Celtic music theory Chord scales for modes

Inversions for Irish guitarists part 2: chords in A major for Ger The Rigger

Here’s another video from Folk Friend Celtic Guitar Tutorials, celebrating the release of my latest book (see below) with a guide to how to use inversion shapes for Irish and general Celtic guitar accompaniment in the key of A major / ionian! I’ll be using an Irish polka called Ger The Rigger which you can find in the Folk Friend tune playalongs pack with on-screen guitar chords and played on a loop at three different speeds- perfect for practicing your Irish guitar backing!

Guitarist’s Guide To Chord Inversions Book

Tune Playalongs

Celtic music theory Chord scales for modes DADGAD Drop D Ear training Strumming patterns

Very first Irish guitar lesson: the ultimate top 5 tips for beginner Irish guitar accompaniment

In this free lesson from Folk Friend I’ll be running complete beginners through the top 5 tips for complete Irish guitar beginners! I’ll be showing you how to hold your guitar and plectrum, some of the best things to learn to begin with, which chords fit with tunes in the most common keys and general tips for how you can improve your Irish guitar backing fast!

Chord scales for modes DADGAD

How to get the DADGAD guitar sound without retuning! Partial capos for beginners

This free Irish guitar lesson from Folk Friend covers partial capo-ing, the easiest way to get the classic sound of DADGAD folk guitar without retuning or learning a single new chord shape!

I recommend the Kyser partial capo as it is quicker and easier to move around. You can now support Folk Friend by buying one directly from me (cheapest price in the UK guaranteed). Click here to shop now!

I recently finished writing a complete Beginner’s Guide To Celtic DADGAD Accompaniment! You can find it here.

Chord scales for modes

Learn these easy guitar chord shapes to accompany Irish / Celtic tunes in E minor

In this free Celtic guitar lesson I’ll be showing you one really simple shape which you can move around to give you loads of great chord options for tunes in E minor type keys. This is useful for both E dorian and E aeolian. These shapes can also be used in lots of other keys with varying degrees of success so experiment!

Chord scales for modes DADGAD

How capos work and partial capoing for Irish and Celtic folk guitar

In this video I respond to a message from Claire who wanted to know how capos work. I also show you an unusual way to use a capo to create more interesting textures to your chordal backing for Celtic music! I sell quick change capos which can be used for partial capoing and also moved around the neck really fast! They cost £10 with postage included and can be purchased here.

I also sell Kyser quick change partial capos, which can fret three strings while leaving the others open. This is very handy for getting the DADGAD sound without learning any new shapes and also has loads of other cool applications! Check them out here.

Shubb make a capo specifically for partial capoing. It is shorter than the standard capo so as to only barre a few strings at a time. You can get one here:


My description of the Spider capo was a little misleading- they only capo one fret at a time, but can capo or not capo each string individually. Anyway here is where you can get one (there are cheaper versions, but these are the originals and probably better quality- I also feel that we should support the designers of clever things like this):

Celtic music theory Chord scales for modes

How to pick chords for Irish / Scottish music in the dorian, mixolydian or aeolian modes- Folk Friend

In this week’s free Irish / Scottish / Celtic guitar lesson, I’ll be finishing off my series of videos about how to pick chords by ear. In this one I’ll be covering the dorian, aeolian and mixolydian modes and showing you how to apply what you have already learnt in my previous videos to quickly and easily pick the right chords to back your favourites folk tunes every time!

Here is the rest of the series:

Complete Guide to Celtic Music Theory part 1

Complete Guide to Celtic Music Theory part 2

Easiest Way to Pick Chords By Ear part 1

Easiest Way to Pick Chords By Ear part 2

Celtic music theory Chord scales for modes Ear training

Easiest way to pick chords for Celtic guitar accompaniment PART 2

In my previous free guitar lesson I showed you how to pick the right chords for Irish / Celtic music by ear. I realised after I’d made it that there was another chord available to you, so I’m following up with one more type of simple chord substitution you can use to make your Irish backing guitar more interesting! If you haven’t already seen it, watch part 1 here.

Chord scales for modes Folky Fridays Jazz chord theory

Folky Fridays #4 – Interesting chord progressions and music theory – Irish jig in the dorian mode

I’m sorry that I was cut off by a technical difficulty so didn’t have time to look at the other two modes I had planned to cover. Next time I’ll be finishing this topic off going through a few classic Irish and Scottish tunes in the mixolydian and aeolian modes and showing you, first how to pick out simple chords and second how to use substitutions to make them more interesting.

The fourth Folky Fridays livestream Irish guitar lesson covered how to pick chords by ear for Irish, Scottish or Celtic tuned in the dorian mode. I was working with the jig Slieve / Sliabh Russell, which is in the mode of A dorian. You can find it played slowly here:

And faster here:

As ever I’d love to hear any questions you have! Leave me a comment in the box and I’ll do my best to help however I can :).

Chord scales for modes Jazz chord theory Styles of great guitarists

Using Django Reinhardt’s Gypsy Jazz guitar chords for Irish tunes in the dorian mode

This week’s free Irish guitar lesson from Folk Friend will be delving into some of the shapes popularised by Django Reinhardt which went on to define the sound of gypsy jazz… and how you can recycle them to make your Celtic backing guitar sound cool!

For examples of the amazing “Hot Club” sound of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappeli, check out the brilliant Platinum Collection album available here. Support Folk Friend by buying through this link- I will get a small commission if you do, which enables me to make more free videos!

For this Irish guitar lesson, we’ll be working with a reel in the dorian mode called The Star of Munster. The recording I play along with in this clip is by Matt Coleman:

There is also a slower version here:

And an even slower version here:

Celtic music theory Chord scales for modes DADGAD Drop D Ear training Fingerstyle Jazz chord theory Picking patterns Strumming patterns

Top Ten guitar practice tips for Irish, Scottish and Celtic guitarists – Folk Friend

It can be difficult to get started learning Celtic backing guitar. There is so much to learn, from ear training, to music theory, to strumming patterns to rhythms to memorising tunes…. So much to practice- so little time! In today’s free Celtic guitar lesson from Folk Friend, I’m going to be telling you my top ten practice tips to make your guitar practice time more efficient.

I’ll also be demonstrating my brand new invention, the Folk Friend Guitar Practice Diary (click the link to buy now)! It uses a targeted system of quarterly, monthly and weekly reviews alongside an events calendar and my revolutionary Tablusic system to help you achieve your goals quickly. It also contains lots of handy tidbits for the budding Celtic guitarist, like chord shapes, mode diagrams, practice techniques and a ready made section for you to write your own tabs and chord diagrams quickly and easily.

The Stephen Guise book I mentioned (Mini Habits) is available here.

I receive a small affiliate commission if you buy it through the above link.