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PookahMacPhellimey
01-13-2005, 05:44 AM
I don't know if anyone's interested, but this is the only topic I consider myself at least somewhat of an expert on and I love talking about it. :D

So, is there an Irish musician/band you like and want recommendations for similar stuff?

Want to know how a pub session works?

Want to know what those instruments you heard/saw are called?

I'd enjoy try to answer questions like these. Dance isn't my forte, but I can give you a basic explanation there as well. (It's not all Riverdance, you know)

Hope this doesn't sink, so fire away.

jjimm
01-13-2005, 05:49 AM
Here's one I genuinely don't know:

Is there any relationship between John and Davey Spillane? Who played the Uillean pipes on John Spillane's first album - coz it sounds a lot like Davey.

PookahMacPhellimey
01-13-2005, 06:06 AM
Here's one I genuinely don't know:

Is there any relationship between John and Davey Spillane? Who played the Uillean pipes on John Spillane's first album - coz it sounds a lot like Davey.


No, I don't think so. Or at least not in a very close sort of way. I've never heard that they were anyway. As one is from Cork, boy, and the other a Dub it seems it even more unlikely, though of course that doesn't make it impossible.

I know the feeling, though. I used to always confuse them when I was newer to Irish music.

Sorry, I don't know who played the pipes on that album either. Some expert, huh. :o

Davy Spillane is the only person's whom I ever correctly identified through his house on the Through the Keyhole. Which you didn't ask about, but anway.

Xerxes
01-13-2005, 06:27 AM
I was in Doolin over the new year and heard a set by a great trio - I'm a (very amateur) guitarist and picked up the fact that I didn't recognise any of the chords the guy was playing. Went over to him afterwards and asked what tuning he was playing; turns out it was DADGAD, which I've been fooling with since - it's great. So question 1:

Is dadgad a popular choice among guitarists playing Irish trad music?

Onto 2. We stayed near Kinvarra with my wife's uncle. There's a trad music shop there and - on something of a whim - I bought a bodhrain (spelling probably screwy). so Q2:

What's the best way of learning to play it? I've got a book, but it's a bit pants. If I could find a video/dvd that'd be better. Also, the book seems to be saying that in some places, the bodhrain is looked down on. Is this true? (not that it matters much to me, I'm only likely to be playing with friends).

Thanks..............

WhyNot
01-13-2005, 06:34 AM
Yes! I want to know how a pub session works! Do you have to be invited? Do people just show up? Are there a bunch of songs everyone knows, or is it jammed?

And how the %&$# do you play the bodhran? Any teaching videos or such you would recommend? I'm so spastic, I actually make contact with the drum head about once every four strokes, and those are mostly scrapes, not thwacks. Not good. Sounds like a water buffalo with Turrettes.

Speaking of which, do any women play the bodhran professionally? I've only ever seen men, now that I think of it. Women = fiddle, men = bodhrain. Tell me it ain't so!

WhyNot
01-13-2005, 06:36 AM
oops. :smack: Sorry, Xerxes! Great minds, or something.

Xerxes
01-13-2005, 06:51 AM
oops. :smack: Sorry, Xerxes! Great minds, or something.

Or in my case, fools seldom differ ... :p

BMalion
01-13-2005, 07:01 AM
What do you do with a drunken sailor?

PookahMacPhellimey
01-13-2005, 07:10 AM
So question 1:

Is dadgad a popular choice among guitarists playing Irish trad music?

Yes, it seems to be very popular. IANA guitar player, but it seems a easier way to back Irish music. Too easy, say some, who complain that this tuning makes it too simple for guitarist who then don't pay any attention at all anymore and just play the same boring/wrong chords. The same or simular people will also say it's a modern affectation. *

I don't agree with that assessment myself and have never come across this effect. A bad guitarist is a bad guitarist in whichever tuning and there's never any excuse for bad playing. Anyone who's sensitive to music will appreciate that.


Q2:What's the best way of learning to play it? I've got a book, but it's a bit pants. If I could find a video/dvd that'd be better. Also, the book seems to be saying that in some places, the bodhrain is looked down on. Is this true? (not that it matters much to me, I'm only likely to be playing with friends).

You get brownie points for wanting to actually learn how to play it. Bodhrans (no "i" and an accent over the "a". ) are seen by many people as an easy way into a Irish sessions without needing to learn anything and will show up with drums only bought the day before and annoying the musicians. That's why it has a bad name, which really is unfair on the people who have spent some time on it and do a good job.

As for the how. Like a good trad head I would argue that the best way is to listen to recording of good players and try to emulate. It's an oral tradition, so listening is usually the best way if you manage it. Buy some CD's with good drummers on them and then some without accompaniment so you can be the drummer in that band in your living room.

