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Celtic chord scheme help


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  • Celtic chord scheme help

    Hey all!

    First things first, im new here, this is my first topic and post, so if its in the wrong section then my sincere apologies. I have looked to where to post it, but found out that this was the most suitable place to post.

    But ok, i do have a problem..

    I really, REALLY do love the tradtional celtic songs, and then especially the songs with those very fast fiddle melodies, you know what i mean, usually they are in 6/8 but they are in 4/4 as well.

    Now, I am a keyboard player, (also a lot of other instruments, but nevermind that, since i will introduce myself somewhere else on this forum too), and there i have such kind of fiddle to play, and some very awesome celtic styles. But...

    I try to find out what chord scheme i should use.. But everytime i try it, i cannot find the right one so that the fiddle pattern sounds a bit like those celtic songs...

    Its not about my finger speed.. I am fast enough to conquer those fiddle melodies, but i just mess up my chord scheme..

    You know, i was tought at tradtional piano study that a blues scheme is: C C F C G F C for both the verses and the chorus, and that you eventually can add a bridge with A Flat and B flat (Ab Bb)

    That all does sound good, but not for celtic songs

    I have tried almost everything.. CFCFG, GFGFD, GDGDC and so forth, but that all didnt sound that good.
    The first one CFCFG was the closest..

    So, can someone please tell me what a typical celtic chord scheme is for those fast fiddle melodies, so i can try them out?

    Thnx in advance, 

    Cheers, Mara

  • #2

    Having tried myself to write a Celtic-sounding tune I look forward to what people have to say on the subject.

    “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.


    • blue2blue
      blue2blue commented
      Editing a comment

      Celtic music is often modal, and often tends to lean toward what  amount to 5 and 6 note scales. Scales with what amout to flat 7's are common.

      Honestly, I would take a couple of example songs and try to break them down.


      I found this perhaps over-simplified breakdown of "She Moves Through the Fair": http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/f/fairport_convention/she_moves_through_the_fair_crd.htm

      I would break up the long D stretches with a quick C to cover the melody as it dips (or goes up, it's done both ways): so,  in the first verse, hitting a C chord to cover "to" in the first line and "slight" in the third.


      Of course,  it wouldn't be folk music if different folks didn't stroke it different ways... here's an entirely different chord arrangement of the same tune, in the key of G, but with the real difference is the relationship of the chords: http://www.irishmusicdaily.com/she-moved-through-the-fair-lyrics-and-chords [to be honest, I think this guy or gal is off in space, but, again,  the different chords presumably reflect one of the alternate melodies.]