Slowplayers.org is a site for learning to play traditional music from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Galicia, England and beyond — that is, Irish Traditional Music (ITM). To learn to play the tunes well you have to begin by playing them slowly so you can get the right lift. Thus, the idea of “Slowplayers.”
Moreover, this is community music, music played in a group setting. Over many generations ITM evolved from dance music into what’s called session music — played with or without dancers. To get the most out of the tunes you learn you’ll need a group of people to play with. That’s where the music comes alive.
Playing the tunes slowly in a group is called “a slow session” or “a learning session.” I designed this website to help anyone get started, or to help players develop a wider repertoire of session tunes. What I present here are some of the most commonly played session tunes at a slower tempo than you’d find at a full-on session. So, this is a place to pick up some tunes. Afterward, go out and play these tunes with others, and if they don’t know them then teach the tunes to them or send them here so they can play them next time. Call it a “learning session” or a “slow session” and it’ll still be a whole lot of fun!
Support this Project:
please consider supporting this website with a paypal contribution — using the button in the upper-right side of the page. Thank You!
Support Your Community:
If you love this music (even a little) 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. Sheet music, ABCs, and MIDI files are only good for bare notes, 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.”
This web page was created for the sole purpose of passing on the playing of traditional Irish music free to everyone.
The information on this site is under copyright protection. I own all intellectual property rights in and to this site & its content.
© 2015 Slowplayers.org
Any redistribution of this material for profit is illegal, strictly prohibited, and seriously frowned upon.