If it's the actually technique of how to beat the thing, here's a video (http://www.custysmusic.com/mall/CustysTraditionalMusicShop/products/product-25290.stm). Don't how good the video is but I know the bodhran player is a good one.

Good luck.





*In Irish (and probably other kinds) of traditional music there's constant bickering/arguing/debating between those of want to preserve tradition and those who want to innovate and whether or not the two are mutually exclusive.]

PookahMacPhellimey
01-13-2005, 07:16 AM
What do you do with a drunken sailor?

Depends how good looking they are.

Hey, It's That Guy!
01-13-2005, 07:32 AM
Are tin whistles easy to learn to play? I always see them relatively cheap in music stores, and I'm tempted.

Also, the Pogues are one of my favorite bands of all time, and I also like some American bands that combine rock or punk with the Irish traditional sound, like Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, and Black 47. Anyone else I might like in this vein, or any more traditional bands with that kind of energy and intensity I would enjoy?

PookahMacPhellimey
01-13-2005, 07:44 AM
Yes! I want to know how a pub session works! Do you have to be invited? Do people just show up? Are there a bunch of songs everyone knows, or is it jammed?

Normally sessions are open to all comers. With the proviso that you should be able to either be able to keep up with the general level of musicianship or be polite enough to sit out the bits that are beyond you.

Usually one, two or three experienced players are paid by the landlord to play every week/fortnight or whatever. This way 1. there are some solid musicians in the mix who make sure the session doesn't derail 2. there will always be some musicians at all on the day so that people who come to hear music will hear music and 3. draws in the less experienced musicians who want to play with and learn from the more experienced people. Everyone else plays for free/one free drink or even free drinks all night, though the last one is sadly becoming rare these days. Spontaneous sessions do happen when musicians feel like it, but are much rarer as they depend on the whims of musicians.

No, it is most certainly not jammed. This is a common misunderstanding in sessions outside of Ireland. Most Irish musicians will actually get very antsy if you jam along with what they're doing so improvising and harmonising are not the way to go. Specific tunes* are being played and those wishing to join in are expected to learn these.

Repertoire varies from session to session, though there are certain tunes that practically anyone anywhere will know. People learn from listening in sessions, recording sessions, from CD's, tunebooks, teachers and each other.

What tunes are played is decided on the night in semi-democratic fashion, that is, whoever feels like it starts one and those people who know the tunes being played join in. Usually this works fine, though if someone starts obscure tunes all night or never gives anyone else a chance it might cause grumbling. Solos are fine from time to time, but they objective of the session is mainly to play together.


Speaking of which, do any women play the bodhran professionally? I've only ever seen men, now that I think of it. Women = fiddle, men = bodhrain. Tell me it ain't so!

You're right, I can't think of a female pro bodhran player either. Having said that, I know of plenty of amateur female players and zillions of male fiddlers for that matter. I think there aren't so many professional bodhran players in general, male of female.


*In Irish music as song has words, anything else is referred to as a "tune". The exception to that would be slow airs and certain harp pieces, but most of the lively stuff you hear in pubs are tunes unless someone is singing. Then it's a song. ;)

Xerxes
01-13-2005, 08:31 AM
I don't agree with that assessment myself and have never come across this effect. A bad guitarist is a bad guitarist in whichever tuning and there's never any excuse for bad playing. Anyone who's sensitive to music will appreciate that.

I agree; having messed around with dadgad for a couple of weeks, some chords are definitely easier (and also the whole 'tone' of the sound is different, perhaps because you tend to have more drone strings), but some aren't. Certainly the guitarist I saw in Doolin was no slouch, with all sorts of ornaments coming thick and fast.


If it's the actually technique of how to beat the thing, here's a video (http://www.custysmusic.com/mall/CustysTraditionalMusicShop/products/product-25290.stm). Don't how good the video is but I know the bodhran player is a good one.

Thanks, I've ordered it! Now for some serious practice....

:p

PookahMacPhellimey
01-13-2005, 08:33 AM
Are tin whistles easy to learn to play? I always see them relatively cheap in music stores, and I'm tempted.

Relatively so, yes. Of course it still requires a lot of practice to become really good at it but it easier by a long shot than say, uillean pipes. Most Irish children actually learn to play a bit in primary school, so it can't be that bad. I say, why not? Like you said, they're not a lot of money so you don't have that much to lose.

Also, the Pogues are one of my favorite bands of all time, and I also like some American bands that combine rock or punk with the Irish traditional sound, like Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, and Black 47. Anyone else I might like in this vein, or any more traditional bands with that kind of energy and intensity I would enjoy

Tough one. I think The Pogues are pretty much the best around in that genre by a huge margin.

Some stabs at it.

