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Thread: John Doyle - Irish Rhythm Guitar: Accompanying Celtic Tunes

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    Default John Doyle - Irish Rhythm Guitar: Accompanying Celtic Tunes

    I know this isn't mandolin, but does anyone have experience of this instruction.

    As a guitarist I thought I'd make accompaniments to Irish tunes when I learn them on mandolin but have no experience with the approach taken in this genre.

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    Default Re: John Doyle - Irish Rhythm Guitar: Accompanying Celtic Tunes

    I took a class from him on a lark. It was interesting but he can't really explain everything he does. If you can grasp it from watching and listening, then record everything he does so you can go back to it. I did get some good take aways from the class and learned how to hear other guitarists. I don't like his picks .73 green dunlaps and I did not agree with all of his stuff, but then...

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    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Doyle - Irish Rhythm Guitar: Accompanying Celtic Tunes

    Celtic Back Up for all instrumentalists by Chris Smith is the clearest and best presented I have found.
    https://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Backup-Instrumentalists-Chris-Smith/dp/0786688742
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

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    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Doyle - Irish Rhythm Guitar: Accompanying Celtic Tunes

    We have a CD version of this ... and my husband-the-guitar-player has taken a class with John Doyle; he's also taken from a half-dozen other ITM guitarists including Pat Egan, Jimmy Coen and Paul deGras. From what I gather, the best way to learn guitar backing for ITM is to listen to everybody and choose what works best for you, your session and your abilities. I know a lot of people like to absolutely mimic their favorite musician, but ITM seems to be a genre where that doesn't work as well as you'd think, since so much of it is decided on the fly and a lot of backers will do a piece one way the first time, another way on the repeat, change it up for the B part and then change it again.
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    Default Re: John Doyle - Irish Rhythm Guitar: Accompanying Celtic Tunes

    Keith Murphy as well as David Surette both have very strong backup styles for Irish music. I think the most important thing is to get out and play. There’s a learning curve, but the only way to move forward is to participate in a lot of sessions.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Doyle - Irish Rhythm Guitar: Accompanying Celtic Tunes

    I have that instructional DVD and I've taken one workshop with John. The DVD isn't a full tutorial, it's one of those "this is what I do" videos. The main value is to help a guitar player decide if they want to go down the path of Drop-D tuning for backing this music, because John Doyle is one of the masters of that approach.

    There is some general info about rhythms, but really it's a Drop-D tutorial. If you plan on staying with standard EADGBE tuning it might also have some value. It's probably not very useful if you plan on using DADGAD tuning. That's a whole different world.

    For what it's worth, I found the DVD very helpful because I had already decided to go with Drop-D on guitar for backing Irish and Scottish trad. It also works well for guitar backing in OldTime jams, although it confuses the heck out of other guitar players trying to follow your chords! Drop-D lets me leverage everything else I know about guitar, and only requires a few changed chord shapes.

    I'd recommend trying it, since it's easy enough to just drop your bottom string and pull it back up for other styles, like Bluegrass or Blues. I use Drop-D so often now, that I use a heavier gauge bottom E string to support the tuning.

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    Default Re: John Doyle - Irish Rhythm Guitar: Accompanying Celtic Tunes

    I too found the DVD helpful although I seldom play guitar in sessions. It is a drop D tutorial. The interesting thing about that tuning is that you are using similar shapes for several of the chords. He does cover some rhythms, but it is very much a this is what I do tutorial, and following the different riffs and runs he puts in the tunes can be difficult.

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    Default Re: John Doyle - Irish Rhythm Guitar: Accompanying Celtic Tunes

    Quote Originally Posted by Beanzy View Post
    Celtic Back Up for all instrumentalists by Chris Smith is the clearest and best presented I have found.
    https://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Backup-Instrumentalists-Chris-Smith/dp/0786688742
    Thanks for the recommendation, I'll probably end up getting both instructionals

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    Registered User Paul Cowham's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Doyle - Irish Rhythm Guitar: Accompanying Celtic Tunes

    Another great resource for Irish trad backing on the guitar is Frank Kilkelly's website which also includes information about key players, I don't have his books but there is plenty of info about them on his great website
    https://irishtradguitar.com/
    Last edited by Paul Cowham; Oct-13-2018 at 8:12am.

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