work before I can cover the holes properly. I think that it will for a while, anyway. So, I’ll explore your site and keep going with the whistle!   Jan & Sheila
Katy van Aken Melbourne 2020-01-01
Hi! Have just come across your site when I googled how to play C# on my D whistle, great to read the alternatives. I got my whistle for Christmas and absolutely love it!  Katy
Ginny Western Australia 2019-09-30
Hello Brother Steve,

I have loved Irish music and particularly Irish Tin Whistle for many years, since I was quite small, and for the last month or so started to play. I turn 60 this year and it is my present to myself to learn tin whistle!

I’m using a lot of online information to access how to play and it is such a fun journey. I live in a rural area so can’t learn with face to face lessons but sites like yours are as good as a personal tutor and for that I am eternally grateful. I have been using YouTube for tips and tricks also and spending a lot of time having the Irish tunes playing, getting my ear ‘in’ so to speak. So far breath is the hardest to control but I’ve read that comes with practice.

Thanks for your website. Cheers,  Ginny
Sharon Jones 2019-07-18
Newby here. About four months. I found you by searching “How to ornament C natural whistle.” Your page is greatly appreciated. Thanks for sharing!  Sharon Jones
Pat Anderson Birch Bay, WA 2019-06-29
Bro. Steve, Thanks so much for your whistle pages they are an invaluable resource. I will be 73 in August 2019. I have been noodling with whistles for a couple of years, so I am coming to this late in life! I bought four Becker PVC whistles (a high D, C, G, and low D), which are very good whistles (on pitch and in tune over both octaves) for a very low price, and a week or so ago I bought a Dixon Trad, which is a fantastic whistle. I have been collecting traditional music from, printing them, and collecting in a notebook. My background is guitar (all my life) and ocarina (7 years), where a staff notation is played (for the most part) exactly as written. That was my biggest frustration trying to play from my notebook until I found your pages! Irish music does not translate well to staff notation! The notes are right but the rhythm does not come through, except for the airs and waltzes. Jigs and reels, forget it! Your inclusion of the MP3 sound files was incredibly helpful, so I could get an idea of what a tune is supposed to sound like! Now for every tune in my notebook, I am also saving the audio from a YouTube of the tune, so for each tune, I have an ABC notation, a PDF staff music printout, and an MP3 audio file. I will never play "at speed" but at least I think I now have a fighting chance to get the cuts and taps, maybe rolls, and most importantly the rhythm, close to right in my playing! Thanks again!  Pat Anderson
Toni Gomara Spain 2019-05-25
Hello, Brother Steve. Te escribo desde España y no se comunicarme en otro idioma, simplemente agradecerte tu trabajo y el compartir tus conocimientos de la música irlandesa y del whistle en particular.

A mis 60 años he llegado al mundo del whistle y de la música tradicional de Irlanda; provengo de la música tradicional de mi tierra “Euskal Herria”, concretamente toco la Gaita Navarra, y mis dedos aunque un poco mayores están acostumbrados a tapar agujeritos. Tus Páginas me han ayudado mucho por lo que, repito, te doy las gracias y voy a continuar buscando consejos en internet y escuchando música irlandesa en YouTube pues donde vivo es casi imposible disfrutarla en directo. Lástima que no conozca tus idiomas, si no intentaría conseguir alguno de tus libros.  Un saludo, Toni

[With help from Google translate, abetted by Mrs Bro. Steve:] Hello, Brother Steve. I am writing from Spain in Spanish because I cannot write in another language, just to say thank you for your work and for sharing your knowledge of Irish music and the whistle in particular.

At 60 I have come to the world of whistle and Irish traditional music with a background in the traditional music of my homeland, “Euskal Herria” – the Basque Country. I play the Gaita Navarra, so my fingers – although a little older – are used to covering holes. Your pages have helped me so, again, I thank you and I will continue to seek advice on the internet and continue listening to Irish music on YouTube, because where I live it is almost impossible to hear live. It's a pity I don't know your languages, otherwise I would try to get one of your books.  Greetings, Toni.
Risto Ruuskanen Finland 2019-05-21
Your page has opened me a new path pursuing irish music on a tin whistle. I’ve had the instrument for several years but no other guide has got me inspired like yours! Now I finally feel like I’ve taken my first steps in the right direction. Thank you!  Risto
Susannah Cox Stephenson, Virginia 2019-05-09
Hello! I used your pages several years ago when I was playing around with tin whistle. I am a homeschooling mother who uses a program that teaches basic music theory with the tin whistle. I had so much fun with it and learned a great deal from your site, so when my teen daughter said she wanted to learn more about the whistle, I thought to return to it. She is pretty practiced with playing notes (using the Bill Ochs book) and is moving on to ornamentation. I thought your site taught that well. Thanks for providing it!  Sincerely, Susannah
Sam Kuijpers Netherlands 2018-12-17
Hi Steve, This site is amazing! I picked up the tin whistle only recently and even though there are numerous videos around on youtube, none of them (I found so far) are this clear and well documented on the basic stuff like alternative fingering of notes. Your twiddly bits pages are a gigantic help in figuring out how and when to execute which... well... twiddly bits. Sure do hope those “coming soons” will eventually come... soon. Kind regards,  Sam

(from the Netherlands) Could have made a Dutch version as well for enjoyment, but I don’t like sugar in my tea either ;)

[In response to a plea from Bro. Steve:] Hoi Steve, je website is echt geweldig! Ik ben recentelijk een tinwhistle opgepakt en hoewel er vele youtube video’s te vinden zijn, geen van deze (zover ik heb gezien) zijn zo duidelijk en gedetailleerd met de basis principes zoals alternatieve vingerzettingen. De pagina over riedeltjes variatie zijn echt een gigantische hulp in de hoe en wanneer met uitvoering van... nouja... de riedeltjes. Hopelijk zullen de “coming soon” stukjes daadwerkelijk ooit verschijnen. Met vriendelijke groet,  Sam

