Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

Oct 10, 2021 - 3:36:17 PM
551 posts since 8/14/2015

Why do so many Irish Tin Whistle players use the right hand on top and the left hand on the bottom?

I’ve tried it before, and my fingers really got mixed up. I stuck myself in the eye, and my whistle fell to the floor where I stepped on it.

It’s very dangerous to play that way.

Oct 10, 2021 - 5:30:23 PM

2764 posts since 3/30/2008

Are you sure this is the "traditional" position ? 

Edited by - tdennis on 10/10/2021 17:34:30

Oct 10, 2021 - 5:30:50 PM

89 posts since 5/31/2009

Which whistle players do this? The vast vast majority play right-hand-down in case they ever transition to flute or the pipes.

Oct 10, 2021 - 6:27:22 PM

551 posts since 8/14/2015

I don’t know that it’s a traditional hand position, but I’ve seen some playing that way. I suppose one can use any position that he wants, but I found it very awkward.

Well, I thought perhaps there was some advantage to playing that way, but, perhaps, I just saw someone who played it differently.

Oct 10, 2021 - 6:33:17 PM

235 posts since 10/26/2018

Left handed player maybe? I mean, it's an ambidextrous instrument. Near as I can tell, so is my keyless flute.

Edited by - WVDreamin on 10/10/2021 18:33:29

Oct 10, 2021 - 6:56:53 PM
likes this

551 posts since 8/14/2015

Yes, Billy, that’s so. I’ve seen flute players holding at the left side too. I suppose, nowadays, people just do whatever the heck they wanna do.

Oct 18, 2021 - 2:26:29 PM

97 posts since 3/24/2020

The flute/whistle teacher at our Ceoltas holds them lefty even though he is right handed. He told me that was just the way he picked it up and played as a child with nobody to show him. There are also quite a few mouth organ players that hold their instrument upside down for the same reason.

Oct 22, 2021 - 12:15:44 PM



200 posts since 5/1/2008

I've never seen anyone play whistle the 'wrong' way around - but they are symmetrical and the work-load is shared evenly between the hands so no reason not to learn that way. You'd only come unstuck if you also want to play a keyed flute (or one with offset holes).

Oct 22, 2021 - 1:09:19 PM
likes this

551 posts since 8/14/2015

I asked about it in the first place because I rolled across two or three players who fingered that way. I thought it might be a better way, so I gave it a try. It wasn’t a better way for me. It felt awkward, and I felt clumsy.

I just wondered about it. Thanks to all who answered my question.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories