Tag Archives: Hornpipe

KGB Practice CD – On Line Now!!

After making multiple copies of the King Golden Banshee practice CD for folks, I decided it was time to “Go Green”, and, thanks to gaining permission from Will Rourk, the originator of the CD, here it is in all its glory. And yes, my DADGAD guitar students, playing along with these tunes is excellent practice! Hahaha! I have placated two groups with my ingenious counter offensive!

Do note that you may need to re-tune your instrument slightly, especially on some tracks, as it is not quite 440. All are in Windows Media Format, so if you are on a Mac, please use the link on the right to be able to play on your computer. Also, for those of you who might be sitting in with KGB, some sets have been changed, though most of these tunes are still actively being played.

Listen to Jim Donohue’s, Plow and Stars
Listen to Fisher’s, Rights of Man, Dunmore Lasses
Listen to Tripping up the Stairs, Banish Misfortune, Gillian’s Apples
Listen to Rakish Paddy, Dick Gossip’s, Toss the Feathers
Listen to Pipe on the Hob, Gander In The Pratie Hole
Listen to Killavil Jig, Cliffs of Moher
Listen to King of the Fairies, Golden Keyboard, Banshee Reel (aka the KGB set)
Listen to Johnny Cope
Listen to Monaghan Twig, Bonaparte Crossing the Rockies, Humours of Tullycrine
Listen to Home Ruler, Charlie Lennon’s, Cronin’s
Listen to Cooley’s, Teetotaller
Listen to Smash the Windows, Jerry’s Beaver Hat, Tar Road to Sligo
Listen to Man of Aran, Musical Priest, Jenny’s Chickens
Listen to White Pettycoat
Listen to Dancing Bear, Oreaga
Listen to Boys of Blue Hill, The Sandlark, Off to California
Listen to O’Rourke’s, Farewell to Eireann
Listen to Lilting Banshee, Mug of Brown Ale, Swallowtail Jig
Listen to Merry Blacksmith, St. Anne’s
Listen to Blarney Pilgrim, Bill Harte’s
Listen to The Leitrim Fancy, Slip Jig (unknown), Lark in the Morning
Listen to O’Carolan’s Draught, Fairies Hornpipe
Listen to Spindleshanks, Spootaskerry
Listen to Pretty Peggy Morrissey, Madame Bonaparte
Listen to Jackie Coleman’s, Martin Wynne’s #2, Doc Gilbert’s
Listen to Lady on the Island, Crane’s Leg
Listen to Walsh’s, O’Dwyer’s
Listen to John Walsh’s, Britches Full of Stitches, Devlin’s Polka
Listen to Sean Ryan’s, Balleyvorney Polkas
Listen to Foxhunter’s Reel
Listen to Stokes County Waltz, Sonny Brogan’s Mazurka

DADGAD Guitar – 2nd Session (Week 1)

Thanks to those who continued on with the DADGAD class. This past week we reviewed reels using accompaniment to Silver Spear (D maj) as an example. I chose Silver Spear for a couple of reasons. One is that it is a fairly common tune and often one of the first reels that students will learn to play. Second is that from an accompaniment perspective, it is a fairly blank slate as tunes go. So it is a great tune to try out different progressions and use chord substitutions to make it more interesting.

Play along with Silver Spear

One important concept that I wanted to re-emphasize here in the blog is the idea of changing your intensity with the phrases as another way to change the feel of a tune and to give the tune more energy. I think the ending phrase (both the A and B parts) of Silver Spear is a good place to add intensity with the chord changes. Try it and see what you think!

I also introduced (yet) another D progression. This progression probably keeps the D feel more than others and is really just stepping down the scale from D / C# / B# to D. Kind of like a descending base line in folk music except that here you’re doubling it up and leaving the base note (D) unchanged. Here is the fingering for the progression.

[Remember that in some tunes the 4th chord is more appropriate to go to A (single finger) rather than D. You’ll just have to trust me on that and listen for it!]

