Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

Hi guys,

When I started playing the Irish guitar around the mid 1990s, Micheal O’Domhnaill was my hero. At that time, I didn’t know about the other guitarist so much. I listened to Bothy band stuff and learned quite a lot of things.

After that, the more I listened to Irish music, the more guitarists I encountered. All of them have their own style and I borrowed their good ideas in accompanying the tunes. After 10 years of playing, I think I have established my own style somehow.

Recently, I went for a trip for a week or so. My girl friend picked “Portland”, the master piece of Kevin Burke and Micheall, so that we could listen to it while we were driving. I did like this album, but I haven’t listened to it for some time as I have other CDs to listen to. So it was like a revisit for me.
Soon I found out this album is real great. His guitar is still very attractive to me. The voicing of the chords is just very beautiful. The rhythm arrangement is so fascinating. We brought many CDs, but we just keep on listening to this.

Now I feel like learning his guitar style again.

Today I checked the discussions posted lately, and found one discussion with the title of Michael O’Domhnaill (https://thesession.org/discussions/7142). I found many guys said his style is easy to learn. So please teach me his chord forms on any tunes. If you have tablature or something like that, I would be very happy.

Re: Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

Have you had a look at Frank Kilkelly’s book on Irish guitar? He deals with a variety of styles but I am sure there would be something in there for you.

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Re: Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

Yes, I have his book, but I suppose many chords Micheall uses are more complicated in terms of the chord names though they may come out from very simple chord forms as it is said that they are “two finger job all the way"…

I have the video of his performance with Kevin Burke, and I found he uses the capo quite a lot. I could see his fingers, so I could find some secret of his guitar style. But some chords like the first chord of the Rolling waves and the chord progression of the Paddy’s Return set still make me wonder.

Re: Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

I have also the video of Michael O’ Domnhaill and Kevin Burke performance.It is great,superb.The first set (Pigeon on the Gate/Lafferty’s/The Morning Dew) is the best thing I’ve ever heard.I never get tired of listening to it,and I understood the meaning of the word "craic" when I heard it for the first time.

For me,he is the best Irish guitar player (also Arty McGlynn,of course).Both are my guitar heroes

Rafix

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Re: Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

Yeah, if I had to vote for "guitarist I would most like to be accompanied by" (or by whom I should like to be accompanied, for that matter) it would have to be Micheal O. For one thing he knows how to stay out of the melody players way!

And yes, it might be easy enough to figure out how he fingers chords, but not so easy to acquire his timing and good taste regarding when to play them.

I’ve recently rediscovered Portland, too. Always been a Kevin Burke fan, but had neglected this one for many years until recently. Now I’ve taken to listening to it pretty much every night.

I’m very jealous of you lot with the videos, by the way. I’ve been trying to track down a copy of that for years. If anybody has a copy they’d be willing to lend, hire or sell please email me!

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Re: Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

I recently got a cd of Portland and I was amazed at the guitar effects and the doubling of the fiddle lines. Just a sign o’ the times, I guess… <GGG>

I have a lot to learn from it, I haven’t really had the chance to get deep into the changes. Micheal is the one guitarist of this time period that I know the least about, and I’m very curious.

Is the video you folks are mentioning available commercially?
I’d LOVE to see it, have a copy!

I did really enjoy Kevin Burke with Ged Foley this past weekend at the Dublin, Ohio, festival!!!

Many thanks,

stv

http://cdbaby.com/Culchies

Re: Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

The 1992 video "Kevin Burke and Micheal O’Domhnaill In Concert" was published by Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop and distributed by Shanachie (catalog # Ramblin’ 814). It may still be available.

Cheers,
Michael

Re: Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

I think it’s out of print.

Re: Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

Thank you for your comments on my topic.

As for the video, I don’t know where you can buy now, but I bought from Green Linnet a few years ago. Maybe you can check with them.

By the way, is there anybody who can give me some ideas of the chord forms he uses?

Re: Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

I too heard Portland a long time ago when I was first teaching myself to accompany Irish and other similar tunes. I listened to a scratchy old cassette tape until I lost it or misplaced it. I recently had an opportunity to pick up a CD version, and now I"m listening to it again very intently.

What O’Domhnaill does isn’t rocket science. His chords move logically, and his rythyms don’t strike me as that difficult. What’s wonderful about his style to me are several things: his voicings ("forms"), his cross-picking/arpeggios, and his substitutions. Without having seen the video, the former is difficult to pick out (pun intended), unless you are familiar with DADGAD and other tunings, and are willing to slow tracks down and experiment (a lot). (I think he uses standard tunings too. Please correct me if that’s not the case.)

The cross-picking may be obtainable from the video and from careful listening too. That is a measure of his technical skill, which is fearsome. But the true genius to me—and what has bent my mind and my ears ever since—is his substitutions, the almost jazz piano-like way he plays certain chords against Burke’s fiddle melodies. Micheal O’Domhnaill is not flashy or a rock ‘n roller like some other ITM players (and I like that style too), but more like Bill Evans than Little Richard, if I may butcher this simile.

