Reviews -The Minstrel Boy
|Here are reviews of Glenn Weiser's first book of Celtic fingerstyle
guitar arrangements, "The Minstrel Boy." The book is now out of print, but 36 of the
tunes have been reprinted in his "Folk Songs for Solo Guitar,"
and 24 more are included in his Celtic Guitar".
See also: Reviews of Celtic Harp Music of Carolan and Others for Solo Guitar
The Minstrel Boy
intermediate players. Featuring 85 traditional fiddle tunes for fingerstyle guitar, all in
standard or dropped-D tuning, this is one of the most cohesive and well-organized
introductions to playing Irish, Scottish, and American fiddle tunes on guitar."
"'The Minstrel Boy' is the first of three volumes that guitarist
Glenn Weiser has prepared of fingerstlye arrangements of fiddle tunes and other music with
Celtic roots. The compositions are divided into four sections: Jigs, Reel, Hornpipes, and
"Marches, Airs, Songs and Tunes." Tunes are presented in standard
notation and tablature. Unlike many arrangements of this material, Weiser's are either in
standard or dropped-D tuning, saving you broken strings and those interminable tuning
breaks. I had little trouble playing the tunes I attemped, which either means Weiser's
arrangements are relatively playable or I'm getting better (I suspect the former). The
combination of accesible tunings, reasonable arrangements, and a good choice of tunes
makes Weiser's book a cut above other books covering similar material. If you are
interested in learning how to fingerpick some Celtic tunes on guitar, "The Minstrel
Boy" is a good place to start."
"One should bear in mind that Weiser's arrangements are intended for
the solo guitarist, performing in a fingerpicking style; also, the concept of
'Traditional' is intended to embrace Celtic tunes, originating from Ireland, Scotland,
Wales, Brittany and the Cape Breton area of Nova Scotia, although Weiser does include some
Americanized versions of tunes of Celtic origin or flavor.
"So many familiar and traditional tunes are of Celtic origin, and a
large number of them are in this volume. Weiser has scoured the available sources to
compile a collection of melodies with enduring appeal. (You'll be surprised to find how
many you recognize and remember fondly.) Included are such perennial favorites as
"The Ash Grove," "Danny Boy," "Drink to Me Only with Thine
Eyes," "Oh! Them Golden Slippers," "Turkey in the Straw," and
dozens more. The sections of the book deal with the various dance and song forms: reel,
jig, hornpipe, waltz, air, march, and polka, and there are explanatory notes on the tune
types as well as the individual pieces.
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