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Another beginner question

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:54 am
by madden
Another question for the Irish music players,,, in playing Irish music on harmonica are there any times where players actually improv like blues players typically do. I’m not referring to adding decorations but more along the lines of having to come up with solos or unique riffs on the spot?

On a side note I just learned Swallowtail jig,,, how fun is that song to play? Maybe after a 1000 more practice runs I’ll hate it but right now it’s a pretty fun jig.

Re: Another beginner question

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:29 pm
by Brendan
Good question. If you listen closely to accomplished Irish trad players, you'll hear they vary the melody every time around. Some do it more or take it further than others.

These variations are not full-blown improvisation because the underlying melody is still the basis of the playing, but they do give you a chance to get away from the strict tune and express yourself. Using variations well is respected and, along with good feel, clean playing, good intonation etc, regarded as one of the hallmarks of a good Irish musician.

Yes, the Swallowtail is a great session jig :)

Re: Another beginner question

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:07 am
by madden
Thank you so much for responding Brendan