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Basic Melodies for Irish Fiddle tunes
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
July 14, 2020 - 8:28 pm
Member Since: June 24, 2020
Forum Posts: 39
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Just sharing some info--

If you’re looking for basic melodies for Irish Fiddle tunes that you can easily print out, I came across this one:  The Session

I signed up for a few online classes scheduled next week through Strings without Boundaries 

One of the classes entitled Top 20 Fiddle Tunes Every Fiddler Should Know (taught by Tom Morley) has a list of fiddle songs posted with the pre-class information.  Since I do not know many of them (not much of a fiddler, I guess), I went looking for them & found The Session website.

I found it easier to find stuff on their site going through Google (e.g., type “Arkansas Traveler the Session” in Google search) rather than using their search engine.

July 15, 2020 - 2:50 pm
Member Since: December 3, 2019
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@SharonC Thanks for sharing about the Strings Without Boundaries.


August 3, 2020 - 5:43 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
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SharonC -

How did your class go with Tom Morley?  The others?


- EmilyOwner And Pet Smiley

August 3, 2020 - 4:01 pm
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I focus on classical, but I saw this as an opportunity to learn more about fiddle music.  I took two classes with Tom Morley; Top 20 Fiddle Tunes & Irish Fiddling.  I do have one of his fiddle books (Learn to Play Irish Trad Fiddle).

He talked about top tunes, the types of tunes (jig, reel, hornpipe, etc.,), and fiddle session etiquette (I had no idea there were rules).  And we played a few pieces.   I also took 3 other classes in classical vibrato, shifting and bow techniques.   Classes used Zoom—and it went well.  I think 2020 will go down in history as the year of Zoom.

Tom Morley does a “play-a-long” live every Monday night at 6pm ET on his Facebook  page, so anyone familiar with the tunes (he puts out a play list a few days before each week) can go & listen/play along  (he doesn’t have to “friend” you first, you just have to be signed into Facebook).

He also has a YouTube channel with some tutorials on a few fiddle songs:


August 3, 2020 - 10:44 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
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SharonC  -

I got interested it "The Old Copper Plate" after GregW shared his video.  I found Tom Morley's when searched for a tutorial - easy to learn from him! 

Will you be pursuing more "Fiddle" music?

Did you learn anything profound in your "Classical Vibrato Class"?


I Love Music Smiley- Emily

August 7, 2020 - 1:47 pm
Member Since: June 24, 2020
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I like classical, so I intend to stay focused on it.  However, I like Irish tunes, so I think I'll start to dabble there some.

I took two classes on vibrato – one from David Wallace, & the other from Anne Nagosky (class titled for vibrato & shifting, but she focused on vibrato based on the interest of students attending).  Both were very good. 

David Wallace talked about ensuring the finger movement on the finger board matches your “biology” (i.e., how your hand/fingers are shaped & move naturally).  He stated that vibrato comes from a place of balance.  In exercises, he talked about using a metronome in practice.  He also indicated that some people get vibrato sooner than others, and that there isn’t a time frame that is really correct. 

Anne Nagosky indicated that when she teaches vibrato to her young students, she focuses on arm vibrato because students seem to acquire it more easily (with exceptions; she indicated that sometimes a student will have a natural inclination for wrist vibrato, so she’ll work with that when she encounters it).

She talked about an exercise using a shaker, sort of demonstrated in this video (but in this video, the woman uses her wrist; Anne focuses on the forearm moving from the elbow), with the focus on the rhythm pattern (I used an Aleve bottle during the class).

There is so much information out there about vibrato.  I think each individual has to find what the right movement is for his/her body.  Of the stuff I’ve come across, I’ve found the exercises that Simon Fischer talks about the most useful for me. 


I think his dotted rhythms made the most sense to me because I played drums as a kid.  When I used to practice speeding up in my drumming, I focused on bringing the stick up faster, not so much on the down “stroke”.  Fischer’s dotted rhythms on his vibrato exercises have the focus on the finger returning upright to the note (after extending finger below note). I found this emphasis on the “up” motion to be similar to my drum stick “up” focus, and so it clicked for me. 

This is a video of Nathan Cole who does a really good job of demonstrating Fischer’s exercises (around 13:40 where he does the dotted rhythm exercises).

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