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Finger style steel string for Irish folk maybe??   You are logged in as Guest
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Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

Finger style steel string for Irish ... 

Recently I've tried to write some acoustic music that was NOT flamenco and realized I basically can't. Everything that comes out is basically a rehashed Andalusian cadence. I was thinking about it and I don't really know ANY chord progressions that arnt flamenco related.
So, I've decided I'd like to spend some time learning something different just to pull my head out a bit. I'm thinking to get in touch with my roots and learn Irish folk music. I know nearly nothing about it and think that's kind of a shame.
I'd like to get a steel string but I know NOTHING about steel string acoustics.
Is there types specifically for finger style playing??
Is there strings specifically for steel string playing?? My nails are pretty tough so I'm not super worried but still....
Any pointers to great Irish folk resources would be appreciated too.
Thanks!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2015 14:43:13
 
tri7/5

 

Posts: 547
Joined: May 5 2012
 

RE: Finger style steel string for Ir... (in reply to Leñador

quote:

ORIGINAL: Leñador

Recently I've tried to write some acoustic music that was NOT flamenco and realized I basically can't. Everything that comes out is basically a rehashed Andalusian cadence. I was thinking about it and I don't really know ANY chord progressions that arnt flamenco related.
So, I've decided I'd like to spend some time learning something different just to pull my head out a bit. I'm thinking to get in touch with my roots and learn Irish folk music. I know nearly nothing about it and think that's kind of a shame.
I'd like to get a steel string but I know NOTHING about steel string acoustics.
Is there types specifically for finger style playing??
Is there strings specifically for steel string playing?? My nails are pretty tough so I'm not super worried but still....
Any pointers to great Irish folk resources would be appreciated too.
Thanks!


There's tons of steel string acoustics so just play some and find what's right for you. Should be no lack of stores in L.A. Yes there are some guitars that are considered more "fingerstyle" and touch sensitive instruments but it has to do more with the voice. Steel strings are steel strings, pick a gauge that fits you.

My pointer: learn how to play voicings in DADGAD tuning as that's what most Irish music is tuned to for guitar.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2015 15:00:50
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Finger style steel string for Ir... (in reply to Leñador

Nice thanks! I may have to go to one of the more "boutique" type shops.
Yeah I had some time to kill yesterday and went to guitar center thinking "maybe the acoustic salesman can get me pointed in a good direction." I walked into the acoustic room and the first thing I heard was him saying to someone "If you wanna play flamenco your gunna need a cutaway with good electronics." I immediately changed my mind about asking him anything lol I ended up helping the guy who wanted to learn flamenco after he heard me playing. Saved another soul from buying a low end Rodriguez. Lol

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2015 15:29:25
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1774
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Finger style steel string for Ir... (in reply to Leñador

Dont buy a jumbo, they are usually better with a pick. You need to play before you buy. I play fingerstyle, with nails and bought an Alhambra after trying several Martins.

But is is true that, because the guitar is alien in Irish music, it is usually played in alternate tuning. Look for Pierre Bensusan (?) on internet. He is French but plays great Irish music. He plays a steel string Lowden.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2015 15:31:42
 
Dudnote

Posts: 1799
Joined: Nov. 13 2007
 

RE: Finger style steel string for Ir... (in reply to Leñador

If you don't have it, get Christy Moore's "Live at The Point" album - mega classic and plenty of songs there to inspire you. England's Ralph McTell does a fair bit of nifty picking stuff too.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2015 16:08:20
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Finger style steel string for Ir... (in reply to Leñador

Ah beautiful thanks guys!
I didn't even know Alhambra made steel strings, I'll poke around for one.
Tried some Martins yesterday and wasn't super impressed.....
So it sounds like there's no "type" for finger style playing, just some steel strings have wider neck and string spacing and some don't?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2015 16:24:38
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1732
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Finger style steel string for Ir... (in reply to Leñador

quote:

I'm thinking to get in touch with my roots and learn Irish folk music.


If you’re going to play it properly, you need to listen to it.

The folk music of the British Isles has been exploding ever since the Revival of the ’60s. Everyone’s going to have their own ideas about CDs to listen to; but these days you can get some amazing DVDs too, which to my mind is an order of magnitude better. For instance (Amazon ASINs in parentheses):

Planxty: Live 2004 (B0002W0YN4)
Danú: One Night Stand (US B00073K8B6, UK B0009WL90O)
Dervish: Live at Johnny Fox’s (B000AA4KJW)
Dervish: The Midsummer’s Night Session (UK B004SXGHQ6)
Andy Irvine et al: 70th Birthday Concert (from Andy’s web site)

Andy Irvine, in particular, is the Grand Old Man of Irish folk music, having been in Sweeney’s Men (the band that introduced the bouzouki), Planxty, Mozaik and many more. All of these turn up for his birthday concert.

