Share the conversation

Playing the Tin Whisle

Ballymena Today love music and asked Tin Whistle player, teacher and enthusiast Sara to tell us more about it. Sara says that the tin whistle is easy to pick up – even at a young age:

“The tin whistle is the foundation of any traditional instrument and is the instrument many musicians begin learning before moving on to others like the fiddle or wooden flute. I learned how to play the tin whistle in group lessons when I was six and the youngest pupil I have ever taught was aged four.

Photo Credit: Ishikawa Ken; Creative Commons
Photo Credit: Ishikawa Ken; Creative Commons

A standard tin whistle is in the key of D but many other keys are available. There are only 8 notes to learn and if you want to play them at an octave higher all you have to do if blow harder! One of the first tunes that you will have to master is the Kerry Polka – once you can play this you should be able to work on other tunes. I love playing so much that I am part of a folk band and we play lots of contemporary songs at our gigs like this Sam Smith song. Click here to see this video.

Learning the tin whistle help you to make new friends, promotes creativity and can ignite a passion for all kinds of music. It is easy to learn, easy to transport and inexpensive. If you decide to take classes you can learn at your local comhaltas or at Ballymena School of Music. Players can compete at the Fleadh in a group or own their own and competitions can take a player all over Ireland to compete.

Thanks to Sara for telling us all about the tin whistle.