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Lessons | "Teaching Weekends" | Workshops | Instructional Materials | Tunes

Testimonials from students & colleagues (MS Word, 32 KB): download >

Private lessons: available on the following topics by appointment

Irish traditional music on bouzouki, mandolin, tenor banjo, guitar, bodhran or whistle
Basic guitar finger or flat picking
Basic mandolin
Fundamentals of fretted string instrument technique
Basic harmony
Music reading
Music appreciation
Beginner 5 string banjo (clawhammer)

 

"Teaching Weekends"

Two to three day teaching intensives consisting of one or more of the workshops described below, along with private lessons, concert (a house concert or small venue) and a session.  A typical weekend schedule might be: a Session on Friday evening, Private Lessons on Saturday morning and afternoon, a Concert on Saturday evening, and a Sunday afternoon Workshop.  Can also do workshops on both Saturday and Sunday, if two workshops are preferred.  All it takes to put on of these together is a host, a suitable space, and enough willing participants, usually a dozen, for the workshop(s).  Email Roger for details: info@rogerlandes.com

 

Workshops in Irish Traditional Music

Irish Traditional Repertoire & Style for Fretted String Instruments 1:
Melody
Irish Traditional Repertoire & Style for Fretted String Instruments 2:
Accompaniment

(Click here to request workshop description)

This two-part workshop is targeted at fretted string instrument players and combines elements of the four longer workshops below, depending on the interests and abilities of the attendees and what the composition of instruments is.  Usually a single installment of this workshop would cover either melody playing or accompaniment, but in a pinch the two can be combined for an overview of the possibilities for fretted instruments in Irish music, in which case it requires a minimum of 3 hours.  It is generally advisable that each section last for a minimum of 2 hours with a break of 30 minutes or an hour in between. Six hours intensives are offered as well.

Acquisition of Irish Traditional Repertoire

(Click here to request workshop description)

One of the hallmarks of mastery in Irish Traditional music is a large repertoire committed to memory that is instantly available to the musician in the traditional context—the “seisiún.”  Indeed, acquiring tunes and memorizing them is one of the largest obstacles for musicians who are learning Irish traditional music as adults and/or outside of its traditional context in an Irish or Irish-American community.

We’ll discuss and practice different strategies for building a sizeable repertoire of Irish traditional tunes with an emphasis on aural acquisition skills, “learning by ear,” as well as the use of notations, such as sheet music, as well as text-based shorthand, “ABC,” and instrumental tablatures, and their proper place within the traditional context.

Can be either 2 hour introductory format or a 4 hour intensive, or, for one or two musicians at a time as private lessons.

Fine Tuning Your Own Instrumental Style

(Click here to request workshop description)

It’s been said that “there is no one right way to play Irish music, but there are many, many wrong ways to play it!”  With this is mind, we’ll listen to a wealth of recordings of great Irish players, many from the last century, as well as watching some on video, and analyze how they embody and express the essentials of this art form, forging a style that is at once traditional and personal.

This workshop will combine all the elements essential to great Irish music: substantial repertoire, combining tunes into exciting medleys, melodic variation, rhythmic expression, and communal expressivity and interaction.

Can be either 2 hour introductory format or a 4 hour intensive, or, for one or two musicians at a time as private lessons.

The Modal Harmonic Context of Irish Traditional Music

(Click here to request workshop description)

While this topic is probably mostly of interest to players of “chordal” instruments, guitar, bouzouki, piano, harp, mandolin—it is also very useful for players of “melodic” instruments—fiddle, flute, whistle, pipes, concertina, accordion, tenor banjo, mandolin.  Irish tunes inhabit four “modes” or scales, only two of which correspond to the major and minor scales of the Western Classical tradition, and two more that are found in other traditional musics but which are exploited in ways unique to Irish music.

We’ll investigate how these modes are utilized in Irish traditional music, extrapolate the harmonic information imbedded within typical Irish melodies, explore different approaches for harmonizing them and then look at possibilities for these harmonic ideas on our instruments.

Can be either 2 hour introductory format or a 4 hour intensive, or, for one or two musicians at a time as private lessons.

Rhythmic Approaches to Accompaniment of Irish Traditional Music

(Click here to request workshop description)

The unique rhythms of Irish traditional music are one of its distinctive features—in fact, many people are drawn to it simply because of its “lilt,” “swing,” “groove” or “drive”—verbal tags that don’t do a very good job of communicating the subtlety, particularity, and complexity of this traditional art form. We’ll beat, strum, pick, pat, clap and stomp our way to a fundamental understanding of the “heartbeat” of Irish traditional music. Can be either 2 hour introductory format or a 4 hour intensive, or, for one or two musicians at a time as private lessons.

The Irish Musician’s Survival Guide
Surviving and Thriving in an Aural Tradition

An overview of the more in-depth workshops with their topics condensed into an introductory format as a prelude to more advanced workshops. The format is relaxed, and content will be flexible, depending on attendee's needs and interests.  We’ll decide during the opening minutes of the workshop which topics to cover. Topics for the workshop will be drawn from:

"Acquisition of Irish Traditional Repertoire"
"Fine Tuning Your Own Instrumental Style"
"The Modal Harmonic Context of Irish Traditional Music"
"Rhythmic Approaches to Accompaniment of Irish Traditional Music"
"The Session"
"Ten Things Every Melody Player Should Know About Accompaniment and Every Accompanist Should Know About Melody Playing"

 

Instructional materials

(Click here to request materials)

Modal2005.doc
Modal Exercises2.doc
Left Hand Exercise.doc
Chromatic Exercise.doc
The Spider.doc

 

Tunes

(Click here to request tunes)

ABC Format
Tablature

 

 

 

   

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