“Twiddly bits” is a pain to translate.. as I suppose all slang is
Stephen Watkins In the cloud 2018-12-13
Hi Roger, Thanks for a cracking site. I'm really a pro recorder player but have followed many different routes in music, partly for fun, partly to inform my work as composer. My main interest is Irish flute at the moment but knowing so little about Irish music have found this really informative, you have ticked my interest in whistle though!  Stephen
Conor Moloney London 2018-11-30
Salut Steve - Just a message of appreciation for your wonderful site. Now I’m totally hooked! Slán...  Conor
Sean Ferguson Montréal, Québec 2018-11-10
I’ve been enjoying your tin whistle site for several years and realized that I’d never signed your guestbook. I’ll keep coming back until that page on whistle crans finally appears! :-)  Sean
Al Caldwell San Diego, California 2018-10-02
Hey Steve, We’re still out here, an army of us who love all things whistle! I just came across your website recently and haven’t really drilled down into it yet. Read some of the questions and answers and appreciated what you had to say. I always wanted a whistle but thought they were too expensive so I decided to make my own a couple of years ago. I’ve made a high D, low D, and a G. Lots of experimentation went into each one and I think there is much more to come. Making these fipples is challenging to say the least. At any rate keep adding stuff to your page, it’s great. Many thanks,  Al Caldwell
Rachel Fruen 2018-07-15
I came to your site through the Chiff and Fipple as well as a previous poster. I haven’t looked around yet, polite to say hello first! I’m looking forward to meeting some people and whistles! I have 8. But they are all cheap ones. One was my grandfather’s who I never met, but they are all precious to me.   Regards, Rachel
Robert Douglas Portland, Oregon 2018-04-14
Hello Brother Steve! After playing the guitar for years I wanted to take stab at another instrument to play in sessions. Always loved the sound of the whistle so started looking at resources on the web and quickly found my way to your pages. Have really enjoyed you talking about the nuts and bolts about what makes the music sound Celtic, rather then just another folk tune. Thanks for the effort you’ve put in.  Rob
Dan Prescher Merida, Mexico 2018-03-22
Signing the guest book for Brother Steve’s Tin-Whistle Pages. Found you through The Session and the Chiff and Fipple sites, and glad I did. Have played whistle for my own amusement for a long, long time, and have some bad habits to fix when it comes to traditional Irish music, so am extremely glad I found you — have learned a few things already, and haven’t even dug deeply into the site yet. Thanks for your work, it's much appreciated.
Trent Gaylord California 2018-02-20
Dear Brother Steve, I just found your very informative website. I'm a 51 year old living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I learned to play the recorder when I was a very young boy, then I played the clarinet for a couple years in elementary school, but I haven't picked up an instrument for forty years. I'm very happy to find your tin whistle site and to now be learning this simple but challenging instument after so long. Thanks for all the information.   Trent
Marcus Gustafsson Åland, Finland 2018-02-07
Greetings from the Åland Islands in Finland! Picked up my first whistle two weeks ago, having played the recorder for quite a few years. Been trying alternative fingerings, mostly for the c sharp (how are you supposed to hold the whistle using only two thumbs on the bottom of the whistle???). I like to find confirmation that I'm not doing anything that will cause problems later on, so it was nice to find your page with explanations making me confident I'm on the right track. Thank you!  Sincerely, Marcus.
Alicia Wang New York 2017-12-31
Hi Steve! I've been a fan of Irish traditional music since middle school but only recently decided to try my hand at it myself and learn to play the tin whistle. I am a university student and sometimes hold a session with a few of my friends (although it looks silly to outsiders, because we are all ethnically Chinese, playing the tin whistle or fiddle or mandolin!) Your pages have been invaluable to me, especially the sheet music and clips you provide. I don't know if I would've even attempted to try to learn had I not discovered your website! Thanks for all your hard work.  Alicia
Chris Marten Penzance, Cornwall 2017-12-24
I've just picked up my whistle again after about 20 years. I never got beyond absolute basics then. Listening to Mary Bergin's Feadóga Stáin prompted me to investigate what was on the Internet. Via some interesting YouTube clips, forums and Irish music pages I came across your site. Your stuff is incredibly useful. Thanks so much for making it available. I object to Facebook so I am delighted to to be able to access your tips and tutorials without it. Having the short mp3 extracts is a great resource; I frequently choose to practise in remote locations far from folk and Wi-Fi! Again, many thanks for your generosity.  Chris
Andrea Fagin NYC 2017-12-18
I am a beginner tin whistle player and pretty terrible at that (just ask my husband and neighbors). But, nevertheless, this is an email of thanks for your Brother Steve's Tin Whistle site. It is so well-done, clear and helpful. What spurred this email was working my way through your “Rolls: the dah-blah-blah method” page and coming to its concluding audio that said if you sound like this, go back to the start. I laughed out loud. So thank you for the site and all the work you put into it.  Andrea
Myra Hirschberg USA 2017-12-12
Recently came back to the whistle from a multi-year hiatus. Panicked a few days ago when your URL returned a “site expired” message - so imagine my happiness when I tried again today and realized I can indeed go back to all your exercises and this time - maybe - actually learn how to use rolls. Thank you for all your hard work making this site.  Myra
Pat McInnis Nelson, B.C. 2017-11-18
Hey Steve, I was sent a link to your site from the folks at Chiff and Fipple (probably to try and get rid of me) and it has been extremely helpful for a rank beginner. I’m still at the “not recommended for human ears” stage but I have been practicing every day for the past couple of months and really hope to one day achieve “adequate” status. At the spry age of 46, it seemed like the right thing to do; taking up an instrument that I know nothing about and having no musical background. What’s the worst that could happen? I do however have a love for traditional Irish music and have a stack of songs that I am familiar with, so these are the tunes that I am currently learning to play. Being a chef, I really dig your food analogies and I’ll take it one further, just for my own personal take and describe my playing as stone soup (please tell me you know the story). Currently, I am the cold and lost soldier in the town square, boiling a cauldron full of rocks. You get the rest. I’m hoping to try to figure out some taps and cuts today based on your descriptions but I’m still not too adept at reading music. I’ll get there.

Anyways, thanks for all of your efforts.  Pat
Michel Blondeau 2017-11-19
Hello Steve, I have just bought A Dossan of Heather, this is a very interesting e-book and the audio part is quite fine. Thank you for your fine tin whistle site, I like to read and hear the pages once and again. I’m glad it's still here after all these years...   Michel
Dick Frost Minnesota, USA 2017-10-08
Older gentleman learning the tin whistle. Your site has been useful in my pursuit to improve my method. Thanks!   Dick
Jim Gussen Maine, USA 2017-09-11
Dear Brother Steve, I am a relatively competent recorder player and a long-time fan of Irish (and Celtic in general) traditional music, but I have always cultivated that second interest only as a listener, never as a player. Recently I picked up a tin whistle on my first trip to Ireland and am just now learning to play it. I find the instruction and encouragement on your website invaluable. Thank you!   Jim
Susana Kelly UK 2017-05-20
Hi Steve - as requested, an encouraging note, in return for the encouragement I’m getting from your fine site. As a novice whistler, coming to it late in life, I need all the help and advice I can get. I’m very much looking forward to being able to incorporate some of your tips into my playing as I gain more skill. I began my whistling adventure just 6 weeks ago, in a serendipitous manner, and am surprised by how much pleasure it gives me. I play in an enthusiastic community band with a floating population of music-mad old crocks - huge fun, but I have to deliver the goods! I stumbled upon your site equally serendipitously, searching for something-or-other a while back, and have been dipping into it when time allows, so I thought it's time to thank you for your efforts, and urge you to keep it up if you can.   Best wishes, Susy
John Spear USA 2016-06-14
Hi Steve, Just a quick note to thank you for your beautiful site. I believe I first discovered it sometime around 2012. I’m a piano player who occasionally feels drawn to the whistle and when the urge strikes, I first go to your site to renew my knowledge base and play through your music examples. I’m always very impressed by people who take the time to do something nice for others.

Here's to wishing you health and happiness.  John
Brad Maestas Bay Area, USA 2016-06-02
Hello, I just wanted to say that I have enjoyed the site and learned a lot from it as a relatively new whistler over the past few years. I’ve been a professional musician most of my life as a bassist, mandolinist, guitarist, percussionist, trumpeter, trombonist, saxophonist, and accordionist but when I was just starting out your site helped me demystify some of the finer points of interpretation, which is where a lot of the magic (and difficulty!) lies, in my opinion. Before I had the chance to take private lessons with Bill Ochs in NYC I relocated to the Bay Area and am now searching for teachers and sessions but it's sites like this that keep the curiosity lit and the whistles warm while I get used to my new surroundings. Many thanks and all the best to you and yours!   Brad
Andy UK 2016-04-22
Hello! I have been playing the whistle for over 40 years in sessions, in bands and just sitting on the sofa and I still managed to find much useful info on your site, great work, keep it up!  Andy
Michel France 2016-02-29
Bonjour/Hello Steve, J'aime beaucoup ce site sur le tin whistle, et tout particulièrement les astuces techniques, par ex. « not lifting a finger », ou apprendre à ne plus donner de coup de langue. Elles m'ont beaucoup aidé à comprendre l'instrument et le type de jeu qu'il nécessite.

Très cordialement  MB
Mark USA 2015-12-07
Hi Brother Steve! I’ve picked up the whistle after a long time away from playing and I really needed some solid, "back-to-basics" lessons, as my playing was incredibly rusty. Your page has not only provided that, but also shown me places where I’d gone astray when I first learned to play!

Not sure if you'll be updating your page, but regardless, I will be avidly studying your wonderful lessons as I re-acquaint myself with the tin whistle. Thanks for sharing your wealth of practical knowledge! Best,  Mark
Jean Rochester, NY 2015-09-29
Hi, I hail from Rochester, New York. I just “found” you. Thanks!   Jean
Randall Japan via US Midwest 2015-07-16
Hello. I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate your useful instruction for beginning tin whistlers like myself. Everything you've written is supportive and easy to understand without giving one the feeling of being talked down to.

