In my short Irish fiddle course, you will find FREE Irish fiddle lessons, covering a range of Irish fiddle tunes, techniques and playing advice.
I hope you will enjoy the lessons in this course, and that they will help you take your fiddle further.
Free Irish fiddle Lessons online
In the first lessons in my Free Irish Fiddle Course, we will learn a couple of the different types of tunes that are common in the Irish tradition.
- Lesson 1 — We will start by learning a fairly simple polka — The Britches Full of Stitches. The melody for this tune is quite straightforward (as many polkas are), so this lesson is suitable for novice fiddlers, though you will need to have some very basic technique already. (For this course, I am assuming you can play basic notes with your left hand, and can hold and use the bow). We will learn the tune by ear, slowly, phrase by phrase.
If you are an intermediate player (or more advanced!) you will still find tips and ideas for ornamentation and chords in this lesson, though you may want to skip ahead if you can learn the tune quickly.
- Lesson 2 — We will then move on to learning a popular Irish jig — Out on the Ocean. This is a well known session tune and a great tune to know. This lesson will also introduce you to jig rhythm. Again, we will learn the tune slowly by ear.
- Lesson 3 — This lesson is for more intermediate or advanced players, to introduce them to some ideas about practicing ‘tricky’ passages, some string crossing technique and some left hand technique. If that is you, please go ahead and enjoy learning The Clare Shout; or you can come back to this lesson as you progress.
We then move on to look at some ornamentation in Lessons 4-6.
- Lesson 4 — First we will learn to play a Cut — the foundational ornament in Irish fiddle playing in my opinion, and always the first ornament I teach. I’ll show you the proper way to play this important ornament, and then show you how and where you can use it in the jig Out on the Ocean that we learned earlier.
- Lesson 5 — Having learned to cut, we will look at 2 different ways of learning to play rolls (properly, ‘long rolls’) — the ornament every fiddler gets excited about! I’ll show you how I teach people to play rolls, so that you can get a really authentic sound.
- Lesson 6 — We will then look at how and where you can play these rolls in a new tune, Paddy Fahey’s #4, which we will also learn as we go.
In the next section of the course, I will introduce you to two more types of tunes: reels and slides. These lessons will go a little quicker than the first tune tutorials, assuming that you can pick up tunes a little more easily, but I will still play the tune through slowly with a close up of the fingerboard, and you can pause and rewind until you get the tune. Once you have the tune, or if you already know the tunes, these lessons are intended as ‘playalongs’ so that you can practice along with me.
- In Lesson 7 we will learn a reel — The Banshee, a fun tune to play, often played at speed!
- In Lesson 8 we will learn Dinny Delaney’s slide.
Finally, I have some tips for practicing ornamentation (and indeed much else) — using a method I employ myself every day!
- Lesson 9 — I will show you my top tip for practicing ornamentation whilst keeping good rhythm and pulse.
I really hope you enjoy the free Irish fiddle lessons in this course. If you find the lessons valuable, please do let me know. You can head over to learntoplaythefiddle.co.uk for lots more advice, and to sign up for my Complete Irish Fiddle Course as soon as it is available.