Friday, 25 October 2013

Aoife Scott - What you do with what you got

Fine backing for a wonderful song. Aoife Scott, born into the legendary Black Family, her mother is Frances Black, her aunt Mary. In spring she started working on her solo cd, in summer she became singer of the band "The Outside Track", a fantastic band, currently touring with the Irish Folk Festival 2013. Yesterday I saw them in Karlsruhe, fantastic show.


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Gazuki (Guitar Bouzouki) for just £450

Phil Williams offers a Guitar-Bouzouki for just £450. It's called GZ6 and is a matt finish solid spruce-top instrument. Back and sides are laminated.

Sounds interesting. If you have the chance to try one please feel free to report in the comments.

Here's a link to a short introduction video

James Fagan

James Fagan plays a guitar shaped bouzouki most of the time. On the first video he plays the bouzouki of Andy Clarke, which was made by Andy Manson. On the website of his Project "The James Brothers" you can find his bio, which I include here: (I hope you don't mind, James)

 • Born Canberra 1972, son of Margaret and Bob Fagan. Younger sister is Kate Fagan. Together they are "The Fagans", one of Australia's best-known folk bands for 30 years.

 • Met Nancy Kerr in 1995 and formed a duo that has become on of the most popular and respected duos on the UK circuit, winners of BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Duo (2003 and 2011). Together they have toured in the UK, Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

 • Main instruments - Vocals (Spiral Earth Male Vocalist of the Year in 2012). Bouzouki - James plays a Sobell guitar-shaped bouzouki.

 • Current projects: Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, The James Brothers, Melrose Quartet, Cara Dillon Band, The Fagans, Kerr Fagan Harbron, Glorystrokes

 • Record labels: Fellside (1997-2008) Navigator (2010-present) • Main musical interests: Singing, arrangement, composition, accompaniment

 • James is a sought-after session player and has appeared on albums by Martin Simpson, Eliza Carthy, Cara Dillon, Brian Finnegan, Spiers and Boden, Andy Irvine, John Kirkpatrick, Alistair Hulett. *

James teaches voice and bouzouki to undergraduate students on the Newcastle University Traditional Music Degree course.


One of his projects is the duo Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, where James sings and plays bouzouki and Nancy plays fiddle and sings, too. I post some of the many videos you can find on youtube.

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Andy Clarke - Bonny Irish Maid

I already posted a video from Andy some time ago (look here): Now he wrote me an E-Mail in which he suggested to put up his new video. So it's a pleasure for me to have it here on my blog. Fine singing and playing. Love this song.

Celtic Fonts

The website with celtic fonts I linked to some years ago is no longer available. So here is another website with lots of celtic fonts for free. Have fun!

Monday, 30 September 2013

Build any chord, anywhere

This is an interesting concept by a man called Frank Geiger. Made for instruments tuned in fifth. He writes, that it doesnt require reading music, knowledge of key signatures or chord spellings. Looks interesting. If you try it please comment, if it is useful for players of bouzouki.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Basic Chords for Irish Bouzouki on Tradschool

If you are a beginner of Irish Bouzouki you might find this list of basic chors useful. Only basic chords, but a good start.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Bouzouki Chord Chart and Fretboard Poster GDAD Tuning on ebay

This is what I found on ebay today. A poster containing the fretboard of a bouzouki GDAD tuning and some chords for $6.95 or 5,26€. Maybe this could be helpful to someone? In my opinion the price is much too high. Of course it is a good idea to put the info on a poster, so you can have a look at it if in doubt, especially for the fretboard. I did this for myself years ago and it still hangs on my wall. But the few chords are of no great help. In my opinion no chordchart is of any help for the bouzouki, because you seldom play full chords on the bouzouki. You need to have several different shapes for each chord and try everytime which one fits best into the structure of the other chords you play. But decide for yourself. Look at it as long as the link is valid:

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Tim O'Brien On Mandolin Warmup Exercises

Tim O'Brien speaks about Mandolin Warmup Exercises. What works on mandolin must work on bouzouki also. So have a look at it and decide for yourselves. By the way, some years ago Tim produced a DVD where he explains some of his techniques on Mandolin and Bouzouki. If you don't know it already have a look at it. I bought it some time ago and I think it's great. Introduction to his DVD

Irish Bouzouki made by Lewis Santer, played by Brendan O'Regan

Brendan O'Regan worked with the Waterboys, Mary Black, De Dannan, Mairtin O'Connor and many others.In this video he plays a  bouzouki made by Lewis Santer, Kinvara, Ireland. The back and sides are California Black Acacia, the top is Sitka spruce, the scale length is 25.4". What a fantastic musician!

DAMANTA Live - Songs on Irish Bouzouki

A man, a bouzouki and lots of great songs. Watch this and his other videos.

Here are some links to his music and his band Damanta

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Fleadh - Finest Irish Folk from Germany

No bouzouki with this band, but nevertheless worth a look at. Fleadh, in it's present line-up was formed in 2007. Now with their second CD out they have found their own way in Irish Folk.

With the recruitment of vocalist Saoirse Mhór and fiddle player Marcus Eichenlaub they received the needed 'breath of fresh air' to move the band forward.
The two Franks and Marcus are avid sessionists, regularly playing in the many Irish Pubs around the Pfalz area. Regular visits to Ireland keep them constantly in superb playing form.

Fleadh seek to combine this section of the band with the vocalist/singer approach of Saoirse. Saoirse gets around Germany too - busking on the streets and at Street Artist Festivals in major German cities.
Tommy is the heartbeating drive on guitar in Fleadh. Intricate detailed arrangements and pulsating rhythm weaving through jigs, reels and songs.

Working as an Irish Folk Band Fleadh do not wish to leave the path for Middle Age Music or the all too eminent Acid / Punk / Neo Folk. Fleadh want to retain the respect for Irish music and yet seek to mix styles and ryhthm but still stay within the boundaries of Folk. Singing and playing. That’s Fleadh!

Look at: and listen to their cds.

And finally, if you look at the tunebook section on their website you will be presented with a large numer of well known session tunes, often with chords for accompanyment.
Here's the direct link:

Members of the band are (stolen from their website ;-):
Saoirse Mhór: Gesang, Gitarre und Percussion
other projects:

Thomas Gorny: Gesang und Gitarren
other projects: Space Debris

Frank Weber: Uilleann Pipes, Whistles und Bodhrán
other projects: Rhine Valley Céilí Band, Wizard's Walk

Frank McDürschner: Gesang, Mandoline, Banjo, Harmonica
other projects: Divin' Duck, Dissetied

Marcus 'Mr. Oakleaf' Eichenlaub: Fiddle

Andy Clarke

Andy's father was a folk singer way back in the 1960s. He took his son to many folk song clubs in his native Devon. Soon Andy discovered a passion for traditional song. Later he became involved in folk bands in and around Torbay.
In recent years Andy performs as a solo artist in clubs and on festivals all around the country. In addition to his solo work he collaborated with Jackie Oates & Steve Turner (The Eelgrinders) as the trio Wistmans Wood and he plays in the Mooncoin Ceilidh Band. He also plays as a Duo with Hurdy Gurdy player Steve Tyler.
Look at:

I really love the way he plays his bouzouki.
article on his bouzouki:

Here's a video together with Steve Tyler

Wreck off Scilly

Andy solo: Hunting the hare

Ruth & Andy Clarke - Da slocket light

John Doyle - The Arabic!

While looking for John Doyle I found  another video where he plays his irish bouzouki.

This songs called The Arabic

And another song: Bound for Botany Bay

John Doyle on WTJU - 12 December 2012

John Doyle is usually known as guitarist with Solas. Here's a longer interview and a song he plays on his irish bouzouki made by Kevin Muiderman (pronounced like “Spiderman”)

He plays I know my love on bouzouki and Cold haily windy night and Silky on guitar

GDAD Chord Chart by Michael Eskin

Michael Eskin has made a list of Bouzouki Chord Patterns in the keys of  D, G, D Dorian (E Dorian with Capo 2) and G Dorian (A Dorian with Capo 2). This could be of great help for beginners.

Michael is the producer of many iPhone/iPad virtual instruments like bagpipes, flutes and accordions. I haven't tried them, because these are not my kind of instruments but they may be worth a try.
You can find information at:

The chordchart is to be found at:

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Fretmaster - iPad app - Freeware

Fretmaster can help to lern the notes on the fretboard. It's Easy to use and it's Free untilgbar may, so grab it fast. No iPhone support.

Audiostretch today on Sale!!!

Audiostretch is available for only 89 ct. today. So Take your chance.

Audiostretch - App for iPhone/iPad

It's just what the title suggests: Open a song from your library, play it back, change speed or pitch. All you need for practicing new songs or tunes. Slow down the music and listen. Price is 2,99 Dollars, once the first version was free :-(

Fretter, another chordfinder for iPhone

This might be just another chord finder for iOS. It costs 1,79€ which I think is ok. To get chords for bouzouki just select mandolin and tuning custom. Then click on top right button custom and select your tuning. 
In Normal mode you can define chords and the app shows them to you. In reverse mode you can define chords on the fretboard and fretter gives you the name for the chord. This does not funktion always. For example 2400 gives you no name.

There is a free version available, so just try it. They say the free version is only limited in chord recognition, so bouzouki must be available.

developer site:

Chord Circle - iPhone App for free

This is just a simple app to help understanding music and the chord cycle. It also helps you to transpose chords. As it is free just give it a try.

Reverse Chord Finder Pro - iPhone/iPad App

This is an interesting app for bouzouki players. In the settings you can define Irish Bouzouki GDAD tuning.  For GDAE just select Mandolin or Plectrum Banjo 3. If you use ADAD I think you have to write a message to the writers of the app. I did when I bought the app more than a year ago and the added the GDAD bouzouki really soon afterwards.

We often play two finger chords somewhere on the fingerboard, but what are they called? RevChordPro helps. Just open the app, tip the chord you are playing and it gives the name. This can be helpful sometimes. Often one fingering can give different chords which is really interesting. Unfotunately the app isn't cheap at all. 8,99€ is a lot. But if you wait, maybe one day it'll getting cheaper. Consult AppTicker or AppZapPro.


Monday, 15 April 2013

Chordpro buddy

Some time ago I bought this program for MAC on the app store. I was looking for a program to edit my songs with chords and a way to transmit them to the iPad.

This is what the developer's say:

ChordPro Buddy is an easy to use and elegant song editor for the Apple Mac OS-X operating system. With it you will easy edit, format, transpose, play and print lyrics, chords and tabs. It is an ideal and elegant tool for guitar players or other musicians. The storage format is the widely used, very simple and easy understandible "ChordPro" text format.

And I think, it is worth the money. If you find songs with chords above on the internet just copy them and import them to ChordPro Buddy. It will automatically transform the chords to brackets whithin the song text. This will give you the benefit to transpose the songs later, if you open them on the iPad. 

But how do you transmit them? That's really easy. Just send them to dropbox. You should create a new folder in your dropbox, in which you store all of your songs. You can even create subfolders. 

On your iPad you should use the app "Songbook". This app can connect to your dropbox account. Everytime you open it it updates from your Dropbox account, so you're up to date with your songs. 

Here's a video tutorial

And here's the product page:

And this is a tutorial for SongBook ChordPro

I will write a post for this iPhone/iPad app later.

Quick Chords - iPhone/iPad app

Just recently found this app on the app store. Developer Beau Young designed this app to give musicians simple and fast access to some useful songwriting, transcribing and composition tools.

What does it give to you? Well, first there's a capo guide which helps you to transcribe songs or tunes, which is often useful. Then there's the circle of fifth which helps to find the major/minor relatives and key signatures.
But most interesting to me is chords. This feature shows you which chord go together in different keys. It also gives you random chord progressions which always fit and most of the time sound interesting. Good for practicing or songwriting.

You can try some functions with the free version and then decide whether to buy the full version or not. I think that's a good deal.

Here's a site with more informations and screenshot of the app. The screenshot above is from this website. (

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Róisín Elsafty & Dónal Lunny - Mo Cheallachin Fionn - RTE 2010

As part of the 2010 St Patrick's Festival, Donal Lunny curated and performed a night in the National Concert Hall entitled 'A Celebration of Irish Voices'.

Here's a video on which he plays together with singer Róisín Elsafty. She has a beautiful voice ahnd Donal's backing fits very well.

More information about the song is to be found on her website:

New Lessons by Duncan Cameron

Duncan Cameron, I mentioned him before, has made two more lessons for players of the bouzouki.
His website:

Picking for reels

Picking for Jigs

2 short lessons on rhythm

Jeff Ksiazek provides us with two short videos on how to backup Reels and Jigs. Nice work. I hope to see more videos in the near future.

Basic bouzouki picking pattern for Reels:

Jig strumming pattern: