Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Getting Help From Musicians On Facebook

From time to time I ask for a little help on my Facebook page for notes to songs I'm not familiar with. My facebook page has over 5,000 followers and I'd guess most are musicians of some some degree of proficiency. Generally I get no help with my requests for notes. In fact it's like trying to get blood out of a stone. I find this odd as in real life musicians will go out of their way to help someone who's struggling with a song, but this is Facebook and facebook is fickle. It's not really a big deal for me as I usually work out the notes myself, but it would be great to get some help now and again. I suppose it goes back to the old saying, ''If You Want Something Done Do It Yourself''.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Gaelic Storm - Lover´s Wreck Guitar Chords

Gaelic Storm Play This Song In The Key Of Fm

[Em]A hundred days at sea, a[D] wretch away from misery
[C]Rummies and rats and tarry jacks, my [D]only fami[Em]ly
The island of salvation is [D]still a scream away,
As the [Em]lungs of the night blow [A]out the light my heart kneels down to [Em]pray

Lord, why did you take her? She[D] meant so much to me.
Now I’m a [Bm]wretched soul on a privateer, drowning out at [Em]sea.
I’m killing and I’m drinking my [D]blue heart to black
But I [G]swear, oh Lord, I’ll never sin again, [C]if you bring her [Em]back!

The [Em]Gypsy was a siren, [D]dripping with desire
Her [C]moonlit hair and skin so fair, as[D] warm as frozen [Em]fire
She had the loyalty of a cat, be[D]hind those pale green eyes
And [Em]through her cherry [A]lips, the devil slipped a thousand [Em]lies[G][Em]
A [Em]clan of rogues and vagabonds [D]occupied her head;
That [Em]thieving band took her [C]pale white hand, and [D]stole her from my [Em]bed
And like a ghost ship in the night, she [D]drifted out once more
To [A]land upon the sand of a[Bm]nother lover’s [Em]shore

Lord, why did you take her? She [D]meant so much to me.
Now I’m a [Bm]wretched soul on a privateer, [G]drowning out at[Em] sea.
I’m killing and I’m drinking my [D]blue heart to black
But I [G]swear, oh Lord, I’ll never sin again, if you bring her [Em]back!

In my sleeping mind, she sings a sad and lonely lullaby;
And when I wake, there’s just the ache that'll haunt me 'til I die.
When those winds of vanity no longer blow her west,
I pray they’ll guide her home (across the foam) and put my heart to rest.

A press-gang filled this man-o-war, to make the black-mouthed cannon roar;
Now all my trade is ball and blade, and blood forevermore!
And the sting of salt and spray, the ocean’s howl and squall;
A stumbling wreck, I roam the deck, at the devil’s beck and call.. at the devil’s beck and call

Lord, why did you take her? She meant so much to me.
Now I’m a wretched soul on a privateer, drowning out at sea.
I’m killing and I’m drinking my blue heart to black
But I swear, oh Lord, I’ll never sin again, if you bring her back!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

About The Tin Whistle Book

Here's some useful information regarding the tin whistle book that's for sale on my website. The book is a collection of over one hundred mostly folk songs that are very popular in Ireland and around the world. They are all songs as opposed to traditional tunes. There are plenty of books around that provide traditional tunes for the whistle, so instead I concentrated on the well knows songs instead. While putting the book together I was very conscious of who the book would be most helpful to, so after a lot of thought I aimed the book at beginners and intermediate tin whistle players.
I was already aware that there was a large amount of players who for many reasons don't or can't read standard sheet music. So how was I going to help these bunch of people out ?.

Well from corresponding with those who visit my website over the years I found out that the simple ''Letter Notes'' were of enormous help to non sheet music readers, so I aimed to put a book together to include letter notes. But as I said the book was also aimed at intermediate players so I put together tin whistle sheet music to suit these players.
Personally I prefer learning a song by ear but when I'm out of practise I tend to lean towards reading the basic letter notes version of the song, I find it much quicker and easier to study this way.