Re: Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

I know he uses DADGAD and standard tuning.

This morning, I watched the video a bit, and Paddy’s Return set was played in standard tuning. Almost all the chords are at the low position. I can’t believe how he could make it so fascinating!!

Does anybody know how he play the first chord of the Rolling Wave set?

Re: Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

OK, so I wrote to Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop about the video. Here’s there reply:

"GtrWorkShp@aol.com
This video has long been out of print and we have no immediate plans to release it on DVD.
Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop"

Would one of you care to make me a copy, either on VHS or DVD? Email me with ‘your terms’… <GG>?

Thanks,

stv

http://cdbaby.com/Culchies

Re: Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

A friend recently attended a workshop w/Kevin Burke, and somehow managed to come home with a VHS copy of the 1992 Kevin Burke/Michael O’Domhnaill concert (referred to above). My friend loaned me the video to convert to DVD for her, and I converted it today. Video quality on the original VHS was fairly low (looks like a copy of a copy of a copy), so the DVD quality is correspondingly low, but the audio is fine. Overall, the video quality is good enough to get a pretty good idea what O’Domhnaill is doing.

That said, I’m a guitarist with a contra band. Usually, I’m playing in standard tuning, but use dropped D tuning quite a lot, too. I’m relatively familiar with DADGAD tuning, but tend not to use it much because, well, after a lot of years of playing in standard tuning (and not having to ‘think’ about where chord inversions are, how scales are positioned, etc), I just don’t use it when playing with the band. But being familiar with ‘Irish tuning’, its pretty easy to see what O’Domhnaill is doing. For the most part, anyhow. Chording doesn’t appear difficult, but as is usual with people who’ve probably cut their teeth playing Celtic-style guitar, he makes those patterns/rhythms look effortless. Some of it is easy (and any decent guitarist would be able to follow right along), but plenty of it is surprizingly tricky. But of course, he makes it look effortless… O’Domhnaill is a genuinely excellent Celtic guitarist…

As far as I can tell from the video/DVD, he’s using both standard and DADGAD tunings. He’s playing the same guitar throughout, so apparently any re-tuning has been edited out.

Ok, that said… Bottom line is I’m not looking to violate any copyright laws or tread on the intellectual property of anyone. But if you’ll agree not to sue me or finagle it somehow to where the video cops come knocking on my door —and you want a DVD of the concert— then contact me…..

OM28

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Re: Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

I have that video and I managed to see Kevin and Michael perform several times. Michael was a master of subtle, graceful guitar moves. He could accompany a tune by strumming only two simple first position chords and manage to create a powerful, moving setting for the tune.

He did make it look easy and I’m sure it *was* easy for him, but I never heard him "throw away" a single strum. It was always immaculate.

And he did retune a lot - quickly, accurately and unobtrusively. K & M were a very tight, smooth act.

I’m a big admirer of brilliant solo/lead guitar playing, but I reserve my greatest admiration for the very few who can accompany with style and finesse.

Re: Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

Hi to all members!
I am presently trying to find out the name of the tunes that Michael O’Domnhaill played along with Kevin Burke in the quoted Ramblin’ VHS -
I managed to outline this set list …can anyone help me with the missing tunes?
Thanks!
1-The Pigeon in the Gate/Lafferty’s/The Morning Dew
2-The Revel Brother’s/Sean Ryan’s/The Cliffs of Moher
3-
4-O’Leary’s
5-Lord Franklin
6-¨Paddy’s Return-Seammus Craig’s
7-Slip Jigs
8-Fionnuala/Reels
9-Seammus Craig’s/Jackie Daily’s/Jimmy Crowley’s
10-Reels

The missing options printed on the backcover of the VHS are
Las opciones a los que faltan y que me da la caja del Videeo son

Callum Sgaure
Barrel of Bricks
The Promenade
Mason`s Apron

Re: Micheal O’Domhnaill’s guitar style.

(1)The Pigeon On The Gate/Lafferty’s/The Morning Dew (Reels)
(2)The Revel Brother’s/Sean Ryan’s/The Cliffs of Moher (Double Jigs)
(3)Calum Sgaire (Song)
(4)Paddy’s Return/Willy Coleman’s/Up In The Air (Double Jigs)
(5)Lord Franklin (Song)
(6)Barrel of Bricks(Song)
—————————————————————————————————-
(7)The Promenade (Slip Jig)
(8)Fionnghuala/Sweeney’s Buttermilk/The Musical Priest/Jenny’s Chicken(Song & 3 Reels)
(9)(?)/Salmon Tailing Up The River/Britches Full Of Stitches (Polkas)
(10)Mason’s Apron/Laignton’s/?/Michael Kennedy’s/Farewell To Erin (Reels)