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Tin Whistle Fingering Charts (All Keys)

This guide applies to six-hole woodwind instruments such as the Irish tin whistle (penny whistle), low whistle, or Irish flute. It explains the basics of the whistle as an instrument and guides you through all of its scales and keys. Letter notes and fingering charts will also help understand how to read tin whistle tabs, which can be very useful for those unfamiliar with sheet music notation.

Tin whistle basics – keys and scales

Unlike some classical music instruments (i.e. clarinet or flute), a single tin whistle can play only one standard (diatonic) musical scale of seven notes. Actually, two scales, by using a special cross fingering for an additional note (you will read more about it soon). It means that you will need several different whistles to cover every song in its original key. Or if you are likely to play with a band, you probably need different whistle keys to match the other musicians and their instruments.

If you are just getting started, you probably want to follow the fingering guide and notes for a whistle in the key of D. It is the most common key and probably the very first whistle you should get as most tunes and songs are played in this key. At least in terms of Irish traditional music.

Holes & fingers placement

Regarding fingers position, you should cover the holes with three middle fingers of both hands. As a rule of thumb, your strong hand goes to the bottom and the other one on top. There is also a tutorial on this website thatexplainshow to hold a tin whistle correctly in more detail. You may want to check it out as well as other useful whistle lessons.

How many octaves a tin whistle can play?

The tin whistle has two octaves (usually named lower and upper). And while the fingering is the same for both of them, you reach the upper octave just by blowing harder. There is an exception for the key (root) note itself, which is available in 3 octaves. So, on a D whistle, you have a note D in its third octave too.

Understanding tin whistle finger charts guide

The simple graphic below should help to avoid any confusion about reading all of the charts on this page and any other tin whistle notes guide that you may come across.

The dark circle represents the holes covered with your fingers. The light circle is for open holes. There are also uncommon cases where you may want to half-cover the hole for semitones. The plus sign means that the note is in the upper octave, the fingering is the same, but you blow harder to achieve it.

tin whistle chart guide

Tin whistle fingering chart – key of D

D is the most common key among both high whistles and low whistles.

D  Whistle Fingering Chart And Notes

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Playing “C natural” note on a D whistle

You should have in mind that every whistle, regardless of its key, has another note that doesn’t naturally belong in the scale, but can be played too. This special note is usually referred to as the crossing note or the flat 7th. On a D whistle, this is note C, which is a note between B and C# (notes 6 and 7). That way, it means you can play another scale (key) on the same whistle. So, having a note C available on a D whistle, you can play both D and G scales.

Below is the fingering chart for the “special” C note. There are a couple of finger position alternatives, as the pitch of that note varies depending on the whistle, and also its lower/upper octave.

C natural fingering on D whistle

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Tin whistle fingering chart – key of C

C Whistle Fingering Chart And Notes

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C is a very common whistle key for an Irish whistle, but there are a couple of brands that offer a low C whistle too. By using a special note B flat (Bb) on a C whistle, you can also play the F scale.

A whistle finger chart

A Whistle Fingering Chart And Notes

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Whistle in the key of A is a medium-sized, somewhere between a high and a low whistle, sometimes it’s called Alto A whistle. By using special fingering for the note G on an A whistle, you can play D scale too.

B flat (Bb/A#) whistle finger chart

B flat (Bb) Whistle Fingering Chart And Notes

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Bb whistle is also a common tin whistle key, offered by many manufacturers. By using special fingering for the note G#, playing Eb scale is possible.

B whistle chart

B Whistle Fingering Chart And Notes

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Whistles in the key of B are rare and not available among most of the whistle makers. The special fingering can be used for the note A, providing a way to play E scale.

C sharp (C#) whistle chart

C sharp (C#) Whistle Fingering Chart And Notes

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Whistle in the key of C# is also very rare and not a standard one. By using special fingering for the note B, you can play F# scale.

E flat (Eb/D#) whistle chart

E flat (Eb) Whistle Fingering Chart And Notes

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Whistle in the key of E flat (Eb) is a many players’ choice. And that applies to both high and low whistles. Its specific pitch usually provides a slightly more sharp and crispier tone than a regular D whistle by the same brand. By using special fingering for the note C#, you get Ab scale available fro playing too.

E whistle chart

E Whistle Fingering Chart And Notes

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E whistle is usually a low whistle. However, some brands offer high E whistles as well. By playing a special note D, you have A scale playable too.

F whistle chart

F Whistle Fingering Chart And Notes

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F whistle is more often found as a low whistle, but sometimes it is available as a high whistle too. Special fingering can be used for the note D#/Eb which provides a possibility to play Bb scale.

F sharp (F#) whistle chart

F sharp (F#) Whistle Fingering Chart And Notes

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An F sharp whistle is rare to find. However, there are a couple of brands that offer them. Special fingering note is note E which provides a possibility to play B scale too.

G whistle chart

G Whistle Fingering Chart And Notes

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G whistles are more used as low (alto) whistles. By playing a special fingering note F, you get C scale available with it too.

A flat (Ab/G#) whistle chart

A flat (Ab) Whistle Fingering Chart And Notes

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A very rare key of Ab (or G#). Not available as a high whistle at all. By playing special fingering for the note F#, the scale C# is available too.

Tin whistle “all keys” matrix chart

Feel free to download our full tin whistle matrix chart, including all keys and letter notes in one place.

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Sours: https://learntinwhistle.com/resources/tin-whistle-fingering-charts/

Generation Nickel Tin Whistle (D / C / Bb)

Generation tin whistles are amongst the most popular whistles. They're known to be a good instrument to start out on, however not only beginners choose the Generation tin whistle. Many Irish professional musicians still play on Generation tin whistles. The Generation Brass is available in the following keys: D major, C major, Bb major. This instrument is suited for beginners.

At the bottom of the page you will find more information about in which keys you can play on each whistle.

How to play this tin whistle?

  • Blow into the mouthpiece at the end of the flute
  • It's very easy, just like blowing a recorder
  • It doesn't require a lot of air like many wind instruments
  • The whistle is played in front of you, it's very comfortable to hold
  • It's suited for all hand sizes

The musical possibilities

  • You can play in various keys
  • You can 'bend' notes by slowly sliding your finger off the fingerhole
  • The whistle has a reach of more than two octaves

Which keys are easy to play in?

On a tin whistle you can easily and comfortably play in the following keys:

Generation Nickel D:
D major - G major - B minor- E minor

Generation Nickel C:
C major - F major - A minor - D minor

Generation Nickel Bb:
Bb major - Db major - G minor - C minor

It is possible to play in different keys as well, but you would have to use more 'half notes' by covering half of the hole with your finger.

Sours: https://www.fluteshop.eu/a-43591566/tin-whistle/generation-nickel-tin-whistle-d-c-bb/
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Fifes and Tin Whistles

We stock a wide range of popular fifes and tin whistles.
   If the item you are looking for cannot be found here, ask us for a price and availability.

Clarke Celtic Tin Whistle Green D
Clarke Celtic Tin Whistle Green D
When Robert Clarke invented the Tinwhistle 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, espemore info
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Howard Low D Whistle In Case - Black
Howard Low D Whistle In Case - Black
Developed over 40 years by master craftsman Brian Howard, the Howard low whistle has benefitted from continuous design improvements to bring you an affordable, professional instrument of world-class quality. Recent developments on the whistle head, tmore info
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Howard Low D Whistle In Case - Nickel
Howard Low D Whistle In Case - Nickel
The Original Brass Low Whistle- Nickel Developed over 40 years by master craftsman Brian Howard, the Howard low whistle has benefitted from continuous design improvements to bring you an affordable, professional instrument of world-class qualimore info
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Howard Low D Whistle In Case - Polished Brass
Howard Low D Whistle In Case - Polished Brass
The Original Brass Low Whistle - Polished Brass Developed over 40 years by master craftsman Brian Howard, the Howard low whistle has benefitted from continuous design improvements to bring you an affordable, professional instrument of world-more info
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Nuvo Toot 2.0 Mini Flute (Fife)
Nuvo Toot 2.0 Mini Flute (Fife)
For a child ready to progress from the recorder, the Toot is the perfect next step to ultimately playing the flute. The NUVO Toot is the sister instrument of the Dood. For a child ready to progress from the recorder, this is the perfect next step more info
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Yamaha Fife C 2 Piece Abs Resin
Yamaha Fife C 2 Piece Abs Resin
The Yamaha fife, made of ABS resin plastic has rich tone colours. Music education brings out power of expression in children and fosters their sensibility.  The fife is believed to have originated in Eastern traverse flute which was introducmore info
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Sours: https://www.ozwinds.com.au/
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