In the 2nd half of class we talked about hornpipes using The Boys of Blue Hill as an example. Again, this is a very common hornpipe, and straightforward in the chord options. Thus, a good one to work on for the rhythm. We discussed the difference in rhythmic feel between a hornpipe and a reel with the two primary differences being the lilt (or pointed to quote Guy) and the strong finishing 2 beats at the end of each A and B part. You will also hear a greater use of triplets in hornpipes than other tunes (a triplet is basically putting three equally spaced notes where two eighth notes usually would be played… see if you can find them in the recording of Boys of Blue Hill).

Play along with The Boys of Blue Hill

Try the boom-chuck (or boom-chick if you’re Susan) approach and perhaps my alternative approach emphasizing those two strong down strokes on the last two beats. Once you’ve got the rhythm working well for you, then try working on this next tune which was taught to Alex’s fiddle students a couple of weeks ago. This has some less standard chording, and will provide a good challenge for you to work on this week. We’ll discuss some options you might use in next class.

Play along with Napoleon Crossing the Rhine

[sorry about the quality… only had time for one take before work… I’ll try to redo if I get a chance]

For more on the differences between hornpipes and reels, I stumbled upon this article yesterday. Also looks like an interesting on-line magazine on all things diddly. Note the underlying rhythmic structure he provides at the end of the article. Probably accounts for why triplets are so often used.

Geraldine, Maeve and Cillian Cotter

Our first workshop was with the Cotters at the Micho Russell center in Doolin. I have a bunch of Irish language WMA files, but there’s not much rhyme or reason to them, so just pop me an email if you’d like them and I’ll send them on in a zip file. Also, I don’t have any recordings from Cillian’s class, so if anyone has those, please send them on and I’ll post asap!

Here are the tunes from the workshops and from when they just played for us.

Listen to Maeve playing Rolling Wave. Note that this is the same tune from Alex’s class called Humours of Trim, so you can find the notation for the tune under that earlier post

Listen to Maeve playing set of reels backed by Geraldine on piano.

Listen to Maeve and Cillian playing Home Ruler and Kitty’s Wedding hornpipes backed by Geraldine on piano. The notation for these tunes is provided in one of my earlier posts.

Listen to Maeve and Cillian playing set of jigs backed by Geraldine on piano.

Listen to the advanced fiddle class playing an unnamed slide which was later dubbed “Goats in the Hostel” by our group.

Listen to the advanced fiddle class playing Drops of Brandy.

Listen to Geraldine playing a beautiful air on tin whistle.

The Cotters were a great way to start our musical workshops!

First of May

In honor of Alex’s May Day party, we learned the hornpipe, “First of May” last week in our combined class finale. I’m sure it was a wonderful party again this year, sorry our family had to miss it. I wasn’t able to track down the sheet music for the tune, but will look some more when I get the chance. If anyone has a transcription of it, please send it on.

Thanks for another wonderful 12 weeks of class, Alex!

Listen to The First of May

DADGAD Guitar – Week 5

So today we reviewed the minor progressions using the key of Emin and also recalled the new chord progression moving up the scale (Em, Bm, C, D).

After that we worked on two hornpipes. The first was “The Boys of Blue Hill” – a hornpipe in D major. You may remember the nice little scale up (D, A, D, G) at the end of the 2nd phrase. The second hornpipe we covered was “Off to California” in G major (capo 5th fret). You may recall the nice little Em / D / C walkdown followed by the Am, Bm, C, D walk up in the B part before returning to the dominant G.

Practice playing along with The Boys of Blue Hill

Finally, we talked about how to quickly find the root key of the tune and then we practiced picking out the root chord on some tunes.

Next week, we’ll hopefully be able to have a little session so you can practice in a more “live” environment. If I can’t round up some vict… er… volunteers, we’ll learn to pick out a tune on the guitar.