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What key of tin whistle matches the Great Highland Bagpipes?

Asked by:North Carolina Piper


The best approach to playing Great Highland Bagpipes (GHB) tunes on the Irish penny whistle is to play them in the correct keys, be it A or D. 

The GHB scale, on a D whistle, is:

LG xxx ooo
LA xxo ooo
B xoo ooo
C# ooo ooo
D xxx xxx (oxx xxx)
E xxx xxo
F# xxx xoo
HG xxx ooo
HA xxo ooo

x=closed hole
o=open hole(The whistle's mouthpiece is to the left)

A D whistle will come out in the correct key for Scottish smallpipes in A and Border pipes in A. Using an Eb (E-flat) penny whistle it comes out in the correct key for the GHB.

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