1. If you don't mind it being Scottish there is (was?) this band called Nyah Fearties who mixed folk and punk. A lot more raw (well, in a way. You can't really beat Shane on rawness really) than The Pogues but fun. Might be hard to find, though. :(

2. In a much more Irish and much more traditional vein Lunasa (http://www.lunasa.ie/home.php) are a young Irish band who really like to rev it up. There's no songs, though.

WhyNot
01-13-2005, 09:18 AM
Thanks!

Also, the Pogues are one of my favorite bands of all time, and I also like some American bands that combine rock or punk with the Irish traditional sound, like Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, and Black 47. Anyone else I might like in this vein, or any more traditional bands with that kind of energy and intensity I would enjoy?
If PookahMacPhellimey doesn't mind me putting my 2 cents in: Check out Gaelic Storm (http://www.gaelicstorm.com/) if you don't know them already. Solid traditional Irish underpinning by musical scholars, with fresh modern innovations. There's quite a few tracks you can stream at their site to decide if you like them. They're best known as the steerage level band in Titanic, or as they like to call it "Our 200 millian dollar million video co-starring Leonardo DiCaprio!" (They also know how to party - whew! :D )

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
01-13-2005, 09:33 AM
A list of good CDs? :)

AwSnappity
01-13-2005, 10:58 AM
Are tin whistles easy to learn to play? I always see them relatively cheap in music stores, and I'm tempted.
Yup, they're pretty easy. I bought one several years ago, and didn't take long before I was able to play it reasonably well. The trills and stuff still elude me a little bit. I've never played any wind instruments, so don't let that hold you back (although I do play a string instrument, and I'm already very famliar with reading music and also playing stuff by ear, so YMMV).

PookahMacPhellimey
01-13-2005, 11:08 AM
A list of good CDs? :)

I did a most exhaustive listing of classic albums and it got wiped out by the old rodent contingent. :mad:

I really can't face doing it all over again and these things are a matter of taste anyway. I'll make you a deal though. You specify how you would like your Irish music to be. Fiery/mellow/edgy/smooth/solo/band/songs/instrumental/earthy and natural/modern/which instruments or whatever else and I'll try and match you up with some CD's.

Ok?

Spoons
01-13-2005, 11:44 AM
Speaking of which, do any women play the bodhran professionally? I've only ever seen men, now that I think of it. Women = fiddle, men = bodhrain. Tell me it ain't so!It ain't so. A couple of female bodhran players come immediately to mind:

Leah Salomaa
Lucy MacNeil

A CD of Lucy MacNeil should be fairly easy to find--she is one of the Barra MacNeils, from Cape Breton Island (Nova Scotia, Canada). They have released a number of CDs; you'll be able to hear Lucy's bodhran playing on them. Note that she plays fiddle too.

Leah Salomaa is not as well known. She's based in southern Ontario (again, Canada) last I heard, but she also has at least one CD out: Celtic Trio. It is likely going to be quite hard to find, but since Salomaa pretty much only plays bodhran and sings, you'll hear some fine drumming if you can find it.

No, they're not Irish, but a lot of Irish/Scottish influence is in the music of Canada, especially in the province of Nova Scotia. It's close enough, anyway.

Pookah, hope you didn't mind the brief and slightly off-topic hijack.

PookahMacPhellimey
01-13-2005, 11:53 AM
Pookah, hope you didn't mind the brief and slightly off-topic hijack.

Not at all! I'm actually interested.

Cape Breton stuff is very Scottish sounding. I've even heard of Scottish musicians travelling there to find old Scottish tunes that got lost in Scotland but were preserved there.

As for the female bodhran players. I was trying to think of women playing bodhran exclusively. There is a handful of guys doing just drum in Irish music but no women that I can think of. If you include players who sing or play another instrument as well as bodhran then there are some more to find, I agree.

WhyNot
01-13-2005, 12:02 PM
How do you get traditional Irish music out of your head? :D

(I've been listening to Gaelic Storm ever since this thread started, and it starts with this insidious little toe-tap, and then the whole leg's moving and soon I'm bouncing in my computer chair and typing in time to the music. When the music stops, I don't even notice, 'cause it's still playing in my blood!)

Thanks, Spoons, I'll check them out. Not because it really matters if women play or men play, but because I haven't heard Cape Breton music before.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
01-13-2005, 12:35 PM
I did a most exhaustive listing of classic albums and it got wiped out by the old rodent contingent. :mad:

I really can't face doing it all over again and these things are a matter of taste anyway. I'll make you a deal though. You specify how you would like your Irish music to be. Fiery/mellow/edgy/smooth/solo/band/songs/instrumental/earthy and natural/modern/which instruments or whatever else and I'll try and match you up with some CD's.

Ok?

Modern is good.

Vocals are a must, but not automatically vocals alone.

PookahMacPhellimey
01-13-2005, 01:04 PM
Modern is good.

Vocals are a must, but not automatically vocals alone.