FWIW, here’s a stab at my Top Ten CDs:

Andy Irvine/Paul Brady
Craobh Rua: If Ida Been Here, Ida Been There
Danú: Think before you think
Dervish: Live in Palma
Dolores Keane & John Faulkner: Sail Óg Rua
Déanta (1st album)
Patrick Street: Cornerboys
Planxty (1st album)
The Bothy Band (1st album)
The Johnstons/The Barley Corn (twofer of 1st & 3rd))

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2015 17:04:10
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1732
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Finger style steel string for Ir... (in reply to Morante

quote:

But is is true that, because the guitar is alien in Irish music, it is usually played in alternate tuning.


Often, certainly. But it’s not because the guitar is alien: many people played in standard tuning for years, and many still do. But when Davey Graham invented DADGAD, it caught on like wildfire, because the tuning is so rich harmonically, and so suited to the music.

The down side is that it’s not versatile as regards different keys. I once saw the guitarist with Danú (Noël Ryan at that time) start an instrumental medley with two (2) Dunlop capos on the guitar, and quickly flick them off one after the other (on to the floor), as the keys changed. It was really smooth, and drew my admiration.

quote:

Look for Pierre Bensusan (?) on internet. He is French but plays great Irish music. He plays a steel string Lowden.


Yes, he’s terrific. His first two albums are the ones to get for folk music; later ones are mostly his own compositions.

He also produced (in my opinion) easily the two best books on DADGAD:

• The Guitar Book
• DADGAD Guitar (now unfortunately out of print)

and two volumes of instructional DVDs (with tab)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2015 17:22:06
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Finger style steel string for Ir... (in reply to Leñador

Wow thanks Paul! Great stuff! Makes perfect sense, if I want to play something I'm going to need to cultivate a deep appreciation for it.
That list should keep me busy for a while. I'm excited to hear some new and interesting stuff!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2015 18:21:07
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3075
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: Finger style steel string for Ir... (in reply to Leñador

You can play whatever you want with your nylon gutar, even with a pick. It sounds like getting the steel string is just a reason for you to procrastinate a little more on learning something new.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2015 19:09:01
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1732
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Finger style steel string for Ir... (in reply to Sr. Martins

quote:

You can play whatever you want with your nylon gutar, even with a pick.


A bit tough with a band — although Ronnie Drew of The Dubliners (good friends of Paco Peña’s, incidentally) started on flamenco guitar, and continued playing one throughout the life of the group.

But yes, DADGAD solos in particular sound great on a nylon-strung guitar. For instance:



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2015 19:29:15
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Finger style steel string for Ir... (in reply to Leñador

Hah your kinda right Rui lol I'm sure I'll get started before I find a steel string though.

That one's beautiful Paul!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2015 20:40:57
 
MikeC

Posts: 79
Joined: Mar. 19 2015
From: Panama (living in South Florida)

RE: Finger style steel string for Ir... (in reply to Leñador

Hi Leñador,

Any steel string would work for fingerstyle however the preferred sizes are OM/000, auditorium/ grand auditorium, and parlor guitars. I was recently watching an Acoustic Guitar magazine interview with Julian Lage, excellent guitar player, and he was playing a Waterloo guitar (by Collings guitars) that sounded great. He is an eclectic player that plays from jazz to folk and then some. He'll be in South Florida in a couple of weeks and I'm planning to go to the concert.

Here is the clip:

https://youtu.be/GoLK4Gq3wMA

Mike
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2015 22:29:43
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Finger style steel string for Ir... (in reply to Leñador

Thanks Mike! He's definitely got some nice stuff! It's sounding like a smaller 00 or thereabouts is the way to go.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2015 4:03:46
 
Blondie#2

 

Posts: 530
Joined: Sep. 14 2010
 

RE: Finger style steel string for Ir... (in reply to Leñador

I play a Pierre Bensusan track in DADGAD on a flamenco guitar, but using a partial capo at 2nd fret (effectively DADGAD up a whole tone). It means I don't have to detune (DADGAD is a bit of a pain on nylon strings, more stable with steel).

But yeah I think steel string is the way to go if you really want to get into this stuff, watch those nails though!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2015 8:05:09
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Finger style steel string for Ir... (in reply to Leñador

I'd love to hear that blondie!
Yeah I kinda just wanna have a steel string. Sometimes I pull up "ultimate guitar" on my iPad and do Karaoke for ladies family and a steel string would work way better for that too. How many more excuses can I make to make and unnecessary purchase?? Lolol

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2015 15:34:03
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