tunebook 105 tunes.

I play guitar, and accompany mostly irish and old-timey tunes—the most common and rooted musical traditions in this part of the midwest. I’ve been playing guitar for just over ten years and irish music for just shy of ten years. I admire the stylings of such players as John Blake and Tony Byrne and the frustratingly beautiful playing of Ian Carr and Kris Drever, but have a fondness for the older generation of Brady, Foley, etc. I generally play DADGAD, the most recent in a slow series of permutations from standard. I find changing the tuning as a (less and less) helpful way of keeping from falling into ruts in the course of growing on guitar. It makes you think more in voicings and tonality and inversions than in strict chords and forms. Not really too ironically, I’m slowly coming around to standard again.

I have also begun playing the tenor banjo. This is really a brilliant new world for me. I have played enough whistle to have an understanding of melody and patterns, but I am finding melody on a stringed instrument to be an eye-opening process for me. Because the playing of a fretted stringed instrument recalls guitar playing, it has served to further shape my guitar accompaniment. This also whilst I am being influenced by players like Kris Drever, whose melody and accompaniment playing are almost inseperable. I find my banjo and melody playing tend to make my accompaniment seem obsolete, while also fueling it’s growth and evolution. Each makes me want to do the other more.