Tried Susan McKeown (http://house-of-music.com/susan/)? She has a more rocky band as well but her latest Sweet Liberty is a lovely modern take on traditional Irish songs IMO.

She is a friend of mine, but I'm not bringing Helen Roche (http://www.helenroche.net/) up because of that. Her album is lovely in a much more low key understated way then Susan's.

If you prefer male vocals and a more arranged glossy sound, try Cran (http://www.iol.ie/~cran/band.html) who are much more polished than their website I have to say.

Spoons
01-13-2005, 01:15 PM
Cape Breton stuff is very Scottish sounding. I've even heard of Scottish musicians travelling there to find old Scottish tunes that got lost in Scotland but were preserved there.We were very lucky. Sometime in the twentieth century, a couple of folklorists decided to track down all the old folk songs that they could. They went around to the various towns and villages (and some were pretty remote) of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, and found the people who could still remember the old songs. They recorded these songs, and transcribed them later. Musicians today still refer to such books as Canada's Story in Song by Edith Fowke et. al., and Traditional Songs of Nova Scotia by Helen Creighton and Doreen H. Senior when they are learning these tunes.

As you note, some come directly from Scotland or Ireland, but others are strictly from the Atlantic provinces, Still, even in these "domestic" ones, you can definitely hear the influences of Scotland and Ireland in the music, and in the instruments used to play it.

Now, to keep this thread from digressing into a discussion of similar-but-not-quite-what-the-OP-was-looking-for, I have a question for Pookah: Do people in Ireland still play the spoons, and regard them as appropriate (or at least fitting) in a pub session?

I ask because, as you may have guessed, I play the spoons. I play a few other instruments as well (tin whistle, recorder, flute), but it is spoons that I am most often asked to play. I've always had a warm reception in places like Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, and many people remember (for example) Grandfather playing them, but very few seem to be able to do it themselves. Am I one of the few practicing a dying art, or are there fellow spoon players acriss the sea, in the land where they originally came from?

PookahMacPhellimey
01-13-2005, 01:53 PM
Now, to keep this thread from digressing into a discussion of similar-but-not-quite-what-the-OP-was-looking-for, I have a question for Pookah: Do people in Ireland still play the spoons, and regard them as appropriate (or at least fitting) in a pub session?

I don't mind the digressing at all. This is my particularly geek corner and I thought your post was very interesting.

As for the spoons. Yes, you still see them occasionally but, like the drum, they suffer from image problems because people who can't play them insist on playing them anyway, thereby ruining it for the genuine musicians. To be quite honest with you, if you walked into an Irish session and took out your spoons people would wince and be extremely sceptical.

Having said that, if you proved yourself to be good and sensitive to the music a lot of musicians would probably warm to you soon enough, though there are some who will never get along with spoons and say they do not belong in a session ever. This doesn't seem to stop people from playing them though, so yes you see them over here though played with wildly varying degrees of expertise. Reception varies accordingly.

Chronos
01-13-2005, 02:08 PM
There's a semi-local (Northwestern US) band called Finnegan's Ridge I've seen a few times, and their bodhran player is female (I'd have to dig up the CD to remember her name). She's primarily vocals, though.

Which brings me to another question. One of their songs I particularly like is about a fair maid who lives on the shore, and is abducted by a sea captain. She sings the captain and crew to sleep, robs them, and then rows back to the shore using the Captain's silver as an oar. It sounds like the story has roots in some traditional myth or legend; do you know any more about what the source would be?

Hey, It's That Guy!
01-13-2005, 02:34 PM
One more question for you tin whistle experts: do they only come in one particular key, like harmonicas and recorders? Does that mean to truly be effective, one would need a utility belt or bandolier strap with 12 whistles, one in each key, or do you just try to play songs in the same key to make do with one?

Spoons
01-13-2005, 03:20 PM
As for the spoons. Yes, you still see them occasionally but, like the drum, they suffer from image problems because people who can't play them insist on playing them anyway, thereby ruining it for the genuine musicians. To be quite honest with you, if you walked into an Irish session and took out your spoons people would wince and be extremely sceptical.Good to hear that people are still playing them, although I do understand and have encountered the reluctance from the musicians. The spoons look deceptively easy to play, but when people have asked if they can try mine, they find out just how difficult it can be. Add in the beers they have likely had, and these people end up "bashing" the spoons; they are most certainly not playing. But I seem to be able to prove myself in such sessions, and am often invited to play with the musicians. (He said modestly. :)) It was a Cape Breton Islander who taught me to play many years ago, by the way--I have to give credit where credit is due.

My "everyday" spoons are teakwood--a nice inoffensive sound, but loud enough to be heard. I also have a few sets of silverplate (a ringing sound) and stainless steel (a metallic clunking sound). Different shapes too: dessert spoons and soup spoons mostly. But all have a purpose; the music dictates which I will use. They're fun, but I don't plan to give up my day job anytime soon.

