Harp graphic
 Traditional Music >> The Scottish Whistle >> Tutorials >> Tutorial 2.1

The Scottish Whistle

High D

Skye Boat Song

Upper Octave


Back to:
Tutorial Index

Whistle Index

Traditional Music

Lession 12.3

Whistle Tutorial - Lesson 2.1


More Notes


LAST WEEK WE LEARNED THE FIRST five notes on the whistle, and you should now know the names of these notes (D, E, G, A, and B) and you should be able to play them with confidence. If you can't, take a step back and practise until you can. Memorise the names of the notes so that you can find them without thinking too much.

Now we're going to learn more notes and expand our tune repertoire.

The High D

High D (gif)The next note we need to learn is called the high D. One of the notes we learned last week was D. Well, high D is the same note but an octave higher. An octave consists of eight notes, and is the standard doh-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-doh scale. The last doh is an "octave" higher than the first doh, and the high D is an octave higher than D.

The way that you play the high D is quite simple: it's the same fingering as D, but you blow a little harder to raise it by an octave. The difference in the amount of breath you need to change from one octave to another is very subtle, and only experience can teach you that subtle difference.

Last week we learned Egan's Polka. Below it's given again, but this time there is an extra note, the high D (look at the second note on the third line, for example). So we're going to add that extra note to the way we play Egan's Polka.
Also notice that in the tune below the high D is shown with a dot above it; this is to distinguish it from the low D.

It should be noted that there is an alternative method for sounding the high D, and that is to have all your fingers down except the top one: leave the top hole uncovered (see diagram above). I don't use this method, but lots of whistlers do. You'll have to choose one way and stick to it.

Egan's Polka (2)
[MIDI file]
Egan's Polka (gif)


[Next Page]