Father Kelly’s

Today’s tune is


This tune came up in a guitar jam yesterday, and I really wanted to share it here! When I first learned the tune, I learned it from the fiddle playing on The Portland Collection’s CD, which I’ll post below. It was played sweetly, and not like a reel at all. You can imagine my surprise when it was called at a regular jam and it went lightning speed. Either way it’s interpreted, however, it’s a wonderful tune to add to your repertoire.

Here is the guitar TAB – Father Kelly’s Gtr TAB

This is not really a video, as such, but just the mp3 playing Father Kelly’s, from The Portland Collection.


Now here is a more traditional way of playing Father Kelly’s! It is the 3rd tune in the set.

As always, your guitar beckons….you can also check out my practice video on the “Fiddle Tunes…PDF….” page up at the top here, which has all of the tunes featured on this blog all on one page, as well as many practice video links.


Concertina Reel

Today’s tune is


Concertina Reel is a standard tune in the Irish repertoire. It’s amazing how many tunes I’ve learned that I can remember either who taught it to me, or where I was when I learned it. This one came from our local jam, again, and it was played by our accordion player. His wife plays the bodhran, and I always see the two of them sitting side by side playing and enjoying the music whenever this tune comes up. As an aside, the chords are easy, and the same progression for both the B part and A part. Some notation that I found uses an A for the Bm, but I personally enjoy the Bm that our group uses.:)

Here is the guitar TAB and notation – Concertina Reel – Gtr TAB

This video of Concertina Reel caught my attention because it was a session in Spain! Also, don’t forget to check out the page (tab at the top of this one) “Fiddle Tunes-Free PDF…” where you will find a list of all of the tunes featured on my blog here all on one page, as well as links to practice videos of some of the tunes. Keep checking back – I add more as I have time!

Concertina Reel is simple tune to learn on the guitar, so take the time to work on it. You’ll be glad that you did!





The Mountain Road

Today’s tune is


I first learned this tune at our local jam, and it evokes pleasant memories of how fun it was to just keep on playing the tune that never ends.:) This is a pretty straight forward tune, with the exception that the A part is only played one time through, but the B part is played the traditional twice through. The Mountain Road was written by the famous Sligo fiddler, Michael Gorman (1895 – 1970) Here is some great information on him for those who are interested.

Here is the guitar TAB and notation – Mountain Road, The – Gtr TAB

There were not many videos of this particular tune, so I chose one that seemed to play it like we play it.

If you want a tune to just make you happy for awhile, this one is it! 🙂 Don’t forget to check out my page (at the top  this page) “Fiddle Tunes…”, where you will find not only PDF’s of all of the tunes featured on this blog, but links for all of the practice videos as well, including one for The Mountain Road.:)

Treat yourself, get your guitar, and see that you CAN do it!





The Ten-Penny Bit

The tune of the day is


This nice little jig is quite catchy to listen to and to play. Although the chords are in Am, there is a G sharp in the key signature, which makes it actually like modal type of jig. I looked up what a ten-penny bit was, and it was basically a piece of money worth ten pence. The term “bit” was used to refer to low-valued coinage. Ten-penny is also used to reference nails that are 3 inches long – ouch!

In the notation and TAB, I decided to play quite a bit (haha) of the B part up the neck because of the reaches, especially in the second measure of the B part where you jump from a high B to the G. And, as always, I feel like it is an easy way to slowly get you accustomed to not being fearful of playing up the neck.

Here is the guitar TAB and notation – Ten-Penny Bit, The – Gtr TAB

I found a video of The Ten-Penny Bit being played by a banjo and a bodhran! Woo hoo!

I think you’ll enjoy learning this little jig, so go ahead, sit down for spell and try it out.:) You’ll be glad you did!


Cold Frosty Morning….Brrrrrrrr

The tune of the day is


Cold Frosty Morning is a wonderful tune in Am that lays well on the guitar, and really just about any instrument. In my research, I found that there is a wide difference of opinion as to the origins of the tune. So far, I found that it came from Scotland, Ireland, or is an American old-time tune! Whichever is correct, it’s a very common tune, and another one to add to your list of tunes to learn that you can take to just any jam group and a lot of folks will know it.:)

The A part is played totally out of first position, but in the B part, I again took the liberty of going a bit up the neck for the first couple of measures. The hint on how to play this is to, in the first measure of the B part, use the first note of E on the open string of E to give you time to get your hand in the correct place (index finger hovered over the fifth fret on the high E string). Then, play the 2nd and 3rd notes (both A, or the fifth fret on the high string) with your index finger. That way, your fingers are in the correct position to play the next measure, using your index finger on the A (5), ring finger on the B (7), back to the A with index (5), and your ring finger again up high on the G, which is played on the B string 8th fret. The open E then gives you time to get back down into the regular first position to play the 3rd measure and following out to the end.  I haven’t tried to explain this in the past, but as I go along, I realize that some of you might appreciate a little bit of the reasoning behind my placement of notes up the neck, and maybe even the fingering that I might use. Of course, whatever I put here is just an idea, or one way the tune could played, so always bear that in mind. You may come up with a totally different way to play these same notes, or even a variation of the tune, and that’s great and part of the entire creative process!

