Home » Guide


How best to use this website

Teachers of traditional music in a live setting use what is called the Phrase-by-Phrase teaching method. The teacher plays the first 2 bars and the student listens and repeats the phrase until they are comfortable playing it. Then the next 2 bars are demonstrated and practiced. Next those 4 bars are all played together….and so on until the whole tune has been gone through. After that the student rehearses with reference to the notes and any recordings they may have until they know the tune complete.

“Virtual Phrase-by-Phrase”

The above method can be replicated here by the online user. I would advise listening to the Tin Whistle audio file first to get a sense of what the live tune sounds like. Then use a combination of the notation and the MIDI file to learn the tune. The MIDI can be played for each section and then stopped and repeated as often as necessary. Repeat and practice all sections until you are happy that you can play the tune comfortably.
After some time and rehearsal you should be ready to play along with the Tin Whistle audio file.

Traditional Irish music is usually played without notation in the company of other musicians. Aim to develop your ear so that you can pick up music from the playing of others at sessions or from cds, videos etc. The notation is provided to get you started and as a reference but the tunes should be committed to memory and played without notation as soon as possible.

Technical Issues

MIDI Playback not working properly

Some users have experienced MIDI playback distortion or no MIDI sound – mainly on iPhone and Apple iOS devices.
This issue will be addressed with a new audio method in the next update of the ABC Notation plugin.
Status: Fix due shortly.

Terminology and Theory

An apostrophe (‘) after the note name, with a plus sign (+) under the fingering, indicates it is to be played in the high octave.
To play a note in the high octave blow slightly harder so as to raise the pitch of the note

NOTE: When playing G,A,B and C the bottom finger of the lower hand can optionally be placed on the bottom hole to balance the tin whistle – and so make playing easier.

A half note is played (held) for half as long as a whole note.
A quarter note is played for half as long as a half note etc.

A dot after the note increases its value by half.
So a 1/2 note becomes 3/4, and 1/4 (2/8) note become 3/8 etc.

(The above covers some key points but is not intended as a comprehensive source of music theory – that information can be found elsewhere on the web.)