Slowplayers.org is an on-line tutor for learning to play the traditional music of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Galicia, England, and beyond. This music was originally dance music, and when played well will make you want to dance. So, to learn the tunes and get the right lift you have to begin by playing them slowly. Thus, Slowplayers! As traditional music is community music, its natural habitat is a group of musicians. If you can learn the tunes in a group setting, all the better. Still, however you learn the music, to get the most out of the tunes you learn you’ll eventually need a group of people to play with, what’s called a session. That’s where the music comes alive!
Please Support this Project: This website is a labor or love. So, please consider supporting the work put into it with a paypal contribution — using the button in the upper-right side of the page. Also, like us on Facebook. Thank You!
Support Your Music Community: If you love this music please take the time to support it in your community. Play the music whenever you can, and go see those who play it well!
The Kansas City Learning Sessions:
We have a learning session in Kansas City, which was my inspiration for revamping Michael Duffy’s original slowplayers.org website. For more general information about what we offer click here. For the current learning session agenda, click here. For more information about The Kansas City School of Irish Music click here. For a brief history of the website Slowplayers.org click here.
I highly recommend that you learn from the MP3s provided, and NOT from the sheet music or ABCs. I decided not put up any midi renderings of the tunes as you can find them elsewhere, and you can get them from the ABC anyway with various free software programs. As for sheet music and ABCs, they are only good for bare bones of the tunes, but you will not get close to anything like the real feel of Irish music from them. You will need to do a considerable amount of listening to players ensconced in the tradition who play the tunes at full speed. As you’ll sometime hear the same tune played in different settings, you’ll need to keep your ears on their toes!
Remember, despite the priority some untutored folks give to dots and sticks on lines, there’s no such thing as a definitive setting! As Zina Lee has written, “The different settings are a large part of what keeps Irish traditional music so interesting and alive.”
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