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I have been learning to play a whistle off and on since around 2009, but have not spent much time on it, nor made much progress. Until Christmas of 2012 I owned only one, a brass Feadóg in D (the most popular key for a whistle), which my sister Robin purchased for me, along with a Dinglebury nightcap (to be worn on the head, not taken internally), while traveling in Ireland.

Other Keys

I now own a Clarke in C (the second most popular key), much more difficult to blow, and at some point I would like to add a couple more inexpensive whistles to my collection. No point in getting an expensive one until I've learned how to play the ones I have, but I would like to try another key or two. F or G, or the less available Eb, are the higher pitches, which should be easiest to play I think. In the lower range, I'd eventually like to have a Bb and an easier-to-play C -- assuming I continue to work at it.


My Clarke Original in the key of C was a gift from my sister, Nancy. I'm also interested in owning one of Clarke's less expensive models, available from Amazon. The Original is listed at over $20 usually, but I see some listed for cheap (are they really Original?) Clarke's Originals (as well as the cheaper models?) only come in C or D. A used Original might be a good bet. The Original has a block of wood in the mouthpiece, and is very difficult to blow, requiring a lot of wind. There is a so-called tweaked version of the Original, in which the wooden block has been shaved down, making it easier to blow, and perhaps more agreeable in tone. I'm not sure, as I have not heard one played. I'd be interested in a tweaked Original, in either key. Or I might consider trying to shave down an Original myself, if I had an extra.

Chiff and Fipple

I've based my choices on a dated review of inexpensive whistles at Chiff and Fipple.

Susato Oriole

My first choice is Susato Oriole (a 2-piece plastic model) in key of Eb, and maybe add the body only for the key of Bb.


Generation, the least expensive, is available from Hobgoblin as well as Amazon. I'd like to have in keys of F and G. I could not find an inexpensive model in these keys from any other maker. Generation comes in nickel or brass. I'd like to have at least one in nickel.


Another slightly more expensive one is Shaw. Not clear whether this small outfit is still in business. Shaw is based in the UK. One of the few makers to make a whistle in the key of E, and that would be my first choice in a Shaw, though I would be happy to have one in any key, used or new.



This page was last modified January 29 2015 13:03:02


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