Ear Training For Irish

Welcome Tin Whistler

Welcome Tin Whistler!

I´m Mattie O´Boyle, the director of reelear.com, and I want to welcome you to this Ear Training for Tin Whistle course.

This course provides you all the tools that you need to train your ear so you can learn all your favorite songs and tunes on your own, without sheet music. Additionally, the course is designed as a tin whistle skill building method to help you build up your finger dexterity and your breath control, two important factors to playing the tin whistle well.

This course does not teach you all the different tin whistle techniques nor does it teach specific tunes. There are plenty of books and video tutorials that aim for those goals. The main focus here is ear training.

Everyone starts this journey from there own point of departure. Some folks have a pretty good ear quite naturally, while others, like myself, do not. The good news is that you can train your musical ear and go as far as you want with that training, up to easily learn all your favorite tunes by ear.

How do you do that? You´ll need to apply the same qualities to acquire these skills as with any other complex skill set: Persistence, patience, holding yourself to high standards and consolidating each step along the path before advancing to the next one. If you do that, I am sure that you will succeed. I have seen many, many students do so and there is no reason why you can not be one of them.

Remember, if you have any questions or technical problems, please contact me through the Contact Us web form and let me know. I am here to help.

You´ll need access to our web apps to follow this course, so if you have not already done so, please go here to sign up for your free 15 day trial.

Step 1: Long Tones

Before we get really get into ear training on the tin whistle, you should make sure that you can play a note cleanly. This requires you to pay close attention to three variables, finger placement over the holes, mouth placement on the whistle and breath control.

Cover all the holes on the tin whistle and blow softly. You should a get a clean and constant sound. Most likely,your tin whistle is in the key of D, so the note you are playing is a D note. Once you can get a full clean sound, on the D note, you are really ready to start practicing your long tones. We are going to start practicing Long Tones with D, F# and A.

Watch the Long Tone screen cast to see the most efficient way to structure your practice.

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Step 1 - Long Tones D F# A

Step 2: Melody Dictations (two notes)

Now that you play your first notes well, we can start working on our ear training. The primary goal here is to begin to distinguish between different melody notes. Of course, in the background, we will be working on two other crucial aspects of playing the tin whistle – playing in time with the rhythm and gaining fluidity when changing between notes.

Since Melody Dictations may be completely new for some folks, we are going to apply a scaffolding methodology to help transition into this new layer oc musical complexity.

We will do the first dictations setting D as the predefined start note and A as the predefined end note. That will make transiting into three notes easier. Once you can start doing the dictations effortlessly, try removing the predefined end note. Finally, once you can do those dictations easily, then remove the predefined start note as well. That will really start get your ear in tune!

We are going to work on the following melodic dictations:

• D and A

• D and F#

• F# and  A

Watch the screen cast to see how we recomend practicing your first Melodic Dictation.f

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Step 2 - Two Note Melody Dictations D F# A

Step 3: Melody Dictations (three notes)

Now, we are going to use all three notes (D,F# and A) in a Melodic Dictation. Because adding extra layer of complexity can often pose a challenge, we are going to use some scaffolding to help make this transition from two notes to three notes easier.

Again, we will use scaffolding for the first dictations. Set D as the predefined start note and A as the predefined end note. That will make transiting into three notes easier. Once you can start doing the dictations effortlessly, remove the predefined end note. Finally, once you can do those dictations easily, then remove the predefined start note as well.

Watch the screen cast to see the set up.

 

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Tin Whistle Step 3 - Three Note Melody Dictation D F# A

Step 4 : Long Tones

We are back to some new Long Tones. This time we are going to work with the E, G and B notes.

Watch the screen cast.

 

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Tin Whistle Step 4 - Long Tones E G B

Step 5: Melody Dictations (two notes)

We are going to work on the following melodic dictations:

• E and B

• E and G

• G and  B

As always, we will apply scaffolding to help transition into the new material.

Watch the screen cast for the app settings.

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Tin Whistle Step 5 - Melody Dictation Two Notes E G B

Step 6: Melody Dictations (three notes)

Let´s try all three notes (E,G and B) in a Melodic Dictation. First with scaffolding, then without it.

We will do the first dictations with E as the predefined start note and B as the predefined end note. We will follow that work by removing the predefined end note. Finally, we will remove the predefined start note as well.

Watch the screen cast if you need help setting this one up.

 

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Tin Whistle Step 6 - Melody Dictation Three Notes E G B

Step 7 : Long Tones

Are you ready to add another new note? The next group of notes we are going to work with are E, A, and C#. Only The C# is new, so let´s practice it as a long tone.

Watch the screen cast for the app settings.

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Tin Whistle Step 7 - Long Tone C#

Step 8: Melody Dictations (two notes)

Now it´s time to get back to Melody Dictations:

• E and C#

• E and A

• A and C#

Watch the screen cast for the app settings.

