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Learn to play "Irish Songs for Guitar" -Book of Popular Irish Songs and Ballads on Acoustic Guitar (CD & Tabs included) by Danny Carnahan

Author, performer, and Acoustic Guitar magazine contributing editor Danny Carnahan has collected 15 of his favorite popular Irish songs and arranged them here for acoustic guitar. Many moods and subjects are covered.

This large format book includes notation and playing tips for mastering fifteen of my favorite Irish songs on the guitar. The notation is clear and simple; suitable for intermediate players as well as hotshots. Click
here to see a sample notation page.

The accompanying CD demonstrates each song played very slowly and up to speed for students who learn more easily by ear.
A speciall emphasis was taken by Carnahan on the recording of the CD wich has a very friendly way of learning.

Tunes were recorded instrumental first slowly, afterwards at right tempo, and then with vocals. Each tune is accompanied with tabs and lyrics plus further backup information on the song like history, sources and even featured recordings of it.


Songs are grouped in three tunings: standard (EADGBE), Drop-D (DADGBE), and the less common but wonderfully moody DADDAD. Several of the songs were personally collected in Ireland.
A detailed Music Notation Key is also included to help newcomers understand all the sneaky symbols in both standard and tablature notation.

There are innocent (and very old) love songs like "Rosemary Fair" and more lustful romps like "Newry Town." There is the revolutionary fervor of "The Rising of the Moon" in contrast to the story of the poor kid who deserts after one day in the army in "The Rambler from Clare." There is the regional pride of "The Star of the County Down" and the terrible longing for home in "Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore." And then there's highway robbery, questionable job choices, unabashed love for one's fellow man, and more.


Here are some quotations by Danny Carnahan regarding this wonderful book:

"One summer in my teens I was visiting family in the far west of Wales. My young cousins and I spent evenings tuned into a pírate radio station, Radio Caroline, which broadcast very cool music from a ship out in the Irish Sea, just out of the BBC's reach. Drawn by the rebellious spirit of the station, I was captivated by what I heard: the Irish hit parade of 1968.1'd never given much thought to Irish music as distinct from any other tradition, but I fell instantly and deeply in love with the entire playlist. I managed to find a couple of LPs in heavy rotation, the Dubliners' Seuen Drunken Nights and Danny Doyle's Whiskey on a Sunday. A few months later, about the time a bankrupt Radio Caroline was hauled off the air, I was back home in California, learning every song on both albums by heart. Three decades later, those songs are still happily rolling around in my brain. There is no richer lyrical tradition than the one that gave birth to Irish ballads and folk songs. Every conceivable human activity, emotional state, adventure, and misadventure experienced by the Irish, individually and collectively, has been artfully captured in countless songs that are so catchy and memorable, they'll be sung as long as people have vocal cords. And one doesn't have to be Irish to feel the emotional power of the love songs and the hopeful pride that fuels the best historical ballads. Tve collected 15 of my favorite Irish songs for this book, choosing from hundreds I love every bit as much. I tried to cover as many moods and subjects as practical in the available space. So we have innocent (and very oíd) love songs like "Rosemary Fair" and more lustful romps like "Newry Town." We have the revolutionary fervor of "The Rising of the Moon" in contrast to the story of the poor kid who deserts after one day in the army in "The Rambler from Clare." We have the regional pride of "The Star of the County Down" and the terrible longing for home in "Paddy's Creen Shamrock Shore." And then there's highway robbery, questionable job choices, unabashed love for one's fellow man, and more. Most of these songs predate the music hall era of the early 20th century, which stuck us with some regrettably stereotyped hits that are all too available elsewhere. I tried to dig a little deeper into the current oral tradition for songs that enjoy some popularity and for settings that fall pleasantly under the fingers on the guitar. These songs use three tunings—standard, dropped-D (with the sixth string tuned down to D), and the less common D A D D A D—and the various right-hand techniques should come pretty easily to anyone who's played fingerstyle guitar. Most songs can be played with thumb and two fingers, though there are some nice chord rolls using three fingers. Using the fingers both to pick upward and snap downward on the nails might be challenging at first, but it's really no harder than banjo frailing. And sometimes I just brace my índex finger with my thumb for my "zen pick." Overall, Tve tried to keep things pared down to essentials because I don't want to work hard any more than you do. The songs in this collection can be heard in pubs across Ireland and in sessions in every outpost of the English-speaking world. And this is just the tiniest sample of what's out there. You could learn a new Irish song every week and not exhaust the tradition. So here's hoping you take as much delight in these songs as I do and find yourself hungering for more."

Books are available directly from Danny Carnahan. Payment by check ($9.95 per book plus $1.50 shipping - for US orders only- Please contact for shipping rates outside the US), made payable to Danny Carnahan and sent to: 725 Pomona Avenue, Albany CA 94706.
Both Acoustic Guitar and Hal Leonard will be delighted to take your credit card. Click on the links in the previous sentence to rocket to their sites.

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