N9IWP
01-13-2005, 03:27 PM
Whistles come in different sizes (and different materials) I've seen a people who have a few dozen different whistles.

They were stored thusly:
Think of a cloth band about 1 foot by 2.5 feet with lots of pockets (parallel to the 1 foot side). The whole thing is rolled up into a cylander.

Brian

LifeOnWry
01-13-2005, 04:13 PM
There's a semi-local (Northwestern US) band called Finnegan's Ridge I've seen a few times, and their bodhran player is female (I'd have to dig up the CD to remember her name). She's primarily vocals, though.

Which brings me to another question. One of their songs I particularly like is about a fair maid who lives on the shore, and is abducted by a sea captain. She sings the captain and crew to sleep, robs them, and then rows back to the shore using the Captain's silver as an oar. It sounds like the story has roots in some traditional myth or legend; do you know any more about what the source would be?


The song is called "Maid on the Shore" and I believe it was written by Stan Rogers. Googling doesn't bring up any other authors on the first two pages.

Ogre
01-13-2005, 04:32 PM
Just wanted to pop in and recommend an excellent Celtic band...from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Henri's Notions (http://www.henrisnotions.com/homepage.html)

GorillaMan
01-13-2005, 05:43 PM
One more question for you tin whistle experts: do they only come in one particular key, like harmonicas and recorders? Does that mean to truly be effective, one would need a utility belt or bandolier strap with 12 whistles, one in each key, or do you just try to play songs in the same key to make do with one?
Yes, they're basically in 'keys' (although the term is slightly alien to the music). But you certainly wouldn't need twelve: the vast bulk of the music is based on D, G or A. Plus, being instruments with narrow bore and wide holes, they're capable of any intonation by half-closing holes...it just takes practice (and a good ear!) (And BTW, recorders aren't 'keyed' in any way, at least as far as modern instruments are concerned)

Lathe of Heaven
01-13-2005, 06:11 PM
I don't know if anyone's interested, but this is the only topic I consider myself at least somewhat of an expert on and I love talking about it. :D
Hope this doesn't sink, so fire away.

I'd be most grateful if you could elucidate for me the differences between:
1) jigs, slides, and double slides,
2) strathspeys and reels.

Thanks!

Lathe of Heaven
01-13-2005, 06:28 PM
Also, the Pogues are one of my favorite bands of all time, and I also like some American bands that combine rock or punk with the Irish traditional sound, like Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, and Black 47. Anyone else I might like in this vein, or any more traditional bands with that kind of energy and intensity I would enjoy?

While I like my Celtic music more trad, the hardest-rocking Irish music I have is by Boiled In Lead (http://ww.boiledinlead.com) and Tempest (http://www.tempestmusic.com). Check 'em out!

Canadians Great Big Sea (http://www.greatbigsea.com) emphasize maritime themes; among their countrymen we may the find world-Celtic stylings of The Paperboys (http://www.paperboys.com).

Ukulele Ike
01-13-2005, 07:58 PM
As for the female bodhran players. I was trying to think of women playing bodhran exclusively.
Cathy Jordan of Dervish (http://home3.inet.tele.dk/soeren-v/tf1999/tf1999.htm), while primarily the group's vocalist, also is featured on bodhran, and bones.

She is also a "hottie."

Northern Piper
01-13-2005, 09:09 PM
I'd be most grateful if you could elucidate for me the differences between:
1) jigs, slides, and double slides,
2) strathspeys and reels.

Thanks!Hope PookahMacPhellimey doesn't mind me jumping in here.

The differences mainly relate to the time signatures, as explained on Steve MacLeod's Bagpipe Questions (http://qanda.themacleods.net/qanda/#):Strathspey: A tune in 4/4 or "common" time used as the basis for many highland dances. The tune usually helps to emphasize the dancers steps by having a pulse pattern that goes strong-weak-medium-weak. Eight bars are repeated (64 beats) to form one "part" or "measure".

Reel: A tune also used for dancing, commonly in 2/2 or "cut-common" time. Eight bars form one "part" or "measure" (16 beats).

Jig: An infectious tune usually in 6/8 time, but can be written in 3/2 or 9/8 time and are then known as slip jigs. Usually used for dancing and getting an audience to clap along.In highland piping, one of the standard features in competitions is the March-Strathspey-Reel, or MSR. The band plays a medley, always in the order of March, Strathspey, then Reel. (A march is usually in 2/4, 4/4 or 6/8 time signatures.)

Sam Stone
01-13-2005, 11:46 PM
Another whistle player joining in...

