Laura Risk: Scottish and Québécois fiddling.

"I'm a classically-trained amateur, non-suzuki guy, and never thought I could learn by ear. I really thought the concept was just way out in left field for me. But...you proved me wrong! I was able to play the first tune (Here She Goes?) pretty well in about 20 minutes and then got comfortable enough to add my own little finger embellishments.
Maybe you ought to subtitle your training CDs for guys like me. 'Ear training for stubborn dummies who don't think they can.'"

 

Teaching CDs

Tunes 2001: 65 tunes from Laura Risk

Tunes 2001

Two CDs containing 65 well-known tunes from Scotland, Cape Breton, Ireland, Québec and New England: Reels, jigs, strathspeys, marches and airs, plus an A for tuning. I play every tune fast and then slow (except the airs, since they're already slow!). I recorded it in my living room but the sound quality is pretty good, and it's right at pitch. A great way to get better at learning by ear! Purchase at my website store.

Listen to "Smith's a Gallant Fireman" (the A part, played fast and then slow)

PDF liner notes to Tunes 2001

Tunes 2003: 82 more tunes from Laura Risk

Tunes 2003

Learn new repertoire by ear! Two CDs: 82 tunes. The repertoire is mostly Scottish, plus a few Cape Breton and Québécois tunes. There are reels, jigs, strathspeys, marches, airs and waltzes, plus an A for tuning. As on Tunes 2001, I play every tune fast and then slow.
(In case you're wondering, the repertoire on Tunes 2003 is completely different from the repertoire on Tunes 2001.) Purchase at my website store.

 

Listen to "Dunse Dings A"' (the A part, played fast and then slow)

Which one should I get first?

Unless you're already an experienced player, I recommend beginning with Tunes 2001. The first 25 tunes or so are fairly easy to learn by ear, and then the repertoire gets progressively more challenging. The idea is that you'll develop your learning-by-ear skills and enlarge your repertoire at the same time.
Tunes 2003, on the other hand, is intended as a repertoire source for fiddlers who are already comfortable learning by ear. To that end, the tunes are arranged in alphabetical order (more or less), rather than by level of difficulty.

 

Track listings

Tunes 2001

CD #1 PART 1
1 Tuning A
2-3 Off She Goes D major jig; Scotland / New England
4 Tha Mi Sgith (Ha Me Skee) A modal air / song; Scotland
5-6 Soldier's Joy D major reel; Shetland / Scotland / New England
7 Skye Boat Song G major air / song; Scotland
8-9 Highland Laddie A major march / song; Scotland
10-11 Stool of Repentance A major jig; Scotland
12-13 Reel St-Joseph D major reel; Québec
14 Star of the County Down A minor waltz; Ireland
15 Lea Rig A major air / song; Scotland
16-17 Mrs. McLeod A major reel; Scotland
18-19 Fairy Dance D major reel; Scotland
20 Southwind G major waltz; Ireland
21-22 My Love She's But a Lassie Yet D major reel / song; Scotland
23-24 Traditional Polka A major polka; Ireland
25 Aran Boat Song E minor air / song; Scotland / Ireland
PART 2  
26-27 Reel Sherbrooke G major reel; Québec
28-29 Mug of Brown Ale A minor jig; Ireland
30-31 Willa Fjord D major reel; Shetland
32 Margaret's Waltz A major waltz; English
33-34 Lay Dee at Dee D major reel; Shetland
35-36 Mucking of Geordie's Byre D major jig; Scotland
37 Mist-Covered Mountains A minor air; Scotland
38-39 Glencoe March D major march; Cape Breton
40 Lochaber No More A modal air; Scotland
PART 3  
41-42 Sailor's Wife D minor jig; Scotland / New England
43-44 Stella's Trip to Kamloops A major march; Cape Breton
45-46 Brenda Stubbert's A minor reel; Cape Breton
47-48 Andy de Jarlis E major jig; Cape Breton
49 The Hills of Lorne D major air; Scotland
50-51 High Road to Linton A major reel; Scotland
52-53 Sean Ryan's A minor jig; Ireland
54-55 Braes of Mar D major strathspey; Scotland
56-57 Margaree Reel A major reel; Scotland / Cape Breton
58 Lament for the Rev. Archie Beaton G major air; Scotland
59-60 Devil in the Kitchen A modal strathspey; Scotland / Cape Breton
61-62 The Smith's a Gallant Fireman D major strathspey; Scotland
CD #2 (PART 3 continued)
1-2 Stan Chapman's A major jig; Cape Breton
3-4 Julia Delaney's D minor reel; Ireland
5-6 Old Favorite G major jig; Ireland
7-8 Captain Campbell A minor strathspey; Cape Breton
9-10 Barrowburn D major reel; Scotland
11-12 Rights of Man E minor hornpipe; Ireland
13-14 Drummond Castle A minor jig; Cape Breton / Scotland
15-16 Stirling Castle D major strathspey; Scotland
17-18 St Kilda's Wedding A major reel; Scotland
19-20 Cullen House F major jig; Scotland / Cape Breton
21-22 Calliope House E major jig; Scotland
23-24 Dinkey's A major reel; Ireland
25-26 Scarce of Tatties A modal jig; Scotland
27 Hector the Hero A major air; Scotland
28-29 Paddy's Trip to Scotland D major reel; Ireland
30-31 Braes of Castle Grant A major pipe march; Scotland
32-33 Miss Drummond of Perth A modal strathspey; Scotland
34-35 Marquis of Huntly's G minor strathspey; Scotland
PART 4  
36-37 Macarthur Road E major reel; Scotland / Ireland
38-39 Cliffs of Moher A modal jig; Ireland
40-41 Ewie with the Crooked Horn G minor strathspey; Scotland
42-43 Mrs. Mary MacDonald G minor reel; Scotland
44 Father John McMillan of Barra A major pipe march; Scotland
45-46 Tulchan Lodge A major strathspey; Scotland
47-48 Reconciliation A major reel; Scotland
49-50 The New Fiddle E major jig; Cape Breton
51-52 Charlie Lennon's B minor reel; Ireland
53-54 Golden Eagle G major hornpipe; Ireland
55 Sunday River F major waltz; United States

