Scottish fiddle tunes

Scottish fiddle tunes

Heading to Scotland in April and hoping to catch some sessions in Glasgow, Edinburgh and possibly Skye. Wondering if anyone had a list of popular session tunes I could brush up on?

Re: Scottish fiddle tunes

Shannon, welcome to the session - I don’t have a ready made list but I’d be looking at Drummond Castle,
Stool o’ Repentance, Laird o Drumblair, Hector the Hero, High Road to Linton [lots of tunes in A!] Jig o’ Slurs, Barrowburn Reel, Drunken Piper, Flooers o’ Edinburgh - I bet someone has a ready made list with these and plenty more - enjoy!

Re: Scottish fiddle tunes

You need a core of the best Scottish tunes under your belt but also some of your own tunes ready to start and be ready to pick up tunes on the hoof. Because of the locally varied and dynamic music traditions in Scotland when you’ve seen one Scottish music session you’ve seen one Scottish music session. I lived for years in Perthshire and Fife as well as visiting and travelling in Scotland and I fancy myself as knowing a lot of tunes but a few years ago I played in a session in England where a very young fiddler from Uist was visiting and having repertoire problems. The the only tune he and I had in common (apart from Marie’s Wedding) was the jig Runrig. I was just congratulating myself on discovering this cultural correspondence when he said: "but everyone in Uist is tired of it". I crept humbly back to my kennel.

Re: Scottish fiddle tunes

PS/ This is even though I can have a go at every tune listed by Christy Taylor above.

Re: Scottish fiddle tunes

You’ll get on fine playing your own tunes.

Re: Scottish fiddle tunes

Head to the Captains Bar in Edinburgh when you’re there, always a good time!

As for tunes, it varies by who is playing, but there were more than a few Robert Burns songs played/sung the times I visited, and the session leaders usually encourage visitors to play whatever so they can have a break :)

Re: Scottish fiddle tunes

Here’s a couple of lists with tunes usually played at Babbity Bowster’s (Wednesdays from 3pm - Saturdays from 4pm) and the Islay Inn (Mondays from 8:30 or 9:30pm depending on the day) in Glasgow.

https://paste.ee/p/znOk1

Re: Scottish fiddle tunes

Forgot to say I hope you have a great time :)

Re: Scottish fiddle tunes

Do I detect the hand of Johnny Cradden in a few of those tunes, David?

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Re: Scottish fiddle tunes

Possibly, I’m not sure! I got the lists from somebody else who plays in those sessions, so I don’t know who arranged them :)

Re: Scottish fiddle tunes

Athol Highlanders (in A!) at least.

Re: Scottish fiddle tunes

What’s the Monday Islay session like these days? Is it still kind of a slow/learner’s session?

Re: Scottish fiddle tunes

Nope! The Alans (Jones and Shute) run it and it’s a regular open session. I don’t usually go as it starts at 9:30pm on a Monday and I like my sleep :) but the few times I’ve been there, it was at least as fast as Babbity’s if not faster.

I think some people go erlier so they can play a few tunes at a slower pace, but I’ve never arrived that early.

Re: Scottish fiddle tunes

I might check it out. Last time I poked my head into that session was probably 2009 or so and it was the GFW session — open-ish but led by the tutors, people using sheet music, etc. etc.