It's now six months since the book was launched on my website and sales have been quiet steady in all that time. I'm very happy with the feedback from those who bought the book, it's all been very positive and supportive and I thank you all for the kind words.
Some people ask me will there be another book coming out ? well the answer is no as I have included most of the well known songs in this book already. Other's ask why I don't sell the book on Amazon ? well the answer is that it would push the price of the book to high. You see Amazon charge close to £7 to deliver, that's about €10. Also I would have to ship my box of books to the Amazon warehouse in the UK and that would ad more charges, so you see it would just not be worth while to sell on Amazon for me, and I really don't know how others can justify it. But there's another reason, if you're ever buying stuff on the Amazon website they don't tell you the postage charges until you ''check out'' and I feel that's deceiving buyers. They should place the postage charges beside the item for sale. I like to be up-front and honest with people and tell them exactly how much the book costs including post and packing.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The New Martin Dardis Website

My website has now got a new name. The new site is . It still has all the songs the old site had it's just being brought up to date. Irish Folk Songs

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Music In Ireland

Here's a link to a post I made last year regarding what music to expect when visiting Dublin As usual I say it the way I see it, but don't get me wrong there are still great sessions to be had once you know where to go and stay away from the tourist areas. There are tourists areas all around Ireland not just Dublin. Nothing wrong with tourist areas I hear you say, and you'd be right, but once they start playing tourist music It's time to stay clear and head to the hills for a good auld sing-song. You know the stuff I'm talking about, the Whiskey In The Jar kind of stuff they lash out to keep the visitors happy, except the visitors probably know more great Irish songs than the couple of lads in the corner ever will know. With the help of Marc and a handful of other contributors we have managed to put together 2,000 folk songs on one site. A large amount one could say, so why the heck with that amount of songs do we still hear the same 20 songs being lashed out to visitors to our country ? I have seen these lads the lenght and breath of Ireland for myself playing the same stuff night after night week after week with bored looks on their faces thinking they represent the kind of music Ireland is supposed to famous for. Well lads it's time you all learned a few new songs, and cheer yourself's up while you are at it.

Sorry About The Site Being Down

The site was down / out of commission for a few hours on Thursday 6th June from 6pm until 8-30. This was nothing to do with myself as the site is hosted in America, I have no control over time outs. It's very seldom this happens, perhaps twice a years for a few hours at a time. The hosting service has an excellent record with 99% up-time.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Strumstick In Folk Music - Review

No a lot of folk musicians will even of heard of the Strumstick. The one featured here is the 4 string instrument. There's another that only has 3 strings and is even easier to to play. The Strumstick hasn't been embraced by musicians as much as it should be. The 4 string model is played the very same as a guitar. It's mainly used to strum hence the name ''Strumstick'' . The only difference between a 4 string model and a guitar is that the two top strings are not on the strumstick. The A and E strings are left out. You wouldn't think when playing chords on such an instrument with two of the strings missing that the chords played would actually sound right, well they do. The only thing you hear that is missing when strummed is the lack of bass.

The sound itself is much like a mandolin. There are several ways it can be tuned, you could tune it like a mandolin / tenor banjo even. The beauty of this instrument is haw easy it is to play and that's one of the reasons it was developed in the first instance. It's an ideal way to start learning your first stringed instrument or if you found learning the guitar a bit too much and gave up. If you already play guitar then switching to a 4 string Strumstick will be a piece of cake as they say. For example to play a G chords all you need is one finger, the D is made the same as the guitar and so is the A chord and so on.

When playing with a group of musicians such as a session the sound made by the Strumstick will complement the sound made by the other instruments in the group. You'll get some strange looks when you first take the Strumstick into a ''session like'' gathering. Everybody that plays guitar will want to give it a try. It's best to play it with a strap as you'll need to support, whereas playing a guitar you have plenty of space in the body of the instrument for your arm to support the guitar while playing. The widest part of the body of the strumstick is only 6 inches which makes it one of the slimmest stringed musical instruments. If using a capo the same techniques apply as if it was a guitar. I can't see any reason why the easy to play / great sounding Strumstick should not be included into folk music. Have a look at the photo, compared to the guitar it's really small. This small youtube video is only an example of the sound and how easy it is to play.