Starter Course - Sample Lesson

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Technique & Tips

Note: The Starter Course is split into 3 levels so that you can track your progress; Starter 1, Starter 2, Starter 3. This Free Lesson is from Starter 3, the most advanced of the 3 Starter levels. At the beginning of the Starter Course, we learn the basics and the scales and our first few tunes. As the course progresses, the lessons get more difficult. This is what you'll be able to play by the end of the Starter Course. 


Listen to the audio track before starting the video lesson. It’s always good to have the melody in your head before you start.


I recommend using the high D’ on the left (inside row, push) throughout this tune as it helps with your air-control (bellows) and therefore, your phrasing.


We use this tune to get comfortable with a select number of buttons. As you will see in the video lesson, in the second part of this tune, I only use the index fingers (1st fingers). This establishes these four buttons as the default buttons for these notes. This will help in the long run and we will gradually introduce other button options as we learn more tunes (eg: another high D', another C etc.)


Try to learn Irish traditional music by ear. Use the notation as a reference only. It might be more difficult at first, but it’s worth it in the long run. 


When practicing, please don’t try to play faster than is comfortable for you. A good flow, phrasing and rhythm are much more important than speed.

Story Behind the Tune

This is a popular reel which you would often hear played in sessions. It's included in ‘Ryan’s Mammoth Collection’, published in Boston in 1883, which is older than the O’Neill Collection! It’s nearly always the 1st reel I teach to a learner.


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