Despite the popularity of B/C tuning within the modern world of traditional Irish music, the C#/D press and draw system was actually around first! This traditional style of Irish button accordion playing is based on the simple 10 key one row melodeon system. So it makes sense, due to the popularity of the Irish melodeon, that the C#/D accordion would follow in its footsteps. Like the B/C system, there has been no shortage of brilliant press and draw accordion players over the years. But who are ...
In what has already been a strange and unpredictable year, the emerging trend that has most taken me by surprise is the sudden surge in the popularity of sea shanties. For reasons this auld fella may never understand, there's been a resurgence of these nautical working songs. How did all begin? Climb aboard and we'll go on a quick adventure... The Wellerman It all started when a young Scottish man's rendition of the 19th century whaling song, Soon May the Wellerman Come - or The Wellerman as it...
Whether you prefer to strum along to lively Irish dance tunes or to accompany soulful Irish ballads, there's no shortage of talented Irish bouzouki players to look to for inspiration. From Donal Lunny to Alec Finn and Andy Irvine these legendary players have done it all! I often receive requests from Irish bouzouki and mandolin players who want to follow in the footsteps of these masters, but don't know where to start. More and more have listened to the likes of the brilliant Daoirí Farrell ...
I love nothing better than learning a new tune. Exploring how the melody is shaped. How it feels under your fingers. Taking the time to practice and perfect before adding your own personal touches. Judging by the number of requests I receive for tune recommendations, my customers agree. Luckily, within the Irish music tradition, there’s no shortage of tunes to learn. Our rich musical heritage is blessed with a wealth of repertoire that has been handed down from generation to generation. This...
McNeela's Guide to the Best Irish Music Events on St Patrick's Day 2021 Updated: 10/03/2021 This St. Patrick's Day may not be the one we were expecting, but every cloud has a silver lining. In this new era of online events, every Saint Patrick's Day event is now a global one! In the absence of live parades and live music performances, we've instead rounded up our pick of traditional Irish music events happening online this March 17th. Such is the popularity of our national holiday, ...
How to Care for your Brass Whistle Published: March 5, 2021 Worried customers will sometimes contact me to ask what’s wrong with their tin whistle. The ‘problem’ is always the same. The whistle has developed black spots or dark circles around the finger holes and begun to tarnish. Our poor customers are always worried that the whistle is faulty, or they’ve done something wrong. The good news however is that this is perfectly normal. Brass tin whistles tarnish. It’s a fact of life. All ...
How To Play The Concertina Like Noel Hill Published: March 2, 2021 Noel Hill is the master of the modern concertina. He singlehandedly revolutionised traditional Irish concertina playing, forever changing the musical landscape. The concertina owes much of its popularity today to Noel's innovative and inspirational playing and his virtuoso technical brilliance. Hill is an other-worldly player: the ornamentations and variations he brings to the dance tunes are imaginative and thrilling, his air pl...
FAQ - Top Tips for Caring for Your Bodhran The bodhrán skin is the most important part of the bodhrán. It dictates the quality of sound your drum will produce. It also happens to be the most temperamental part of this iconic frame drum. After all, it's made from goat skin, and goats are famously stubborn. So, the best thing you can do care for your bodhrán is to learn to care for its skin. I often receive queries from customers asking about best practice when it comes to caring for and main...
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