Top tunes for flute

Top tunes for flute

Just started learning Irish flute, and I would like to know the Top 10 tunes I really need to know so I can start practicing with other musicians.

Which tunes should definitely be on the list?

Thanks,
Patrick

Re: Top tunes for flute

Don’t necessarily think of needing "flute tunes" - in Irish Traditional Music, all the melody instruments play on basically all the tunes. So, while there are tunes that are more flute friendly than others, and tunes written by flute players (Vincent Broderick, Michael McGoldrick, etc), since you’re wanting to play with other people, you just need to start learning tunes that people near you play. The best way to do that is to go to sessions, ask if you can record, befriend the players, and get to know the tunes they play.

Another place to start would be "Dow’s List" (http://www.cheakamus.com/Ceilidh/Downloads/Dows_List.pdf), and you can also look at the most popular tunes on this website (https://thesession.org/tunes/popular).

One word of caution, like Yogi Berra used to say "nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded". The "most popular" tunes often don’t get played at sessions, for various reasons. Some people feel they’re overplayed, and they’re often played poorly by beginners, so they’re sometimes avoided in some sessions. But we all like playing with other people, and when you’re struggling to find tunes you have in common with someone, you inevitably go for the standards like that, so it can be a good place to start.

I would also point out that the standard tunes are standard for a reason, and that’s generally because they’re great tunes! But they’re also not necessarily easy tunes, so it’s not necessarily great for people that are taking their very first steps in this music. So to that end, you might consider getting Shannon Heaton’s book/cd titled The First 50. Shannon is a flute player and a great teacher. The book is 50 tunes that are great tunes, but aren’t too complicated to play. https://shannonheatonmusic.com/music/first-50-book-hard-copy/

Re: Top tunes for flute

Ask your session regulars. They know better, which tunes are played most where you are.

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Re: Top tunes for flute

Thank everyone for your help. Just about to head down to session in Tig Coili in Galway so I’ll ask there.

Patrick

Re: Top tunes for flute

You didn’t mention if you already play other instruments but if you’re based in Galway then you’ll find plenty of local repertoire, including a lot of well known tunes. The ‘most popular’ tune list here will be fine. If Steph Geremia is around at Tigh Ceoli’s ask her for a few suggestions, she has lots of North Connaught tunes from June McCormack. Pop into Munroe’s for the weekly set dancing session and record the tunes on your phone (Ged Foley has a great popular dance tune repertoire). For playing with others around South Galway, also check what the box players are playing.

?…
Duke of Leinster
Galway Rambler
Boys of Ballinasloe
Lucy Campbell’s
Bucks of Oranmore
Foxhunters (in G)

Re: Top tunes for flute

Bring a recording device when you go. If you have an iphone the voice memo app works great for catching the tunes for learning at home. Ask first before you start recording.

Re: Top tunes for flute

How did the session go, Patrick? Did you record some tunes to work on?

As for tune recommendations, i usually recommend jigs in each of the common keys/modes of Irish music as a good place to start, say Out on the Ocean, Lilting Banshee, Garrett Barry’s, Morrison’s, Father O’Flynn, Black Rogue, Banks of Lough Gowna. Some or all may be overplayed or gauche in Galway sessions, but they’ll give you a basic phrase vocabulary.

Re: Top tunes for flute

Not sure, being a flute player , I concur with some of these suggestions as they may deter you from learning,.. please be aware that some of these suggestions are the very pinnacle of musicians. Point is (and not to cause flames) you may not sound just like them as I believe they wanted to point out the tunes. I found when I first started that I couldn’t breath like M. Molloy and it was disheartening tho, as time went on I became better at it.

A lot of good info include here for sure.
Reverend- your link didn’t quite work so if you make it https://www.cheakamus.com/Ceilidh/

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