The following articles are authored by Dr. Chris Smith of the TTU School of Music. They are mainly for those interested in learning to play traditional Irish session music starting in a "slow session" format and building up to full tilt boggie. While these are mostly aimed at the current "traditional" Irish instruments (bouzouki, tenor banjo, and guitar) many of the methods and techniques that he mentions can be readily adapted to harp. In Northern California there are several Slow Sessions running. ANd harps are a part of some of them. Dr. Smith's material is presented here as a starting point for those interested in entering the world of the session and as a resource for those interested in how Irish/Scottish music works.
While the below articles are from the 2000-2003 time period thay are still extreamly usefull. Chris has continued writing on the subject and has a larg collection of articles on his website at Coyote Banjo
- Developing your own chord Voiceings.
- Improvising melodic accompaniments.
- Learning ways to accompany
- Chord substitutions
- On time and technique for plucked strings in Irish traditional music.
- Irish rhythmic vocabulary.
- Determining modes and modal substitution.
- Crossing over from one instrument to another.
- Left hand fingering for CBOMS.
- Picking exercises.
- Picking jigs.
- Why learning the oldest stuff can help with the newest stuff.
Learning by Ear
- Why work on ear training?
- Learning by ear.
- Using an audio recorder to develop your ear.
- Learning from recordings.
Sessions and how the work
- Philosophies and practicees of an Irish session.
- Getting the most out of a slow session.
- Session Dynamics.
- On playing speed.
- Constructing sets of dance tunes.
Resources for the session musician
- Good books for Irish musicians.
- Films including Irish music.
- Source material for learning tunes.View HTML
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