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A New Venture

Journey at Home Day 28

Over the past month or so I've learned Irish pub songs accompaniment on guitar through the Online Academy of Irish Music. The great thing about pub songs is that people sing them loudly, so the accompaniment doesn't have to be virtuosic. Should I ever get out to a pub again, I have about a dozen fairly famous pub tunes in my repertoire. The lessons helped lumber up my fingers and develop callouses.

Years ago, when I first played guitar, I never strummed much. I finger picked. Because I didn't have lessons, I either made up songs or went to coffee house where I could sit up close and learn by watching. I also went to guitar camp one year and learned from some of the best like John Miller and Russ Barenburg. While I don't have a single tune under my fingers from that era, my fingers somehow remember a lot of the technique. Now that they are limbered up from strumming, I am ready for a new venture.

I found a Celtic finger picking guitarist on the Internet today—Stephen Wake. Originally from Orkney, Scotland, he now lives in Costa Rica. I liked his arrangement of the Irish tune Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór by Turlough O'Carolan. So I bought his album which comes with a PDF of all the music and tablature for all the songs on the CD. It's not the easiest tune to learn, but I should be able to play something recognizable with a month. I was happy to see that my fingers were able to do the pull-offs and and hammer-ons. There is hope! But there must also be a lot of practice.

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