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
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|
|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|
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
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
|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
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
|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|
|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|
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
|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|
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
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
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
|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|
|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
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
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|
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
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
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|
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|
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)
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.
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...
|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|
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|
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
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
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
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
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|
|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|
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
|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|
|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|
|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).
|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
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
|You have put up a wonderful site. When I was first starting out..it 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 is...so...I thank you for being a part of that... Kevin|
|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!|
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!
|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.|
|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|
|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|
|J'apprends seule la flûte irlandaise depuis un an. J'ai trouvé plein de précieux conseils sur votre site. Merci pour votre générosité ! Christine|
|Many thanks for your wonderful site. It has proven most useful. Nanette|
|Dear Brother Steve, Thank you for the excellent tin whistle tutorial. Keep up the good work. Please. All the best, Csaba|
|Hello, Vous êtes un vrai mordu du Tin Whistle et votre site est vraiment très complet. Merci!|
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 !!!
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!
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.
|Michael Kirillov||Petrozavodsk, Russia||2005-08-25|
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
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!
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.
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
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
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
|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.
|Thanks so much. What a labor of love.
|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.
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.
|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!
|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,
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!
|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
|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|
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.
|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!!
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!
|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 AMATEUR...je "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|
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). :)
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.
|Steve Abel||Vashon Island, WA||2004-11-09|
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.
The guestbook service I used for a couple of years was discontinued, and I haven't found another I liked, so you can't make an instant guestbook entry. However you can This will encourage me to pursue my labours on the site. I will post your comments on this page as soon as possible - without disclosing your email address.
Recent entries are shown above. To see the guestbook archives (2001-2002), follow this link. Warning - the page is large and might take a while to load if you have a slow connection.
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