I especially found your description of playing cuts, rolls, and all those necessary techniques very clear. The sound files are the most welcome, helping me to make sure that I’m reading the musical notation the right way.

I’ve been playing music (5-string, bluegrass) banjo for a long time, but have always loved the sound of the Irish tin whistle. I’m just starting out on the whistle, but your website has helped me to understand -- intellectually what and how to do it -- now it'll only take about 20 years until I get it under my belt.

Just in case you're interested in where I’m writing to you from, I live in Japan now, but I’m an American from the midwest.

Thanks again!   Randall
David NW USA 2015-04-08
I'm a 20-year old college student in the pacific northwest coast in the United States. A couple months ago I decided to pick up some of my dad's old tin whistles, which he never had the time to truly master, unfortunately. I've found that I've become quite obsessed, much to the dismay of my roommate!

Anyways, I just wanted to say how much I appreciated your website and all of the fantastic information. It's answered so many questions that so many people just don't know the answers to! I was starting to get lost and I didn't really know which direction to go next, so thank you, so much for all the help.   David
Tom Flanagan USA 2015-02-28
Don't leave me now, I just found you and need your expert guidance to figure out my tin whistle and how to become proficient enough to stop frightening the neighborhood dogs and cats!   Tom
Eloïse These Isles 2015-02-03
Hello Roger [!], I'm just wanting to say how excellent, practical and enjoyable your whistle guide website is. I have played basic woodwinds (to myself only) on and off (but more off) for years so I've got a little headstart, but nonetheless am super pleased with myself for getting slides (ha, downwards ones, I like them, so there!) and rolls going in under five minutes (I'd never done rolls deliberately before - they just happen when you get the wrong note and correct yourself in a hurry, don't they?!). Thanks to you! I'll be recommending the site to friends... All the best,  Eloïse
Tony Aldridge Christchurch, New Zealand 2012-12-05
Thanks Brother Steve, Have downloaded tunes and a few pages. Time to see if I can put your experience and wisdom to use. Will keep you posted if and when I make progress with the whistle! Regards,  Tony
Mark Bodah Massachusetts, USA 2012-12-01
Bonjour, frère Steve! Just wanted to say how much I appreciate your site and all the great information and sound samples hereon. I have no idea why, but I recently decided to revisit the whistle after only just beginning the concertina as well (which is another really fun instrument!) Maybe I've bitten off more than I can chew, but hey, it's all for fun! I love your writing style and sense of humour, and all the sweet metaphors and analogies, by the way--I read your site from cover to cover! Best of luck to you,   , Mark in Massachusetts
Liz USA 2012-11-29
Hi Brother Steve,

I absolutely love your site. I use it everyday. I grew up Irish Dancing in the US and went to the world championships twice, so traditional Irish tunes are my heart and soul. My parents bought me a tin whistle once as a souvenir and it had just been sitting around my house for a decade or so. Two months ago I found it in a box and decided to try it out.

I wanted to thank you for the advice and wisdom on your site. Learning to play traditional music is a lot harder than I thought, but your site has been a true blessing. I am swiftly becoming a True Believer... to the dismay of my husband and housemates, who have to listen to me squeal out my High B (I'll get there). Thanks Again,  Liz
JD Lemonhead UK 2012-11-26
Bro Steve, I'm enjoying learning about ITM from your web site. I like how you explain techniques. Many thanks for the time you have spent creating and maintaining the site. I think you should create a Facebook page for the site, it would be an excellent way to get feedback from all those you have helped over the years. Cheers,   JD Lemonhead
Jorden The Netherlands 2012-08-20
Dear brother Steve,

Thanks for your wonderful website about the tin whistle. As a beginning player the articles on tongueing, cuts and breathing helped me a lot. As a suggestion, maybe you could comment on some beginners' playing to really let us hear what you are talking about. A sort of 'beginners mistakes' with sound clips and commentary. Thanks again, and keep up the good work!  Jorden
Susan Spencer 2012-08-10
This is a remarkable and generous website! I don't "face-book," and it's so refreshing to not have to be asked to join Facebook just to access meaningful material with regard to the whistle. I'm self-taught, play by ear, and have been schlepping along on my motley collection of tin and PVC whistles for about 6 years. But I've plateaued, shall we say. I gravitate toward the ballads because I simply can't seem to master the nuanced sense of rhythm that the jig requires (not to mention the dexterity). And time signatures leave me in the dust. I think your site is going to help get me to the next level.

I love the spirit of this page— em-dash;it is all about real substance, openly and generously shared with others. Bravo, and thank you. I'll be visiting this page often, and making donations as I am able. Thanks again!  Susan
Mike Forster Canada 2012-03-16
I'm still here, Steve, re-reading you pages from time to time, as well as your C&F posts. Peter's posts, too!

Thanks so much for your time and effort to share your knowledge and experience. Just the thing to keep me playing when I think I'm fed up with my progress. Best regards,   Mike
Steve K Unknown 2012-01-28
Hi Brother Steve! I just wanted to thank you for an excellent site. I was given a tin whistle for Christmas, so I'm just learning.. but your insight to the music is really inspiring, and it's really making a difference! Many thanks for sharing your expertise. All the best,    Another Steve
Julie S Oregon, USA 2012-08-06
I've been a fiddle player for nearly 20 years, and a few months ago I fell in love with a Gene Milligan whistle. My best buddy fell in love with my whistle and had to have her own, too. We are learning together and I'm always looking for learning materials for our meetings, which we refer to as "Whistle Lessons For The Easily Amused." Thank you very much for your site - I'll send you updates on how we progress. Cheers,    Julie in Oregon
Maria Philippines 2012-06-25
Hello! I am a beginner in tin whistle so I really like your website very much. Very informative and easy to use. I will use it in my studies well. Thank you for the website!    Maria
Marco Tùlio Uberaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil 2012-06-22
Hello Steve! Thank you a lot for the wonderful site that you have been developing! I have learned a lot of good tips that have been encouraging my self to continue learning this magical instrument called Tin Whistle! Please, my dear, don't give up! Keep up this great work! Let me tell you that I spent hours and hours reading your site, not only because the subject interested me, of course, but, mainly, because you are a fantastic writer! It's very pleasant to read you, Steve. Again, thank you!
A big hug from your fan,   Marco Túlio
Kay Strosnider USA 2012-06-11
Just a note to thank you so much for all the wonderful information on the Brother Steve's tin whistle pages!!! Your careful and well-put instructions have helped me immensely.

By the way, the Swannanoa Gathering Celtic Week (Asheville, NC) is an outstanding (globally) summer camp for trad enthusiasts.

Thanks again, brother!   Kay
Randall Sims Florida 2011-11-23
Brother Steve,

Thank you for your clear explanations and insights into the whistle! They have helped me very much, and I'll be sure to point my children your way when they start.   Randy from Florida
Alan Barker Rhode Island 2011-11-10
Brother Steve,

Hello from Rhode Island, USA! Thanks for your website, and all the information that you provide. It is greatly appreciated, and a valuable resource. I picked up a tin whistle and the Clarke book you recommend last month. I am soon to retire at age 60, and look forward to this being one of my retirement hobbies/passions. I played a lot of music in grade school, but life got in the way, and I have only dabbled over the years.

I am excited about this new journey, and the passion of others will keep the fires lit.
Thanks again,   Alan Barker
Rachel Gwilym Scotland 2011-08-17
Dear Steve,

Many thanks for your wonderful site. I am learning to play the whistle on the Isle of Tiree in Scotland and I'm finding a mine of information and tips on your pages. Best,   Rachel
Eric Provence 2011-03-29

Pas facile d'apprendre le Whistle quand on habite en France. Je vous remercie grandement pour ce site trés bien pensé, qui est une mine d'or pour tout apprenti et plus, de cette magnifique musique . Grace à vous je progresse.

