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Clarke CWD Celtic Tin Whistle, Key of D
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- Key of D
- Easy to play
- Comes with its own fingering chart and five traditional Celtic tunes, one each from Wales, Scotland and Brittany and two from Ireland
- Comes decorated with a Celtic Knot and is individually gift boxed
- Handmade in the U.K.
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One cannot hear a slow air played with depth of feeling on a tin whistle by a true Celt without being drawn into, and sharing, the emotions expressed by the player. When Robert Clarke invented the Tin whistle in 1843, little did he know that it would become the perfect wind instrument to be played universally in all the Celtic lands. It can be heard in concert halls, broadcasts, churches and, above all, especially in Ireland, in the pubs. It is easy to play; inexpensive; and can be carried so as to be available for performances on all occasions. The Clarke Celtic Tin whistle in the Key of D comes with its own fingering chart and five traditional Celtic tunes, one each from Wales, Scotland and Brittany and two from Ireland. The whistle comes decorated with a Celtic Knot and is individually gift boxed.
Top Customer Reviews
That being said, this little creature just came to live with me. I don't have a good reason: I've been exploring different creative outlets lately, and I was feeling whimsical. And I liked Titanic.
The paint job is beautiful - sort of a subtly metallic dark sea foam green, if you can picture that. I'm a sucker for aesthetics, so the gold painted Celtic knot appealed to me as well. But the best part is.... I CAN PLAY THIS THING.
Ok, not really. I'm not playing Titanic music yet, or Danny Boy, or anything beyond Ode to Joy and Happy Birthday, but that's not the point. I can put my fingers on this little whistle and blow air into it and create nice sound patterns that I actually recognize as music. Simple music, but still. And it's FUN!
I'm not saying it's going to make you an over-night Musician of Awesomeness, but if you're just looking for something new to try, the investment is nominal, the whistle is relatively easy and did I mention it's fun? So much fun! Oh, and the best part is that it's small enough to throw in my purse. Hello, future pensive whistling sessions on green and windy hills!
(I don't really live near any green or windy hills, but the whistle kind of makes me think I might find some just around the corner.)
Sorry for being ridiculous - I just can't believe how much I'm enjoying this thing. If you're at all curious, just get one. It's imminently worth it, in my opinion.
A few tips for new players - if the whistle is squeaking it's you, not the whistle. Make sure you make a good seal with the pad of your fingers (not your finger tips). If a hole is partially uncovered, you'll squeak. Put some lotion on if your skin is dry, it will help. The holes on a D whistle are pretty small, so it's really not that hard to get the hang of. I didn't have any squeaking issues, even as a beginner, but I played woodwinds for years. It seems like squeaking is something many struggle with.
Keep your grip light and relaxed. This whistle, like all conical bore Clarke whistles, has a seam in the tin at the back. If you find that seam bothersome, chances are your grip is entirely too hard. Whistles are very lightweight instruments and only need a light hold to be secure. If you find yourself unable to stand the seam, look into buying a Generation or Feadog whistle instead. Both of those brands make cylindrical bore whistles, with no seams.
Don't be surprised or frustrated if you have difficulty hitting the lowest notes or the highest ones. Some people have trouble sounding the low D (all fingers down), but the more common problem is that the second octave sounds like a shrill horrible dog whistle, or not even reachable. Give it a good month or two of practice. I have been playing about 2.5 months and I'm just now getting comfortable with the high A/B. Which is not to say it always sounds great, getting a nice tone in the upper octave will take even more practice.
If you are used to playing a woodwind, you might be surprised by how little air is needed to hit the notes in the lower register. If you are getting shrill notes or overtones, try backing off and blowing more gently. You'll need to push a bit harder to get the higher notes. Sometimes it's helpful to think of blowing "slowly" for low notes and "fast" for high notes.
I highly recommend the Bill Och's Clarke Tin Whistle book for beginners, and once you are about halfway through that, you can start on Ireland's Best Tin Whistle Tunes by Claire McKenna. I find it worthwhile to pay the extra couple bucks for the CD version, especially if you don't have access to a teacher.
The whistle is an instrument that you can learn pretty quickly and yet you can spend years mastering. It's great for kids and adults. If you're curious, just order it, it's pretty inexpensive and fun!
Clarke SBDC Pennywhistle Boxed, Key of D
The other is an Oak tin whistle with a plastic fipple and a cylindrical brass body:
Oak Pennywhistle In D (Oak Classic Pennywhistles)
The Clarke Celtic has a plastic fipple (like the Oak) and a conical tin body (like the Clarke original). The plastic fipple can be moved up or down the body enough to tune the whistle very accurately. I use the PitchLab Guitar Tuner Pro app on my Android phone to check my pitch when I practice.
The wooden block in the fipple of the Clarke original gives it a warm, breathy, flute-like tone that I really like. In contrast, the Oak has a bright, clear tone and is not breathy at all. The tone of the Clarke Celtic lies in between the other two; it's breathy like the Clarke original, but not flute-like.
I like the Clarke original tone for its warmth and the Oak tone for its clarity. Played without vibrato, the Clarke Celtic tone is not as pleasing to me as the Clarke original or the Oak. Played with some vibrato, the Clarke Celtic begins to take on a beautiful tone quality that sounds more musical.
I bought the Clarke Celtic to find out what gives the Clarke original its warm, pleasing, flute-like tone. Both Clarke whistles have a conical tin body, and both sound breathy, but the wooden block in the Clarke original makes a noticeable difference in warming up the tone. It's a combination of the wood and the conical body that creates the magic of the Clarke original. The plastic fipple on the Clarke Celtic just doesn't create the same warmth. That's why I gave this whistle four stars and the other two whistles five stars.
In summary, if you want warm, breathy, flute-like tone that's a real pleasure to hear, I recommend the Clarke original. If you want bright, clear tone with no breath in the sound, I recommend the Oak. If you want tone that's a blend of breathy and bright, the Clarke Celtic is for you!