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Step 8 - Two Note Melody Dictations E A C#

Step 9: Melody Dictations (three notes)

Let´s try all three notes (E,A and C#) in a Melodic Dictation. As always, you can  use the scaffolding to make the transition from two to three notes.

We will do the first dictations with E as the predefined start note and C# as the predefined end note.

Watch the screen cast if you need help setting this one up.

 

 

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Step 9 - Three Note Melody Dictations E A C#

Step 10: Long Tones C

It´s time to start training on the last note in the tin whistle´s first octave. As always we will start with long tones. We will be playing the new note, the C.

Have a look at the screen cast for more details.

 

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Tin Whistle Step 10 - Long Tones C

Step 11: Two Note Melody Dictations E, G, and C

By now you probably know the two note melody dictation routine, but of you need some help, have a look at the screen cast for more details.

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Tin Whistle Step 11 - Two Notes Melody Dictations E G C

Step 12: Three Note Melody Dictations E, G and C

Here´s the last three note dictation in the first octave!

Watch the screen cast if you need help setting this one up.

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Tin Whistle Step 12 - Three Note Melody Dictations E G C

Step 13: Octave Jumps

To play the second octave on the tin whistle, you will need to use the same fingering as on the lower octave, but blow harder. The is one fingering exception and that is for the D note. You´ll want to lift your finger off the top hole while leaving all your other fingers down in place.

Now we are going to set up the app to give us dictations using the same note but either in the lower or higher octave. This is really going to help you with you breath control as well as learning the alternative fingering for the second octave D note.

The notes for Octave Jumps are: D, E, F#, G, A, and B

Have a look at the screen cast for more details.

 

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Tin Whistle Step 13 - Octave Jumps

Step 14: Arpeggio Workout #1

Now it is time to move over to the Arpeggio Ear Training App. You can use this app in lot’s of differnt ways to fine tune your ear, but it is also a powerful tool for finger dexterity and breath control.

We are going to start our first Arpeggio Workout with the D major chord, whose notes are D, F#, and A.

Watch the screencast to get this set up correctly.

 

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Step 14 - Arpeggio Workout #1

Step 15: Arpeggio Workout #2

Let´s keep on practicing Arpeggios. This time we are going to use the E minor chord, whose notes are E, G and B.
 

Have a look at the screen cast.

 

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Tin Whistle Step 15 - Arpeggio Workout #2

Step 16: Arpeggio Workout #3

Are you ready for Arpeggios on the A major chord?The notes are A, C# and E.
 

Have a look at the screen cast.

 

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Tin Whistle Step 16 - Arpeggio Workout #3

Step 17: First Melody Dictations in the Second Octave

By now you should be comfortable playing notes in both octaves, you should have dependable breath control and finger dexterity. Now we are going to work on some Melody Dictations in the second tin whistle octave.
 
We can start with D,F# and A. First we will do two note dictations, then three note dictations with scaffolding and, finally, without scaffolding.
 

Watch the screen cast if you need help setting this up.

 

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Tin Whistle Step 17 - Melody Dictation Second Octave D F# A

Step 18: Second Melody Dictations in the Second Octave

We can keep moving along now, practicing Melody Dictations with the E, G and B in the second octave.

Watch the screen cast if you need help setting this up.

 

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Tin Whistle Step 18 - Melody Dictation Second Octave E G B

Step 19: Using the Ostinato To Develop Your Sense of Harmony

Turn your Tin Whistle into a bagpipe – well….almost!
 
If you are playing tin whistle in a band, you may be called on to play harmony parts. Luckily, the Ostinato in our apps can help you develop a sense of how different notes sound in relationship to a specific underlying note or chord. Hearing these harmonic relationships will fine tune your ear and enrich your playing experience.
 

Have a look at the screen cast for more details about how to do this efficiently.

 

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Tin Whistle Step 19 - The Ostinato To Develop Your Sense Of Harmony

Step 20: More Complex Melody DIctations

Are you ready to go further. Check out the screen cast for some ideas about how to do add additional layers of melodic complexity to your ear training workouts. These kinds of dictations are powerful strategies for learning more advanced tunes by ear.

We are going to cover:

• Adding more notes

• Playing notes that are close together

• Spreading the dictations across two octaves

• Longer Phrases

• Changing Time Signatures

Watch the screen cast for more details.

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Tin Whistle Step 20 - More Complex Melody Dictations

Step 21: More Complex Arpeggio DIctations

Now let´s get really wild and play some more complicated Arpeggio dictations.

Check out the screen cast.

Ear Training For Tin Whistle: Tin Whistle Step 21 - More Complex Arpeggio Dictations

Congratulations! If you have been working diligently through the entire course material and you have been holding yourself to high standards, I am confident at this point that you can play the Tin Whistle well and learn your favorite tunes by ear. You will have gained musical freedom and have prepared yourself to contribute positively to any band or jam session. Best of luck on your musical journey and stay in touch.

-Mattie O´Boyle