The Swaggering jig

This slip jig, called The Swaggering Jig, (also called ‘Give us a drink of water’) is often one of the first Irish slipjigs that I teach students. I have heard it said that the slipjig and the hopjig are the ‘true’ indigenous musical forms of Ireland; but I’ve not been able to confirm this, and … Read more

Cooley’s reel

Cooley’s reel is a very well-known Irish reel associated with Joe Cooley, the great accordion player from Co. Galway. Fiddle players, if you would like to take your fiddle playing to the next level, take a look at my online fiddle courses, including my free Irish fiddle course. However, the history and attribution for Cooley’s … Read more

The Trip to Athlone (jig)

In this Irish fiddle tutorial we are going to learn a popular Irish session jig The Trip to Athlone, a great Irish session tune. The full tutorial on this tune will be part of my Complete Irish Fiddler course (coming soon!). Find out more at Irish Fiddle Courses. The Trip to Athlone jig, which also … Read more

How to play the fiddle…

….part 1! If you’re a beginner and would like to learn how to play the fiddle, read on below for everything you need to know about playing the fiddle. If you already play fiddle, but would like take your playing further, try my free online lessons page, or check our my complete Irish fiddle courses. … Read more

Lament for MacGregor of Rora

I learned this beautiful lament — the Lament for MacGregor of Rora — from the fiddle playing of Lauren MacColl. Her version is of the melody is simpler than many other versions you will find out there. I love this lower key too. It is much more common to hear this played in the mode … Read more

Riding on a Bale of Hay (polka)

Here’s a really fun Irish polka, called Riding on a Bale of Hay. Sometimes also called ‘Riding on a Load of Hay’, this is a West Kerry polka. The renowned West Kerry fiddler Denis Murphy (1910-1974) was known to play it. Dennis Murphy was born in Lisheen, Gneeveguilla, County Kerry. Both he and his sister … Read more

Ornamentation for Irish fiddle – rolls

In this lesson, I will teach you how to play a key ornament on the Irish fiddle – rolls. “This is one of the best detailed approaches in playing and practicing rolls out there! Thank You so much!” WEdHarris on Youtube Rolls are a crucial piece of Irish fiddle ornamentation. They are such an important … Read more

Learn My Darling Asleep on the fiddle

My Darling Asleep is a really popular Irish tune to learn on the fiddle. In fact, it’s often one of the first Irish tunes that new fiddle players look to learn. If you’d like to learn My Darling Asleep on the fiddle, take a look at my video below. My Darling Asleep in an Irish … Read more

Learn tunes from Foinn Seisiun

I often find that fiddle players looking for tunes to learn turn to the Foinn Seisiun recordings. These are really useful resources for finding recordings of well know Irish session tunes. But for a fiddle player starting out with playing in sessions, they may also have their limitations, which I’ll discuss below. I hope that … Read more