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The Penny whistle or Tin whistle is probably one of the easiest instruments to learn, but before you go splashing out on a chieftain or dixon, you might wanna see if you can play it first. With these quick steps you could be playing by the end of the day.

Follow this quick guide for beginners:

First of all sit comfortably with your back straight and take a few deep breaths to make sure all your own pipes are working correctly. Then lift up the whistle keeping your left hand at the top and your right at the bottom, your first three fingers go on the top three holes. This note is a G

Don't be shy, hold the whistle firmly between your lips and blow, if it squeaks your blowing too hard. Try saying the word 'two' as you blow and then draw it out, twwwoooooooooooooo.... try and make the note sound the same from start to finish. As you might notice you are using your tongue to start the note, and hence in the whistling buisness we use the term 'tonguing'.

Now try covering the top two holes on the whistle and again give it a slow steady blow using the tonguing method, this note is an A

Getting the hang of it yet? For your next note cover just the top hole with your pointer finger on your left hand, give a steady blow, this is a B. Now try and play the notes in a row, B...A...G, you'll notice how they go up in scale.

When you have mastered those 3 its time to move on to F#. Keep your left hand and first three fingers on the top 3 holes and take the pointer finger of your right hand and place it on the fourth hole down and blow smoothly, thats an F#.

Your second finger on your right hand goes on the fifth hole to play an E and your third finger goes on the bottom to play a D. Check out the diagram below and practice playing these three notes until they are nice and smooth with no squeaks!

You might have noticed that as you play these notes you are playing a scale, this is known as the 'D' Scale. To complete the scale you have to learn 2 more notes, natural C and high D

How to play C#

To play C# you simple blow into the whistle without covering any of the holes, blow smoothly, like you are blowing a babies hot dinner. Try the scale again D, E, F# G, A, B, C#....on more note missing, thats high D.

How to play High D

Cover all the holes on the whistle except for the top one and blow a little harder until the note is nice and smooth

Practice the D scale below before you move onto your first tunes

Tin whistle beginners tunes

Ok so now that you have mastered these 6 notes try playing the following sequences of notes to get you whistling away!

The Dawning of the Day: D E F# F# F# E F# A A B A F# D F# E D D D

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' : D D A A B B A, G G F# F# E E D

When you've mastered these little tunes check out our whistle tutorial, which you can play along with.

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