Tag Archives: Reel

Paddy Fahy’s Sligo Maid

I’ve fallen behind a couple of weeks in Alex’s class, so here is the “catch-up” post. However, I will say it was well worth the wait as these are two tunes worth knowing. I think Sue was the force behind learning Paddy Fahy’s, and no, we don’t know which Paddy Fahy’s it is. Part of the allure. However, after looking it up on thesession.org, it listed several other titles for it, one of which gave me quite a good chuckle this morning.

“Also known as And Never Was Piping So Gay, Blacksmith’s Anvil, The Blacksmith’s Anvil, Ed Reavy’s, Fahey´s Tractor, Never Was Piping So Gay, Paddy Fahey’s, Paddy Fahey’s No. 14, Paddy Fahy’s Favourite Orgy Scene, Reavy’s, Shaney Mulhearn’s, Shaney Mulhern’s.”

When we were learning Sligo Maid, I was sitting there thinking that I just recently played it with someone, but I couldn’t place it. Sophie was kind enough to remind me that we played it for our teacher set on Friday. Yes, Alzheimer’s is rapidly setting in. Further confirmation of that was that I couldn’t recall the names of the tunes the next day and had to email for help. The brain is an amazing place and getting less amazing all the time. Enjoy the tunes!

Paddy Fahy’s  Listen   View Notation   Key of G
Sligo Maid   Listen   View Notation   Key of Am

Session Workshop Tunes

Slip sliding away…

We’ve added two well-known slides to work on for the next two weeks. I’ve really grown quite fond of slides since our trip to Ireland. Who knows, maybe it was all the dancing with “Timmy the Brit”. Regardless, slides and polkas are fun tunes to add to your repertoire. Hope you enjoy them!

Remember for Spring break week, there will be no BRIMS classes on April 5th or 7th. So we’ll all have a chance to practice our tunes an extra week (I personally will need that!). Work on getting those reels up to speed and those transitions. Don’t put your instrument down for too long over the break. As soon as we know what the plan will be for the recital, we’ll let you know so you can focus your practice more. In the meantime, safe travels to those of you who are hitting the road!

Jig Set (3x each)
Out on the Ocean   Listen   View Notation   Key of G (A part) Em (B part)
Swallowtail Jig   Watch   View Notation   Key of Em
Connaughtman’s Rambles   Listen   View Notation   Key of D (A part) Bm (B part)
Kesh Jig   Listen   View Notation   Key of G

Reel Set (3x each)
O’Connell’s Trip to Parliament   Listen   View Notation   Key of D
Drowsy Maggie   Listen   View Notation   Key of Em (A part) D (B part)
Torn Jacket   Listen   View Notation   Key of D
Silver Spear   Listen   View Notation   Key of D

Hornpipe Set (2x each)
Boys of Blue Hill   Listen   View Notation   Key of D
Off to California   Listen   View Notation   Key of G
Napoleon Crossing the Rhine   Listen   Couldn’t find notation, sorry!   Key of Em

Slip Jig Set (3x each)
Rocky Road to Dublin   Listen   View Notation   Key of Am
Dever the Dancer   Listen   View Notation   Key of Em (A part) D (B part)
Humours of Whiskey   Listen   View Notation   Key of Bm (A part) D (B part)

Waltz Set (2x each)
Si Bheag Si Mhor   Watch   View Notation   Key of D
Fanny Poer   Watch   View Notation   Key of G
Empty Wallet Waltz   Listen (to Virginia!)   View Notation   Key of G
Planxty Irwin   Watch   View Notation   Key of G

Slide Set (3x each)
Road to Lisdoonvarna   Listen  View Notation   Key of Em
O’Keefe’s Slide   Listen  Couldn’t Find Notation   Key of Em
Here’s an up to speed version to play along with (reverse order)   Watch

This post is growing like a shamrock in springtime!

And even though this is not the key we play it in and the melody is a bit different, this is just too amazing to pass up! You really must hear (and see) this version of Napoleon Crossing the Rhine   Watch

And just for Adrienne and Julie, here’s a little tenor banjo (from a master) that I stumbled upon while trying to find a suitable recording of Swallowtail Jig. The first tune is also one some folks learned from Breda and Claire Keville in Ireland last summer. But no, it isn’t Swallowtail Jig 🙂   Watch

Sailor’s Bonnet

Sadly I couldn’t stay for class tonight. It’s been one of those weeks. But I did drop by to record this week’s tune, The Sailor’s Bonnet. Alex mentioned it was part of a classic set, which of course, piqued my curiousity, so off to Google I went. As is often the case, I became distracted by other themes and came across this wonderful resource on the Comhaltis site. Many tunes, ordered by some common sets. Sweet!

Comhaltis Tune Links (set 1)
Comhaltis Tune Links (set 2)

But I digress. Below is the tune for the week – enjoy!

Listen to Sailor’s Bonnet (reel).
Listen to Sailor’s Bonnet (played slower).

P.S. Maybe the set was The Tarbolton / The Longford Collector / The Sailor’s Bonnet. Will have to ask Alex!

Maid Behind the Bar

Last night, Alex started teaching us the Maid set, starting with Maid Behind the Bar. So glad we’re working on these tunes as they should be part of everyone’s repertoire. I started trying to learn this one a few weeks ago, so it’s good to have the extra push in class. The b part is definitely a challenge and I have to say that it’s even tougher (at first) with the bowing, but I can sense that it will make it much easier in the long run. Really appreciated Alex letting us record the bowing (and I can’t imagine being able to play a tune and speak the bowing). Thanks Alex!

Listen to Maid Behind the Bar (reel).
Listen to Maid Behind the Bar (played slower).
Listen to Maid Behind the Bar (bowing on b-part).

Killarney Boys of Pleasure

A new semester of BRIMS classes is upon us. For the time being, I’m going to try to hang with the Intermediate fiddle folks as my guitar class is at 7pm. This week we learned “The Killarney Boys of Pleasure” which Alex referenced from a Lunasa CD, though played in a different key from what we learned in class. You can hear the Lunasa version here.

Here’s the sheet music (from that key, I believe). Move it all over one string lower for the key we learned in class.

Listen to Killarney Boys of Pleasure (reel).
Listen to Killarney Boys of Pleasure (played slower).

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

Drowsy Maggie

Thanks to Sophie for covering Alex’s class last night. She reviewed several tunes with us and taught us Drowsy Maggie, which I will always associate with Marie Borgman who played the heck out of this tune. The bowing on this one made my head spin. Not a good state to be in before teaching my guitar class. [Speaking of which, this would be a good one for my guitar students to work out – key change, but otherwise, fairly straightforward].

Listen to Drowsy Maggie (reel).

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.