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[26 Apr 2012 | 3 Comments | ]
Klezmer Lullaby

By Seth Austen
Welcome to our final issue of Mandolin Sessions. It’s been fun playing some tunes together. My first column was an introduction to klezmer music, so we’ll return to klezmer and play an original composition, Klezmer Lullaby.
 
Klezmer Lullaby uses the freygish mode in A: A Bb C# D E F G (1 2b 3 4 5 6b 7b), thus the key signature contains both sharps and flats. Make sure to use alternate picking on eighth notes; down on 1, 2, 3, 4 and up on all the ands. Klezmer …

Irish/Celtic, Tunes »

[1 Feb 2012 | 3 Comments | ]
Beginning Irish Mandolin: Lilies in the Field

by Michael B Gregory
Lilies in the Field
Lilies in the Field is not an especially popular session tune but it deserves to be, in my view.  I have transcribed here a version found on the cd titled “The Kitchen Recordings” by Sean O’Driscoll and Larry Egan, produced in 2003.  I choose it because it is a lovely melody and it is played at a reasonable pace.  In fact, O’Driscoll and Egan call it a “slow reel”.  Their version is ideal for beginners and gives us an opportunity to introduce some basic …

Featured, Tunes »

[1 Feb 2012 | Comments Off | ]
Building a Traditional Tune Repertoire: Old Yeller Dog (G)

 

 by Wendy Anthony
The Tune:
Old Yeller Dog, is also known as (a.k.a.) Old Yeller Dog Come Trotting’ Through The Meeting House, is an old-time fiddle breakdown in the Key of G, related to the tune The Old Grey Mare.

 
Listen to the MIDI: 120 | 160 | 180 bpm
Printable Sheet Music: pdf

Techniques:

Overview of Tune: This is a 2-part tune, with each part repeated twice. Play with a lively rhythm.
Chords: Part A uses only the G (I) & D (V) chords, while Part B also uses the C (IV) chord.
Part A || …

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[1 Dec 2011 | 4 Comments | ]
Building a Traditional Tune Repertoire: Jaybird Died of the Whooping Cough (G)

 

 
by Wendy Anthony
The Tune:
Jaybird Died of the Whooping Cough, also known as Jaybird Died with the Whooping Cough, is a traditional old-time fiddle tune in the Key of G.
 
 

 

Listen to the MIDI: 120 | 160 bpm
Printable Sheet Music: pdf

Techniques:

Overview of Tune: This is a 2-part tune, with each part repeated twice, and played with a lively rhythm.
Chords:
Part A || : G | G | G | D | G | C | D | G : ||
Part B || : G | C | G | G | G …

Featured, Irish/Celtic, Tunes »

[1 Dec 2011 | 2 Comments | ]
Beginning Irish Mandolin: Devanney’s Goat

by Michael B Gregory
Devanney’s Goat is a somewhat recent tune that has not been played too often in sessions but it has been recorded widely. Here is a set of three reels played by Brid Harper (fiddle) and Danny O’Mahony (button accordion):
http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhaltaslive_290_2_brid_harper_danny_omahony/
The first reel is The Drunken Landlady. An easy mandolin-friendly version of it can be found in the Mel Bay book http://www.melbay.com/product.asp?ProductID=21546BCD authored by Joe Carr and myself. The third reel of Brid and Danny’s set is Devanney’s Goat. I’m not familiar with their middle tune but if you …

Featured, Irish/Celtic, Lessons, Tunes »

[11 Oct 2011 | One Comment | ]
Beginning Irish Mandolin: The Rambling Pitchfork

by Michael Gregory
In 1996, when I was searching for an Irish mandolin mentor, my great friend Tom located a San Francisco Bay area woman, Marla Fibish, who taught me several fantastic reels and jigs.  One of these, The Drunken Landlady, was presented in my Mel Bay book http://www.melbay.com/product.asp?ProductID=21546BCD co-authored with Joe Carr.  Here I offer you another – The Rambling Pitchfork.  This is a common session tune whose title refers to an item (pitchfork) carried from farm-to-farm by a wandering (rambling) laborer in former times to indicate his desire to …

Featured, Tunes »

[11 Oct 2011 | 3 Comments | ]
Building a Traditional Tune Repertoire: Magnolia One-Step (G)

by Wendy Anthony
The Tune:
Magnolia One-Step is a 3-part traditional old-time tune from Mississippi, in the Key of G. One-step dances, popular in the early 20th Century, are done with a quick walking step, often in 2/4 time.

Listen to the MIDI: 120 | 160 | 180 bpm
Printable Sheet Music: pdf

Techniques:

Overview of Tune: This is a 3-part tune, in 2/4 time, with each part repeated twice, and played with a quick, lively rhythm. A syncopated rhythm in measures 13 & 17 is created by picking the 1/8 notes Down-Up-Rest-Up.
Chords:
Part A || …

Featured, Irish/Celtic, Lessons, Tunes »

[2 Aug 2011 | Comments Off | ]
Beginning Irish Mandolin: Padraig O’Keeffe’s Hornpipe

by Michael Gregory                                                           
  In this issue, we are featuring a true beginner’s tune called Padraig O’Keeffe’s hornpipe.  I learned it from the excellent Sliabh Notes album called Gleannt·n (pronounced gloun-TANE, the first syllable rhymes with ‘clown’ while the last syllable gets the emphasis and rhymes with the word ‘octane’). Sliabh Notes is a trio of musicians that are based the southwest of Ireland, County Kerry to be precise.  There is a short review of the cd here:
 
http://www.irishmusicreview.com/slIABH%20NOTES.htm
 
I have indicated all the recommended pickstrokes in the tab/music score and played the …

Featured, Tunes »

[2 Aug 2011 | Comments Off | ]
Building a Traditional Tune Repertoire: Needlecase (D)

by Wendy Anthony
The Tune:
Needlecase is a 2-part traditional old-time tune in the Key of D.

Listen to the MIDI: 120 | 160 bpm
Printable Sheet Music: pdf

Techniques:

Overview of Tune: This is a 2-part tune, with each part repeated twice, and is played with a lively rhythm. Create the syncopated rhythm in measures 3 & 7 by picking the 1/8 notes Down-Up-Rest-Up-Down.
Chords:
Part A || : D | G | D | A | D | G | A | A / D : ||
Part B || : D | G | D …

Featured, Irish/Celtic, Tunes »

[7 Jun 2011 | One Comment | ]
Beginning Irish Mandolin: Martin Wynne’s no. 2

by Michael Gregory
As promised, here’s a version of Martin Wynne’s reel no. 2. I’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for beginners to play – with much repetition, which should also make it easy to learn. As with Martin Wynne’s no. 1, I followed the setting from Foinn Seisiun Session Tune Sets Book 2, which appears on page 26.
There is a very nice recording of Martin Wynne’s no. 2 on the album reviewed here:
http://www.irishmusicreview.com/Sliabhluachra.htm
and there’s a recording of Martin …