View Full Version : Hornpipes, Jigs, Reels....

Feb-12-2004, 12:59am
If I wanted to pick 3 of each to learn to give myself a good foundation what would they be? Something that I could sit down with people and pick and/or fit into a session. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/coffee.gif

Aidan Crossey
Feb-12-2004, 3:58am
Here are three sets of three that we play regularly in the session I attend weekly which are great crack and have great lift. The first two of the hornpipes are a bit cheesy, but everybody knows them and if you're starting out in a new session, it's always best to have a few old warhorses under your belt ...

Jigs ... My Darling asleep/Trippin' Up The Stairs/Morrison's

Hornpipes ... Harvest Home/The Boys Of Bluehill/Chief O'Neill's Favourite

Reels ... The Maid Behind The Bar/The Wind That Shakes The Barley/The Concertina Reel


Feb-12-2004, 10:43am
Jigs: Irishman's Heart to the Ladies, Stan Chapman's, The Tenpenny Bit are good common tunes that go well together

Reels: High Road to Linton & Brenda Stubbert's are good tunes that you'll hear more and more these days.

Feb-12-2004, 1:35pm
Get some good trad CDs and learn by ear the tunes that you like the best- by ear, by ear!

Feb-12-2004, 3:17pm
Jim McGann is right. Get hold of Mick Moloney's CD "Strings Attached" and play it to death til the music is in your head. Many of the tunes are in compilation books like the one you have, but listen to his stylings and ornamentations, and lilt. Theres a lot more to Celtic Music than just the notes!

Feb-12-2004, 3:34pm
Where can you find the "Strings Attached" CD?

Feb-12-2004, 4:08pm
it's "John" not Jim http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

That's a Green Linnet LP, not sure if it came out on CD or not. Mick is the gold standard for Irish mando trad, no doubt.

Bob DeVellis
Feb-12-2004, 4:29pm
"Strings Attached" has been issued on CD. It was out of print for a time but my be available again, I think I heard. Don't overlook thetunes he does on banjo! His arrahgements have the mandolin featuring more courtly tunes, like O'Carolan stuff. Very nice. But some of the more driving tunes played on banjo also work very well on mandolin.

Feb-13-2004, 11:33pm
I like:

St. Anne's, Ships Are Sailing, Maid Behind the Bar (reels)
Donnybrook Fair, Connaughtman's Rambles, Ward's Favorite (jigs)
Pleasures of Hope, Off to California (hornpipes, two is usually enough http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif )

Feb-14-2004, 1:29am
I like Aidan's list, though I'd be inclined to substitute Off to California or Rights of Man for O'Neill's, which has some rather unusual chord changes.

Nov-27-2007, 5:19pm
I have had fun with the following either playing them or following them in sessions:


O'Keefe's Slide(Slide)-Road To Lisdoonvarna(Jig)-Trip To Sligo(Jig)

Sid Chalmer's(Jig)- Mucking in Geordie's Byer(Jig)- Haste To The Wedding(Jig)

Charlie Hunter-Cape Breton-Ten Penny Bit-Calliope House

Swallowtail(Jig) - Morrison's(Jig) - Gravel Walk(Reel)- Drowsy Maggie(Reel

Father O'Flynns-Blackthorn Stick

Black Nag(Jig) - Saddle The Pony(Jig) - Connaughtman's Rambles(Jig)


Nov-27-2007, 5:42pm
it's "John" not Jim http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

That's a Green Linnet LP, not sure if it came out on CD or not. Mick is the gold standard for Irish mando trad, no doubt.
Just a note... This is available through iTunes.

Nov-28-2007, 11:56am
That's available thru iTunes now?!! I've been trying to get me hands on it for AGES! Gotta go check that out now - thanks for the tip!


Nov-29-2007, 8:40am
PickinBob - Do you have a particular session in mind? You could do worse than go along with a recording machine and get some of the repertoire down on tape/disc/mp3, so you can learn them at home (N.B. It would be courteous to ask permission from the musicians before pressing the record button, but your courtesy will probably be rewarded). By all means, learn tunes from commercial recordings, but be aware that a lot of recording artists play uncommon tunes or non-standard versions of common tunes, so there's a good chance you'll find yourself playing them alone. Also, session repertoires can vary enormously from place to place or according to the tastes of the individuals that make up the session - some sessions stick exclusively to Irish (or Scottish, English, Old Time etc.)tunes, whilst others pick and mix from several traditions.

by ear, by ear!

I second John McGann on that. It is invaluable to develop your ear at an early stage. Sheet music can be useful for filling in the gaps, once you have picked up the 'skeleton' of the tune by ear. But, very often, in the versions found in tunebooks, the small details differ from how they are played in sessions anyway. If you get the chance, ask one of the musicians from your local session to record a few tunes, once or twice through, at a slow speed, so that you can get all the notes (...or better still, get them to teach you phrase by phrase). However, choose your moment carefully, preferably arranging to meet sometime outside the session, as taking up valuable session time could make you unpopular.:angry:

Nov-29-2007, 8:41am

This emoticon doesn't seem to be working.:angry:

Nov-29-2007, 8:41am
Oh, I see. I was meant to leave a space before it. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

Narayan Kersak
Nov-29-2007, 9:13am
Here is something very useful.


Travis Wilson
Feb-02-2008, 11:55am
Mr. Crossey,

I am new to playing this style. #When I look at your suggestions, and then when I visit websites such as the BBC sessions, it appears as though these tunes are played in "threes." #

Does the sophisticated (musically, of course) audience expect jigs, reels and hornpipes to be played in a three tune set?

Bertram Henze
Feb-02-2008, 2:07pm
Does the sophisticated (musically, of course) audience expect jigs, reels and hornpipes to be played in a three tune set?
There is no strict rule, really. Fuzzy rules are:

make a set long enough to cover 3 to five minutes.

play two-part tunes three times each, three-or-more-part-tunes twice.

don't mix types, such as a hornpipe in a jig set.

who starts the set controls the sequence (which tune comes next); if you start your set with a mandolin, however, it can happen that your set gets hijacked by fiddlers who know a different sequence.

sort the tunes in a set by increasing popularity, so more and more people can join in.