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:


2015.12.11 - (No tune this month)


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2015.11.13 - Jessica's (polka)

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X: 1
T: Jessica's
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
ef/e/ ce|fe Bc|A>B cA|ec B2|
ef/e/ ce|fe Bc|A>B cA|FA E2:||
FB AF|cB A2|ef/e/ ce|ag f2|
ef/e/ ce|fe Bc|A>B cA|FA E2:||

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2015.10.09 - The Finnish (polka)

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X: 1
T: The Finnish
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
B2 B>c|dB Bd|cA Ac|d/c/B/A/ BF|B2 B>c|dB Be|ee dc|BA B2:|
|:f2 df|ec cd|ee dc|Bc de|f2 df|ec cd|ee dc|BA B2:|

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2015.09.11 - Pull The Knife And Stick It Again (jig)

X: 1
T: Pull The Knife And Stick It Again
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|: E3 GFE | DEF DEF | E3 GFE | ABG AFD |
E3 GFE | DEF DEF | G2E FED | DED E3 :|
|: edB BAF | FEF DEF | edB BAF | AFA d2f |
edB BAF | FEF DEF | G2E FED | DED E3 :|

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2015.08.15 - The Maid At The Well (jig)

X: 1
T: The Maid At The Well
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
GED ~D3|GEG c2e|dBG GAB|AGE {G}EDE|GED ~D3|GEG c2e|dBG GAB|1 AGF G2D:|2 AGF G2d||
gdB GBd|gdB c2e|dBG GAB|AGE ~E3|gdB GBd|gdB c2e|dBG GAB|AGF G2d|
gdB GBd|gdB c2e|dBG GAB|AGE {G}EDE|GED ~D3|GEG c2e|dBG GAB|AGF G2D||

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2015.07.10 - The Banks Of Lough Gowna (jig)

X: 1
T: The Banks Of Lough Gowna
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
BcB BAF|FEF DFA|BcB BAF|
d2e fed|BcB BAF|FEF DFA|
def geg|1 fdB Bdc:|2 fdB ~B3||
|:def ~a3|afb afe|dFA def|
geg fdB|def ~a3|afb afe|
def geg|1 fdB ~B3:|2 fdB Bdc||

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2015.06.12 - Sleep Sound In The Morning (reel)

X: 2
T: Sleep Sound In The Morning
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
Aaag a2ef|gedB GABG|Aaag a2ef|1 gedB A3G:|2 gedB A3B||
cAeA cAeA|BcdB G3B|cAeA cAeA|BAGB A3B|
cAeA cAeA|BcdB G3B|ABcd efga|gedB BAAG||

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2015.05.08 - Dick Gossip's (reel)

Dick Gossip's is another common session tune. You'll sometimes find it played with the A and B parts reversed and it seems equal measure that people play the parts reveresed, so you'll have to be careful listening to ensure you play it the same way round as the person starting the tune! In the video I play the parts reversed, but I play the tune 3.5 times.

It's in D major, but has a nice change where the B-part starts on the subdominant chord. I've added some simple chords onto the music to give you an idea.

For fiddlers, it helps to start on an up-bow at the beginning of the tune and to try to keep more notes on the up-bow than the down. Bow down on the A and E in the first bar and slur on an up-bow the others, for example.

X: 1
T: Dick Gossip's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:F2 AF GFED|F2 AF GFED|~E3 F GFED|~E3 F GFED|
|F2 AF GFED|F2 AF GFED|cdef gecA|1 d2dc d2 AG:|2 d2 dc d2 ef||
|:gB (3BBB gBaB|gB (3BBB gfed|(3cBA eA fAeA|(3cBA ef gfef|
|gB (3BBB gBaB|gB (3BBB gfed|cdef gecA|1 d2dc d2 ef:|2 d2dc d2 AG|

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2015.04.10 - The Sligo Maid (reel)

X: 3
T: The Sligo Maid
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
A2BA Bdef|gedB AGED|G2BG dGBG|DEGA BGdB|
A2BA Bdef|gedB AGED|B3G A2GE|DEGA BA2 B:|
eaag a2ga | bgaf gfed | eggf g2ge | dega bgag |
eaag a2ga | bgaf gfed | eggf edBA | dBgB BAA2 :|

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2015.03.13 - My Darling Asleep (jig)

X: 1
T: My Darling Asleep
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:fdd cAA|BGG A2G|FAA def|gfg eaa|
fdd cAA|BGG A2G|FAA def|gec d3:|
FAA Add|FAA BGG|FAA def|gfg eaa|
fdd cAA|BGG A2G|FAA def|gec d3:|

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2015.02.13 - The Pipe On The Hob (jig)

Another common session tune, this one, and the first 3-parter we've done! It's in A-dorian, which means it's like A-minor, except it has an F-sharp. It's quite a monotonic tune, sticking closely to the Am chords and arpeggios, but it's quite unusual in that is jumps about quite a lot... especially from that A to the top-G.

For chords, stick to Am and G all the way through for easy chords. Try substituting the G for Em here and there. But listen closely to the tune as the chord changes need to fit with the melody. In particular, notice the B-part starts on a G note, so you should start on a G-chord too.

For a simpler version, do long notes whereever possible - particularly in the C part. However, any long notes in the tune can be replaces with a dip-note (e.g. CBC instead of just C..), or with rolls, slides or any usual ornament.

X: 1
T: The Pipe On The Hob
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
B|:c3 edc| edc BAG|ABA g3|eaa ged|
c3 edc|edc deg|age dBe| ABA A3:|
g3 gea|age dBe|ABA g3|eaa gef|
g3 gea|age deg|age dBe|ABA A3:|
cBc dcd|ecA A2B|cBc dcd|ecA A2B|
cBc dcd|ede gab|age dBe|ABA A3:|

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2015.01.09 - The Hag At The Churn (jig)

This is a very common session tune that you'll find played all over. It's a piping tune - you can tell by the way it doesn't use much more than an octave and is in D-mixolydian (D major with a C natural). It's played as a 16-bar jig, so the A and B parts are not repeated.

The chords for mixolydian tunes tend to be a bit boring, to be honest. They're hard to back nicely. I've added some chords here (which are essentially D and C major), but feel free to try some subtitutions (Am for the C for example).

For tune players, try adding ornaments on the long notes in the B-part. The Cs in particular are calling out for something, as is the EDE phrase in the 4th bar of the B-part. Try a roll, a slide up to the note, a hammer on, a bowed treble or whatever might work.

Fiddle players might try to slur across the A and G in the phrase that starts the tune. I find this helps to get the phrasing correct. Also try to shorten the length of the two notes at the end of each bar to help get the phrasing right for this tune. Listen to the recording carefully to hear the rhythm.

X:1
T:The Hag At The Churn
R:jig
M:6/8
L:1/8
K:Dmix
"D"A2 G ADD |A2 G Adc |A2 G ADD |"C"EFG EFG :|
"D"AdB "C"c3 |"D"Add efg |AdB "C"c2 A |EDE GED |
"D"AdB "C"c3 |"Am"Add efg |"D"fge dcA |"C"GEF GED |

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