Skip to content
Clear all

Celtic Guitar

6 Posts
5 Users
0 Reactions
Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 20
Topic starter  

Does anybody here know of any celtic guitar songs i could play? Especially ones with extremely complicated strumming/chord patterns. My orchestra teacher is starting an advanced strings class with mostly celtic music and she needs another good rhythm guitarist.

I'm a chordie at heart, played (a little too) many dashboard confessional songs, so i'm not really sure what'll be considered hard chords or strumming patterns. I can play A, E, or C barre chords and the like and i've played piano and cello and sang all my life so i've already got a nice background for this.

I just need names of good celtic guitar songs and any tips you guys can give me that are unique to celtic guitar playing. Thanks!

Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 973

Most strummed Celtic songs tend not to have very complicated chord patterns. The most complicated ones tend to be fingerpicked with more complex, often changing, patterns and unique voicings produced through alternate tunings, such as John Renbourn's version of "The mist covered mountains of home" (Chì Mi Na Mórbheanna) in open G minor tuning: DGDGBbD. or Davy Graham's version of "She moved through the Fair" in DADGAD.
Strummed Celtic songs generally have few chords, although they're often modal, the mixolydian chords being quite common in 'major key' songs and the dorian chords in 'minor key' songs. Rhythmically, they can often often change meter, such as from reels to jigs and back again but that's not too complicated if you know it's coming.
Here's a great example of 'strummed' Celtic music by Alan Stivell.

Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 20
Topic starter  

Thank you very much for the info! Yah what i needed to practice was rythmic stuff because i do not know how advanced it gets. I'll look into the stuff you mentioned.

Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 3221

Check out some of the lessons from GN's own Doug Sparling. Mostly fingerstyle, but no reason you can't strum along to them.

Eagle's Whistle:

Buachaille on Eirne:

Sean Bui - this one is flatpicking, but Doug strums the rhythm and posted some tips on it in the lessons section of the forum:


"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."

Honorable Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 646

Not to mention David Hodge's article on Celtic music: "A Celtic Air".

Helgi Briem
hbriem AT gmail DOT com

Honorable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 530

Ever heard John Petrucci's "Glasgow Kiss" from his solo record? Holy hell, what a song! Such a cool take on those irish triplets. That and Steve Morse's "Highland Wedding" are great fusions of rock and irish music, if you're into that sorta thing.

"Contrary to popular belief, Clapton is NOT God. The prospect that he is God probably had a large hand in driving him to drugs and booze. Thanks everyone."

-Guitar World :lol: