Challenge Yourself To Learn More

Understanding the psychology of learning an Irish music instrument and the value of goal setting, we decided to create a challenge for you to help take your playing to the next level. We call it the 50 Irish Session Tunes Challenge.

Why 50? Well, we figured the challenge would be to learn a new tune each week for a year and allowing for 2 weeks off, that left us with the magic number of 50.

So if you’re up for the challenge, you simple take this course and progress from tune to tune each week. You will be learning the tunes from lots of different instruments, which is the real beauty, and challenge, of session playing. So not only will you be learning new tunes for your repertoire, you’ll be a savvy session player by the end of the course.

We warn you, this is not for the faint of heart. This challenge is for those really serious about progressing with their Irish music journey. Who knows, maybe you’ll be drawn to pick up another instrument while you’re at it;-)

50 Irish Session Tunes Challenge Lessons

Level

Kerry Polka

Tune 1: Kerry Polka

  • D Major
  • Level 1
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

Join Kirsten as she introduces the challenge and teaches the first tune

Polka

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The Rattlin’ Bog

Tune 2: The Rattlin' Bog

  • D Major
  • Level 1
  • Melody
Learn Irish Flute Online

In this lesson, Steph will teach a simple tune in the key of D major

Polka

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Maggie in the Woods

Tune 3: Maggie in the Woods

  • G Major
  • Level 1
  • Melody
Learn Irish Fiddle Online

In this lesson, Niamh will teach a simple Polka in the key of G major

Polka

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The Balllydesmond Polka

Tune 4: Balllydesmond Polka

  • C Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Accordion Online

A lively polka is taught in this first lesson. Daire pays particular attention to the ‘cut’. Polka


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Britches Full of Stiches

Tune 5: Britches Full of Stitches

  • G Major
  • Level 1
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

Another lively Polka will be taught in this lesson, called ‘Britches Full of Stitches’

Polka

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Geese in the Bog

Tune 6: Geese in the Bog

  • C Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Fiddle Online Intermediate

This lesson is the first from the ‘Clare Fiddle Styles’ course.

Jig

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The Ten Penny Bit

Tune 7: Ten Penny Bit

  • A Minor
  • Level 1
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

Kirsten will use the tune to demonstrate and teach ‘taps’

Jig

Start now

Connacht Man’s Rambles

Tune 8: The Connaught Man's Rambles

  • D Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Guitar Online

The jig, ‘The Connaught Man’s Rambles’ is featured in this lesson…

Jig

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John McKenna’s Jig

Tune 9: John McKenna's Jig

  • G Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Flute Online

The use of the glottal-stop

Jig

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The Clare Jig

Tune 10: The Clare Jig

  • A Minor
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Flute Online

Majella introduces ‘ti-ka-ta’ tonguing in this lesson.

Jig

Start now

The Butterfly

Tune 11: The Butterfly

  • B Minor
  • Level 1
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

Introducing ‘the slide’ and how it can be used to soften notes

Slip Jig

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Na Ceannabhain Bhána

Tune 12: Na Ceannabhain Bhána

  • G Major
  • Level 1
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

The ornament ‘the cut’ will be introduced and applied to this Slip Jig

Slip Jig

Start now

Pigtown

Tune 13: Pig Town

  • G Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Flute Online

Featuring how to improve lung capacity and tone

Reel

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Rolling in the Ryegrass

Tune 14: Rolling in the Ryegrass

  • D Major
  • Level 1
  • Melody
Learn Irish Fiddle Online

The use of the high B note, triplets and rolls

Reel

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Garrett Barry’s Jig

Tune 15: Garret Barry's

  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

Cranns and ornaments of the note C sharp are introduced

Jig

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The Rolling Wave

Tune 16: The Rolling Wave

  • D Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Piano Online

Accompaniment using both left and right hand.

Jig

Start now

The Boys of Bluehill

Tune 17: The Boys of Bluehill

  • D Major
  • Level 1
  • Melody
Learn Irish Flute Online

How to incorporate the triplet ornament into the tune

Hornpipe

Start now

Harvest Home

Tune 18: Harvest Home

  • D Major
  • Level 1
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

Introduction to the roll on the note of A

Hornpipe

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Sporting Paddy

Tune 19: Sporting Paddy

  • A Minor
  • Level 1
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

Lots of scope to practice the A roll!

