Archive for the 'aDADE' Category

Angeline the Baker

Here’s my take on Angeline. Sorry, no frogs. There are some really huge moths here, but they don’t say much.

Lesson: Tam Lin and D minor

I dusted off the video camera to do a lesson on Tam Lin, or really a lesson about the A part of Tam Lin and how knowing the chord shapes makes a complex-sounding tune easier to play.

You might also be interested in the discussion about the tune on

Strum your banjo for an instant banjo uke!

Here are a couple of lessons showing how you can strum your five-string banjo ukulele style. You can quickly switch to high-energy strumming when you want to kick some energy into a dance or just as a break from regular clawhammer.

Here’s an introduction to the strum I use most often:

I use my index finger for both frailing and strumming, but I recommend you use a different finger for each approach. The strumming wears your nail down fast. I’m switching my strumming to my middle finger but I’m not there yet, so I use the index in the video.

For happy strumming, you need to know what chords to play. So here’s a quick look at how to figure out the basic chords of a D tune:


Other uses for the strum

If you’re at a big, noisy jam and the players have wandered apart rhythmically, you can (politely) switch to the uke strum to bring them back together. The banjo uke sound cuts through everything and gives a steady beat for people to latch onto. Continue reading ‘Strum your banjo for an instant banjo uke!’

D by ear: Two lessons

Here’s part of my quest to get more people to learn tunes by ear.

Chords will help you find the melody
First, here are the three chords you need for most old-time tunes in D, shown with two positions each. When you know these chords, you can quickly find the melody notes for just about any D tune you’re likely to hear at a jam.

Use the chord shapes to learn a new tune
Once you know the chord positions, use them to learn “Toads in the Woodpile,” an original yet reassuringly formulaic D tune.

Jump at the Sun

At the beginning of this video, you’ll hear a fun, loping jig by melodeon player John Kirkpatrick of Shropshire, England.

Although it sounds like it has a “weird” scale, it plays fine out of double D.

Like this tune? There are lots more at John’s online store.

Old Wife of Coverdale

Traditional English tune in 6/8 and 9/8; from Blowzabella.


Vladimir’s Steamboat

A fun challenge by Jay Ungar.

Download MP3 | Tab

Gånglåt from Gärdeby

A common Swedish walking tune, played as a processional at weddings and such. I have sweet memories of this tune from the days when Folklore Village was a one-room schoolhouse lit by candles.

Download MP3 | Tab

Makedonsko Devojče

Traditional Macedonian song. It’s in 7/8 but don’t let that stop you.


An dro

A line dance from Brittany.

Download MP3 | Tab

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