Rakes of Kildare

This jaunty tune,


was one of the first jigs that I learned to flatpick on my guitar. Even though the key signature is one sharp – the key of G/Em, the tune is actually in Am, so it must be a modal tune of sorts. Either way, it’s a fun tune to work on.

Here is the guitar TAB and notation – Rakes of Kildare – Gtr TAB

If you will notice, there are two pages to this tune, because the B part is played straight through.

I love how this group of musicians plays this set, AND I love the tenor banjo!!

So, yep, get out your guitar at the end of the day, and try this peppy jig! Your feet will tap and it’ll make you feel a little more cheerful.


Drum Roll, Fifes, March!

Today’s tune makes me think of a parade in the early days of our country, where freedom was appreciated and celebrated. Can you picture small children waving flags, proud men carrying muskets on their shoulders, smiling women dabbing tears from their eyes? Can you picture those who fought for our freedoms, those who stayed on the home front to keep things going, those who bravely patched up the wounded and held the hands of the dying? Liberty for our country, and any country, comes at great cost and sacrifice.


Now, I realize that I should have probably waited until the 4th of July to post this one, but it was on my mind today, so here it it!:) However, now you have time to learn it beforehand, and then you can play it well and with gusto by the 4th. Ta Dah!

This version is very straightforward, which is how most play it. Flatpickers, of course, and super mandolin players, will embellish it quite a bit. It’s just such a happy tune it its simple form.:)

Here is the guitar TAB – Liberty – Gtr TAB

And, I found several YouTube videos with the tune, but I chose this one because it’s a small group sitting in a back room somewhere, and just seemed so cozy and informal, like a lot of our camp out jams are.

This lays so well on the guitar, that I don’t think it will take you long to learn it. So……grab your guitar and plectrum (a fancy name for your pick!), and be thankful for the liberty, the freedoms that we enjoy here in the United States.


The Grand Picnic

I really like this tune, and it was brought to my attention a couple of years ago. It lays really well on the guitar, so of course, I wanted to learn it! The title makes me think of an era of long skirts and frilly hats, fried chicken and iced tea, children playing with hoops, picnics down by the river……

Here is the guitar TAB and notation – Grand Picnic, The – Gtr TAB

In the video here, they play the tune super fast! If you check the dark blue banner across the top, you can go to the collected tunes page that has some slower play along versions. 🙂

Why don’t you get out your guitar and give it a spin?!


Home With the Girls in the Morning

Well, I’m home with my girls this morning! The tune for today is


My research found that this modal tune may have originated in the Appalachian mountains. Although it is in Dm, there is not a Bb that would normally be in the key of Dm – the B is a natural. This makes it a modal tune. I really enjoy this tune, and like it on any instrument. Although it sounds wonderful played super fast, if played a little bit more slowly than mega speed, it has a certain groove that can be somewhat mesmerizing. Oh, don’t forget to notice that the 12th measure of the B part has an F# instead of an F natural. The chord changes as well to a D instead of a Dm. This is not a typo! It truly goes that way, and I think adds to its charm. I did find some who did not use the F#, but the F natural, but I think that the musical dissonance created by the wonky note truly makes this tune memorable.

Here is the PDF with guitar TAB and notation – Home with the Girls in the Morning – Gtr TAB

I found this cool fiddle player, Jane Rothfield, who plays it like the old time players would play it. Awesome! Also, there is now a practice video available – just go to the Fiddle Tunes tab at the top of my home page. There you will find all of my blog tunes on one page, and practice videos, at a moderate tempo, for some of the tunes. 🙂

As usual, grab your guitar and work on a new tune! It will surely chase away your cares for awhile!


Bawk, bawk, bawk,baaaaawk

This whimsical tune is simple and fun to play. It’s called


I’ve never been around when chickens have been slaughtered and plucked, but I can imagine the uproar in the henhouse! Most of them probably happily pecked away their day foraging for food without a worry or a care. “Who would ever eat a chicken?!” (from the movie Home on the Range) Regardless, this old time tune is entertaining to listen to and to play. In the B part, when a fiddler plays it, the 1st and 4th measure are played differently. The fiddler actually plucks the strings instead of bowing the notes. This is called pizzicato. I didn’t notate it that way for guitars because altho’ we have the open E string for the 3 E notes, we have to fret that A note. And, for those who love research, I found an informative website about chicken sounds. LOL http://flipflopranch.com/chicken-talk/

So, here’s the PDF with guitar notation – Old Ladies Pickin’ Chickens

This video is a delight to listen to. See if you can hear the “plucked” strings!

So…..as the sun is shining here today, let your music reflect the cheer, and get out your guitar and try this. You’ll be glad that you did!


Twin – niwT

Today’s tune is


In researching this fun little tune, I discovered that there are some vastly different interpretations out there!  The Fiddler’s Companion says that there are five known versions. This is the one we play at our local jam, as well as the one that I know, so that’s why I chose it. LOL

Here is the PDF with free guitar TAB and notation – Twin Sisters – Gtr TAB

Amazingly, this band from England, The Hollow Mountain String Band, plays it like we do! It’s hard to imagine that the tune has survived traveling across the ocean….or maybe it traveled to here from there?

