Live Irish music in Bristol and Bath

We’re lucky at the moment to have loads of live Irish music in Bristol and Bath going on every week. There are more Irish sessions right now than I can remember since I came to Bristol 6 years ago. And it isn’t just the amount of live Irish music right now – the consensus is … Read more

How hard is it to learn the fiddle?

The question I get asked often is: ‘Is it hard to learn the fiddle?’. There’s definitely a opinion that it is really hard to learn to play fiddle! The assumption seems to be that it takes years to start playing tunes. Or even to make a nice clean sound. But it doesn’t have to take … Read more

Josefin’s Waltz / Josephine’s Waltz

Here’s a beautiful waltz written by Swedish guitarist Roger Tallroth. Normally it is known as Josephine’s Waltz here in England; or I’ve seen it called Josefin’s Waltz in many places. But it’s name as given by Roger himself is “Johsefins dopvals”. It’s a lovely but simple melody. I believe it was written for his niece’s … Read more

Announcing… Straight from the Jug!

Straight from the Jug – proper traditional Irish instrumental music on uilleann pipes and fiddle, played with energy and drive! Fiddle and uilleann pipes has for a long time been one of my favourite duo combinations in Irish traditional music. They just seem to complement each other so well, blending together but also filling in … Read more

Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór on fiddle and uillann pipes

Si Bheag, Si Mhor sounds fantastic on fiddle and uilleann pipes together. This beautiful tune is probably Turlough O’ Carolan’s most well known composition. The title, ‘Si Bheag, Si Mhor’ translates as ‘the little fairy mound, and the big fairy mound’. Recently I had a chance to do some recording with good friend and mighty … Read more

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

Farewell to Whalley Range

Farewell to Whalley Range is a popular slipjig by Michael McGoldrick, in F# minor. This is a slightly unusual key for fiddle tunes, so may take a little getting used to. But don’t worry – I’ll take you through the whole tune on the fiddle, phrase by phrase. The name of this tune – Farewell … 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