Alistair McCulloch briefly discusses the strathspey, its history and some of the key protagonists. This Post is only available to subscribed members. Login
The Art of Strathspey Playing
Learn tips and tricks of this most quintessential of Scottish tune types
The Art of Strathspey Playing is a series of lessons looking at the techniques one can employ on the fiddle to play strathspeys.
It will delve into the history of the strathspey and its key protagonists over the years, including Skinner and Marshall as well as some newer strathspeys penned in Scotland and Cape Breton in Canada.
This series of lessons will be pitched at the intermediate to advanced player, although improving learners may find some of the tips and lessons attainable.
Your Tutor - Alistair McCulloch
Alistair McCulloch hails from Ayr in Scotland and is one of the country’s best known fiddle performers, teachers and composers with many appearances on radio and television. Past winner of many fiddle championships, Alistair is fiddle instructor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
The Alistair McCulloch Trio features Aaron Jones of Old Blind Dogs, and former Capercaillie whistle wizard Marc Duff. His playing has seen him confirmed “as one of the finest fiddlers and composers of his generation” by The Living Tradition.
Lessons in the Course
Click on a lesson to be taken to it (you must be a subscriber)
Alistair McCulloch introduces us to the first of his strathspeys in this series, the classic “The Iron Man” by the Strathspey King, James Scott Skinner. This Post is only available to
Next, Alistair teaches us a strathspey from the Atholl Collection, with a sightly softer tonality with it being in the key of G Major. This Post is only available to subscribed
Alistair’s next tune is one in C Major from the Knockie Collection of Highland Music compiled by Simon Fraser in the 18th Century. This Post is only available to subscribed members.
The next strathspey to be taught by Alistair is a more contemporary one written by Angus Fitchett of Dundee. This Post is only available to subscribed members. Login
Alistair looks at his first pipe strathspey written by Pipe Major Willie Ross, focusing on producing pipe ornaments to add colour to the piece. This Post is only available to subscribed
Alistair turns his attention to the 18th century and a challenging strathspey written by one of the most famous composers of the strathspey, William Marshall. This Post is only available to
Alistair continues his series of strathspeys by looking at a gentile 18th century one from the pen of prolific composer, Robert Mackintosh. This Post is only available to subscribed members. Login
Alistair looks at a popular, yet challenging Strathspey from Cape Breton that he learnt from the playing of the late Jerry Holland. This Post is only available to subscribed members. Login
Next up in Alistair’s series on Strathspeys is one from Orkney from the pen of Ronnie Aim, which is named after a landmark there. This Post is only available to subscribed
Alistair next looks at another style of strathspey – the slow strathspey. This piece is written by one of the strathspey masters – Robert Mackintosh. This Post is only available to
Alistair turns his attention to a strathspey which uncommonly has 3 parts to it with the 3rd part being in a different key from the first two sections. This Post is
This time Alistair teaches one of his own tunes named after the world’s largest plane, the Antonov An-225 and written in B Minor, an uncommon key for a strathspey. This Post
The next strathspey Alistair teaches is one of his favourites written by James Hill of Gateshead, who was more known for writing hornpipes. This Post is only available to subscribed members.
Alistair’s penultimate strathspey in his series focuses on one very popular on the session scene; one to enhance your repertoire for sure! This Post is only available to subscribed members. Login
Alistair completes his series on The Art of the Strathspey by playing all the strathspeys in 5 different sets, displaying all the techniques taught. This Post is only available to subscribed