Expert Whistle Skills #3

This course is an abundant study of technique, packed with bounces, cranns, rolls, double rolls, trills, backward stitches, open backward stitches, backward rolls and triplets! It is not only for the whistler but is relevant to the flautist and the piper too. Throughout the series of nine lessons, Mikie largely focuses on the repertoire of Seamus Ennis, the great Irish piper, singer and folk collector (1919-1982). The beauty of Mikie's classes is that they are relevant for ANY level of playing. He teaches the bare melody of each tune slowly, phrase by phrase before giving a lesson on advanced technique and how to create the 'bubbles' and 'crunches' within the tune in question. This course is complete with a 'technique bank', that is a page given at the end of the course cataloging all the new techniques introduced in the course. 

Mikie's Masterclass: Piping Technique for the Whistle
 Free 'Expert Whistle Skills #3' Sample Lesson

'The Wandering Minstrel'

After teaching this tune slowly, phrase by phrase, Mikie focuses on the ornament 'bounce' and various methods of articulation that can be utilised within the tune. 

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Course Syllabus for Full Access Lessons
Whistle Lesson 1: The Dublin Reel, Dmaj

This lesson will teach "The Dublin Reel". Mikie will continue his teaching of the 'bounce' that was introduced in the sample lesson.  He will also introduce various types of 'double rolls' that can be included in the tune.  


Whistle Lesson 2: Martin Wynne's Reel, Gmaj

The tune "Martin Wynne's Reel" will be taught in this lesson.  Mike focuses on variation in this lesson and demonstrates many possiblilites on how to create melodic variation subtly throughout the tune.


Whistle Lesson 3: The Cuckoo's Nest (hornpipe)...

This lesson will teach the hornpipe "The Cuckoo's Nest" in G major. Mikie will continue to develop his teaching on bounces, double-rolls, and variation.  He will also be using this tune to practice the trill and vibrato.  


Whistle Lesson 4: O'Carolan's Draft (planxty) Gmaj

"O'Carolan's Draft" is the tune featured in this lesson.  Different methods of achieving vibrato will be explored and demonstrated.


Whistle Lesson 5: Six Penny Money (jig) Dmaj

The jig "Six Penny Money" is a tune Mikie learnt from the playing of Seamus Ennis. The lesson will focus on ornamentation: bounces, cranns and 'the back-stitch'


Whistle Lesson 6: Pat Came Over the Hill (hopjig)...

This lesson will teach the single jig "When Pat Came Over the Hill" in the key of G major. Mikie will continue in his study of ornamentation: 'the backward roll' and 'the open back-stitch'!


Whistle Lesson 7: The Otter's Holt (reel) Bmin

This lesson will teach the reel "The Otter's Holt".  Mike focuses on variation in this lesson and demonstrates many possiblilites on how to create melodic variation subtly throughout the tune.


Whistle Lesson 8: Humours of Drinagh (jig) Dmaj

In this lesson the tune "The Humours of Drinagh". Mikie continues his study of ornamentation with focus on the crann and complex triplet work


Expert Whistle Skills #3: Technique Bank

This page is a catalogue of the main techniques taught throughout the course 'Expert Whistle Skills #3:'. The page is broken down into 8 sections.


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Tunes Taught
  • The Dublin Reel
  • Martin Wynne's Reel
  • The Cuckoo's Nest
  • O'Carolan's Draft
  • Six Penny Money
  • When Pat Came Over the Hill
  • The Otter's Holt
  • The Humours of Drinagh

Tutor Info

Mikie Smyth

Mikie Smyth

Mikie Smyth began playing the pipes at the age of nine. His first teachers were Colm De Brun and Andy Conroy in the Pipers Club in Henrietta Street. As a teacher Mikie has worked for many piping organizations and traditional summer schools, including the Willie Clancy and Joe Mooney summer schools. He is currently the pipes tutor at the IWAMD in the University of Limerick where he teaches on both the BA and MAE programmes...[Read More]