I am NOT looking for an instructional. I need a package that allow me to practice -
1. The bowing technique for each type of Irish tune (Double Jig, Hornpipe, Reel, Polka, Slide).
2. Ornamentation used in Irish tunes (grace note, cut, slide. both types of roll).
3. Common slur patterns.
I will use the daily exercise to develop and maintain my playing ability, The package would be a "warm up" before I started practicing/playing Irish tunes.
Package would contain notation and recordings. Hopefully someone teaching/playing Irish music may have already created an exercise package like this. I have seen lots of instructional material, but no exercises for this fiddling style. I have owned most Irish Fiiddle instructionals and Peter Cooper's "The Complete Irish Fiddler" worked best for me. I would think that other fiddlers playing Irish music would also be interested in an exercises package.
Edited by - Dick Hauser on 05/23/2022 10:33:14
A person could probably find something like this, but it wouldn't be reflective of Irish fiddling tradition since it is a tradition that has done pretty well at keeping homogenization at bay... Why not pick out an Irish fiddler that you like and study them. Frankie Gavin has a lot of good workshops on youtube, but what makes him great is his unique approach... hardly anything generic. Martin Hayes does tune workshops online and it is nothing like Gavin. Then there's Donegal fiddling... another animal. Kevin Burke is a much imitated fiddler... another approach altogether
Dick, go onto the site sessions.org and ask that question..they are dedicated to Irish music
Fiddlernerd - based on my experiences, I have decided that playing ability and teaching ability are different skills. And that applies to things other than music. Some of the best coaches in sports were average or mediocre players. I listen to and play Irish music. I learn new tunes by first memorizing the melody, then work on learning the tune and play along with a bodhran. In my case, playing along with bodhran rhythm helps me better capture the "feel" and tempo for each different type of Irish tune.
Dick, you are an experienced fiddler.. Can you make your own exercise package?
Tuneweaver - I often do this. But I feel that a person with a lot of experience could do a much better job. They could do a better job of identifying common playing mistakes, and create exercises which would help me avoid having to relearn anything. Having the music notation and recording of things played at a moderate speed comes in handy.
Generally speaking, notation for Irish fiddle tunes is not complex. The hard is part is doing all the things that aren't included in the notation. Each type of tune requires specific bowing dynamics. Lots of ornamentation as well. Playing Irish tunes has me using more ornamentation when I play standard North American tunes. I think it helps my bowing dynamics as well.
The idea of a structured set of warmups in interesting. My warmups are anything but structured! Did your copy of Cooper come with a CD or a link to download mp3's? Both Cooper and Cranitch include recordings that demonstrate ornamentation so you might be able compile those into a practice audio. As far as bowing technique and slur patterns -- I tend to warm up playing a few simple tunes I know pretty well, covering jigs reels and hornpipes and their respective bowing/slurring techniques. Again you could compile some of these from Cooper. Just some suggestions in case you don't find what you are looking for 'pre-packaged'.
Also I do agree with what you said about playing vs teaching ability..
I took a design class with a world-renowned designer...expecting it to be a game-changer... but he was not a hands-on helpful teacher. Many of the "superstar" musicians are intuitive people...if you try to pin them down with rules, patterns, they will talk about doing "what feels good/sounds good/never playing it same way twice" etc which is true, yet also unhelpful!
I have Cooper's book, it is good for demystifying the mechanics of the "lilt" ...
I agree session.org has more Irish trad musicians, so maybe better answers there ... :-)
I'm with JonD, I usually warm up by just playing some easy tunes slowly.
My copy of Cooper's book contained a CD. Mel Bay's audio download started after I bought my book.
I have Gordon Stobbe's "Red Book/CD". I has 150 exercises. It includes exercises for different types of tunes. When practicing, I first do wrist exercises, then longbowing, Devil's Dream" at different speeds, then play Stobbe's exercises for one of my commonly played keys. I have a CD with Bodhran rhythm tracks for each type of tune. After Stobbe's exercises I play Irish tunes with the CD providing rhythm and dynamics. In my case, that DVD was very beneficial for helping me develop the proper dynamics for each type of Irish tune. I also use the DVD for every double jig, reel, hornpipe, or polka I am learning. It makes playing the music for fun. I become more enthused about what I am playing.
I bought the bodhran rhythm CD on CDBaby weebsite.
I aslo especially like playing Canadian fiddle tunes. Tunes like "Montreal Reel", "Mouth of the Tobique" etc.. But the chances of hearing those tunes at local jams are about as good as having Itzahk Perlman asking me for violin lessons.
I've got some tunes like that...learned from Spotify tracks i.e. Lunasa, etc...nobody gonna ever play 'em with me, I know! But I play along with Spotify and pretend I'm in Lunasa, ha ha ha ha (that's like the Itzahk Perlman asking for violin lessons thing)
A Bodhran rhythm track sounds really fun!!
Lately I've been playing along with Matt/Shannon Heaton's lovely tune collection, you get a PDF and a collection of audio files (pan left for guitar only, pan right for flute only, middle is for guitar+flute). The tempo is quite slow (not up to session tempo) but still, it's really nice for learning tunes and playing along:
I have never come across a disciplined "warm up" package like you were asking for, but you sound like a very accomplished player, maybe you can create one...:-).
I'm lucky enough to have long-established local Irish sessions with well regarded core players. I've been recording them and practicing with the videos to learn their settings of tunes until I can join with them. I really can't come up with any way to learn faster or better. I've got Cranitch's book and CD, and that's got plenty of instruction as to bowing and ornamentation. The rest I'll probably get from observation and playing.
I'll add this: Irish music is as varied and regional as old time music. What your are asking for likely doesn't exist because the music really embraces individuality over homogeneity. The only group playing that asks for lock step unison is a ceili (sp?) band, and even then, there's bound to be the stray articulation here and there. Feeling the music tends to be stressed over mimicking it. As one who is learning Irish flute, I can tell you there are no patterns other than taking a breath is usually done after the first note of a measure, wherever that may be. I suspect you are plenty competent to do without said "exercises."
Bill - there does seem to be commalities. Ornamentation, slur patterns, emphasizing the beat, tempo, etc.. I download Irish tunes on Youtube, and what I learned in Cooper's instructional seems to work with just about all of them.
I think Peter Cooper's book/CD works best as an introduction to Irish fiddling. Having the Bodhran rhythm CD also helped.
Dick, here's a site I use for practice. Drones AND bohdran there.
Bill - thanks for the info. I like playing with just rhythm and without melody. In my case, I remember melodies better when I do that.
'Glenn Boyd Violin' 2 days
'Golden Slippers' 3 days
'Same Tempo Same Sounds' 4 days