I’ve been putting this one off for a while, but it’s finally time to examine the style of one of the absolute giants of Irish backing guitar- John Doyle! Famous for his work with Solas, The Teetotallers, McCusker, McGoldrick and Doyle, Usher’s Island and many more, John Doyle is a hugely versatile player who brings a wealth of interesting techniques to Irish guitar accompaniment. In this series I’ll be breaking down the most common chord shapes he uses for backing tunes, by examining a live clip of John Doyle and Liz Carroll at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston from 2009 (see below). In the next part I’ll be going into more detail on the chord techniques he uses later in the clip, and in the final part I’ll be examining his simple strumming style for reels and how he uses syncopated accents to make loads of cool rhythmic variations.
Here’s the original clip:
And here are all all four parts of my guide to John Doyle’s unique Irish guitar backing style: