Workshop Information

Recently, we have been trialling running a short tune-learning workshop at the beginning of each session. This involves spending 30-40 minutes learning a new tune by ear. The idea is to increase the confidence of the sessioners for playing tunes by ear and relying less on the music. After we have learned a tune, we will post notes about the tune we learned here.

The tunes here should all be shown as scores. If they're not then it could be your browser doesn't support the library used to draw the music. You can probably see the ABC notation used to generate the music. I'm trying to add PDFs to all the music so you can download that to see the score. Alternatively, use a new browser!

Select a date below:

2011.04.08 - Jim Ward's (jig)

Jim Ward's is the first tune I ever learned by ear at a session. It's a nice simple, repetative jig in the key of G major. Jim Ward was the banjo and flute player in the Kelfinora Ceilidh Band during the 1930s and 1940s. It's sometimes known as Jim Ward's Favourite. It's said that Jim Ward wrote this tune, so fair play to him if he's able to compose his own favourite tune.

Being a nice simple tune, it is open to various ornamentations and variations. Try rolling, trebling or just cutting those dotted-crotchet Gs in the first part. Also try trebling (or cranning if you're on a whistle, flute or pipes) the low Ds at the end of the phrases in the A part. The downward runs in the B part (CBA BAG) are also ripe for playing as dotted-crotchets with rolls or chords. The end of the B part can be held on the D (rather than the scale downwards) to give a nice lead into the start again. Watch and listen to the video closely to see some possible variations.

The score here gives the most basic chords you could play to this tune. Try variations on these - using Am7 and Bm7 instead of the C and D in the last half of the B-part works. Again, see the video for some ideas.

I've put the tune into a set with Saddle the Pony and Haste to the Wedding (jigs on our regular play list - see the jigs page) to show how it might fit into a set. You could use the recordings of these tunes to learn them by ear too.

X: 1
T: Jim Ward's
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: Gmaj
|: "G"G3 GAB | AGE GED | "G"G3 GAB | "C"AGE "D"DEF |
G3 GAB | AGE GAB | "C"cBA BGE |1 "D"DED DEF:|2 "D"DED D2B||
|:"C"cBA "G"BAG | "D"ABA AGE | "C"cBA "G"BGE | "D"DED D2B |
"C"cBA "G"BAG | "D"ABA ABc | dcB AGE |1 DED D2B :|2 GED DEF ||

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