I have a D whistle, but many of the tunes I want to play have notes below the low D. How do I play them or transpose the music?

Asked by:Erik


If you have sheet music, the first step is to figure out what key it is in. Look at the key signature, if you see sharps, look at the last one within the key signature, and go a half step higher. (if its a G# you are in the key of A, ect.) If you see flats, look at the second to last, and that will tell you the key. (if the last flat is an A flat, go back one, and you are in Eb). If there is only one flat, then you are in F, and if there are no sharps or flats, you are in C.

Now that you know what key you are in, every time you see that note, play a D instead, and build your scale from there. That will transpose you to the key of D. Or you can play a G, as these keys are very closely related. (The only difference is in D, you play a C# by not covering any holes, and in G, you play C natural, by covering the second and third holes with your left hand.)

That should get you started, it works for me. As far as playing below the low D, I will usually try to stick my pinky in the bottom of the whistle, and if I am lucky can get a C or C#. The downside to that is there is no speed or precision. Let me know if you learn any other ways.

Happy transposing!