String Band Arranging by Joe Walsh

String Band Arranging Basics

Arranging for string band is woefully underrated. Most string band arrangements are plain vanilla. Everybody plays at the same time from beginning to end. The purpose of flavorful arranging is, as Joe Walsh says, “to stave off boredom.”Joe K Walsh, mandolinist and string band arranger

He was one of the music wizards i got to work with at the Mike Block String Camp. I’m a little embarrassed … Read more

Tommy Peoples in Irish Fiddling

Tommy Peoples–a Great Influence in Irish Fiddling

About 20 years ago I was teaching an adult student with an Australian accent how to learn Irish tunes. He came to a lesson with a cassette, asking me to transpose the tune into tablature for him. The tune was played by Tommy Peoples and it was Tommy Peoples Reel, a catchy tune with lots of ornaments.

When … Read more

The Octave Drop in Fiddling

The Octave Drop Transposition for Fiddle Tunes

Bag of Spuds is the most recent tune I’ve learned to play with an octave drop. I heard it many times on Lost in the Loop, a Liz Carrol album. She seques from Drunken Sailor Hornpipe into Bag of Spuds and plays it on the G and D strings with a gutsy, growly sound.

When I decided … Read more