Are there any well known Irish tunes that I should learn how to play?

Are there any well known Irish tunes that I should learn how to play?

This question might be for you who go to sessions or somewhere to play. Do you guys know any tunes that literary everyone knows and are useful to be able to play? Or maybe some tunes that are played often? Can be anything for whistle: jigs, reels, ballads, traditional or modern… Just list me some well known Irish stuff here. Thank you!

Re: Are there any well known Irish tunes that I should learn how to play?

The top 25 on this site are quite well known I’d say. The only tunes in the top 25 where not everyone can play along in my experience
- Tam Lin (difficult on some instruments, especially in Dmin)
- King of Faeries
- Rights of Man/Harvest Home (some people nearly exclusively play reels and jigs)

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Re: Are there any well known Irish tunes that I should learn how to play?

The "literally everyone" tunes are probably in the beginner repertoire and not especially loved. Some might be there because they are easy to teach and are essential building blocks for basic technique. The following list would be pretty solid set of widely played tunes.

Britches Full of Stitches (polka); The Rattlin Bog (polka); The Kerry (polka);
The Kesh (jig); The Butterfly (slip jig); Silver Spear (reel); Maid Behind the Bar (reel); Saddle the Pony (jig); Banish Misfortune (jig); Out on the Ocean (jig); Harvest Home (hornpipe); Si Beag Si Mor; An Gaoth Aneas; Fanny Power; Boys of Bluehill (hornpipe); Tipping Up the Stairs (jig); John Ryan’s (polka); The Ashplant (reel); The Humours of Glendart (jig).

Re: Are there any well known Irish tunes that I should learn how to play?

As others will probably tell you, there is never any guarantee that the more popular tunes will get played at any session you attend. Unless it’s a beginners’ session then, probably, only one or two will likely may an appearance during the course of the evening.
However, rest assured, the players WILL know them. So, if you are asked to start a tune you can feel confident that everyone else will join in.

Of course, everyone has to start somewhere and learning the popular tunes is as good a way as any. Even if they don’t get played as much as you’d expect, you still need to develop skills on your instrument, try to perfect the style of music and what you learn now will make things much easier in the future as regards picking up new tunes.

Also, it stands to reason that you are even less likely to encounter a more obscure tune, generally, in a session. So, it makes good sense to concentrate of the better known ones first.

Having said that, repertoires are often "localised". So, it’s a good idea to check out a session and find out what tunes are played there on a regular basis and learn them if you intend to frequent a particular session on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, all of this takes time and there isn’t really any short cut to building up an extensive repertoire tunes. Even the more experienced players don’t know them all although it may seem that way.

Re: Are there any well known Irish tunes that I should learn how to play?

Think you’re looking at this the wrong way . Learn tunes you really like and play these at sessions. People will join in if they like it or try to play along and pick it up. You in turn play along with others favourites and maybe decide to learn the tunes yourself, or dismiss the tune if you don’t like it.
We all do however play along to tunes we don’t like.
There are millions of tunes and nobody knows them all,
Your repertoire grows with time rather than you set about to learn a big bunch of tunes.
Good luck and enjoy the experience and just as important, the new social interactions which is used to be really all about. Don’t be a show off, nobody likes it (top tip).

Re: Are there any well known Irish tunes that I should learn how to play?

Get this lot under your fingers and you won’t go far wrong.

http://www.cheakamus.com/Ceilidh/Downloads/Dows_List.pdf

We haven’t heard from the Good Doctor for a while but I am willing to bet there are a good few members of the mustard board who have benefited from his ‘List’ and like myself would say ‘three cheers for Dr Dow’. :-)
Do check out the Doctor’s profile here on the session.org - you will find also a superb selection of traditional tunes from this part of the world that are well worth having a look at as well.

Happy music making.

Re: Are there any well known Irish tunes that I should learn how to play?

While I was composing my post Finbarr Dolan made comments that I would wholeheartedly agree with.

Re: Are there any well known Irish tunes that I should learn how to play?

Jimmy Allen
Winster Gallop
Salmon Tails :->

Re: Are there any well known Irish tunes that I should learn how to play?

you could do worse than to check out the CCE Foinn Seisiún CD set; there’s 3 in total, and they’re also available for free (legally) on Spotify and YouTube. there’s a decent selection of reasonably common tunes, played in a fairly ‘straight’ style that’s helpful for learning from, and the tracks are split at each tune rather than for each set. i believe they also publish a book of dots for the tunes if you find that helpful for learning, but all the tunes are easy to find on this site.

having said that i’ll second the advice to go check out your local sessions and see what they play there; as well as the regional variation, a lot of "Irish" sessions also play a fair amount of tunes that aren’t Irish. sometimes they won’t mind you recording some of the playing for later reference if you explain you’re a beginner and ask permission first.

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Are these well known Irish tunes?

Well known Irish tunes?

Jimmy Allen — Scottish
Winster Gallop — Northern England
Salmon Tails — North East of England

I was kidding when I posted The Pogues…. Though they are responsible for Planxty Noel Hill…

Re: Are there any well known Irish tunes that I should learn how to play?

‘Jamie Allen - Scottish’ ? a Northumbrian rant , surely? Anyway, to the OP, Dow’s list is a good place to start, though very scanty on the polkas and slides for my taste.

Re: Are there any well known Irish tunes that I should learn how to play?

Known in Scotland as "Reel of Tullochgorum"

It’s named after Jamie Allen who was a famous Northumbrian piper, as you will already know. However, it doesn’t appear to have been composed. by the man himself.

It sounds very Northumbrian to me but also fits very well into the Scottish dance repertoire. So, who knows?

Re: Are there any well known Irish tunes that I should learn how to play?

I haven’t been around in awhile, so I don’t know if the Kesh is still popular, but I would suggest The maid behind the bar, The wailing banshee (I hope that’s the correct name. It’s a jig in A Dorian) Miss McLeod’s reel, Green mountain, Mountain road, and The boys of Blue hill.

Re: Are there any well known Irish tunes that I should learn how to play?

Kellie, thats LILTING Banshee, if its the tune i think you’re referring to. Yes the Kesh still gets played, dont know about popular, some folks get a bit sniffy about it.

Re: Are there any well known Irish tunes that I should learn how to play?

Damn. I knew I got that name wrong haha. Sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve dipped my toes in the old ITM

Re: Are there any well known Irish tunes that I should learn how to play?

Thank you so much everybody! I appreciate both your kind advices and tune suggestions.