Garder longtemps ce site actif s'il vous plait. Le bonjour de Provence !   Eric
Rob Ellis North Carolina, USA 2011-03-13
Great site, brother Steve! I'm new at this and your teaching is very clear and helpful. Just joined a local Celtic Session today. Wish me luck! Many thanks.   Rob
Hana USA? 2010-04-19
Hi! I found your website recently when I decided I really wanted to learn to play my tinwhistle. The whistle has been in a box for 4 yrs (a gift from my Mom).

At the time I didn't know what it was, and it seemed unlikely anyone could get any interesting music out of it. Then a few weeks ago, I was listening to a piece of music, that I really loved, but didn't know what the instruments were. Turned out they were uilleann pipes (another instrument I wouldn't mind learning some day), and a tin-whistle. Hey, I have one of those!!

I laughed at your page about the "True Believer", because I've already started listening to Irish music ALL the time. I'm not sure it will last, but right now I just can't stop listening :)

Your website is wonderful, with lots of great information. I haven't gone through it all yet, but I wanted to "drop a line" and say thank you for creating a great resource.
Wish me luck, thanks!   Hana
Jonathan Albany, NY, USA 2010-01-31
Hey Steve,
Love your site! so far it's the best I've found. First a short history of my musical adventure! It has a point I promise...

I played flute briefly in school at a young age and chose it I think because that was what my mother played, unfortunately as a boy of that age I found it very difficult to practice regularly, and so I didn't continue. a few years later I tried again with the piano, this time from a local teacher rather than for school band, and again, found it difficult to practice, the result was predictable... later again I tried to learn guitar from my father who has played since the age of 5, and took lessons from Mel Bay (yes him) but I had trouble stretching my fingers to reach the chords and so I gave that up too....

THEN finally, at 19 years old, I met my father's friend who played percussion, we were invited to his wedding and I got to see him play... I decided then that that was what I would learn, so first I made some bongo drums from a tree that fell in the yard, then I learned to play them, mostly by force of will, and through small hints and tips from his friend. at some point I considered myself to be ready and began playing along with my father then with his friend I learned syncopated drumming...

Along the way, at about that time, the sister of a school buddy of mine gave me a little Clark whistle... one of the cheap ones with the plastic mouthpiece... it had been obviously chewed on by her little dog with tooth marks up and down the body and mouthpiece, and at first I didn't give it much thought... but as I played my bongo drums with my father, I began to notice that there were some songs that they just didn't go well with, and I thought of that little whistle. So ever since, I've played it purely by ear, and purely off the cuff... I have yet to play it with an audience though because I don't feel my skill is advanced enough.

Being of Scottish lineage I attend our local Scottish games and there are always bands playing Celtic tunes, and so I set about attempting to learn jigs and reels and to be honest, they're always played so fast that I could never have time to pick up the subtleties... I've found a few websites along the way that attempted to explain it but none gave examples like yours... I can slow yours down and hear what you're doing, there's no other musicians in the recording to try to weed out.

You know it's kind of funny how you talk about the phrasing not matching the notation... that's true of all styles... you hold the note that extra bit to give emphasis, or bend it slightly to give a bit of discord...everything is open to interpretation and while there seems to be a distinct rhythm, it's amazing at how much of it is actually only perceived as rhythm. a master musician can speed it up and slow it down without the audience ever realizing...

So, perhaps now at 36 years old, I can learn the patterns behind jigs and reels so that I can play with others, and incorporate it into my repertoire.    Jonathan
Alain France via le Québec 2010-01-21
gràce à vous je suis entrain de comprendre et donc apprendre la musique irlandaise, alors que ça fait des années que je "patine dasns la semoule"...
merci beaucoup rien à redire sur la méthode pleine d'humour en plus peut-étre que dans quelques années quand je serai devenu trés bon je pourrai donner un avis critique
alain (français résidant au québec)
Martha USA 2009-08-18
Just found your site - I have a bachelor of music degree in clarinet from Indiana University and I am just starting the irish whistle. I love it! Thanks for your site now I don't have to figure it out on my own.
Benoît France 2009-08-07
Ce site est tout simplement génial!

Je reviens d'Irlande avec pleins de mélodies en tête et mon tin whistle en poche. Je pense avoir du mal à trouver le temps pour passer au stade du vrai croyant (cf médidations de Brother Steve). Mais j'espère bien que mes connaissances musicales pianistiques et ma passion pour l'Irlande m'aideront à franchir le cap...

John USA 2009-05-27
Thank you for providing an excellent source of information for the tin whistle. I recently purchased a Generation in D and am just starting to learn how to play. I am 68 years old and have never been able to learn to play an instrument, starting with a violin as a boy (my father was a violinist and teacher), then guitar, then banjo, Appalachian and hammered dulcimers, mandolin, and electronic keyboard. Hopefully, with your tutorial, I may develop some rudimentary skill with the whistle. I am debating whether to try and "tweak" the whistle, or leave it as it came from the factory.   John
Robin Mourier France ? 2009-05-25
Bravo pour votre site il est vraiment super ! Je suis débutant et je trouve vos exercices supers et amusants en plus ! J'adore vos explications sur les embellissements aussi :-)   Robin
Floyd Welker Ontario, NY 2009-03-20
Brother Steve,
Thank you so much for creating this web site. I have a background in the clarinet, mostly concert band and polka. Less than a month ago, I picked up a Walton "D" at a Celtic shop and have been practicing daily. I since have purchased a Susato "D" and like the tone much better.

Grey Larsen's Essential Tin Whistle Toolbox has been a help, but your web tutorials are my best teachers. I am on dial-up, so I had to download the mp3 files to hear them properly. Nightly, after supper, I open your tutorials to start my practice routine.
Please keep up the site and thanks again for your dedicated work.  Floyd
Andrew Johnston London, UK 2009-01-23
Dear Brother Steve,
Thank you so very much for this site. I had 8 years or so of classical training on the piano as a child, and have since played drums and guitar. I picked up a penny whistle at a shop on London's Denmark road out of curiosity whilst looking for something else, and then found your website after going through the other ones before yours on the google search results. I'm so glad I didn't give up until I found your page. I am thoroughly hooked on the tin whistle now and can't wait to make my first performance in front of friends and family. I've never had so much joy for £5! Please don't ever abandon this website. (As a precaution I am saving each precious page to my drive!)
Your Servant,   Andrew Johnston
John Girvin New Jersey, USA 2009-01-12
read your site entirely two years ago — read it again this week — what a great set of musical explanations! I'm coming from a classical background, and though I improvise in that style and as a jazz pianist, I am only now starting to realize the different way that traditional music is approached. Actually, though, studying this music improves one's “classical” playing as well… any way, thanks so much for the terrific site, a great inspiration!!   john from new jersey
Jeremy France 2008-12-19
salut brother steve,

voila, je veux te remercier pour ton site, je suis un autodidacte en tin whistle et je me plaignais de ne pas "sonner" irlandais, et franchement, ton site réponds a bcp de mes questions. c'est pas pour faire de la lèche mais j'ai trouvé nul part ailleurs les choses essentielles que tu racontes dans ton intro et dans tous les autres chapitres, et vraiment ça m'a aidé a comprendre des choses qui me bloquaient jusque la, maintenant, y'a plus qu'à bosser !!!
merci encore et continues comme ça,
salut   jeremy, un chti ardechois
Paeng Nepomuceno Manila, Philippines 2008-12-16
Dear Bro. Steve,

Greetings from Manila! It's been almost a year now since I first perused the pages of your tutorial. I can recall that, when I first read your Introduction page, apart from knowing how to properly hold my feadóg (without dropping it!!!), I didn't know squat about whistling, or Irish traditional music for that matter.

But I've grown quite a bit as a whistler since then - so much so that I already have a repertoire of airs, hornpipes, jigs, reels that I can play (with chorus variations, no less). Plus, I'm actually being asked to teach a neighborhood, adult tin whistle class!

I owe everything to you, sir. Your tutorial is invaluable for any whistle afficionado and you should seriously consider having it published a book!