I highly recommend anyone who's interested to just pick up a whistle and have fun. The Irish whistle is a great starter instrument for several reasons: First, it's easy to play. The fingerings are simple, and it's quite easy to get a good tone. But best of all, the whistles are very inexpensive. And the cheap $10 whistles are not just 'beginner' instruments or toys. I believe Mary Bergin, who is a very famous whistle player, plays a $10 Generation tin whistle.

Of course, you can spend more if you want, and collecting whistles can become a bit addictive. I just got a Sweetheart whistle for Christmas. It's got a tunable body, and it's carved out of wood. A whistle like that is worth a couple of hundred bucks. But really, the cheap ones play just as well.

If you want to pick up a whistle, I recommend Clarke or Generation whistles. The traditional Clarke whistle has a gorgeous tone. It's got a wood insert in the mouthpiece, and has a soft, breathy tone that's great for slow airs. It's also reasonably quiet so you can play it at home without bothering people.

The Generation whistles are also good. Another common whistle you might find are feadog whistles, and in my experience they are a little uneven in quality. Some play great, others not so much. But hell, for $7 or whatever they go for, it can't hurt to try, and for a beginner you might not notice the difference.

There are some excellent web sites for whistle players, with lots of tutorials, free music, and MIDI and recorded samples you can play to hear exactly how the music should sound. Great learning resource.

There are also 'starter kits' you can get, with a whistle, an introductory tutorial book, and a CD with all the music recorded so you can hear what it should sound like, all for about $20. Best bargain in music.

As for keys, the most common whistle key is D. So that should be your first whistle, if you can find one. The next most common are high G, C, and B flat.

Some whistle resources:

Chiff and Fipple Message Board (http://chiffboard.mati.ca/) - a very popular board with whistle reviews, music, discussions of playing technique, etc.

Brother Steve's Tin Whistle Pages (http://www.rogermillington.com/siamsa/brosteve/index.html) - an excellent tutorial site with samples.

Slow Airs Page (http://users.argonet.co.uk/users/paw/tunes/) - if you like slow airs (think "Danny Boy"), this page has music, MIDI, and recordings of many.

Wild Dismay Tunes (http://www.blackflute.com/music/default.html) - tons of music for whistle players.

Hey, It's That Guy!
01-13-2005, 11:50 PM
You guys have talked me into it. I will get a whistle at my next opportunity. I've been playing saxophone for many years and I also have a Hohner melodica, so I might as well become the king of non-flute, non-clarinet wind instruments!

Sam Stone
01-14-2005, 12:56 AM
I played the Alto Sax for years before I picked up the whistle. It's an easy transition.

PookahMacPhellimey
01-14-2005, 04:19 AM
You guys have talked me into it. I will get a whistle at my next opportunity. I've been playing saxophone for many years and I also have a Hohner melodica, so I might as well become the king of non-flute, non-clarinet wind instruments!

Great!

And yes, if you play sax it should be really easy.

I also thought of another band that might fit you requirements this morning:

Four men and a Dog (http://www.tradcentre.com/fourmen/).

PookahMacPhellimey
01-14-2005, 04:39 AM
I'd be most grateful if you could elucidate for me the differences between:
1) jigs, slides, and double slides,
2) strathspeys and reels.


Thanks Northern Piper for helping out. These things can be tricky to explain, even though I tell you which is which when I hear them.

So in addition to what was already explained.

Your jig is the run of the mill 6/8 Irish tunes. Well, we write it in 6/8 but the "swing" is harder to capture. Irish music doesn't notate well and you always have to listen to get the real idea.

Slides are mainly popular in Sliabh Luachra (an area in North Kerry and Cork) or with people who like to play that in particular style. The are is also reknowned for liking polkas a lot down there. It's kind of "half a jig" if you will in 3/2. They're usual shorter and have a more "angular" feel. It's hard to explain it better.

I don't quite agree with them being the same thing as Slip Jig. A Slip Jig is a 9/8 tune which is more like a jig and half. If you here something that sounds like a jig but then seems to go over the bar line a bit you probably have a Slip Jig on your hands. They drive novice bodhran players/spoons players/guitarists crazy. :)

I'll admit to not having heard of a double slide. That would be a jig again IMO.

Reels is you common garden variety 4/4 Irish tune. Extremely popular.

Strathspeys are a Scottish thing, really, but you will hear them in Donegal style music where there's a big Scottish influence. They have a more dotted rhythm compared to reels. A reel with tend to gallop along whereas a strathspey kind of skips. A bit like a hornpipe in that way, but the rhythm and emphasis are different.

Hope that clears it up a tiny bit. It's hard to describe these things without having some sound examples to hand.

Angua
01-14-2005, 06:29 AM
And yet another whistle player chiming in as well!

The fingerings are really simple if you know how to play the recorder -- that's how I made the transistion at any rate.

