Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Irish Tunes

Hey Folks:

I recorded O’Keeffe’s Slide and Road to Lisdoonvarna…two traditional Irish slides for St. Patrick’s Day. These are in 12/8 time.

The sheet music can be found in a lot of places on the web. I found it at Nigel Gatherer’s website. He has a lot of mandolin tunes there.

The problem I had with these tunes was that I was slurring some of the notes. That is using hammer-on’s and pull-offs instead of picking the notes like I should. I noticed that my fingers were coming off the strings after I played a note…even when I needed to play that note again after playing a note on the same string two frets away. Example…fret the 2nd fret of the D string, then fret the 4th note of the D string, then play the 2nd fret again. My finger was coming off the 2nd fret after playing it then had to come back down again after playing the note on the 4th fret. This is totally inefficient playing of any stringed instrument.

Anyway…I noticed it…and corrected it. Or that is…I practice it over and over and over….etc. to train my fingers to not move unless needed.

Hope that help’s anyone having the same problem…to stop and keep an eye on what your “band members” (hands and fingers) are doing and train them to do it right.

Keep on pickin,

Nice job. I’ve been working on ‘Fishers Hornpipe’ this month and one of my focal points in the process has been keeping my fingers on the frets if I’m coming back to the note real soon.