With much appreciation, I remain, Very truly yours,  Paeng Nepomuceno
Vincent Pinon France 2008-12-04
Salut Steve!
I was given a whistle in 2003, and at that time I found your site and printed half of the pages for further reading. 5 years later, I have taken the decision to learn music seriously. It's a nice surprise to see that your site is still online and improved. I can now go beyond the beginner stage! Merci beaucoup,   Vincent
Gaétan Ryckeboer France 2008-11-04
Simplement, merci pour ce site magnifiquement pédagogique !

Des tuyaux, des trous, des astuces, et beaucoup de volonté de partage. C'est super de tomber sur ce type de bijou tel que ce que vous êtes en train de construire, lorsque l'on se met à vouloir apprendre, ou perfectionner la technique d'un instrument. Et de la musique qui va avec !

Zou, je retourne à mes disques - il faut que je me remette la jig dans l'oreille.   Gaétan
Jeannine M France 2007-10-03
Quelle merveilleuse surprise de tomber sur ce site. Bien fait, il est à la fois complet et sympathique.
Bonne continuation... et merci d'être là....   Jeannine
Camille Belgium 2007-07-30
Bonjour ! Je m'appelle Camille et je vis en Belgique. Récemment, mon père m'a rapporté d'Irlande (pour notre plus grand bonheur, c'est pas très loin de chez nous !) un Tin Whistle. Du coup, me voilà, surfant allègrement pour trouver comment on se sert de ce machin là et voilà que je tombe sur votre site ! J'ai commencé à lire, et surtout écouter, et si j'ai suffisemment de patience, il y aura peut-être bientot un nouveau whistler sur terre ...

Tout ça pour dire que j'ai particulièrement apprécié votre digression sur le style et les conventions.   Bien à vous, Camille
Nicolas Mériau La Roche Posay, France 2007-07-29
Salut Steve, Je rentre tout juste d'Irlande où j'ai acheté un tin-whistle Walton. N'ayant pas acheté de méthode pour apprendre à jouer de l'instrument, j'ai fait une petite recherche sur le web et je suis tombé avec bonheur sur votre site. Beaucoup d'explications, des exemples sonores, des partitions... bref, des heures de pratique en perspective ! Merci de partager ainsi votre savoir.   Nicolas
« Coll25 » France 2007-06-25
Votre site est vraiment bien fait, je vous félicite. Dommage que les commentaires sur la musique irlandaises dégoutent un peu de se lancer dans l'apprentissage du tinwhistle (il donne un peu l'impression que c'est un but presque inaccessible pour celui qui n'est pas irlandais ou celui qui commence pas à 12 ans). A part ca le site est très bon.
Bonne continuation et merci pour ces ressources qui sont une mines d'informations.
Bernard Cawley Auburn, WA 2007-02-28
Steve, I've spent an enjoyable few hours prowling your pages and will be back to work through the exercises and more soon. I got to your recommended listening page and noted you had the two Mary Bergin albums listed (and I immediately fired up iTunes and started 'em playing). I see you have neither the disc number nor date for Feadóga Stáin 2. They are Shanachie 79083, 1993. Also, my copy of Feadóga Stáin carries a 1992 date rather than 1981.... perhaps that's just for the CD release? Anyway, thanks for the insights which I know will help me on my whistle journey.   Bernard
Pierre Blois, France 2007-03-09
Merci Steve ! Continue à élucubrer comme ça, moi je ne joue que des bourrées à la vielle à roue! Demain je m'achète un de ces galoubets !  Cordialement, Pierre
Ron Jarvis Overland Park, KS 2007-06-02
Just want to say thanks for an extremely beneficial site. I took a workshop with Turlach Boylan 2 weeks ago in the KC area. It is a special opportunity with him living about 4 miles from me. I started private lessons Wednesday. He regularly referred to your site. The whistle is new - music is not.   Ron
Dan Somewhere 2007-05-29
Just a quick note to let you know how helpful I found your website. I'd been trying for a long time to work out how to do the rolls and your "dah-dah-blah" methods got my playing sounding miles better almost straight away. The sound clips are great too. I'd be interested to see some more tunes that you enjoy playing and to see what twiddly bits you put in where. I've also been listening recently to a CD of Micho Russell and I like his playing too- it's quite different to what I've heard before and he gets a very dancy feel to the music.

Anyway, thanks again for sharing your expertise.  Dan
David Smith London 2007-03-07
Very much enjoyed the site and will work through all the exercises and tips in time. I have just been through the stuff about playing jigs and will definitely practise it!   David
Jérôme Bunel Bretagne 2007-02-14
Salut! Un petit bonjour de la "Petite Bretagne Française". Merci et félicitation pour cet excellent site. Je débute avec le Tin-Whistle et regrette de ne pas avoir débuté plus tôt... il n'est jamais trop tard!!    Kénavo, Jérôme
Ralf Deutschland 2007-01-19
Hallo Bruder Steve! Grüße aus Deutschland von einem begeisterten Whistle Anfänger ;) Werde mich mit meinem Notebook die Tage ins Musikzimmer begeben und Deine Seiten studieren ... sieht gut aus - mal schauen was ich lerne !   Ralf
Daniel Nichols Somewhere in cyberspace 2007-01-28
Hi Roger! First, thanks tons for making your site! Part of the nice thing about the tinwhistle is that it's simple enough to see that your tutorials are in fact giving useful technique information. (As opposed to other instruments like guitar where it can take days to be able to make your first chord change.) They really are great, and your page seems to be the only one around with such tutorials   Daniel
Rhodri Evans Outer Hebrides 2007-01-23
Greetings from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, and thanks for a great site! Just in case no one's already said, I think the book you refer to on your “Relax” page is called Stage Fright - Its Causes and Cures by Kato Havas. From memory it's subtitled “Fear of dropping the violin” or something like that, and there is also a video.   Rhod
Dwayne Sapling Oracle, Arizona 2007-01-17
Dear Steve, Thanks so much for your site.
I've been playing the Native American Flute semi-professionally for the last few years, and have recently started learning the tin whistle. Some things like tonguing, slides, trills, cuts and taps (under different names) carry over from the Native American flute, but rolls and a two complete diatonic octave range are completely new to me. Your site has helped immensely. The tips therein have been immeasurable helpful (especially the tips on how to play quietly, my family really appreciates those).
  Sincerely, Dwayne
Gael Pen Ar Bed, Bretagne 2007-01-01
Merci beaucoup pour votre site que je viens de décourvir en ce premier jour de l'année 2007. J'essaie d'améliorer les quelques notions de flute bretonne et irlandaise que j'avais appris étant plus jeune. Votre site est complet et très clair. Il m'est d'un grand secours !!!
Vive la musique - et Bloavez Mad !!!!   Gael, 21 ans
Emeline Région Parisienne 2006-12-24
Bonjour Steeve,
Ton site m'a permis de progresser (avec les CD de LUNASA et Matt MOLLOY...). trouveras-tu le temps de l'achever ? En attendant tous mes remerciements pour ce beau travail   Emeline
Kevin Levine USA 2006-12-07
You have put up a wonderful site. When I was first starting was of much help..and I never thanked you for it. Now that I have finally become part of a music session..I can fully appreciate what the gift of music thank you for being a part of that...   Kevin
Arthur France 2006-12-07
Simplement un grand bravo pour ton site! je me suis mis récemment au tin et tes conseils me sont tres tres precieux! bonne continuation and LONG LIFE TO IRISH MUSIC!
Raphaël Boissé Montreal 2006-11-13
Merci Brother Steve!!!! Je suis un franco de Montréal et je chante et joue de l'harmonica depuis quelques temps. Ayant du sang irlandais de mon arrière-grand-mère (ça compte!), j'ai acheté récemment chez Ital un tin whistle avec un guide d'introduction. Le guide explique le doigté, la théorie musicale de base, quelques effets, et pour ça c'est très bien. Mais bon, on donne quelques partitions de musique, mais plate!!!! Frère Jacques, le Lullaby de Brahms, Amazing Grace, Silent Night, bref, des chansons qu'on apprenait à la flute à bec au primaire, de quoi se pendre rapidement si on souhaite jouer de la musique irlandaise.

