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Feb 21, 2020 - 2:56:35 PM
93 posts since 12/9/2007

I have my tenor. Now some questions 1. Does Irish use tab or musical notes? I can read tab with bluegrass and clawhammer. Music from clarinet in high school. 2. What books would you recommend? I will watch you tube but also like a reference. 3. How difficult is it? I taught myself the other two styles and have a "stick to it till I get it " streak. I will be playing for myself on the back porch and in the process probably bring down the property values in the neighborhood. 4. Any other advice?

Feb 21, 2020 - 4:01:12 PM

2044 posts since 5/2/2012

I bought a cheap tenor to play Irish tunes awhile back. I had a short try with guitar and mandolin before switching to banjo so I wasn't a stranger to using a pick. All I did put some new strings on, tune the tenor to GDAE, print some tab off the 'net (with that tuning you can use mandolin tabs) and started picking. I had the fretting hand skills, had used a pick before, so it wasn't real difficult to play some of the standards. I don't have a lot of natural musical talent, so if I can do it, so can you. I think Enda Schahill's Irish Banjo Tutors (books) came out about that time and was thinking about buying the first book, but I was too cheap to buy it (was about $35 then, $48 at Elderly now) and I wasn't too committed to getting better with the tenor, so I passed on buying one. If I had gotten serious about playing the tenor, I would have considered buying one of his books. There are some books on playing Irish music (some in GDAE tuning, some in CGDA tuning) on Amazon (and other places I suspect) but I have not used them. Go for it!

Edited by - thisoldman on 02/21/2020 16:03:30

Feb 21, 2020 - 4:11:19 PM
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2563 posts since 4/19/2008

hang out here for basic melodies, also IMO wean yourself off of tab

tenor-banjo-tabs.com

Feb 21, 2020 - 4:21:32 PM

681 posts since 2/19/2012

quote:
Originally posted by certified male

I have my tenor. Now some questions 1. Does Irish use tab or musical notes? I can read tab with bluegrass and clawhammer. Music from clarinet in high school. 2. What books would you recommend? I will watch you tube but also like a reference. 3. How difficult is it? I taught myself the other two styles and have a "stick to it till I get it " streak. I will be playing for myself on the back porch and in the process probably bring down the property values in the neighborhood. 4. Any other advice?


1. Yes.  Both.  The nice thing about staying in GDAE tuning is that you'll begin to associate the standard notation with fret positions, and you can begin to move away from tab.  Better still to learn by ear, but you didn't ask about that.

2. I started with "Absolute Beginners Irish Tenor Banjo by Eamonn Coyne (Amazon).  It has simple tunes to get started.  Next, I ordered Enda Scahill's Tutors and also joined Online Academy of Irish Music.  They teach by ear and also provide notation downloads if needed.  Enda's tutors are excellent, by the way.  There is plenty in the first tutor to last for a long time, especially working up to a decent speed.

3.  I find it easier than clawhammer.  I took Skype clawhammer lessons for five years and picked up the Irish tenor pretty easily..........except, it's taking a lot of work to get my speed up to match what's played in sessions.  I'm now playing mandolin and tenor banjo for Irish, and they're both fun.  The reach is smaller with the mandolin, so not as much repositioning, but it has its own challenges.

4. Jump in and have fun!

Feb 21, 2020 - 4:51:50 PM
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2044 posts since 5/2/2012

Check out The Session

Try a bunch of different picks  (I've used .6 and .8 and even gave 1.0) a try.  Different textures on the surface, materials, etc.  Picks are cheap.  

Feb 22, 2020 - 11:40:01 AM

464 posts since 1/30/2019

quote:
Originally posted by certified male

I have my tenor. Now some questions 1. Does Irish use tab or musical notes? I can read tab with bluegrass and clawhammer. Music from clarinet in high school. 2. What books would you recommend? I will watch you tube but also like a reference. 3. How difficult is it? I taught myself the other two styles and have a "stick to it till I get it " streak. I will be playing for myself on the back porch and in the process probably bring down the property values in the neighborhood. 4. Any other advice?


Hi Mark,

Agree with all the others have said. 

I read music slowly but have got a lot better through playing tenor. Irish jigs and reels etc tend to be easish to follow.

I'm hopeless at reading tab for clawhammer, but it's easier for ITM with single note tunes. And Mandolessons.com has loads of tunes with tab and score on the same pages, so if you are good with tab, reading notation will get easier, and vice versa.

Everyone points at the Enda Scahill book but I don't have it. 

It's not hard to get to a point where you follow and play a tune. Don't expect to play fast at first (or ever).

I asked here for beginners tune recommendations, and was told a few.

Swallowtail jig, Tam Lin, some people say Kesh jig too.

Jigs are 6/8 time, so take a bit of getting used to. Reels are 4/4, so for me are still easier. Try "the wind that shakes the barley" reel. It's on mandolessons.com. it's nice and short, and sounds great slow or fast.

Just have fun is the best advice.

Andy

Feb 23, 2020 - 9:21:53 AM

DSmoke

USA

820 posts since 11/30/2015

If you are going to learn by dots, tab, orABC, I suggest listening to the tune a lot before you try to play it. Get the tune on your head so you can hum it. Actually that advice applies to ear learning too, but you pretty much have to do that to play by ear. Enjoy the journey, slow and right is better than fast and s***e.

Feb 23, 2020 - 2:32:20 PM

93 posts since 12/9/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Andyrhydycreuau
quote:
Originally posted by certified male

I have my tenor. Now some questions 1. Does Irish use tab or musical notes? I can read tab with bluegrass and clawhammer. Music from clarinet in high school. 2. What books would you recommend? I will watch you tube but also like a reference. 3. How difficult is it? I taught myself the other two styles and have a "stick to it till I get it " streak. I will be playing for myself on the back porch and in the process probably bring down the property values in the neighborhood. 4. Any other advice?


Hi Mark,

Agree with all the others have said. 

I read music slowly but have got a lot better through playing tenor. Irish jigs and reels etc tend to be easish to follow.

I'm hopeless at reading tab for clawhammer, but it's easier for ITM with single note tunes. And Mandolessons.com has loads of tunes with tab and score on the same pages, so if you are good with tab, reading notation will get easier, and vice versa.

Everyone points at the Enda Scahill book but I don't have it. 

It's not hard to get to a point where you follow and play a tune. Don't expect to play fast at first (or ever).

I asked here for beginners tune recommendations, and was told a few.

Swallowtail jig, Tam Lin, some people say Kesh jig too.

Jigs are 6/8 time, so take a bit of getting used to. Reels are 4/4, so for me are still easier. Try "the wind that shakes the barley" reel. It's on mandolessons.com. it's nice and short, and sounds great slow or fast.

Just have fun is the best advice.

Andy

 

 


Thank you Andy.  Great suggestions.  I'm excited to start. Always have loved Irish tunes!

Feb 25, 2020 - 6:33:25 AM
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2395 posts since 10/9/2011

In addition to all the excellent advice already posted, let me urge you to listen to as much traditional Irish music as you can. On banjo of course, but anything and everything you can get your ears around in order to start to get the feel of the real thing. It's a lot more than just the notes. Check out a session or two even if you're not ready to play at one.

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