Red Haired Boy: Irish Campanela Video and TAB


Here is a snappy Irish tune that I arranged in 99.9% campanela style. Be on the lookout for an upcoming Ukulele Secret devoted to campanela and the reentrant tuning.

This would be called “melodic” style for the banjo where the melody of the song is played in the three finger banjo style. The TAB contains the main melody for the song but as you will see in the video, I play a lot more flowing notes in some sections, taking full advantage of the campanela style and reentrant tuning.

Download the TAB for Red Haired Boy

And here is the vidya..


7 responses to “Red Haired Boy: Irish Campanela Video and TAB

  • Frankevich

    Not one of my favorite tunes, but you bring it alive–good job! Thanks for the video and tab. On your next published tab, could you add the chord names over the treble clef for reference purposes? Many thanks, best wishes, and please keep up the good playing.

  • Frankevich

    Well, it’s sort of odd; I guess I should have said that “I like it when played well” as you have done–other times, Bah! If you know what I mean. I think this is may be because many of these folk tunes are so familiar that if played just so-so, they get tiresome.

    One of the reasons this arrangement of yours appeals to me is because of the so-called three finger “melodic” style (AKA “fiddle” or “chromatic” style when played on a 5 string bluegrass style banjo.) Having played banjo for years, I am partial to this style of playing because of the extra melody notes per measure (as opposed to Scruggs style which has many more “filler” notes per measure.)

    I hope you will bring us more of this “melodic” style playing and tabbing for the uke which I think suits the style to a T and of which (playing or tabbing) there is not much out there I have found. It is as you point out similar to the campanella style of, say, the late John King, but not using the ring finger.

    In any event, I think it has a great potential to become popular on the uke. I am just beginning to learn the uke, and will be playing almost exclusively in this three finger style (the banjo influence I guess). In fact, if you’ll allow me to say so, I get tired of hearing all the uke strumming which goes on.

    Be this all as it may, thanks again for bringing this nice example of “melodic uke” to us.

    • ukulelesecrets

      Frank (can I call you Frank?) I do know what you mean. And it is an appealing style to play and listen to on the ukulele. I agree.

      As a disclaimer to my next comment, I just began playing banjo, but in old style clawhammer only. I plan to move on to three finger but I anticipate melodic will be more difficult than Scruggs. I am in no hurry. So, my comment is – I think the transition should be easy for you if you already play melodic banjo. You should be kicking ass at this.

      I have already tabbed Farewell to Whiskey and will post it around the middle of next week. Same style we are talking about. I am sure, if you like the song, you will enjoy working it up.

      In the mean time I would encourage you to not limit yourself to “three finger”, meaning no ring finger, as you mention. The Larry O’Gaff tab that Al at Ukulele Hunt transcribed required me to use my ring finger often in order to execute some of the runs at top speed. It was worth the extra finger.

      Anyhow, the ukulele is well suited to this style of playing and I hope more and more players take advantage. It is very satisfying and I am glad you are enthusiastic about it.

  • Frankevich

    Hi Tim (if I may) and please call me Frank!

    I also started out on clawhammer banjo–many years ago–and only switched to bluegrass (three finger) style about 10 years ago. One’s taste changes over time it seems. I came to much prefer the bluegrass style but had to give up the instrument because it was affecting my nerves and my ear drums. Enter the ukulele which is a lot more mellow! Yes, I hope to pick it up fairly easily. I just ordered a new one for wife from Mainland Ukuleles in Indiana (made in mainland China, by the way!). They have had great reviews and I like the looks and sound.

    Anyway, good luck with the banjo. You are probably aware of the fact that clawhammer and bluegrass styles are VERY different, but you should have no trouble with either.

    As for the 4th (ring) finger, I’ll not forget it but I associate its use with the more classical type of stuff. I think over time I will introduce it, just sticking with the three fingers for the time being. I also like the “Travis style” of fingerpicking sound on guitar as perhaps best exemplified by Chet Atkins and plan to use a lot of it on the uke. Unless I am mistaken, the orgininal Merle Travis style was TWO fingers!? and later evolved to use of three?

    Be all this as it may, keep up the great playing. By the way, “Farewell to Whiskey” is one of my favorites–will look forward to hearing your rendition, and tab (with chords!?).

    Cheers, Frank

  • Rolf

    Added, I really like your site! 🙂

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