Celtic Guitar Masterclass | Irish Sea


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For this next celtic guitar masterclass I wanted to look at simple piece called the Irish Sea.  Its a simple waltz in the key of G dorian.  I think it will accessible to folks with basic fingerpicking skills, and will provide a simple primer on arranging in the Orkney tuning.

This piece has two parts, A and B, and like most celtic tunes, is played AABB, repeating each part twice.  On the recording I only played each part once.

The A part is fairly straightforward.  The melody is played in mostly first position, with a simple bass harmony implying the G minor to F chord progression.  In measure 4 I chose to harmonize the C melody note with a C chord, just for a change in flavor.  Please note in measure 16 the hammer on from the open 4th to the G note on the 5th fret.  Other than that I think it is pretty self explanatory.

The B part goes up the neck a bit, using different harmonizations to create some tension and variety.  Its nothing to difficult, still just a melody and a bass part, but will give players some insight with up the neck Orkney patterns.  Hitting that big low C in measure 22 is alot of fun.

Give the audio recording a listen, and try to make your playing legato, with smooth transitions between the melody notes.

I hope you enjoy the piece, and can apply some of the techniques to your own arrangements.  Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Irish Sea Tab

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© Terence Tan.
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