There is also a practice video available for Twin Sisters done at a moderate tempo several times through! Just go to the top of the page, and check out the Fiddle Tunes tab. There you will find a complete list of tunes featured on my blog, with PDF’s and some practice videos. 🙂

It’s been a rainy weekend here in the Midwest, but music brightens the heart, so get out your guitar and try out this happy tune!


Get Out Your Canoe!

Today’s tune is


It is a very common guitar tune, and if you learn this, it will be another one of those tunes that will serve you well in many a jam session! I researched the tune and found this information at Mandolin Café:

This is the entry from Fiddler’s Companion http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/index.html:

“OVER THE WATERFALL. AKA and see “The Fellow/Feller That Looks Like Me,” “Punkin Head.” Old‑Time, Breakdown. USA, Virginia. D Major. Standard tuning. AB (Silberberg): AABB (most versions). Originally from fiddler Henry Reed of Glen Lyn, Virginia, it was learned from directly from Reed and popularized in modern times by folklorist and fiddler Alan Jabbour. Reed himself may have learned it from hearing it emanating from a steam-driven calliope. “Over the Waterfall” is a melody that is fairly wide-spead throughout the British Isles and North America, explains Jabbour, and was used both for a well-known British-American song sometimes called “Eggs and Marrowbones” (AKA “Old Woman from Wexford,” “Old Woman in Dover,” “Wily Auld Carle” etc.) and as an instrumental tune. Comparison with “The Dark Girl Dressed in Blue [2]” in O’Neill’s Music of Ireland (1903) reveals a striking similarity between the two, and it is possible “Over the Waterfall” was adapted from an Irish source. Others have suggested that it may originally have been a composed piece from the turn of the century that was spread by travelling‑circus and riverboat musicians.”

Over the Waterfall – Gtr TAB   Here is the PDF with guitar TAB and notation.

The video here was taken at Camp Bluegrass in Texas, and the guitar player on the right, Richard, is one of two guitarist who gave me my start in flatpicking! Thank you, Richard!

Check out the menu at the top of this page, Fiddle Tunes, where you will find a practice video done at a moderate tempo played several times through.

Here in the Midwest, it’s a sunny day after a few days of wet weather, so it’s perfect for getting out my guitar. Why don’t you do the same? Have fun riding over the waterfall – whee!

Another reminder of my new page where I have put all of the PDF’s and practice video links all in one spot. Check out the dark blue menu banner across the top on this page!


Red-Haired Boy

RED-HAIRED BOY is the tune of the day! It is one of those tunes that is played almost anywhere that people jam. So, if you learn this, along with a tune like St. Anne’s Reel, you’ll have at least a couple tunes to play in a jam session! 🙂

This simple version for guitar is similar to the one that we play locally, so that’s what I chose to use.

Red-Haired Boy – Gtr TAB

This YouTube video is great fun to watch, and features the mandolin, banjo, and flatpick guitar. It’s done pretty quickly, but, hey, reach for the stars!

One side note – most mandolin and fiddle players play this is the key of A. Most guitar players pick this in the key of G, and use a capo on 2 to play with those playing in A. For me, I think it’s easier to play it outright in the key of A to begin with, so that’s what key it’s notated in. However, if you wish to learn it in G, please email me, and I will send you a copy of it in the key of G! flatpickingirishgal@gmail.com

There is now a practice video available! Go to the Fiddle Tunes tab at the top of this page, and you will find a video done at a moderate tempo several times through. 🙂

Hope it inspires you to get out your guitar and play a spell!


March, March, March

Today’s tune, Constitution March, is a fun tune that I notated in the key of C. I have found it more commonly done in D. One interesting tidbit I discovered is that it is also almost identical to  a tune named Clare’s Dragoon. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

“dragoon, in late 16th-century Europe, a mounted soldier who fought as a light cavalryman on attack and as a dismounted infantryman on defense. The terms derived from his weapon, a species of carbine or short musket called the dragoon. Dragoons were organized not in squadrons but in companies, and their officers and noncommissioned officers bore infantry titles. From the early wars of Frederick II the Great of Prussia in the 18th century, dragoon has referred to medium cavalry. The light cavalry of the British army in the 18th and early 19th centuries was for the most part called light dragoon. In the 20th century, dragoon regiments were converted to armoured formations; the French army also reorganized some dragoon regiments as motorized infantry (dragons portés).”

So, both titles refer to soldiers and marching! Either way, here is the PDF with guitar TAB and notation.

Constitution March – Gtr TAB

Here is a video of the tune for practice.

Be sure to pick your guitar and try this one out. The key of C should be a nice change of pace from the standard D and G tunes!


Sligo Maid

The tune for today is called Sligo Maid. It’s an Irish reel, and I first heard it played on a harp! It was so cool that I knew right away that I wanted to learn it!

Sligo Maid – Gtr TAB

You will notice on the tab that I took some of the B part up the neck to the fifth through eighth frets and then slid back down. It was easier for me than trying to reach clear up to the seventh fret to hit that B note!

Check out my page (dark blue menu across the top – fiddle tune…) with the PDF’s all in one place, as well as some practice videos for some of the tunes!

Summer is approaching, and now is a good time to set the busy schedule aside, grab your guitar, and learn a new tune!