Irish Traditional Music List on behalf of Carl D. Cravens wrote:
> I've recently begun to play the penny whistle and the subject of
> tongueing is bothering me.
Carl, a chara
In general terms, if you tongue every note you will end up with a very
staccato style of delivery which lies uneasily with the "tradition".
If you have just started playing the whistle I would suggest that you try to
play without tongueing so that the tunes are legato - except when you have to
pause for taking a breath! It won't be long before you find that you can give
emphasis to notes without having to tongue them. Tongueing a note is like
snapping your fingers - it's just one of a range of techniques which you can
use to give emphasis.
Obviously the thing to do is to listen as much as possible. If you can get
hold of the Mary Bergin recordings Feadog Stain and Feadog Stain 2 then you
will hear possibly the greatest living whistle player (I'm biased because I've
met her and she is a lovely person as well) or Sean Ryan has a more modern
style. Early Chieftains albums (before they got too heavily produced) are
useful to play along to.
Above all enjoy your playing and don't feel that you have to know a lot of
tunes. Remember the tale of the All Ireland Champion who, when asked whether
s/he had a vast repertoire said "I only know one jig, one reel and one
hornpipe but bejaysus I know them very well indeed!".
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60/SN14 0DD UK
Is gaire cabhair De/ na/ an doras.
(God's help is nearer than the door.)