Which trad guitar instrumental songs that are popular and would be a good place to start in this genre?

Which trad guitar instrumental songs that are popular and would be a good place to start in this genre?

Hi All,

I would describe myself as an intermediate guitar player, and would love to start learning some irish trad songs. I wonder which songs would you recommend I learn? Something lodic and pretty well known would be great!

Re: Which trad guitar instrumental songs that are popular and would be a good place to start in this genre?

Posted .

Re: Which trad guitar instrumental songs that are popular and would be a good place to start in this genre?

Somewhat depends on your style.

If you like to play with a solid kind of offbeat, a jig might work well, with the main rhythm being on the “3-1” part of the 1-2-3, 1-2-3. If you want to do something more melodic and less rhythmical, one of O’Carolan’s airs might be nice -- there’s a ton of them on the Interwebs, played in different styles (but most, I’m guessing, use DADGAD tuning.)

So it depends where you want to go…

Posted by .

Re: Which trad guitar instrumental songs that are popular and would be a good place to start in this genre?

Hi Prolle, your question is a little confusing because it’s not clear if you’re looking for songs or tunes. In Irish trad, “songs” have lyrics, “tunes” are instrumental. This website is dedicated to tunes, not songs, so in that spirit some tunes you could start with (the most popular tunes selected on this website) are:

Drowsy Maggie (a reel in 2/2 or 4/4 rhythm)
The Kesh (a jig in 6/8 rhythm)
The Butterfly (a slip jig in 9/8 rhythm)
Cooley’s (a reel)
Morrison’s (a jig)

You can find this info and links to the tunes here:
https://thesession.org/tunes

You might also check out some of the wise words from a guitar player on this site, Al Brown, on his profile page:
https://thesession.org/members/7960

Best of luck!

Re: Which trad guitar instrumental songs that are popular and would be a good place to start in this genre?

*Core Session Tunes*

"What follows is a list of 60 bog standard tunes which all session musicians at any level would be expected to know at any session anywhere in the world. There are certain tunes that get played in sessions for the purpose of involving everyone, whatever your level, and these tunes perform that function since it’s expected that everyone present will know them…

So please make sure you *at least* have these core tunes under your belt. These have been picked from a list of hundreds of session standards, and believe me it was very hard to cut it back even to 60."

https://thesession.org/sessions/1311#comment241459
posted by Dr. Dow November 30th, 2006

Posted by .

Re: Which trad guitar instrumental songs that are popular and would be a good place to start in this genre?

Thanks for the responses, very helpful. I mean “tunes” rather than songs. Also, I mean tunes that I can play solo on guitar, ie, for now, I am not interested in learning accompaniment. The likes of “the maid behind the bar” - that seems like a great tune that I could learn and that it would sound good on the guitar alone. Is there any good dvd that I could buy as a start? Or even good youtube links?

Thanks!

Re: Which trad guitar instrumental songs that are popular and would be a good place to start in this genre?

You should speak to member Tony o’rourke. He teaches tunes on the guitar. I think he has a downloadable book and he has a podcast.

Re: Which trad guitar instrumental songs that are popular and would be a good place to start in this genre?

Good job, Prolle--learning the melodies first, and backing later is a great way to go. I second Reilly67’s suggestion of tapping into Tony O’Rourke. Tony is top class. Tony’s member page is here:

https://thesession.org/members/36981

Re: Which trad guitar instrumental songs that are popular and would be a good place to start in this genre?

This is a nice solo guitar album by Donal Clancy, it’s on itunes:
https://thesession.org/recordings/2216