5

I have got an Irish low-whistle in D, and have been searching on the internet for the fingering for the higher C, but have been unable to find a working one anywhere. I also tried experimenting by myself, trying to approach the sound, but never managed to get a decent one.

The internet yielded different results, but none could give the note I was looking for. I don't know whether the fingerings were not the good ones or whether my whistle is not good enough. For your information, it is a Susato low whistle in D.

Could any of you give me a good reference on how to play this higher C?


Here is a finger chart that exactly shows what I have:

D whistle finger chart

The note I need the fingering for is the higher C on this chart, which would be C5 - I think - since this chart is for a tin whistle and the low whistle I have plays one octave lower.

3
  • It would help I think if you were able to describe exactly which "C" you were looking for. Including the register number will help greatly. "C4" is "middle C". Don't worry about transposing, just provide the written pitch. Have you tried the manufacturer's website or tried calling the company? Commented May 29, 2013 at 6:39
  • I updated my answer. The note I'm looking for should be clear enough. I didn't check for the manufacturer website: I assumed the fingering were standard across whistles.
    – Morwenn
    Commented May 29, 2013 at 7:08
  • If you want the C-natural, did you try the half-hole fingering? Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 6:59

3 Answers 3

1

It appears that Irish Whistles (among others,) are limited as to what is available for them regarding note-availability.

Whistles often have a 1st Major Key, a closely related 2nd Major Key, and a closely related Minor Key. You may be able to eke out a 2nd minor key if it is closely related enough to the previous keys.

Two fellows, "Chiff" & "Fipple" offer more detailed discussion on how they work, along with charts illustrating what keys / notes are available to you. The finger chart about two-thirds of the way down the page is written for a D Whistle, but the fingers would obviously transpose for differently pitched whistle.

You can learn more about Irish Whistles and their keys here.

4
  • Well, I think that bottom-left note on this fingering chart answers my question: some fingerings simply do no sound good on some whistles. Out of the 5 proposed fingerings for the note I try to get, none worked^^"
    – Morwenn
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 10:16
  • 1
    It may be a quirk specific to your instrument. Honestly, I would recommend horsing around until you find something that gets the job done. I have to use some weird fingerings for my tuba because all the standard fingerings are too out of tune. Alternatively, you could take it to a instrument repairer and just have them give it a look to make sure there aren't any mice or children stuffed up in there. :P Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 15:18
  • Haha, I'm just using a PVC Susato, I doubt that bringing it to an instrument repairer would be worth it. And I already tried almost all I could do to get the sound, and the closest I get sounds awful. I think I'll just go back and play real chromatic instruments instead^^" Thanks anyway for your help :)
    – Morwenn
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 19:24
  • 1
    The link is broken.
    – PiedPiper
    Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 8:08
2

There are two good fingerings for the high C:

  • oxx xxo
    The intonation might not be quite perfect. If you are playing a longer note and it's too sharp, closing the lowest hole very slightly will bring the pitch down.
  • half-holing just the LH 1st finger.
    Harder to play, but you can adjust the intonation as much as you want.

These work on most whistles, not just the low D ones.

1
  • This should be the accepted answer as it answers the question correctly. I'd favour the second alternative (half-holing hole 1) but different low whistles, and different players, produce different results. Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 13:07
1

Half-holing the top hole will work on all whistles, but the cross-fingering methods depend on the whistle itself. There is an illustration of a few variants from these finger charts:

Six variants for C natural: 23, 2, 2456, 2345, 234, ½

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.