PookahMacPhellimey
01-14-2005, 06:59 AM
I'll admit to not having heard of a double slide. That would be a jig again IMO.


Okay, I've had a brainwave here of what it might be. In most Irish tunes you play the A part twice and then the B part twice but there are some were you just play each part once and we do refer to those as single tunes. So a single slide would be A part, then B part and a double slide A part twice, B part twice.

Hey, It's That Guy!
01-17-2005, 05:58 PM
Well, today I bought a jar of kimchi (Korean pickled cabbage), after a thread on IMHO tempted me to try it, and I also bought a tin whistle on the recommendations of this thread! The SDMB is always exposing me to new things! I hit two local music stores, and they only had ONE whistle between them: a Feadog tin whistle in the key of D, golden with a green mouthpiece. No Clarkes, no Generations, no selection other than this single one. I hope I made a wise choice, even though there wasn't much of a choice to make!

I already taught myself that little phrase from the beginning of the love theme from Titanic--NOT because I like the song, but just because it was a familiar tin whistle melody. I need to work on keeping my pitch up, and I'm sure that will come with practice. I'm horribly out of practice on my sax, too. Anyway, slainte!

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
01-18-2005, 03:56 PM
What's the name of that "Irish music?" You know, the one that goes:
DI-da-dee DI-da-dee DI-da-dee Di-da-dee
DI-da-dee DI-da-dee DI-da-dee Di-da-dee
etc.

Does it have words?

Tracy Lord
01-19-2005, 01:49 AM
What's the name of that "Irish music?" You know, the one that goes:
DI-da-dee DI-da-dee DI-da-dee Di-da-dee
DI-da-dee DI-da-dee DI-da-dee Di-da-dee
etc.

Does it have words?

Unless I'm being whooshed, that sounds a bit like "Drowsy Maggie."

bienville
01-19-2005, 04:05 AM
Years ago I heard a great trad musician do this song in a pub. It's the only time I've ever heard it but I loved it so much I still have good memory of it.

I had to leave the pub before her set was done so I never got a chance to ask her about it- though I'm quite certain she announced it as being an old song that she "found" while working with other folkies so I at least know that she didn't write it. I also know that she never recorded it.





The song tells the story of a young girl who's romantic dreams are repeatedly extinguished due to a unique problem.

Each verse follows this model but each verse has a different boy's name (as she has to keep looking for a new love each time):

(from memory this isn't exact)
I'm in love with Johnny but
Ne'er shall we be wed
I'd love to marry Johnny but
My father dear has said:

"Sure it breaks my heart to tell you
for you mother never knew
but Johnny is a son of mine
and so he's kin to you."

This goes on for about three verses then there is a bridge. In the bridge the girl expresses frustration and anger that her father has ruined her chances at a love life. Out of spite and vengence she resolves to tell her mother the whole story, thus outting her father's dark past.

In the final verse, she tells her mother her problem and her mother reponds:

Now, your father is a rambler and
For sure he's had his fill
But he's not the one who seeded you so
Marry who you will

The Big Cheese
02-01-2005, 07:41 AM
this may not be traditional, but it's been driving me crazy for years.
I'm listening to Van Morrison right now, Avalon Sunset. The song is 'Coney Island'.

It's one of those songs where he talks about wandering around Ireland, I guess.
The lyric is "on and on and over the hill and the crack is good, on towards Coney Island." Crack?? What is that he's referring to, i can't imagine it's what I think it is.

Northern Piper
02-01-2005, 07:51 AM
"Craic" (pronounced "Crack") - "a certain 'spirit' found in bars and gatherings" - From Drone On! The High History of Celtic Music, by Winnie Czulinski.

A feeling of good times, revelry; associated with ceilidhs and sessions.

Xerxes
02-01-2005, 07:53 AM
I don't know the Gaelic spelling, but it's often spelled 'Craick'. It means conversation, or good times; i.e. you'll have a good craick, it's a great craick etc. Nothing (that I know of :D) to to with 'crack'.....

TwistofFate
02-01-2005, 08:03 AM
Ack! Coney Island!! Van Morrison droning on about pickled herrings and rain. Even worse was the Liam Neeson cover of it.

As for playing the spoons, I used to play the spoons in the style of playing the bones. would love to get good at it again, but it's impossible to sit in on a good session playing the spoons without some joker ordering you a bowl of soup.

bienville
02-01-2005, 08:10 AM
Since we've revived this Thread, I'd like to point out that the question I'd like answered is on the first page, Post#47.
:)

Lathe of Heaven
02-01-2005, 01:45 PM
Years ago I heard a great trad musician do this song in a pub. It's the only time I've ever heard it but I loved it so much I still have good memory of it.

The song tells the story of a young girl who's romantic dreams are repeatedly extinguished due to a unique problem.


