Improver Course - Sample Lesson

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Technique & Tips

Note: The Improver course is split into 3 levels so that you can track your progress; Improver 1, Improver 2, Improver 3. This Free Lesson is from Improver 3, the most advanced of the 3 levels. As the course progresses, the lessons get more difficult. This is what you'll be able to play by the end of the Improver course.


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


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.


Ornamentation we learn in this tune:

GbA cut

G long roll

E’ long roll

B’ A’ grace notes


If you haven’t yet, take the lesson - ‘An Introduction to Ornamentation’.


To practice the ornamentation in this tune, take the lessons on cuts, long rolls and grace notes and remember the Christmas Tree —> Get the black notes first !


After you’ve taken the video lesson, play along with the audio track as many times as you can.

Slow down to suit. Please don’t try to play faster than is comfortable for you.


Make use of the features on the video. The Loop feature enables you to practice one section of

the video over and over again. You can slow down or speed up the lesson too.

Story Behind the Tune

This is one of many tunes composed by Vincent Broderick. Vincent came from Bullaun, outside Loughrea in Co Galway. He lived in Dublin and played the flute. I got to interview him about his composing in 2008 as part of a university project. ‘There’s a story to every tune, you know?’, he used to say. He named this popular reel for all crows nests that are built in the treetops, for all the crows that congregated around and all the noise they made. My dad recorded it on his solo album Ar Aon Bhuille (1994) and it is the first tune on my solo album, ‘Caitlín’ (2012).


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