Best UK Low D Whistle
Just Updated: October 2020
These are our top ranked picks in the category of best low d whistle to buy in the UK.
#1 Selection: Rating = 90%
#2: Best Rated Runner-Up
#3: Best For Positive Review Scores
Low D Whistles: A Buyer’s Guide For 2020
When it comes to folk and world music, whistles have never been more popular. Depending on the music and melodies you wish to create, however, you should be on the lookout for a whistle which can handle a specific range or series of octaves.
Not all whistles can create the same notes or tones, which is why it is well worth taking a close look around at what’s available from your local music shop, as well as what music retailers online have to offer.
Buying the right whistle can be tricky to begin with. It’s not always hygienic to ‘try before you buy’! Therefore, it is a good idea to start watching video guides and tutorials.
These will help you find the right whistle for your band or for the music you wish to create and play. If you are already a seasoned whistle aficionado, then you may already be well aware of what you need to look for.
However, there are still going to be a few things you should consider when looking for specific instruments. You don’t want to waste your money on a whistle which sounds out of place!
In this buying guide, we are going to focus purely on the low D whistle, which is a popular standard of instrument often used in Irish music. The market for specific whistles can really vary, so make sure you know exactly what you want and what to look for before throwing any money out there.
We’ll take a look at everything you need to know, as well as some of the most frequently asked questions people ask before buying into low D whistles and the like.
Why Buy a Low D Whistle?
Low D whistles are very popular with many folk musicians as they can create a fantastic, ethereal sound. They are great at building intense, brooding soundscapes, as well as helping to craft various traditional melodies.
While not all folk bands use a low D whistle, they have long been favoured by those musicians who want to create unique, haunting tunes. It is likely that you have heard a low D whistle or two either in film soundtracks or as part of Celtic music. In any case, it is a great, diverse instrument to learn, but one which will take time to master.
Low D whistles are generally easy to spot as they can be bigger and more cumbersome than other flutes in the orchestra. They have large finger holes, which, if you are used to fingering smaller instruments, can seem a little tricky to get used to.
However, it is always worth consulting online guides or videos to make sure you adapt to playing them. If you already have a firm handle on how to play the flute, then there is no reason why you won’t be able to work a low D to your advantage.
Low D whistles and flutes aren’t to everyone’s tastes, but they are very popular with folk musicians who want to diversify their melodies, and those who are looking for a more authentic sound. There is certainly nothing better than an authentic, natural soundscape, and this is perfectly achievable with the right whistles in your arsenal.
But how do you know which whistles are necessarily going to work best for you? Let’s take a close look at some of what you’ll need to keep in mind.
Things to Consider
You will probably be forgiven for thinking that buying a low D whistle is a fairly simple process. However, this isn’t always the case. As mentioned, you shouldn’t really try before you buy in shops – so make sure to watch video guides and reviews, as well as to read up on what verified buyers and musicians have to say while you are shopping around.
You don’t want to end up with a whistle which simply doesn’t sound the part! Here are a few things you should be keeping in mind before you go ahead and buy.
Many low D whistles can be tuned, which means you will have a good deal of control over how your music will sound. However, plenty of people get on fine with non-tuneable whistles. Your experience and needs may vary, of course.
If you are the sort of musician who takes great pride in the sounds you craft and create, it makes sense to invest in an instrument which is more versatile and flexible while playing. Therefore, do always be ready to look at tuning whistles.
Size and Shape
Believe it or not, low D whistles can vary a lot in terms of size and shape. As mentioned, the holes on a low D are generally going to be bigger than those you might find on other flutes and whistles. However, this doesn’t mean you have to buy the most cumbersome model out there.
You should, however, be ready to look for whistles which are going to be comfortable for you to handle and manipulate. Smaller or more delicate hands may struggle with bigger whistles which are altogether deeper in tone.
Once again, verified reviews and video guides are going to help you hugely in this regard, so do shop around and trust what seasoned musicians have to say on the matter.
Power and Capacity
By this, we mean your lungs! Some of the more powerful, intense low D whistles require a lot of breath to really get the most out of. If you are only slight, you may wish to look for whistles which are more delicate in design, or which are easier to get used to from a standing start.
The bigger, more intensive whistle out there are likely going to appeal to seasoned musicians, or those with considerable lung power. Check the marketing and what musicians have to say.
Ultimately, if it’s your first time looking for a low D whistle, you should be considering an instrument which is easy to get used to from the off. Otherwise, you could be struggling with a fiddly flue for time to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you are a seasoned whistler or flautist, or even if you are a complete novice to the world of folk music, you may well have plenty of questions you want to ask.
That’s why we’ve answered a few of the more popular queries right here for you – make sure to take your time reading through before you buy?
How Loud are Low D Whistles?
Volume is something which can really vary from one whistle to the next. Low Ds offer a rich, deep tone, however, volume is something which is always going to be a differential. It doesn’t always follow that the bigger a whistle, the louder it is.
However, it’s certainly a good place to start. Consider looking at what musicians have to say, as if you buy a whistle which is too loud, it is going to run the risk of overpowering all the other instruments in your line-up. Do be careful and don’t pick a whistle that’s too loud for ensemble play.
How Much Do Low D Whistles Cost?
Low D whistles are generally very affordable as far as musical instruments are concerned, as you can pick up an entry-level model for as little as £40 to £50. However, do be aware that, for some of the more advanced and better-built whistles, you may need to pay more than £100.
Our advice will be to start off small and to work your way up. That is, of course, unless you are completely confident in your whistle playing, and that you know what you are looking for. In which case – what are you waiting for?
Why are Low D Whistles So Popular?
When people think of folk and Celtic music, they may consider dreamy soundscapes and whistling tunes. The low D whistle is an instrument which is a staple of the genre, and which for many people, typifies many movie soundtracks and world music. Therefore, it is a popular instrument for many people to start learning.
Is It Difficult to Learn How to Play the Low D Whistle?
This all depends on your experience. If you are already proficient in playing whistles and flutes, then you may find moving over to a low D whistle fairly simple. However, with larger holes and longer reach, they can take some getting used to.
While plenty of people can hit the ground running, there is no shame in taking your time to get used to the instrument. Practice is perfect, as they always say! It’s always worth checking out some video tutorials or picking up a guide or two to help you along the way.
You may not have come across the low D whistle before, however, it’s likely you have heard it! Why not take a look at some of the best instruments online, and see what musicians have to say about the models that appeal to you the most?
Learning an instrument is great fun, and when you really apply yourself to the craft, you’ll be able to make brilliant music in no time at all.