Playing Irish Fiddle Tunes up to Speed

Kevin Burke gives advice for how to play Trad Irish fiddle tunes up to speed in this lesson. It can be quite difficult to get all of the notes and ornaments in these tunes going at a dance-able tempo. This lesson was requested by a member, and Kevin has some unique perspective on this topic. Enjoy!!

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  1. That is really good advice. I never thought about learning a tune this way but it makes total sense. Thank you Kevin for this insightful lesson!

  2. Just saw this new lesson…Thank you so much!!! I can understand now what you mean by playing a group of notes as a phrase is different from playing the notes individually. And yes, some of the phrases of a tune are used in other tunes so it makes sense to learn phrases instead of notes. Thank you so much!!

  3. This advice is so contrary to what most people say. Brilliant because he is right, walking is not the same as jogging, which is not the same as sprinting. Not to say you can’t mix the two approaches plus not rushing the learning process. Thanks Kevin.

  4. Brilliant! “A very unwieldy kind of bowing…” That is precisely the problem! Thank you for that moment of clarity.

  5. Kevin that is brilliant insight. I’ve noticed myself picking up on phrases that are shared between tunes and the way you describe it really resonates with me. Thank you.

  6. Hi there, this video is so packed with good advice! Thank you.
    Do you have suggestions about how to sequence the inclusion of ornamentation? Before or after the basic melody is up to speed? It’s tripping me up a bit! Thank you!

  7. Hi FB, I saw your post and wanted to comment that I often think of this problem for folks wanting to learn the art and craft of Irish fiddling. Speed and Ornamentation are two of the big challenges with that style of music . To understand and have time for the ornaments I have recently been working with them in a new way. That is to approach the specific ornament and root note that is ornamented as a physical move that is one move or as a total note series that has to be executed in a motion to keep the time accenting the rhythm and yet be clear enough to hear the nuance of that particular effect, whether its a cut, a triplet a double cut or roll. That way the note that is ornamented becomes part of the the total move to create the effect. I find this most true watching Irish Trad fiddlers when the movement of the hand is almost to fast to detect and hearing the effect proves the hand may be quicker than the eye. Good luck and hope this makes sense and helps. Best regards, Roland Forum Moderator

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