Beginner tunes for guitar?

Beginner tunes for guitar?

Looking for tunes encompassing 2-3 strings (melody, not accompaniment) for guitar. Suggestions?

Re: Beginner tunes for guitar?

Jimmy Ward’s Jig

Re: Beginner tunes for guitar?

Plectrum or finger-picking? I attempt the latter, and find ‘Banish Misfortune’ and ‘The Friar’s Breeches’ fairly playable, both with a dropped D tuning.

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Re: Beginner tunes for guitar?

You didn’t ask for this, but….

If you’re interested in playing tunes on the guitar, you should know that lots of Irish players like to use DADGAD tuning. Here, Tony McManus explains what it is and why it works so well for Irish music.

Don’t be intimidated - he’s a monster. But his teaching style is outstanding.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl9q6dFOpA4

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Re: Beginner tunes for guitar?

also in drop D, Chief O’ Neill’s and the Home Ruler [hornpipes] are not too hard, flat picked. Sailing into Walpoles Marsh again drop D is a cracker but trickier. Finger picked, Si Bheg Si Mhor is another good starter, again drop D

Re: Beginner tunes for guitar?

I’d probably use four strings for Banish Misfortune and The Friar’s Breeches and The Home Ruler and Chief O’Neill’s Favourite.

Dan Collins’ Father’s Jig: https://thesession.org/tunes/2217 can be played on three strings, in either D or G, but if a beginner I’d miss out the high B if playing in D (or E if playing in G).

I would only recommend DADGAD if all you ever want to do on guitar is play Irish trad. Not so great for campfire singsongs or pretty much anything from The Great American Songbook. But that’s just me.

Re: Beginner tunes for guitar?

Not just you Donald - Tony McManus says in his intro ’all the Irish players used DADGAD except Arty McGlynn, so there was a man who could play anything , jazz, blues and rock as well as top class Irish trad. Depends which road you want to go down.

Re: Beginner tunes for guitar?

I agree that DADGAD might be considered if all you want to do is play Irish music on guitar, but Drop-D tuning is perfectly viable for fingerstyle melody playing.

It lets you leverage what you know on the fretboard from other genres, with just a few chord shape substitutions, starting with a different G chord. John Doyle’s instructional DVD is about strummed backing, but it’s also a good introduction to the chords you’ll need.

Guitar is no longer my primary instrument, but I still play a few fingerstyle melody arrangements in Drop-D like Farewell to Nigg (capo 2, play out of an Am shape), Dark Island, Morning Dew, a few other things. Mostly slower tunes. I play the faster tunes on mandolin or flute. If I wanted to play reels on a guitar I’d probably switch to flatpicking. Although personally, I think the guitar is best suited for the slower Irish/Scottish tunes when it comes to melody playing. It’s an instrument that can get you a little closer to the harp tradition in Irish music when played fingerstyle.

Re: Beginner tunes for guitar?

I agree regarding playing slower tunes fingerstyle and flatpicking faster tunes.

But we shouldn’t forget that the request was for beginner tunes on two or three strings. That suggests to me melody only with perhaps a range of an octave or so. With that in mind, retreat marches from the Highland bagpipe tradition would work quite well, being melodic, not fast and they fit on three adjacent strings on guitar. Things like Far O’er Struy, My Home Town and The Bloody Fields of Flanders would fit the bill.

Re: Beginner tunes for guitar?

Try a search for Jack Campin/9 note tunes. It’s a great wee book of tunes, sure to find some tunes in there that you might like.

Re: Beginner tunes for guitar?

I prefer Drop D tuning over DADGAD for guitar. DADGAD required too much change to my muscle memory and mental visualization of the fretboard to be real successful or comfortable with it (rather ironic as I’ve no difficulty switching between fourth and fifth tuning). Dropped C, G, D, G, B, E, I used for a couple of tunes when we were performing, though I used a second guitar, as I changed gauges on the low E and A strings for better tone.
I never stuck with melody only being a finger style player, but my list of recommendations to add to other suggestions would :
Off To California
Einini
O’Sullivan’s March
Burning of the Piper’s Hut
Nutting Girl
Ysstwfl (Welsh not Irish, but a pretty melody, not 100% sure about the spelling).