Harmonic advice wanted
As much as I have the ability to read music (but not sight read) my ears serve me well enough to not bother with it. Strangely however, my ears seem to be crap for picking up harmonies and I’ve always found them a struggle to learn. I realise that this shouldn’t bother me that much on the fiddle, playing Irish trad, but recently I took the trouble of learning a couple of harmonies, the first to Tam Lin, and the second to Tripping up the stairs. I had previously never liked Tam Lin that much (too Scottish for my more Sligo taste), but I found that when I played it over a pre-recorded harmony that it gained a new life. Same with Tripping up the stairs (although I’ve always loved that one). And so (for home recording purposes) I’ve suddenly gained an interest in harmonies. What I’d like some of you good people to advise me on is (a) how common is it to have harmony with Irish fiddle, (b) do any good examples come to mind, (c) as I feel I’ll have to concede to reading the dots to learn them, can anybody give me some good tips for how one goes about working out harmonies (don’t worry, I can follow the theory), and (d) anything else that anybody may want to add. Thanks folks.