Guitar Accompaniment

Guitar Accompaniment

Excuse the name, it was not me who created this.
But yes, are there any guitarist out there who can provide assistance as to what chords/chord shapes/tunings/capo-ing to use for accompanying traditional music? When I say "traditional" what I really mean is 21st century scottish/Irish bands such as The Chair, Peatbog Faeries, Session A9, Fiddlers Bid, Daimh and such like. I’m getting bored of playing the same old "A for 3 bars, E for one bar and then back to A" And I want to make the accompaniment a bit more interesting.

Any help would be appreciated

Cheers.

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Duck…

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I can only assume that is negative. Take it easy, I’m a kid.

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OMG!

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I’m really starting to think these are fake now!

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Highly recommend the John Doyle DVD.

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Wow, first ever discussion on this, middle of the night here in Britain land and already loads of help. Thankyou people. :)

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You’re welcome—2 guys from California.

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Fiddlers Bid, The Peatbog Faeries, and even Daimh(just) are SO LAST century.

Most of Session A9 are no spring chickens either with the exception of young Adam and there’s one or two "oldtimers" in The Chair too.
.
:-)

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So does that mean "The Tannahill Weavers", "Planxty", "The Battlefield Band" and "The Bothy Band" are "pure drop" ?
Tony McManus has an instructional DVD, I believe, but it may be more to do with finger-style melody playing.
Irish guitarist Gavin Ralston has one too, which I’ve seen on eBay.
These DVDs might help up to a point, but as I’m sure many people here might tell you, the best way would be to find a fiddle player [ or similar ], get them to play a tune through, and play around with it - develop ypur own style. [ But do it at home, not in a session ]. Best of luck.

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You’re in Orkney - find Hazel Wrigley. She’ll point you in the right direction.

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"You’re in Orkney - find Hazel Wrigley. She’ll point you in the right direction."

If you like the Peerie Willie based style.

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try Frank Kilkelly’s guide to the accompaniment of Irish dance music on guitar. "Accompanying Irish Music on Guitar" . Four different tunings are covered, along with suggestions on right hand styles suited to each tuning.

There are sections on the basis of effective accompaniment, practice advice, profiles of leading players and, in addition, Frank takes a close look at the accompaniment used on the companion CD recording, which is recorded especially for this book and features guitar accompaniment to some excellent melody players.

http://www.irishguitar.net/

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Sorry, pressed the clicky thing too soon - If you like the Peerie Willie style, get in touch with Owen Tierney.

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There are three guitar teachers in The Chair (Douglas teaches guitar as well as fiddle) who could probably help you.

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nosoond69. First place to start is with the chords you already know work. So try playing the same old chords but in different places.

The next thing to focus on are those parts of the tune where you can hear that something else is called for but you can’t quite suss the chord. As has already been suggested, try getting someone to sit with you playing through a couple of tunes, if you can. Then try to find chords that work, in this regard two minds are better than one. Better still if you have some other tune playing kid mates to do this with you you’ll find it a good learning experience for all and may even lead to a few arrangement that you guys can build on together, "Session Kirkwall Ferry", who knows, eh, lol….

Here are an A shape you could try if your playing in standard EADGBE. Think F chord, you know the one! XX3211 (X=not played or muted, where you touch it with a finger or just don’t fully press it, to prevent it from sounding, 0= open, let it ring, and numbers = the fretted note). This shape works well because it can be moved up and down the neck, the example below is for A centered tunes but by adjusting the various open and closed notes to suit (use your ear) this shape is quite useful in many other places on the neck.

So the basic one would be XX7655 to be in A. Now look at these guys;

507X55 modal, 507655 major, 507555 minor, 507055 weirdo sounding 7th (that works well with the first chord for strummy droney intros etc when you touch your G string with your finger thats holding the A note on the 7th fret to stop the open G from sounding your playing the first chord, move your finger a fraction so the G string rings and now your playing this one, no shape change required just moving a finger slightly). On the bottom E string (the bass) use your thumb, using your thumb gives a little control to the various drones, you can use it to sound the A on the 5th fret to sound it or kill it and you can use it to kill the open A on the 5th, or kill both, just by touching them with your thumb.

Try strumming this chord and messing with the various tonal options, remember the idea is for your hand to stay in roughly the same shape, it’s very slight finger movement that play or kill the various notes.

Good luck

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Amajor also playable as X07650

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or with the 5th in the bass 007650 or 00765X

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Here is another vote for the Chris Smith book, if you look for thesession.org member "coyotebanjo," you will find links to his website, that also has great info.
The John Doyle disk is good, although it throws a lot of stuff at you real quick. I would imagine the DVD version being easier to work with than the VHS tape. I was constantly rewinding and fast forwarding to see certain bits over again.
Like everyone says (and Jon Kirkpasky would no doubt chime in if he was around), learning your way around the fretboard is the way to go, I envy those folks whose left hand dances up and down the fretboard.

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"Learning your way round the fretboard…" Of course, but what I see far too much of in my neck of the woods are players who are up and down the neck playing Christ-knows-what, but don’t think at all about what their picking / strumming hand is doing. It’s like teaching the fiddle and ignoring the bowing, or not thinking about the breathing if you play flute or whistle. Always think about what the strumming / picking hand is doing - every bit as important, maybe even more so.

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Good point, Kenny!

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A pro guitarist I know is fond of saying the right hand is the most difficult part of guitar playing. For the left, you ‘only’ have to memorize fingerings.

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Thanks for the link to that old thread, Keith, your list did generate some good discussion.
It reminded me that we haven’t seen irisnevins on the site in a while—I always enjoyed her contributions!

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our local guru Dave says that the most important thing is right hand (rhythm). he also says you should be able to accomapny ITm with two notes at aa time (hence the amazing stuff doen with zouks). Dadgad rocks but don’t feel like you need to have metal-level technique; two right drones int he right place and you’re good.

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I read this thread the other day, and I am reminded of it while listening to The Kesh Jigs from the 1975 album ‘The Bothy Band’

The accompaniment is really in your face in the mix, and the changes are really simple and clear, so for anyone with an ear at all, if the above theory doesn’t do it for you, you can’t go wrong with playing along with this and imitating for starters. you might do well to listen repeatedly to the rest of the album too!

sure didn’t it all change with the bothy band?