Here are 5 easy reels for tin whistle beginners or improvers. Reels are perhaps the most challenging Irish tunes to play, but also the most rewarding. In this post you will find sheet music and whistle tablatures of each tune, as well as recordings of each tune played at moderate speed and also slower. I’ve also included Spotify playlist of the tunes played by Irish musicians, with several examples of each tune.

The tunes:

1. John Egan’s Reel
2. Tommy O’Dea’s Reel
3. Hanly’s Reel
4. The Galtee Rangers
5. Famous Ballymote

Scroll to the bottom of the page to download the sheet music & whistle tabs of the 5 reels, as a printable pdf file.

1: John Egan’s Reel

John Egan was a flute player from County Sligo, and there seem to be several reels bearing his name.

tin whistle tablature john egans reel

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2: Tomeen O’Dea’s Reel

This reel was collected by Breathnach in CRE1, from the flute player Michael Tubridy. It was recorded by Macdara O’Raghallaigh on his live album (the last tune in the epic 10-minute set in the playlist below)

tommy o'deas reel sheet music tin whistle

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3: Hanly’s Reel

This reel is associated with flute player Patsy Hanly from County Roscommon, and is a great flute reel.

hanlys reel sheet music and fingering guide

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4: The Galtee Rangers

This tune has associations with County Kerry, and is often played with the Glountane reel and Callaghan’s. It was recorded by Mary Bergin on her seminal Feadoga Stain 2 album.

galtee ranger reel - 5 Easy Reels for Tin Whistle

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5: Famous Ballymote

Recorded by the Bothy Band back in the 70s and a session staple since.

famous ballymote sheet music tin whistle

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Spotify Playlist


5 easy reels for tin whistle – sheet music & whistle tabs

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John Egan’s Reel – Flute


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