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Thread: Jigs and Reels, need help to get started...

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camsuke View Post
    Hi Booli,

    The work of Jon Lewis may be just what you're after. He plays a lot of Irish tunes using Campanella style and has recently set up a website for his tabs. He's also a very friendly and approachable guy.

    This is very helpful, as is the link in a later post.
    - Laura

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by IamNoMan View Post
    Booli: This thread came up about a month or so ago. There are lots of resources for Celtic Uke players here: Are there Celtic Ukers out there.
    Thanks for the link. Somehow that one slipped by and I missed it, but have been reading it now. Lots of great info there. Had I seen that thread, I may not have created this one. Yet, reading that thread, there is just SO much information, that I am completely saturated and overwhelmed now.

    Quote Originally Posted by IamNoMan View Post
    I am guessing you are interested in Dance Tunes in general rather than Appalachian and Canadian Folk Songs.
    All of this music is completely foreign to me, I wouldn't now a 'dance tune' from a doorknob right now. LOL. But that is a big part of the draw for me, the fact that it's all new. I'm kinda bored with rock, pop, jazz, reggae and other american derivatives, and microtonal and tunings other than 12-step equal temperment (from middle-eastern and asian music) are VERY unpalatable to me at this time.

    I've had minimal exposure to Appalachian and Canadian Folk Songs, but can't name any, but what I've heard was interesting to me, and what I've read suggested the origins of such music are in Irish/Scottish/Welsh/British Celtic music, so rather than look at the derivatives, I was thinking of going back to the origins, and maybe working forwards in time.

    Quote Originally Posted by IamNoMan View Post
    For Jigs, hornpipes and other tunes in 6/8 time work on your left hand triplets as well as the Cherry Picking. Get comfortable with playing out of the Keys of A, D, and G, and their relative minors if you want to play with other Old Time Musicians. Elofs Tutorial you spoke of touched briefly on double thumb, Drop Thumb or Clawhammer. He calls it Thumb Index.
    Thanks. All that you mentioned here are basic building blocks that are not in my skillset as of yet, so I need to develop these playing techniques as well as get the paradigms of genre-specific proper keys, scales, modes into my head.

    I feel like I need to learn to 'think' in Celtic about the music, and not so much the previously learnt music. Lots of times I feel trapped by the motifs, themes and tropes of 'western' music (and also the south-western european classical and baroque periods to some extent).

    It's like a need to expand my vocabulary from only 2,3 & 4 syllable words, to include some 5,6,7 & 8 syllable words, and then use them whenever possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by uke4ia View Post
    If you read sheet music, you can find it for a lot of the jigs and reels on:

    https://thesession.org/tunes

    Plus, the site lets you look songs up by first searching for a musician that you know has recorded the song.
    Thanks for the link. I will check that out. As I don't know this music, finding an example of a good recording right now, is like trying to exclusively pick a single drop of water from the ocean.

    Admittedly I've (ignorantly) never been a fan of tablature, I really need to brush up on my ability for reading sheet music. I CAN read, it's just abysmally slow and painful. I know this will improve over time, and will be super useful again later.

    Quote Originally Posted by phil hague View Post
    I agree with Brimmer, if I know the tune I can usually play it from tabs, but if it is new to me I find I can get the notes ok but somehow the tune isn't there. A great challenge though!
    My problem is that I'm not familiar enough with this style of music yet. However, I am pretty decent at playing by ear, and can 'pick out' the melody and key after listening about a dozen times (and fumbling along with instrument in hand) before it sticks in memory. It's easier with the music I've already heard millions of times (I worked as a mobile DJ for 15+ yrs) as most of that music has more in common (like 50's rock'n'roll for example) than it is disparate. With the music I've already been exposed to, it 'seems' easy since you can fall back on known patterns, progressions or musical tropes, once you start to get the gist of the song.

    I have no such reference point with Celtic music. I need to get really basic, and find the scales, modes, and patterns that are used as the building blocks, otherwise the songs will remain abstract and 'far away' to me. I need to find a starting point, even if only to dissipate the feeling of being overwhelmed. So I guess I am looking for some kind of genre-specific instructional materials as opposed to the songbooks or music sheets. I need to hook into a way to approach the music as a whole.

    There are lots of good suggestions here, and lots of learning I have yet to do, and I am quite grateful for the support so far.
    Last edited by Booli; 02-08-2015 at 11:00 AM.

  3. #13
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    Good luck, Booli! There are many great celtic recordings to check out. I like Irish 'pure drop' music: all instrumental with just a few players (usually played in more relaxed tempos than the mighty Irish supergroups like Solas and DeDannan). Plenty of nice music on youtube, too. Live sessions are great too.

    Enjoy the journey...

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by brimmer View Post
    Good luck, Booli! There are many great celtic recordings to check out. I like Irish 'pure drop' music: all instrumental with just a few players (usually played in more relaxed tempos than the mighty Irish supergroups like Solas and DeDannan). Plenty of nice music on youtube, too. Live sessions are great too.

    Enjoy the journey...
    Thanks Brimmer.

    You mentioned Irish 'pure drop', Solas and DeDannan, are there any other groups or musicians that are a good example of celtic music (both newer/contemporary and older/traditional) that I should absolutely not miss?

    Can you recommend any specific online/streaming internet radio stations that you like? (similar to how the Aloha Joe and Ukulele Island channels are for uke/hawaiian music), and if so, I can keep this going all day when I am working at the computer.

    I need to feed my ears for a while and try to internalize the feeling of this music.
    Guinea proverb: "A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies."

  5. #15
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    Booli, personally, as much as I admire Solas, Altan, DeDannan, the Bothy Band, etc, I find their dance music to be too high octane (fast) to use it for learning. I prefer this music played in a somewhat slower, flowing and relaxed style. Though members of those groups made some classic solo albums, such as Frankie Gavin's 'Omos Do Joe Cooley' album with Paul Brock. Gavin's more recent collaboration with Joe Derrane is great too.

    Fortunately, in the last 20 years we have been blessed with many wonderful Irish trad CDs in the pure drop style. I suggest anything by the Kane Sisters (Liz and Yvonne), John Carty, the Mulcahy Family. Other fairly recent albums that I like:

    PJ Crotty and James Cullinan - Happy to Meet
    Mick O'Brien and Caoimhin O'Raghallaigh - Kitty Lie Over
    Catherine McEvoy and others - Comb Your Hair and Curl It
    Catherine and John McEvoy - the Kilmore Fancy
    The McNamara Family - Leitrim's Hidden Treasure
    Jack and Charlie Coen - the Branch Line (70s recording)

    I could go on. Some are available as mp3 purchases, others you might have to search for in CD format. You'll find some of these performers on youtube. Feel free to PM me if you need tips.

    Also there is a trove of 60s/70s out of print music that can be downloaded for free at this site (you have to go to the sister site for the downloads). My favorites include OOP LP's by Dennis Doody, Jimmy Doyle, Bobby Casey, Julia Clifford, and Muintir Lewis.

    http://ceolalainn.blogspot.com

    Happy hunting!
    Last edited by brimmer; 02-09-2015 at 02:10 PM.

  6. #16
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    Want to get a real feel for that rythym, get a bodhran and learn to hammer out some Irish beats. You can also use them as strumming patterns as well.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by brimmer View Post
    Booli, personally, as much as I admire Solas, Altan, DeDannan, the Bothy Band, etc, I find their dance music to be too high octane (fast) to use it for learning.
    I was checking out videos of Solas on youtube yesterday, and I tend to share your opinion. Also, the music seems to be dominated by fiddle and the smaller accordian, whose melodies might be good for the range of the uke, but hard to pick out by ear on first listen since I dont know the musical motifs.

    I also checked out some videos of De Dannan, mostly from 1976 and 1982, and many of those songs seem to be dominated by penny whistle or fife, but with the other instrumentation, there is a lot going on.

    Also, in pursuit of your previous suggestion, I found an Irish music group called 'Pure Drop' which has music more along the lines of what I'm looking for.
    So, thank you for that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by brimmer View Post
    I prefer this music played in a somewhat slower, flowing and relaxed style. Though members of those groups made some classic solo albums, such as Frankie Gavin's 'Omos Do Joe Cooley' album with Paul Brock. Gavin's more recent collaboration with Joe Derrane is great too.
    Yes, slower, not more than 100 beats-per-minute (BPM).

    I also found some streaming radio stations while searching for 'celtic radio'. Quite a few of them are playing what sounds like a mirror version of 1970's USA Country music, lots of banjo and bozouki...but two that I like that seem to be more traditional are

    Highlander Celtic, via http://50.7.71.30:9584/
    Celtic Music Radio, via http://stream.celticmusicradio.net:8000/celticmusic.mp3

    I plug those URLs into the Linux app called 'RadioTray' as a favorite and can recall them at will, without clogging up the browser. They should work in iTunes, Windows Media Player and/or VLC or any other online radio capable stream player.

    The 'Celtic Music Radio' seems to have a nice mix of both traditional and contemporary music.

    I will follow your other suggestions (thank you!) and seek out that music as well.

    Brimmer, you have been very helpfull and appreciate all of your effort and support here to help get me started.

    I'll report back here when I have something to add.
    Guinea proverb: "A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies."

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilUSAFRet View Post
    Want to get a real feel for that rythym, get a bodhran and learn to hammer out some Irish beats. You can also use them as strumming patterns as well.
    Yes, that's a great idea. At one time I was thinking of getting either a set of bongos or a bongo cajon, but the bodhran seems to have a much wider spectrum of sound that you can create with it, and as such is a very versatile drum.

    I guess this means that I am now searching for a bodhran!
    Guinea proverb: "A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies."

  9. #19
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    I have a Remo 14" x 4" with a synthetic head so I don't have tuning problems when it's humid out down here in Florida. Lots of size/head/depth combinations out there, both fixed and tuneable. There are some tutorials on YouTube on how to tape the head of an inexpensive bodhran and make it sound like a higher quality drum. Some players get remo heads for their cheap imports.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euUSfb8LfMw

  10. #20
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    Booli if you want to get a reel feel for all sorts of Celtic music you needs must immerse yourself in it. One of the best ways I know to do this for celtic music is Foina Ritchie's Thistle and Shamrock Radio program. The link is for the T&S archive recordings.
    "Inspire me muse to sing of the wanderer, who sailed the wine dark sea and toppled the towers of Ilium"
    "Make a Joyous Noise"
    "Let there be song to fill the air"

    Uncle Tommy's Holiday Camp

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