Here is the guitar TAB and notation – Cold Frosty Morning – Gtr TAB

I know that this is a longer post than usual, but I cannot resist posting two totally different styles of playing this tune.:) Here is the “standard” way that most groups will play.

But then…….I found this extremely cool version with just a fiddle and banjo that really conveys an wonderful old-time feel! I got the shivers the first time that I heard it. Sometimes I think that I must belong up in the Appalachian Mountains or something.

Well, I sure hope that this tune inspires you to learn more about your guitar. You’ll be so glad that you took the time to play!


Another Polka!

The tune of the day is


This catchy little Irish tune is fun and easy to play. According to http://www.thesession.org , “Also known as 40 Pound Float, Armagh, The Armagh, Forty Pound Float, Forty Pound Floiat, Hills Of Connemara, Jack Ryan’s, John Ryan’s, Johnny Ryan’s, Keadue, The Keadue.” Most of the time when it is played, it is part of a set of polkas. At our local jam, we usually play Finnish Polka, John Ryan’s Polka, and Cheese together.

Here is the guitar TAB and notation – John Ryan’s Polka – Gtr TAB

I found this delightful video that features a polka set! John Ryan’s begins at about 1:50, and they even play it like our group does on the A part. You have to love the enthusiasm of this crowd! 🙂

Want to make your day brighter? John Ryan’s will do it.


A New Polka!

Today’s tune is


I was going through some of my music yesterday, and ran across this tune that I wrote 4 years ago, when I first started composing some of my own little tunes. Great Plains Dulcimer Alliance in Wichita, Kansas is where I got my start in folk music, and I’m so very grateful for them! Stardische Polka was written on the mountain dulcimer for music friends, Pat and Lonnie. They had suggested that someone should write a tune to go with Finnish Polka, so I did. 🙂   It’s in the key of D, since most mountain dulcimers are diatonic and are usually tuned to play in the key of D with an open drone string.

Here is the guitar TAB and notation – Stardische Polka – Gtr TAB

There is a practice video in the menu above – Fiddle Tunes PDF…..it’s played a moderate tempo.

It’s always nice to have a simple tune to work on, so grab your guitar and try it out!


Temperance Reel

Zee tune of the day is


This sweet Irish reel in the key of G is fun to play, regardless of the instrument! It goes by several different title, including but not limited to Teetotaller’s Reel and The Road to Newbridge.

Here is the guitar TAB and notation – Temperance Reel – Gtr TAB

There are lots of great videos on YouTube that feature Temperance Reel, but I chose one done by Gerry O’Connor on his tenor banjo.:) It is the final tune in his set.

As always, your guitar is calling your name. Get it out and try this tune!



Today’s tune is


This tune is sort of a polka, and is simple and fun to play! It’s in Am, so, for course, I love it. LOL From my research, it appears that it’s commonly accepted to have Flemish origins, but I found this interesting discussion concerning a tune called Bear Dance, which is so very, very similar to Baerendans that I suspect they are the same tune. https://thesession.org/tunes/4195   I’ll leave that for you to decide.:)

Here is the free guitar TAB and notation for it – Baerendans – Gtr TAB

Check out the “Fiddle Tunes in PDF…” page for a link to a practice video with the tune played through several times. 🙂

There wasn’t much in the way of videos for this particular tune, but here’s a sample.

And another…

And, on this bright summer day in the Midwest, get out your guitar and play. You’ll be glad that you did!


Upstairs in a …. Tent??

The tune for the day is


This is such an interesting name for a tune. It reminds me of my boys putting up a tent in their room…..upstairs, of course! This Irish tune also has a couple of other names – Tie the Bonnet, and Jenny Tie the Bonnet. So, it’s a 3-fer-1 deal. 🙂

Here is the PDF guitar TAB and notation – Upstairs in a Tent – Gtr TAB

This video was filmed from a session held in Brosna, Co. Kerry, Ireland, at the Con Curtin Festival, June 2014. Upstairs in a Tent is the second tune in the set.

This tune is a bit more challenging on the guitar, in the B part, but today is the day to rise to that challenge! 🙂 You’ll be glad that you did!