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Thread: easy beginner songs

  1. #1
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    Post easy beginner songs

    does anybody know of any easy songs that i can get my teeth into and improve upon??? been trying to play blues but am only 21 and havnt been through enough to really feel the blues and love celtic as i am indeed a celt
    stu 87

  2. #2
    Celtic Strummer Matt DeBlass's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: easy beginner songs

    A really easy way to start out and build some confidence is to learn some basic 2-finger chords and learn to strum some accompaniment. A lot of pub songs can be played with either D, G and A or G, C and D. Do a search on the Cafe here for "two-finger chords." Easy ones to start our with are stuff like "Mursheen Durkin," "Hills of Connemara" or "I'll Tell My Ma" for example.

    There's also a good selection of tablature here. I think the first tune I learned/ figured out on the mandolin was "Road to Lisdoonvarna," because I knew it on other instruments.

    I work semi-professionally as a pub singer, feel free to private message me or whatnot if I can help with a few more suggestions (bear in mind, I've been doing Irish music for years, but I'm pretty new to the mandolin).
    If I call my guitar my "axe," does that mean my mandolin is my hatchet?

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  3. #3
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: easy beginner songs

    Check out and then scroll down and click on the link for "irish/celtic" - there's a bunch of lessons geared at folks who are new to playing mandolin and new to playing irish/celtic tunes on the mandolin - all free, plus there are sound files to go with each lesson so you can hear the tunes at a slow pace for learning, and then at a more up to speed pace. There's also information about technique and how to play ornaments etc.


  4. #4

    Default Re: easy beginner songs

    Get the last issue od Acoustic Guitar, great begiiner stuff and stories

  5. #5

    Default Re: easy beginner songs

    celt - schmelt ... check out:

    ... simple songs - on a weekly basis - which will stand you in good stead in any tradition.

  6. #6

    Default Re: easy beginner songs

    Hey STU87, I think I am about where you are as far as my mandoskillevel. Kingston trio "the man who never returned", and several others that are 3 or 4 chord songs are a nice place to start. I didn't enjoy MelBay guitar books when I was growing up cause they made me play scale exercises but now I realize you gotta do that too. But to keep your interest you need a song or to that is recognizable. "London Calling" by the clash is basically Am F C G not quite in that order all the time. I love playing blues guitar but I have to learn a bunch to get to where it comes freely on this thing. Like a previous post said grab the two finger chord stuff and get inventive.

    This is song total junk but after owning a mandolin for about 3 weeks I was proud as punch with it. Now that it's been about 3 months I can do it without most of the timing flaws and a few more trills and cleaner chords. I am as happy as I can be and I am getting better. My guitar playing has been at a standstill for about 10 years and it's not cause I can't get better it's just cause I'm bored. This lil thing is so new and exciting it just never gets old. It's almost like I am sane but different.
    Last edited by thesubliminalman; Sep-10-2009 at 7:50pm.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: easy beginner songs

    Quote Originally Posted by stu87 View Post
    does anybody know of any easy songs that i can get my teeth into and improve upon??? been trying to play blues but am only 21 and havnt been through enough to really feel the blues and love celtic as i am indeed a celt
    stu 87
    Another good one that hasn't got a mention yet is "star of the county down" Some simpler jigs that I found helpful in dealing with steadily more complex arrangments are Old John's and the slip jig Drops of Brandy (watch how you pick this one; I learned the hard way that there is a right way and a wrong way to pick Slips...I had it sounding like it was running out the door and down the road and not sort of "bouncing" for lack of a better word!) Also, Polkas are often easy to learn and can help with your technique.
    Cheers, Slainte, agus Go raibh maith agat!

  8. #8
    Registered User brennan's Avatar
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    Jan 2011

    Default Re: easy beginner songs

    i just started playing the mandolin my self and come across songs i can play in my first month of playing althogh if you play the guitar then you bound to pick these chords up quite easy there easy 2 finger chord songs and genraly nice tunes based around G D C E A chords the songs are

    half the world away. R E M
    winter winds .mumford and sons
    you are the everything.R E M
    Boccherini.master and commander (film)
    Last edited by brennan; Jan-12-2011 at 8:09pm.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: easy beginner songs

    Since I'm still close to the "rank beginner" stage, I can remember the songs that I learned first. I've found these the easiest Celtic tunes to play right out of the gate:

    Road to Lisdoonvarna
    Lilting Banchee
    Saddle the Pony

    Once I got better, I got that pinky working up the E string with

    Kesh Jig
    Wind that Shakes the Barley
    St. Anne's Reel

    All of these tunes can be found at The Session, as Jill mentions.

    Once you go Celtic, you sometimes go back ~ and forth.
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  10. #10
    Must. Keep. Practicing. Ben Cooper's Avatar
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    Default Re: easy beginner songs

    Ok, i have the tab for picking Hills of Connemara, but what are the "simple" chords?
    Benjamin C
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