Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Sacramento Traditional Irish Learning Session

  1. #1

    Default Sacramento Traditional Irish Learning Session

    We've got a traditional Irish/Celtic learning session going on once a month in Sacramento, CA.

    Anyone of any level is welcome, but we ARE a learning session/slow session, so advanced players, please be patient. We are also getting familiar with the re-emerging sessions in the area, and our goal is to be a "bridge" session to the other local sessions, and learn various of the area session tunes and expectations and prepare people to participate in positive ways.

    We'd also like to coordinate with those sessions as well, so players in those sessions can recommend us to help support new players at their sessions. It's been slow-going (, with COVID and all the surges that set us back once we get going, but we are forging ahead and accumulating a core group and tune list.

    I kept the tune list fairly short, currently, to allow participants/learners the opportunity to suggest and lead tunes. I want new tunes to be driven by participants as much as possible, so the session serves learners needs.

    Thanks all for the resource! Mandolin Cafe rocks!

  2. The following members say thank you to PhillipeTaylor for this post:

  3. #2
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Octave Mandolin

    Default Re: Sacramento Traditional Irish Learning Session

    Good job, well done!
    I’d add that there is a number of different right hand and left hand patterns that often occur when playing.
    Tunes will appear difficult when they have many unfamiliar movements. So there are certain tunes that are sort of gateway tunes to many more- though they may be tunes that require more work than other simpler or repetitive ones.
    I found choosing tunes at the beginning was not easy!
    Good luck.

  4. The following members say thank you to Simon DS for this post:

  5. #3

    Default Re: Sacramento Traditional Irish Learning Session

    Thank you! This is great information, and I'd love to hear your knowledge of such "gateway" tunes. The way I've been running it is to let participants guide our direction and facilitate that direction for people. I would love to bring knowledge of these tunes to the group and discuss how to bring these into our repertoire.

    Thank you for your encouragement!


  6. #4
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Sacramento Traditional Irish Learning Session

    Back in the 1990's here in St. Paul Minnesota, we started just like you. A 'learning group'. Later when we were too large a group to meet in someone's house, and after moving from a few cafe locations, we went to O'Gara's Pub and learned that we were called a 'slow sessiun' by the experts. The players kindly taught us tunes before their sessiun began.

    From that experience, over the years I became a researcher of Irish tunes and compiled a book of tunes called the St. Paul Slow Session Traditional Irish tune book or the O'Gara's Slow Sessiun tune book. (by Doug Cole). There are others far more experienced and expert but my point is that we developed in a similar way as others and most of the common tunes are in everyone's list.

    Some others have done the same thing. Michael D. Long published the King Street Sessiun Book. Phil Rubenzer published the Midwestern Irish Session Tunes book.

    The internet has tons of stuff nowadays. The best resource IMHO is and many people love

    And youtube is another world of information. Shannon and Matt Heaton do a 'live' slow sessiun' (flute and guitar with guest fiddlers and box players), every Saturday.

    Here's a list from a guy named Dow. (And sorry for so much info at once, it's my favorite topic).