Reel

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The Coach Trip to Sligo

Tune 20: Coach Trip to Sligo

  • G Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Flute Online

The roll on the note of G

Jig

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Whelan’s Jig

Tune 21: Whelan's Jig

  • E Minor
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

Rolls and their ability to create rhythmic and melodic variation

Jig

Start now

The Wandering Minstrel

Tune 22: The Wandering Minstrel

  • D Major
  • Level 3
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

Focus on the ‘bounce’ and various methods of articulation

Jig

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The Tulla Reel

Tune 23: The Tulla Reel

  • D Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Accordion Online

Study of cuts and triplets

Reel

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Drowsy Maggie

Tune 24: Drowsy Maggie

  • G Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Accordion Online

Focus on Ornamentation and Variation

Reel

Start now

Sally Garden’s

Tune 25: Sally Gardens

  • G Major
  • Level 1
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

Study of breathing in reels and use of ‘the cut’

Reel

Start now

Maid Behind The Bar

Tune 26: The Maid Behind the Bar

  • D Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

Study of long rolls, cuts and taps

Reel

Start now

Sí Bheag Sí Mhór

Tune 27: Si Bheag Si Mhor

  • D Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

Focus on Short Rolls

Waltz

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The Glen of Aherlow

Tune 28: The Glen of Aherlow

  • E Minor
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Fiddle Online Intermediate

Study of rolls, triplets and variation

Reel

Start now

Martin Wynne’s

Tune 29: Martin Wynne's Reel

  • G Major
  • Level 3
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

How to create melodic variation subtly throughout the tune

Reel

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West Clare Reel

Tune 30: The West Clare Reel

  • A Mixolydian
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

Thomas will demonstrate how to ‘half hole’ effectively

Reel

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The Lilting Banshee

Tune 31: The Lilting Banshee

  • A Minor
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Concertina Online

Study of cuts, octave playing and chords

Jig

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I Buried My Wife and Danced on Top of Her

Tune 32: I Buried My Wife And Danced On Top Of Her

  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Concertina Online

This tune is in the key of D mixolydian


Start now

The Rose in the Heather

Tune 33: The Rose in the Heather

  • D Major
  • Level 1
  • Melody
Learn Irish Fiddle Online

Focus on the use of second finger rolls, and the note of high B

Jig

Start now

The Galway Rambler

Tune 34: The Galway Rambler

  • G Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody

Focus will be on using the bridging technique

Reel

Start now

Reel

Tune 35: Roscommon Reel

  • E Minor
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Fiddle Online

Majella will focus on full rolls and one note bow triplets

Reel

Start now

The Silver Spear

Tune 36: The Silver Spear

  • D Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Fiddle Online

Tola will introduce the ‘triplet bow’ technique

Reel

Start now

John McHugh’s

Tune 37: John McHugh's Jig

  • G Major
  • Level 1
  • Melody
Learn Irish Concertina Online

Study of the triplet

Jig

Start now

The Mist Covered Mountain

Tune 38: The Mist Covered Mountain

  • A Minor
  • Level 1
  • Melody
Learn Irish Accordion Online

Derek introduces the ornament ‘The Roll’ in this lesson

Jig

Start now

Trip to the Cottage

Tune 39: Trip to the Cottage

  • D Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Fiddle Online

Rhythmic effects of double-stopping

Jig

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Fig for A Kiss

Tune 40: A Fig for a Kiss

  • E Minor
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Flute Online

An exercise to strengthen tone and embouchure will be given.

Slip Jig

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Humours of Whiskey

Tune 41: The Humours of Whiskey

  • B Minor
  • Level 1
  • Melody
Learn Irish Flute Online

Throat articulation and strengthening it

Slip Jig

Start now

The Drunken Landlady

Tune 42: The Drunken Landlady

  • A Minor
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Flute Online

Rhythmic playing and embellishments

Reel

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The Red Haired Lass

Tune 43: The Red Haired Lass

  • G Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Accordion Online

Introducing the ornament the ‘roll’ on the accordion

Reel

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The Swallow’s Tail

Tune 44: The Swallow's Tail

  • A Minor
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

How to incorporate rhythmic variation into the tune

Reel

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The Plains of Boyle

Tune 45: The Plains of Boyle

  • D Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Tin Whistle Online

Variation will be discussed and demonstrated

Hornpipe

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Off to California

Tune 46: Off to California

  • G Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Flute Online

Kirsten will focus on melodic variation in this tune

Hornpipe

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The Derry Horpipe

Tune 47: Derry Hornpipe

  • D Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Flute Online

Study of intonation

Hornpipe

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The Ashplant

Tune 48: The Ashplant

  • E Minor
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Flute Online

Focus on strengthening the E roll and intonation

Reel

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Lady Ann Montgomery’s

Tune 49: Lady Ann Montgomery's

  • D Major
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Flute Online

Practice in bringing out the low D’s

Reel

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The Crosses of Annagh

Tune 50: The Crosses of Annagh

  • A Minor
  • Level 2
  • Melody
Learn Irish Flute Online

Introducing the G roll

Reel

Start now