Mais après une recherche, j'ai découvert ton site et j'ai été impressionné la richesse et la précision de tes conseils. Les extraits musicaux sont un aide vraiment précieux et ça respire la musique Irlandaise! Vraiment inspirant pour continuer! Tu devrais créer ton propre guide avec un CD d'accompagnement, je suis sûr que ça se vendrait. Le gros du travail est déjà fait!

I'll try to translate this...

Thanks Brother Steve!!! I am a French guy from Montreal. I sing and play harmonica for a little while. I have Irish blood from my great-grandmother, so I recently bought at Ital a tin whistle with a tutor book. The guide explains how to place your fingers, the basics of musical theory, a few effects, and it's pretty good for that! But the the music parts are so boring!!!! I expected Irish music, but I found Frère Jacques, Brahms' Lullaby, Amazing Grace, Silent Night... the kind of music you learn at primary school with a recorder.

But I found your site and I was very impressed by the richness and the precision of your hints. The music files are very helpful and it breathe Irish music (can we say that?)! Very inspiring! You should create your own guide (a booklet with a CD), I'm sure it's going to sell. All the work is already done!

Pascal France 2006-10-10
Je commence à peine le wistle et je te remercie déjà mille fois !    Pasco du Lot et Garonne te salut.
Daniel Craig Indiana, USA 2006-08-24
Brother Steve, Thanks so much for this site! I just returned from the Milwaukee Irish Fest School and the fest proper. I took a lesson with Asher Grey (amazing tinwhistler) but forgot to bring a recording device. Your site reminded me exactly of the movements in our lessons for ornamentation. Your language works well for both the beginner and those like me who have two degrees in music performance. I am in debt to you. Peace,    Daniel Craig.
Ben Healy UK 2006-08-07
I was going to write an entry in your guestbook to say thanks for the excellent site (which is proving most useful in my quest for whistling knowledge). However I see you have loads of recent entries saying how great the site is and how useful people find so I don't think I'll bother, in case you get all big-headed.  Ben
Marie France 2006-08-03
Merci beaucoup pour votre site, utile et agréable, pour la version française, et pour l'envie que vous donnez de se jeter à corps perdu dans la musique irlandaise!  Marie
Christine France 2006-07-27
J'apprends seule la flûte irlandaise depuis un an. J'ai trouvé plein de précieux conseils sur votre site. Merci pour votre générosité !  Christine
Nanette   2006-06-05
Many thanks for your wonderful site. It has proven most useful.   Nanette
Csaba Székely Transylvania 2006-06-03
Dear Brother Steve, Thank you for the excellent tin whistle tutorial. Keep up the good work. Please. All the best, Csaba
Jean-Claude France 2006-06-02
Hello, Vous êtes un vrai mordu du Tin Whistle et votre site est vraiment très complet. Merci!
Jacky France 2006-05-31
Je suis plus que débutant : 2 mois que j'ai acheté mon whistle. C'est le spectacle "Lord of the Dance" qui m'a fait connaitre l'instrument. Je cherchais des partitions "pour débutant" et je suis tombé sur votre site: une mine d'or !!!
Mille mercis.
Annie McU USA 2006-05-29
Say Brother Steve,
I don't know if I've written a post to your guestbook previously, but even if I have, I need to tell you again what a great resource you have given us! I have learned so much from your site and have not even gotten very far into it yet. Clear, concise, and exceptionally usable info. I have been attempting to become a reasonably tolerable whistler for some years now, and have made the most progress since rediscovering your lessons. Thank you!
Gregg De Vos Belgium 2006-05-28
Je me suis offert un tin whistle pas plus tard qu'hier, et voilà que je tombe déjà sur votre site, très complet, très accessible, et très utile pour les néophytes comme moi! Merci de partager vos connaissances...
Amicalement, de Belgique,
Mark Bodah Holyoke, Massachusetts 2006-02-09 (Sorry - this and the next few entries were posted a little late... Steve)
Dia Dhuit, Brother Steve!
I am a 36 year old beginner, with a microscopic amout of reading and some musical background, and I have to compliment you on the way you make learning the tin whistle fun! I am very encouraged to practice after reading your tips on cuts, taps and rolls, and your audio examples are indispensable. Your site definately stands out among the best whistle sites on the web! Thanks so much, and keep up the good work!
Go n-éirí an t-ádh leat!
Mark Bodah
Andrew Blackford, Scotland 2005-10-25
Your site is a great inspiration. I much prefer playing to surfing but from time to time I venture to the web in search of help for underachievers such as myself. Your meditations page so beautifully captures the problems of those, like me, who learnt to play from music and who failed at first to grasp the subtleties of traditional music (not just Irish music) despite years of listening. Obviously I didn't listen carefully enough until I was firmly in the clutches of the obsession you describe.

As the owner of several whistles and flutes I have reached that point and I can put in hours of playing which is almost certainly a torment for the family. (While I'm on the subject, the whistles I like the most tend to be about £50-80 which must be about $80-130. I accept that they don't turn a bad player even into a mediocre one but being tuneable helps when playing with other people.)
I come back to your site from time to time because the pursuit of learning tunes tends to erase the other things I have learnt. While there is no substitute for being in a session and learning "live" I find your tips and examples to be very helpful. Thanks.
Rick T Newfoundland, Canada 2005-09-18
Thanks for posting such a useful site. I’ve just started trying to play a Low-D Susato and it would be nice to see some info regarding the differences when playing such instruments.
Rick T
Michael Kirillov Petrozavodsk, Russia 2005-08-25
Hello, Steve
My name’s Michael and I’m a beginner whistler from Petrozavodsk, Russia. The thing I’d like to say about your site is that you seem to be the only guy in the whole Net who tried to describe some deeper details of whistle-playing in written – and succeeded!

I liked the jig section very much. Though I can’t say, that all my problems with that kind of tunes are gone, I at least have now a starting point to develop my rhythm. I used to play some jigs before, and it seemed to me that they were OK, but my teacher (I luckily have a good one) told they were not. He plays them in a really pleasant - lazy as you said – manner and he tried to explain me how to do that, but your article somehow helped me almost as good as his words and example. Now I love playing jigs slowly, though earlier I tried to get the fastest speed I could.
So, thanks once more, now I enjoy playing the whistle even more that I did.
Patrick McGowan Portishead, UK 2005-06-16
I've been playing the bohdran and guitar for 2 years now with a local Irish band, the Shenanigans. I've just started (3 months) on the tin whistle and find your site extremely helpful and informative. I can't believe I will ever get up to anything approaching your speed, I will try - many thanks for all your efforts
Rod Australia 2006-02-02
Hello from Down Under Steve,
Thanks for your site - I found it excellent for stimulating me to learn.
Stéphane Roedel France A while back...
Bonjour "brother steve",
Je tiens à te féliciter pour la qualité de ton site. je me suis mis au tin whistle il y a quelques mois à l'aide d'une méthode.

Ce qui est particulièrement utile, ce sont les trucs indiqués sur le site (merci... MERCI et MERCI pour le truc du do#, où on peut maintenir l'annulaire sur le dernier trou. Sans ça, je crois que j'aurai balancé la flûte et la méthode par la fenêtre en essayant m'acharnant à lever tous les doigts). Car le problème, c'est de bien boucher les bons trous une fois qu'on a tout lâché !

Autre chose de génial : associer un fichier son à la partition. N'étant pas musicien, je ne sais pas lire correctement une partition (notamment sur les rythmes à adopter, je n'y comprends rien). Je marche donc entièrement à l'oreille (je trouve que je m'en sors relativement bien d'ailleurs).

