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 Traditional Music >> The Scottish Whistle >> Tutorials >> Tutorial 7.1

The Scottish Whistle


Johnny McIljohn


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Whistle Tutorial - Lesson 7.1


Practice Routines & Review


NOW IS A GOOD TIME TO look back at everything you've done since startingto learn the whistle and assess how you're getting on and what areas need more practice. Use the previous lessons as a guide to make sure you're comfortable with all the techniques.

Practice Routines

WE'RE NOW AT THE STAGE where we've got a small repertoire of tunes, but it's important to keep that repertoire "alive". If you stop playing tunes, they're more likely to be forgotten and drop away. This is why I recommend keeping lists of the tunes in your repertoire, and introducing an element of discipline into your practice routines.

My method is to have three lists, which are constantly changing. The first list is made up of your "A" tunes - that is, tunes you can play well without too many mistakes. Next list is your "B" tunes - tunes that you have started learning but need a bit of work before you can play them without problems. Your next list is your "C" tunes - tunes that you would like to learn or have just started learning.

OK. Say you've allocated a certain time for practice - say four sessions a week. However long you've allocated, divide that time into four. Start with your basic scales, arpeggios, loosening-up exercises and so on. You could look through the exercises in the previous lessons.

Next, look at your "C" list and start on a tune - just the beginning - be gentle on yourself!

Next, look at the "B" list and start going over one or two of the tunes there. Finally, play tunes from your "A" list. Mark where you stop on the list, so that next session you can start where you left off.

As you practice the "B" list, there will be tunes which get promoted to the "A" list, and similarly "C" tunes will eventually become "B" tunes. This is how your repertoire will expand.


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