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

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

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

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