A part ça, je continue à massacrer nombre de gigues, mais seul dans ma chambre, ça ne gêne donc que moi. Il va néamoins falloir prendre quelques leçons pour souffler correctement dans mon flageolet, car si parfois ça sonne faux, je crois que c'est un peu dû à ça... Et faire plein d'exercices de doigtés aussi, je me rends compte que jouer très vite, c'est bien difficile ! (surtout quand on change souvent d'octave).<

Bref, encore merci pour cette bonne introduction, ça m'a beaucoup encouragé de voir qu'en n'y connaissant rien et avec un peu d'efforts, on arrive à jouer des airs très connus sans rougir!

stéphane ROEDEL
O. Noël France 2005-12-21
Je me fais offrir une flûte irlandaise pour Noël, j'apprécie donc déjà votre site, qui va me permettre de trouver quelques airs bien sympathiques.
Lionel France 2006-01-28
Bonjour, je m'appelle Lionel, j'ai 16 ans. J'habite dans le nord de la France où joue du cor et du piano au conservatoire depuis maintenant 9 ans, et j'ai une grande passion pour la musique irlandaise, plus précisement pour le Tin Whistle. Ainsi, je voulais vous féliciter pour votre merveilleux site que vous avez fait avec passion et amour, il m'a énormément servie pour mon apprentissage du Tin Whistle mais aussi de la musique irlandaise en elle-même.
Josep Vilà i Teixidó Badalona (Barcelona)Catalunya..Europa 2005-04-08
Je suis un Catalan de Barcelona dans l’Europe…mon Français …est un peu oublié….
(En language Catalan): Us agraeixo cordialment la vostre pàgina, gràcies a ella jo puc començar a aprendre a tocar el Whistle….El meu progrés és lent però cada cop estic més entusiasmat.
Us ho agraeixo….és un instrument que crea adicció.
Josep Vilà i Teixidó
Virginie Wintzer France 2005-12-30
Bonjour Brother Steve,

Je voulais vous féliciter pour votre fabuleux travail sur ce site que je viens de découvrir !!! Après 11 ans de piano en conservatoire, j'ai eu en tête de jouer d'un autre instrument. Et puis, arriva ce qui est arrivé : une amie m'a fait découvrir The Corrs, et depuis ce jour je suis tombée amoureuse de l'Irlande !!! Je rêvais de jouer de la Tin Whistle aussi bien bien qu'Andrea Corr, mais je me suis dit qu'il y aurait beaucoup de travail. Et surtout, mais où trouver une Tin Whistle en France ?

Et bien, à un moment de désespoir, en passant dans un magasin de produits irlandais, je découvris ... l'instrument qui me faisait tant rêver !!!!! Mes parents me l'ont offert en cadeau à Noël, et depuis ce jour, je n'arrête pas (d'essayer) d'en jouer et j'essaie de retracer plusieurs mélodies comme "Old Hag" mais encore "Lough Erin Shore" de The Corrs. Mes longues années d'études du solfège et du piano, ainsi que les quelques bases de flûte à bec en Do enseignées au collège me sont très bénéfiques, bien que la Tin Whistle soit en Ré. Depuis, j'ai acheté plusieurs cd de musique irlandaise, et j'adore !!!! Votre site me réconforte, car il est en français, et remplit de techniques très intéressantes. Je viens d'ailleurs de l'imprimer entièrement pour pouvoir m'entraîner efficacement !! Encore bravo, pour votre travail et longue vie à ce site.

En attendant de pouvoir voyager en Irlande,
Une lycéenne fan de l'Irlande, et de Tin Whistle
Jacob Fournel France 2005-12-09
Excellent ! Un site plein d'humour et de bons conseils. Les ornements sont bien expliqués, accessibles aux débutants comme aux plus avancés. J'ai trouvé beaucoup de très bonnes réflexions sur la façon de travailler et sur certains aspects techniques (le ré aigu avec tous les trous bouchés, le do dièse avec les trois doigts de la mains gauche...).

Allez, le seul bémol (il en faut de temps en temps, même si c'est pas ce qu'il y a de plus facile sur un whistle en ré) : trop de blagues sur les tin whistles "modernes" ou "améliorés", que je trouve personnellement bien plus justes et précis que ces vieilles rognes de Generation ou autres Clarke !

Pour conclure, je recommande ce site à quiconque s'intéresse à ce merveilleux instrument.
Amicalement, Jacob Fournel.
Eric Skaggs Wooster, Ohio 2005-09-26
Thanks for a great website. I am just getting serious about playing the tin whistle and your site has opened my eyes to some great things. Thanks for having "bendable rules" (I am 37 and have been in folk music since 13). I believe we become less discouraged when we have more freedom to experiment with what works best for us as individuals, and I sense you are a kindred spirit in that sense. I wanted to specially mention your hints on playing a G song in A. I laughed out loud when I tried it. How easy is that?! It will come in handy as I will be playing in church and we often change keys on the last verse. Often by a whole step.

Also, thanks for talking about Generation whistles and/or cheap whistles. I had left Chiff and Fipple a little discouraged, and perplexed because of the outspoken disdain for Generation (my entire collection, save one!). I think my childhood years of trumpet playing has helped me easily find the right tone on the whistle. Maybe I'll join Chiff and Fipple and suggest trumpet lessons for those who hate cheap whistles?! Ha ha. I also got a lot out of your section on cuts and taps. I have a lot of practicing to do!
Thanks again, Eric
David Henson 2005-09-20
Dear Brother Steve:
Thanks ever so much for your good humored and timely advice. Your site is a treasure. I am a classical guitarist who because of his dead serious study approach was about to chuck his Generation whistle out the window. The section on Jigs help connect me with the basic problem that escaped me. Your comments made me see the mistake in assuming that it was all there on the page. Because classical people tend to play things into the ground at times we assume that is how it works in all types of music. It is assumed that with enough practice one will get fast enough and sound like a pro. How wrong I was! Now I have a new respect for Irish musicians and Irish music. I have a long way to go, but you have gotten me off on a good start.
Good luck to you and your site. I will tell my friends about it, too.
Abigail Tardiff 2005-09-12
Thanks so much. What a labor of love.
Linda Sartain Alabama 2005-08-17
Hello Brother Steve,
Just want to thank you for your wonderful website. I'm a pianist (I don't label what kind, since I play everything I can find and a lot I've never heard. I play a great deal by ear but I read well too. Have 32 years of experience.)

Irish music is fascinating...hypnotic sometimes, but always unpredictable. It never quite goes where I think it will, but is full of surprises. That is the devil of it that makes me come back over and over again. (Hey - like learning to play golf!)

Your website has been SO helpful in unraveling some of the mysteries. Thank you, thank you! Your recommended listening page was a great guide for me, and I'll be checking in regularly to read any additions you make.
Regards, Linda
Jean-Luc Normandy, France 2005-07-25

Merveilleux site que le votre, très complet, plein de choses à dénicher, vraiment un sacré travail. Après avoir parcouru, lu et relu votre site comment ne pas tomber amoureux de la flute irlandaise. Tout y est, rien ne manque, que puis je rajouter? peut être le seul site sur la flute irlandaise traduit en français.
Un petit bonjour de Normandie.
A Bientôt. Jean-Luc

Amandine France 2005-07-09
Hi Brother Steve,
J'ai fait de la musique "classique" pendant pas mal d'années, et depuis peu mes instruments sont au placard parce que peu comptibles avec les études...
Mais il y a peu de temps, une copine m'a offert une petite flûte "Meg by Clarke's", que ni elle ni moi ne connaissions... Alors j'ai farfouillé, surfé, et de pages en pages j'ai découvert votre site formidable qui m'a permis de découvrir cet instrument et surtout son esprit. Félicitations, ce site est génial: les extraits, les partitions, les explications, bref j'ai adoré!
Conor Dublin 2005-04-26
Hi Brother Steve,
I have finally found some time and energy to try and learn the Sam Murray flute passed to me by my father. Your site is simply a fantastic resource for someone like me who is just dipping their toes into the water (I’ll go for full immersion if and when I become a true believer). Well done and thanks for putting it together,
Mark New Brunswick 2005-04-19
Dear Steve,
Nice site. The layout is clear and flows well. Nice touch of putting the hyperlinks in the body of the text. I have learnt it is important to not go past misunderstood words or symbols when studying. The links help bring swift understanding.

