Hello Everyone,

I'm gradually building up a collection of tunes, but they are in no particular order.  Could anyone suggest some sets of tunes which run well together?  I realise that every group will probably have their own sets but any help would be appreciated! 

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In Tipperary, Paddy o" Brien (box player) book is very popular as a lot of his compositions are printed as sets...really good book, dont know if u play his music , he has some fantastic tunes.

Hope this helps...


Ha - another chap with an "oddments draw!" Thats where I keep all my single tunes that don't seem to match up with anything else - until I find partners for them. Then, when I find a match, I add the set into my abattoire (its like a repetoire but in my case its a place where good tunes go to be slaughtered!)


It's impossble to give you much help as you've not listed any of the actual tunes in your oddments draw. And, if you had, odds are that I wouldn't know them anyway. I can only give you general advice that you probably already!


Whilst you can put sets together of tunes in different time signatures - say a march going into a reel, its more usual to lump tunes together with the same time signatures. Having said that, much of the rest depends on what you want to achieve. It can be useful to change key from the first tune to the second, it can also be handy to ramp up the speed of the second one. Tunes will sit together nicely if they have similar tonal structures but you don't always want that "sameness". Much depends as well on where you are going to play them. If its for a local session then you need look no further than the tunes that they already lump together.


See if you can find other peoples versions of sets that contain some or all of the tunes you already know. You may find some pearls that you want to learn to match them up with your existing "stock". Other than that, just experiment. If you listen to your "output", you can soon determine if things are working or not.


I hope thats helped!





Thanks Mc G, I'll check it out.  Although I don't read music, at least I'll have a list of tunes which I can learn.  Sounds like a good place to start anyway!

Hi Mike,

thanks for that.  Yes I have a bit of an oddments drawer alright.  As I'm just learning the fiddle I was just looking for some fairly well known sets to start out with, even if they have become a bit of a cliche to the more experienced players!  I like your abattoire idea!  Nice one!


Paul. If you dont read music and want the ABC's check out www.tunepal.org Great resource for getting a few versions of tunes and also created by Dubliner Bryan Duggan.

Just had a look Tony, excellent site, thanks.


Although I am not good at remembering tunes names, I really thinks it lifts a set if you end on a bm tune or F#m or something like that, those keys have a kind of uplifting crank factor to them:)

Thanks Brid, sounds great.  I'll look into that too.


Well, after a bit of research I found this link which leads to a very nice tune book.  Some familiar names and some new ones for me in there http://members.cox.net/eskin/tunebook.html.


Cheers Ben, that's good advice. It seems there are as many combinations of tunes as there are sessions!  Will check out the local scene and see what they are up to.  I won't be learning the dots direct from the book but will probably seek them out on the web via tunepal, or youtube to hear how they sound.  From there I will learn them by ear.

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