Slow & Steady Session class at the Lake School of Celtic Music,
Song and Dance 2024
McDonnell’s House Party at Dukes Commercial Hotel at the 2024 Lake School, Koroit Victoria (Photos by Greg Leibel)Scrolling down the page you will find that we have included: 1) A free, no strings attached, download of our Lake School Slow Session Booklet that we put together that contains the music and chords to 61 common session tunes along with recordings of us playing the tunes at slow and intermediate tempos and 2 ) Online Slow sessions that allow you to play along with us at some of our previously recorded Melbourne Slow & Steady Pub sessions. They include examples of both our beginner and intermediate sessions and 3) Photographs of our Melbourne sessions over the last 20+ years. We hope that Irish/Celtic traditional players in Australia and around the world find the information, music and recordings on our website useful.
Download Free Copy of the Lake School
Slow & Steady Session Tune Booklet
McDonnell’s Slow & Steady Session at Clifton Hill Hotel 2012
Many beginner Irish traditional players would like to participate in slow & steady sessions but there are none available close to where they live. In an effort to fill this gap we have made available recordings of some of our previous slow and steady sessions so musicians can play along. We have provided heaps of resources on our website to help you learn the tunes. If you have always wanted to join an Irish session please check out our sessions by clicking on On-Line Slow & Steady Sessions.
Practice and play a musical instrument on your tablet and smart phone.
Just when you thought that the new smart phones and tablets had reached their pinnacle of usefulness along comes some pretty impressive applications that allow you to play many Celtic musical instruments including bagpipes, accordions, guitars, drums, flutes, whistles and even concertinas on our portable electronic devices. I suggest that you look at Michael Eskin’s website on Traditional Music Instrument Apps which demonstrates the current state of the art in smart phone and tablet musical instruments. They are only going to get better in the future. The current apps are very limited and are typically a far cry from the real instruments we love playing, but in a strange way they feel familiar in the hand and to the ear. Because they are really inexpensive (the app not the tablet or phone) compared to the real thing, they allow players to try different instruments or carry a practice one to the park, school or work in order to play tunes any time you feel the urge, especially when you wear headphones. I suspect we will see more smart phone and tablet bands as well as more events using these instruments at folk festivals in the future. Maybe it will stimulate our kids to play musical instruments and not just games. If you want to impress your family, friends or fellow commuters, I highly recommend mastering a few tunes on your smart phone or tablet instrument and share the fun.
Tony O’Rourke, an excellent Melbourne banjo player, has published a book entitled ‘My Ireland Vol.1’ that includes a collection of 101 Irish tunes with sheet music and guitar chords. Tony sent me this note which I would like to share with you: ‘The title of the book is “My Ireland Vol.1”. It contains 101 Irish tunes and comes with a CD in MP3 format of each tune played through twice at a moderate tempo. I recorded each tune on my new Clareen Banjo and there is overdubbed guitar accompaniment. The playing of the tunes adheres strictly to the sheet music as I wanted this to be a reference book rather than a concert, and the sheet music contains guitar chords. The books are for sale for $20 + $5 postage. To get more information or purchase the book send an email by clicking on Tony O’Rourke Click here to download example of sheet music Christmas Eve & Coalminer’s Reel MP3 of Coalminer’s Reel
TONY O’Rourke also has his own YOUTUBE CHANNEL – Check it out (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8ez6KACwv0dLJSwNK1W6TQ)
He has uploaded a number of really good videos of him playing some lovely Irish tunes on the banjo and guitar. Great for musicians interested in learning new tunes.