Strumming patterns Styles of great guitarists

How to strum polkas, plus Steve Cooney style and strummed triplets!

In this free Irish guitar lesson from Folk Friend, I’ll be looking at how to play polkas. These are a type of tune written in 2/4 which are infamous amongst Irish and Scottish backing guitarists for their speed! The polka is also a common dance and tune type in western European folk music.

We’ll be demonstrating using John Ryan’s polka, a very common session tune. If you’d like to practice along at home, you can find my slow, medium and fast playalong track with on-screen guitar chords here.

A clawhammer style arrangement of John Ryan’s can be found in my book Irish Tunes For Fingerstyle Guitar, available in the Folk Friend online shop!

Here’s the clip of the amazing Steve Cooney and Seamus Begley playing polkas to which I refer in the video:

If you're just starting out in the world of Celtic backing guitar, my books can help! They cover everything you need to know about theory, structure, rhythms, chords, fingerstyle and much more... Check them all out here

If you'd like to learn how to play by ear then there's really no substitute for an experienced professional teacher. Click here to book your free trial lesson today!

If you would like a complete guide to folk backing on the guitar then you really need my book Backing Guitar Techniques For Traditional Celtic Music, which tells you all the music theory, strumming patterns, chord shapes and everything else you need to become a great backing guitarist and
My invention The Amazing Mode Wheel can show you all the notes and chords which fit in any scale used in Celtic music.

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