If you play with a band its much mor fun to lear new tunes. If you want to learn some Irish jigs, reels or hornpipes on your mandolin, tin whistle, banjo, guitar or accordeon you can find a great resource at the BBC – the Virtual Session.
BBC Virtual Session: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/r2music/folk/sessions/
You can find sets of 2 or 3 pieces, each piece is played three times, at the same time the melody is displayed as sheet music. So just switch on your PC, start the Virtual Session, select the set you want to practice – and play!
It is also possible to print the melodies of a set.
It is also possible to use the virtual session for youtube videos – I have found several nice examples. Let’s start with two videos with a tin whistle:
Three Slip Jigs played on Penny (Tin) Whistle
Three slip jigs – Fox Hunters, Johnny Docherty’s and the Butterfly recorded on penny whistle using the virtual session backing track from the BBC website.
The Boys of Ballymote on penny (tin) whistle
The Boys of Ballymote recorded on penny whistle using the virtual session backing track from the BBC website. For information on how I did this recording see my video of the Rambing Pitchfork: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQrpgX…
Now one example with a mandolin:
The Sliver Spear Reel on the Mandolin
The Sliver Spear is a great Celtic fiddle tune certainly an exciting reel. It is a familiar tune that has been recorded by many groups and has always been a favorite of mine. Here I play along with the version recorded on the BBC virtual sessions and it is in the key of D. I find it easier to keep the tempo nice and ever if I have a rhythm and base line to go by. This version is just a bit faster than I am comfortable with and I did produce a few obvious clams while making the recording. Sorry about that.
Played on a 1920 Gibson F 2 mandolin
More videos that used the BBC Virtual Session: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bbc+%22virtual+session%22&aq=f