Tunes 2003

CD#1
1 Tuning A
2-3 Angus MacKinnon B minor march
4-5 Andy Renwick's Ferret A minor reel
6-7 The Ale is Dear B minor reel
8-9 Atholl Brose D modal strathspey
10 Da Auld Resting Chair G major air, by Tom Anderson (Shetland)
11-12 The Banks of Spey A minor strathspey
13-14 The Bird's Nest A minor reel
15-16 The Braes of Tullimet E minor strathspey
17-18 Brisk Bob B minor strathspey
19-20 Brochan Lom G major strathspey
21-22 Bromley Brae D major reel, by William MacPherson
23 Coilsfield House G major air, by Nathaniel Gow
24-25 The Connumdrum A major march, by Peter MacLeod, Jr.
26 The Cradle Song A major air, by JS Skinner
27-28 Craigellichie Lasses D major jig, by William Marshall
29-30 Cross of Inverness G major reel
31-32 Deil's awa' with the Exciseman A modal jig
33-34 Donald MacLean of Lewis A modal march, by PM Donald MacLeod
35-36 The Drummer A minor reel
37-38 The Duke of Fife's Welcome to Deeside A major march, by JS Skinner
39-40 Dunse Dings A' A modal reel
41-42 Earl Grey A major strathspey, by J. Hill
43-44 Reel Eugene B minor reel (Québec)
45-46 Fisher's Rant G major strathspey
47 Forneth House D major air
48-49 Geordie McLeish D major reel
50-51 Gillian's Reel A major reel
52-53 Gladstone A major reel, by JS Skinner
54-55 The Glenburnie Rant E minor reel
56-57 The Headlands A major march, by Ronnie Cooper (Shetland)
58-59 Highland Whiskey A major strathspey, by Neil Gow
60-61 Hull's Reel E major reel, by John Morris Rankin(Cape Breton)
62-63 I Lost My Love A minor jig
64-65 The Iron Man A major strathspey, by JS Skinner
66-67 Issoudun A major reel (Québec)
68-69 Jenny Dang the Weaver D major reel
70-71 Lady Charlotte Campbell G major strathspey
72-73 Lady Hope of Pinkie B flat major strathspey
74-75 Larach Alasdair A modal jig

DISC 2
1-2 Loch Earn G major reel, by Neil Gow
3-4 Mairi's Wedding D major song
5-6 Da Merry Boys of Greenland D major reel (Shetland)
7 The Mill Mill O D major song
8-9 Millbrae A major reel, by Ronnie Cooper (Shetland)
10-11 Miller o' Hirn D major strathspey, by JS Skinner
12-13 Miss Douglas G major strathspey
14-15 Miss Hannah G major jig, by William Marshall
16-17 Miss Lyall A minor strathspey
18-19 Miss Shepherd A minor reel, by JS Skinner
20-21 Miss Stewart of Grantully A modal strathspey, by Neil Gow
22-23 Miss Susan Cooper D major reel, by Ronnie Cooper (Shetland)
24 Mo Mhathair B flat major air
25-26 Mr. Morrison of Bognie A major jig, by William Marshall
27-28 Mrs. HL MacDonald of Dunach D major march, by Willie Lawrie
29-30 Mrs. Murray of Lintrose A major country dance
31 The Music of Spey A major air, by JS Skinner
32 My Cape Breton Home G major waltz, by Jerry Holland (Cape Breton)
33-34 My Kindly Sweetheart B minor reel
35-36 My Wife's a Wanton Wee Thing D modal jig
37-38 Northern March A modal march
39-40 North of the Grampians C major strathspey
41-42 The Old Grey Cat E minor reel
43-44 The Perthshire Hunt A major reel, by Miss Stirling
45-46 Peter's Peerie Boat D major jig, by Tom Anderson (Shetland)
47-48 PM Sam Scott D major march
49-50 Pretty Peggy D major reel
51-52 Put Me in the Big Chest A major reel
53-54 Rachel Rae D major reel
55-56 Salmon Tails up the Water G major polka (Irish)
57-58 Sand Worms E minor reel, by Laura Risk (California)
59-60 Sleep Soond ida Moarnin A minor reel (Shetland)
61 Da Slockit Light D major air, by Tom Anderson (Shetland)
62-63 Snug in a Blanket D major jig
64-65 Stumpie A major strathspey
66-67 Tail Toddle D major reel
68-69 Tea Song A major jig
70-71 West Mabou Reel G major reel (Cape Breton)
72-73 When Charlie Comes A minor reel
74-75 Whistle O'er the Lave O't G major strathspey
76-77 The Wind that Shakes the Barley D major reel
78-79 The 72nd Highlanders Farewell to Aberdeen D major march
80 Valse des Jouets D major waltz, by Michel Faubert (Québec)