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Irish and Celtic Fingerstyle Banjo

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Pioneering 5-string styles to play traditional tunes from Ireland, Celtic lands, ex-Celtic lands, and the Celtic diaspora.

82 Members, Created 5/11/2012 -

Administrators: Tom Hanway (owner) , peter somerville

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good tunes for irish jam

From kirbonite on 8/8/2012 5:11:14 PM

Well, I'm glad melodic fingerstyle is finding it's way into irish music.. I've always been better at this style than scruggs.. SO, I got my nerve up to go to my first irish jam.   I know quite a few tunes but most of them are crossover tunes like: st anne's reel, red haired boy etc..  When it came my time to select a song.. I froze because I did not want to be cliche and play a crossover tune and was not sure what to suggest.. My question is:  What is a good song to start with at an irish jam that people would most likely know and that would not be considered an american fiddle tune.  also what are some good recordings.. I love what Dave Hum is doing but I'd like to hear some other good stuff too.  thanks..  Kirby


peter somerville says:
8/13/2012 8:23:57 PM

i'm sure Tom will give a more informed answer in a while but for now, 'castle kelly'. 'old and new copperplate' tunes. foxhunters reel, merry blacksmith, maid behind the bar, cooleys, earl's chair. cook in the kitchen.
just a few that come to mind. you've already which are cross over tune, which don't necessarily have to be off the list. tom's book is really good i reckon, and has all popular tunes for sessions. youtube is fantastic for checking out tunes., cheers, peter

Tom Hanway says:
2/18/2013 1:43:55 AM

Thanks Kirby, much appreciated. You could start with a song like 'Whiskey in the Jar' and play strict melody. Celtic fingerstyle banjo is tune-oriented - not melodic style or a subset of bluegrass banjo. Personally, I've been at since the mid-eighties, and Mel Bay's Complete Book of Irish & Celtic 5-String Banjo (1998) demonstrates that it is not the same as "melodic" or "single-string" style, with music from the six Celtic nations and the diaspora.

kirbonite says:
2/18/2013 9:28:48 AM

Thanks for the response Tom.. Yes, I love collecting banjo books and yours is definitely on my list one the finances work out. I finally took Peter's advice and played Cooley's reel. I got along pretty well. Still lots of tunes to learn.. btw.. I know there are CD's With irish fingerstyle mixed in.. Any good CD's with irish fingerstyle throughout.. thanks again, Kirby

kirbonite says:
3/1/2013 4:39:13 PM

Gilderoy over there is the first tune I arranged on my own with a little help from banjotom. I'm pretty proud of it but don't know it is traditional..

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Linked Content

Tablature: Eighth of January
Linked by Tom Hanway 3 years ago: Enjoy!

Forum Post: (untitled)
Linked by AllanJ 4 years ago

Click for Details

Maid Behind the Bar (reel)
Linked by Tom Hanway 6 years ago

Tablature: Clumsy Lover, The
Linked by Tom Hanway 7 years ago: Parts A, B, C (1st JPEG) and parts D, E and F (2nd JPEG).

Click for Details

Banish Misfortune, 5-string banjo
Linked by AllanJ 7 years ago: Bit of a work-in-progress - I've come up with a rather different setting to the one in Tom Hanway's book - so once I get comfortable with the tune I'll borrow some ideas from there.

Blog Entry: Traditional Irish and Celtic Tunes in the Public Domain
Linked by Tom Hanway 7 years ago: Irish and Celtic Tunes for 5-String Banjo Materials by Tom Hanway

Tablature: All Through the Night (Ar Hyd y Nos) 4th Variation
Linked by Tom Hanway 8 years ago: In memory of Bill Keith, here is a lovely Welsh air in Celtic fingerstyle that can be played as a Christmas tune.

Blog Entry: What is the 'Celtic' in Folk Music Culture?
Linked by Tom Hanway 8 years ago: Today, use of either English or French symbolises social and material success while use of a living Celtic language symbolises powerlessness, backwardness or clannishness.

Tablature: Mason's Apron, The
Linked by Tom Hanway 8 years ago: This Celtic fingerstyle version (G) is based on Micho Russell's (Co. Clare) tin whistle version in F. It has a unique lilt to it and can be played with other tunes.

Blog Entry: (untitled)
Linked by Tom Hanway 8 years ago: Revised and re-posted.

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