    Dow’s 50 (Actually 60) Essential Tunes
    1 − Banshee, The ( Tunebook Rank: 7)
    2 − Bird In The Bush, The ( Tunebook Rank: 177)
    3 − Bucks Of Oranmore, The ( Tunebook Rank: 28)
    4 − Concertina, The ( Tunebook Rank: 94)
    5 − Congress, The ( Tunebook Rank: 35)
    6 − Cooley’s ( Tunebook Rank: 4)
    7 − Cup Of Tea, The ( Tunebook Rank: 36)
    8 − Drowsy Maggie ( Tunebook Rank: 1)
    9 − Farewell To Erin ( Tunebook Rank: 52)
    10 − Father Kelly’s ( Tunebook Rank: 221)
    11 − Foxhunter, The ( Tunebook Rank: 55)
    12 − Gravel Walk, The ( Tunebook Rank: 13)
    13 − High, The ( Tunebook Rank: 103)
    14 − Humours Of Tulla, The ( Tunebook Rank: 136)
    15 − Maid Behind The Bar, The ( Tunebook Rank: 9)
    16 − Man Of The House, The ( Tunebook Rank: 77)
    17 − Merry Blacksmith, The ( Tunebook Rank: 32)
    18 − Miss McLeod’s ( Tunebook Rank: 38)
    19 − Mountain Road, The ( Tunebook Rank: 25)
    20 − Pigeon On The Gate, The ( Tunebook Rank: 39)
    21 − Rolling In The Ryegrass ( Tunebook Rank: 71)
    22 − Saint Anne’s ( Tunebook Rank: 22)
    23 − Sally Gardens, The ( Tunebook Rank: 21)
    24 − Silver Spear, The ( Tunebook Rank: 6)
    25 − Star Of Munster, The ( Tunebook Rank: 24)
    26 − Wise Maid, The ( Tunebook Rank: 42)
    27 − Banish Misfortune ( Tunebook Rank: 8)
    28 − Blackthorn Stick, The ( Tunebook Rank: 56)
    29 − Blarney Pilgrim, The ( Tunebook Rank: 20)
    30 − Cliffs Of Moher, The ( Tunebook Rank: 33)
    31 − Connaughtman’s Rambles, The ( Tunebook Rank: 11)
    32 − Donnybrook Fair ( Tunebook Rank: 84)
    33 − Irish Washerwoman, The ( Tunebook Rank: 40)
    34 − Kesh, The ( Tunebook Rank: 2)
    35 − Lanigan’s Ball ( Tunebook Rank: 264)
    36 − Lark In The Morning, The ( Tunebook Rank: 30)
    37 − Lilting Banshee, The ( Tunebook Rank: 43)
    38 − Morrison’s ( Tunebook Rank: 5)
    39 − My Darling Asleep ( Tunebook Rank: 47)
    40 − Out On The Ocean ( Tunebook Rank: 19)
    41 − Pipe On The Hob, The ( Tunebook Rank: 162)
    42 − Rakes Of Kildare, The ( Tunebook Rank: 130)
    43 − Tripping Up The Stairs ( Tunebook Rank: 48)
    44 − Boys Of Blue Hill, The ( Tunebook Rank: 27)
    45 − Harvest Home, The ( Tunebook Rank: 18)
    46 − King Of The Faeries ( Tunebook Rank: 23)
    47 − Off To California ( Tunebook Rank: 37)
    48 − Rights Of Man, The ( Tunebook Rank: 12)
    Slip Jig
    49 − An Phis Fhliuch ( Tunebook Rank: 166)
    50 − Drops Of Brandy, The ( Tunebook Rank: 123)
    51 − Fox Hunter’s, The ( Tunebook Rank: 91)
    52 − Kid On The Mountain, The ( Tunebook Rank: 17)
    53 − Butterfly, The ( Tunebook Rank: 3)
    54 − Rocky Road To Dublin, The ( Tunebook Rank: 64)
    55 − Merrily Kissed The Quaker ( Tunebook Rank: 46)
    56 − Road To Lisdoonvarna, The ( Tunebook Rank: 49)
    57 − Dennis Murphy’s ( Tunebook Rank: 116)
    58 − Egan’s ( Tunebook Rank: 89)
    59 − Ryan’s ( Tunebook Rank: 50)
    60 − Rakes Of Mallow, The ( Tunebook Rank: 167)
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  7. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to DougC For This Useful Post:

  8. #5

    Default Re: Sacramento Traditional Irish Learning Session

    Wow, Doug! This is so awesome! Thank you so much!

    Unfortunately, I haven't found the tune book you cite. I would love to buy one as a reference for our group.

    I hope to grow even a portion of the size and expertise you've developed there!

    This list is phenomenal, and I'm going to link this page to our site. Thank you, again so much!

    We are currently focusing on 8 tunes as a group, and have more tunes in our file, but are trying to grow at a pace that allow us to develop expertise. We will be creating some sets soon (crossing fingers), and now have a new location in a local music store (yay!). So, the growth is happening, and thank you again for your encouragement!

    Last edited by PhillipeTaylor; Apr-29-2022 at 2:47pm.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts