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The Scottish Guitar tutor book is now available. It has a heavy emphasis on flatpicking and is the first ever tutor book of its type to concentrate on Scottish tunes.  It includes an instructional CD of the 33 tunes which comprise Scottish jigs, reels and slow airs on Guitar with tab and staff notation. There are links to specially recorded online instructional videos.

The Tutor highlights the guitar as a melody instrument for playing traditional Scottish jigs, reels and slow airs and gives helpful tips for playing them. All tunes in standard tuning. Forty four pages of arrangements which are great for concerts or sessions.

The book which has been funded partly by Creative Scotland ( which is the Scottish Government's Arts body) is available from the publisher www.scotlandsmusic.com

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Ordered! Thanks!

Many thanks Kathy. I hope you enjoy it!
Any queries on the tunes etc please do not hesitate to be in touch.

Hi John

I saw your new book when I posted a query on pick directions.  I ordered the book and your new CD and I'm currently enjoying both from the comfort of my shed.  I really like the range of tunes you've selected and the notes on settings, arrangements and history. I particularly like The Hut on Staffin Island and Spootiskerry (BTW did you really intend to put Am on the second measure of the B part of Staffin Island?)

I'm glad I got the music CD and the CD that accompanies the book as the music CD really shows what the tunes can sound like played for a performance - whilst the CD with the book is more useful for instructional purposes.

I'm afraid that the notes on RH technique on page 21 don't answer my query on jigs!  Take the five notes in the first measure on the jig The Duck on the previous page.  Would you play them down down down up down? (i.e. observing a DUD DUD convention for the one-two-three two-two-three 6/8 rhythm). Hope you can throw some light on this.  I'd come to Aberdeen and take a lesson - but it's a bit of a trek.

Hi Mike
Many thanks for buying the book and the Far from Home cd and I'm glad that you are enjoying them.

Re the right hand technique I do tend to play most jigs DUD UDU DUD. I don't stick to it always and it is more important to feel the 123456, 123456 rhythm rather than solely concentrating on the pick direction. Some jigs would vary the picking pattern more than other. But a tune such as Jig of Slurs or The Lads of Duns would tend to be as above. I certainly don't stick to the DUD DUD convention but it is a good convention and exercise to use. For the first five notes of The Duck I play them DUDUD.

The DUD DUD convention however is good for rhythm playing for jigs- the start of Rory Gallagher's Jig on the cd is a good case in point.

The book has links to specially recorded video clips - the exercises are free and the tunes are circa a dollar to download. The Jig of Slurs and the Lads of Duns are both featured jigs. Also da Shaalds of Foula. The video clips are very high quality and specially recorded for the book.

Re The Hut on Staffin Island (simple version) - yes I do see the rogue A chord - it should be an A minor !
Many thanks

Hi John

Thanks for your advice.  We're off up to Northumberland next week so I intend to take your book and my trusty parlour guitar and get to work on some of your arrangements.

I looked for the videos on the playscottishmusic website but I couldn't figure out how the free ones worked - do you have to take them through the check out?


BTW - I thought it was the Am that had sneaked in rather than the A.  The C natural doesn't seem to work with the C sharp in the melody. (measure 2 in B section - simple version)


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