How long does it take to "get good" at the whistle
Well, that depends on what your definition of "Get good" is.
It took me 3 years before I felt comfortable with the whistle. It took me another 3 years or so before I started feeling comfortable making some of the more complex ornaments like rolls and cranns. I'm just now starting to get comfortable learning tunes on the fly, and learning better variations for tunes. I may be really happy with my playing in another 5-10 years.
Your mileage may vary.
I wrote the above answer probably around 2007. Now, in 2018, I can say that I'm fairly happy with my playing. I'm still no virtuoso like Joanne Madden or Kevin Crawford. I've seen videos of teenagers in Ireland playing with such gifted talent that it makes me weep, and I know that I'll probably never be able to play like that. But I think I do OK for myself, and am pretty comfortable with where I'm at.
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