It's modern. My friends and I usually call it "Johnny Be Fair". Written by Buffy Sainte Marie, I believe.

bienville
02-02-2005, 02:53 AM
It's modern. My friends and I usually call it "Johnny Be Fair". Written by Buffy Sainte Marie, I believe.

That's it exactly (http://www.lyricsondemand.com/s/saintemariebuffylyrics/johnnybefairlyrics.html), Lathe of Heaven! You're awesome!

Could I ask for a "Spoil Buffy Sainte Marie for me" post in this Thread?

Profane
02-02-2005, 06:43 AM
I'm looking for a few good recommendations. My favorite album is Silly Wizard "Live Wizardry" and I'm looking for stuff along that line. I prefer no vocals, and a live or not too polished sound. I like The Chieftans, but with so many albums I'm not sure where to start. Any ideas keeping my guidelines in mind?



For the Bodhran players, give Steve Holloway (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/sholloway) a listen. He plays Bodhran (and other percussion) so it's featured stongly on the CD.

PookahMacPhellimey
02-02-2005, 11:36 AM
I'm looking for a few good recommendations. My favorite album is Silly Wizard "Live Wizardry" and I'm looking for stuff along that line. I prefer no vocals, and a live or not too polished sound. I like The Chieftans, but with so many albums I'm not sure where to start. Any ideas keeping my guidelines in mind?


That was one of my very first traditional albums. Excellent stuff. Er...you do know that Silly Wizard are Scottish, right?

Recommendations on the basis of that:

1.Celtic Fiddle Festival[/I]. Christian Lemaitre from Brittany, Kevin Burke from Ireland (via London) and the late great Johnny Cunningham from Scotland play solo and together giving an excellent beginner's introduction to different "celtic" fiddling styles. Johnny Cunningham was the fiddler in Silly Wizard. The trio made a self titled CD and then a follow up called Encore. Both are good.

2. Johnny's brother Phil Cunningham (the piano accordeon player from Silly Wizard) pops up in Scottish music all the time. He made two very nice albums with fiddler Aly Bain (out of The Boys of the Lough which you may also want to check out) The Pearl and The Ruby.

3. Onto Irish music. You may like De Dannan (try The Mist Covered Mountain) and The Bothy Band (they'r self titled debut might be the best). Both are seminal Irish bands. They do both have some amount for vocals, but are absolute classics. Planxty is another good band from the same era, but they have a lot more song oriented sound.

4. More modern stuff. The band Lunasa which I have already mentioned seems very popular with a younger Irish music crowd (don't know if that's you or not). In case you like the fiery accordeon aspect of Silly Wizard, try local legends (but not overly famous elsewhere) The Lahawns who are fabulous. Find their best CD Live at Winkles as well as a lot of the other stuff I mentioned at Custy's record shop (http://www.custysmusic.com) who also do mail order.

5. For a lively sound you could also do worse than to check out the numerous Ceili Bands. A ceili band is a bigger (about ten or so people) band of Irish musicians put together especially for dancing and usually involves drumkit and piano accompaniment. It's something you either love or hate. Some of the good ones are The Tulla Ceili Band, The Kilfenora Ceili Band and the Turloughmore Ceili Band.

Velma
02-02-2005, 02:36 PM
I have friends who formed an Irish band a few years ago (for the love of the music, most of them are not Irish) and they have opened for Gaelic Storm, they were really fun to hear live. Very fun guys too. I enjoy listening to CD's and all but there is nothing like hearing Irish music live, there is a spirit to it that you can't get from a recording. Plus the beer.

I'll second the mention of Irish music getting stuck in your head, after going to a show I am singing along and humming for weeks. My infant son is often treated to Irish songs instead of lullabies or nursery rhymes :).

I have played the sax and a little recorder, maybe I will have to learn the whistle and play along with my friends one of these days!

Lathe of Heaven
02-02-2005, 10:06 PM
That's it exactly (http://www.lyricsondemand.com/s/saintemariebuffylyrics/johnnybefairlyrics.html), Lathe of Heaven! You're awesome!

Aw, thanks, I'm blushing!

Could I ask for a "Spoil Buffy Sainte Marie for me" post in this Thread?

Sure, but not by me: what I know about Ms. Ste.-Marie could fit into a thimble, with enough room left over... well, you get the idea. I do know that she's Canadian, of Native descent, and was apparently quite popular in the Sixties.

Northern Piper
02-03-2005, 02:03 AM
Buffy Ste. Marie is originally from Saskatchewan. I saw her performing at Regina a few years ago. As an intro to one song, she commented that writing a song was like letting a bird out into the world. Sometimes they don't do well, other times they just take off. Then she said, "and this one came home one day with an Oscar" and started playing "Up Where We Belong" from "An Officer and A Gentleman." Rather a modest way to introduce it, I thought.

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