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.


Course Syllabus & Structure

TitleLesson Length
Introduction to the Strathspey02m 56s
The Iron Man19m 34s
Lord Seaforth20m 15s
More Coming Soon!

Each lesson is split into 4 or 5 clips depending on the type of tune. 

This could be:
1. A Brief Intro and Play Through
2. A tutorial on the ‘A’ Section
3. A tutorial on the ‘B’ Section
4. A tutorial on ornamentation.

Alistair McCulloch

Your Tutor -

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.

Alistair McCulloch - Fiddle Tutor

Introduction to the Strathspey

Alistair McCulloch briefly discusses the strathspey, its history and some of the key protagonists.   This Post is only available to subscribed members. Login

Alistair McCulloch

The Iron Man

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


Lord Seaforth

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

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