[Harp-L] Irish Music Semiar at SPAH

Richard Sleigh rrsleigh@xxxxx
Thu Jul 13 11:40:24 EDT 2017

Irish Music Course at SPAH Filisko Teach In

I’ve had some people asking me for more information on the Irish Music
course I will be teaching at SPAH this year, so here goes:

I will be basing what I teach on a combination of What I have learned from
Brendan Power, James Conway, Rick Epping, and others and my own path with
this music which began in earnest in 1974 when I spent a month and a half
traveling in Ireland on a bicycle with a full  set of marine bands, a
couple penny whistles, and a chromatic harmonica.

I am in the process of re-formatting Brendan Power’s “Play Irish Music on
the Blues Harp” book into an 8 1/2 x 11” book with the sheet music and
harmonica tab set up similar to the way David Barrett does his music / tab.

I am experimenting with creating multiple versions of the sheet music in
the Barrett C scale system as well as using whatever key is typical for
Irish sessions. In this class I will have a couple tunes formatted both
ways, but most of the songs will be written in tab / music in the most
common keys used for Irish sessions.

The focus will be on richter tuned blues harmonicas and paddy richter tuned
harmonicas in the keys of G and D. I will have paddy richter tuned
harmonicas in keys of G and D available at a very reasonable price ( i got
a deal on some Seydel blues soloist harmonicas (a discontinued item ) These
harps work great in the paddy richter tuning.

We will be playing tunes in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 12th position for sure
and maybe 5th position as well.

I am still working on final choices for tunes. Here are some that will be
included for sure:

-The Butterfly - a slip jig (9 / 8 )

-Peg Ryan’s - Sweeny’s Polkas - from Brendan’s Course - a ridiculously
addictive set of polkas that goes from 1st to 12th to 2nd & then back to
1st position.

- The Parting Glass - a slow air that gives me goose bumps and in my mind
is right up there with Danny Boy and Auld Lange Syne as a timeless melody

- A  reel in myxolydian that I can’t remember the name of that can get
super bluesy in a heartbeat.

The handouts will include more music than we will be able to go over & will
give you a path to keep going on after SPAH.

I will focus more on tunes that are not super complicated and we will do
half speed versions to get you going on them as a group.

I will also break down my own way of playing interval jumps that includes
playing out of the left and right side of my mouth with tongue switching as
well as grabbing notes with the middle of my mouth via pucker. This gives
you the options of tongue articulations for ornaments as well as instant
interval jumps that are almost impossible with straight pucker playing.

If anyone has more questions or wants advance copies of some of the tunes
via mp3 and pdf files, please contact me off list.

Thanks! I hope to see you at SPAH!

Richard Sleigh
rrsleigh at xxxxx

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