Your site has encouraged me to be more "obsessed" with the whistle. I am going on a longish work job in the far north in the Athabasca tar sands. I will certainly be taking my whistle for those long evenings.
Rick Le Mon Boston, MA 2005-02-23
I just discovered your tin whistle site. I've played the whistle on and off (mostly off) for a good decade. I've read books, online tutorials, and have even taken classes from Tony Cuffe (he was a member of the Scottish trad group Ossian). And in the couple hours I've spent looking at your site, I've learned plenty.

I don't know that I'll ever be *good* at the whistle, but I do enjoy it. I have a good sense of rhythm and timing, I just can't manage to use it on the whistle. I'm really good at cuts, but my taps need a lot of help. You've given me some ideas on improving everything. Thanks!
Nicole Jahan France 2005-02-16
Bonsoir Steve !
Je viens de passer encore pas mal de temps à relire tes conseils sur ton site qui est génial !! Merci pour le temps que tu as passé à le faire et j'aime beaucoup son nouveau look
Triskel France 2005-02-06
Voilà, c’est après avoir été au festival de Lorient qu’il m’a pris l’idée de me lancer dans la musique et plus exactement la flûte irlandaise !

Moi je me décris comme quelqu’un qui n’est pas du tout musicienne et qui n’a pas d’oreilles ! Mais votre site il est très bien, je pense qu’il me sera très utile, il fait déjà parti de mes favoris !
Tim Thompson Port Alberni, BC 2005-01-21
Brother Steve,
Thanks so much for making the time and effort to put all these teaching materials on your site. I just bought a tin whistle to play around with but I will use your material to try and learn well.
Thanks again,
Erland Horten Norway 2005-01-13
I just wanted to tell you have much I have enjoyed your page!

I'm 36 years of age and live in Norway. I´ve been into playing since I was 6, and at present I conduct a big-band and a choir, play pop music and sing in the sing-songwriter tradition. Basically I'm a drummer, but I sing and play guitar most of the time at present. I have a master's degree in music, and have been a teacher for a period of time.

Last March i bought a tinwhistle because I wanted to play a solo instrument. I have been periodicaly practising it, and think I can play simple songs quite nice;y now, but have not gone very far into the Irish tradition. I have no illusions that I will be a "pure" performer of Irish trad music, I will be playng mostly other kinds of stuff, but playing the whistle I think one should have some knowledge of the tradition from which the instrument has its origin. You helped me quite a bit along that road!

I spent last night going through most of your page, and it really was a great help in so many ways! First, your thoughts on approaching this, and other kinds of, music is so very much to the point, and very essential in understanding what makes music "happen". That page could be the first and last lesson in any music teaching. It much too seldom is a subject at all.

Then I started on the whistle-part, and got so many of the things I've been wondering about explained: Different fingerings, playing without tonguing too much etc: almost everything had some value to me, and happily I stumbled across the page at a time when I was able to perform the exercises in the speed of the clips. .....well.....almost! :-)

Easy to understand, good examples. Think I spent 3 hours in front of that machine, and I'm going back there again tonight! ;-)

So thank you very much for your effort. Excellent page!!
Kerry Delaney Toronto 2004-12-30
Hi Steve,
I've just received a tin whistle for Christmas and I've found your site very informative. I've always wanted to learn and I feel very inspired now! Keep up this site, and I'm going to be looking for your songbook!
Eric Baldewyns Belgium 2004-12-21
Bravo et MERCI... pour votre site à propos de la "tin whistle"...
En fait, je recherchais (désespèrement, depuis des jours) des informations sur le web à propos de cet instrument. Et enfin, j'ai pû lire et découvrir( un peu mieux) grâce à votre site "l ' ABC"...

Je ne doute pas que vos conseils me seront bien utiles pour mon apprentissage de la tin whistle. Je suis "tombé amoureux" du son produit par cet instrument... et par la même occasion ... de la musique irlandaise ( surtout les ballades lentes - slow airs- ). Je suis un musicien TRES TRES TRES "jouette" de la flûte à bec....en fait, c'est une histoire "toute bête"; ma fille( 13ans) a eu-a des cours de musique ( flûte à bec) dans son programme scolaire ( traditionnel- en Belgique)... j'avais fait dans ma jeunesse (à ce jour j'ai 43 ans) un peu de solfège et de violon ; mais avec le temps j'avais TOUT oublié... je me suis re-mis à re-lire du solfège et j'ai appris petit à petit le "doigté" de la flûte à bec (je "jouette" quelques airs de Noël et quelques classiques-hymne à la joie, etc .) et maintenant donc je vais essayer la tin whistle. J'espère ne pas trop " écorcher" les oreilles de mes voisins : )

Je vous félicite pour votre approche et votre simplicité. Salutations amicales.
Hervé Le Goff Brittany 2004-12-12
Merci pour votre site qui donne véritablement envie de courir chez le marchand d'instruments de musique. Passionnant et trés bien réalisé notamment pour l' amateur passionné que je suis. Merci encore et je reviendrai régulièrement m'inspirer de votre travail
Marie-Hélène C Québec City 2004-12-11
Hi "Brother" Steve!
My name is Marie-H and I'm from Québec City. Your site is extraordinary and so well explained! Thanks for taking the time to help beginners. Keep up the wonderful work!
Mark B Windsor, Ontario 2004-11-23
Hi Steve
The new site looks great, very readable and well laid out and easy to follow. I've come back many a times to work on technique using your marvelous pages. Thanks again for doing it.
Aderyn Du Atlanta, GA 2004-11-23
Hi Brother Steve!
Your updated site looks wonderful, and the content is fabulous as always!! And just so you know, your friends at Chiff and Fipple love and appreciate you, for all that you do (despite what Bloomy says). :)
Susanne Sweden 2004-11-23
I got hooked on Irish music shortly after I had discovered bluegrass, and went to Ireland (I live in Sweden) to work in 1999. I came home after 6 months with lots of music and a tin whistle. I already played the mandolin so I learned a few simple things but then moved on over to playing Irish music on the mandolin. I visited your page back in 2000 or so but never really took the time to read through all the pages. Now I've just returned home from a nice holiday in Ireland, and with yet another tin whistle and LOTS of inspiration to really learn to play it (even if I also just have started learning the fiddle). I re-visited the Chiff and Fipple forum and was adviced to visit your page. I've used a book before but haven't really understood things in it.

Anyway, today I took the time to look through your pages and I must say they are very, very helpful!! I've never had any teacher or anyone to describe to me how to play the whistle, just a few lines in a book that accompanied my first whistle, and then Clarke's tin whistle tutor. But you describe things very well and easy to understand, especially with the sound files too, to hear how it's supposed to sound. Great job!!! Thank you for the effort and keep up the good work.
God bless,
Steve Abel Vashon Island, WA 2004-11-09
Hey Steve,
I've enjoyed your site and have learned a great deal from it- especially long rolls. I truly learned the long roll on your Knotted Cord (aka Junior Crehan's Fav, right?). Am looking forward to your tunebook. I'm now spending more time on the flute, but I am still better able to keep up with our alpha fiddler on the whistle.
Steve Abel

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Bienvenue à tous les visiteurs francophones - que vous soyez originaires du Canada, de la France, de la Belgique, de la Suisse, ou de tout autre pays ! Habitant Montréal, le frère Steve connaît bien la langue de Molière. Alors, n'hésitez pas à D'ailleurs, il y a une version française du site, réalisée par Sylvain Maillot et Franck Harou.

Bruder Steve versteht ganz gut deutsch, auch wenn er sicher viele Fehler beim Schreiben macht. Also, Ich freue mich immer sehr darüber, von deutschsprachigen Whistlespielern zu hören.

Updated 29 September 2015