Friday Whistles

Friday_whistles_cover_01A resource page to support my Friday whistle group. Additional material will be added as it becomes available.

Tunes covered to date (see below for recordings of these)

The beginnings of a sheet music resource for the group: Friday Whistle Tunes PDF.


  • Stomach Steinway Man (Iain Lowthian, reel)
  • Drowsy Maggie (Irish reel)
  • The Wind that Shakes the Barley (Irish reel)
  • Music for a Found Harmonium (reel)
  • The Maid Behind the Bar (Irish reel)
  • The Sally Gardens (Irish reel)
  • The Flogging Reel (uses F natural)
  • Sleep Soond I’da Mornin’ (Shetland reel uses G#)
  • The Johnstown Reel (Rebecca Knorr, slow reel)
  • The Trip to Pakistan (Niall Kenny, reel)
  • Oot be East da Vong (Shetland reel)
  • S’iomadh Rud A Chunnaic Mi (reel)
  • The Ivyleaf (Irish reel; link is to an old recording of mine on Bandcamp)/  The (In)Appropriate Dipstick (reel by Phil Cunningham and Iain MacDonald) This was inspired by the solo whistle player of a young Irish band called Tumbleweed. It’s a bit too fast in the video, but the pace is set by the guitar player.

Strathspeys, Schottisches, Barndances etc

  • Calum’s Road (strathspey)
  • Crossing the Minch (hornpipe, rolls)
  • Canadian Barndances (various)

Jigs and 6/8 Marches

  • The Heights of Cassino (extended version)
  • Sixpenny Money (Irish jig)
  • Jackson’s Bottle of Brandy (Irish jig)
  • Tripping Upstairs (Irish jig)
  • Jig Runrig (jig)
  • The Seagull (pipe jig)
  • The Dusty Windowsill (Irish jig) link is to my Bandcamp page; free to download.
  • Rory McLeod (pipe jig)

Waltzes, Song airs and others

  • The Star of the County Down (song air)
  • Glencoe (waltz)
  • Circle of the Ocean (waltz)
  • Johnny Faa (song air)
  • The Little Heathery Hill (Slowed Set Dance with F natural)
  • The Skye Boat Song (including cuts, strikes and rolls)
  • Loch Lomond (by ear)


Technique focus

A reminder of some of the techniques we have looked at.

  • Cuts
  • Strikes
  • Rolls
  • Rhythm for reels
  • Breath pulse
  • Tonguing v slurring
  • Moving away from the page
  • Improvising and variation within tunes
  • Options when the melody drops below the range of the whistle
  • High c natural
  • Crans
  • Waltz decoration
  • Traditional phrasing emphasis
  • Using chords and arpeggios to help pick up tunes by ear.
  • Learning by ear.

Photo: Frday whistles (c) Gordon Turnbull