Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Hans Eckert Luthier, Mühltal, Germany near Frankfurt

Today I visited a Luthier near Frankfurt in Germany. Hans Eckert is a relatively new Luthier in Germany.

I first met him by chance at a session 2 years ago. I did not know he was a luthier, then. Just heard about his profession a few weeks ago. As he lives not too far from my hometown I thought it would be a good idea to visit him at his workshop.

We met at his workshop in a little town called Mühltal where he lives. He builds stringed instruments for some years now. In 2015 he regularly worked with Heiner Dreizehnter at his workshop in Allgäu, Germany. Heiner is a famous German Luthier who made Guitars and Bouzoukis for many famous musicians.

Now Hans has got his own workshop where he builds Guitars, Mandolins, Bouzoukis and Banjos. He also repairs all kinds of stringed instruments. I brought an old Böhm Waldzither and he will restore it for me. He also will do some repair work on my Dreizehnter Guitar Bouzouki.

We talked a lot about his efforts in building instruments, the difficulties to get good tone wood and building techniques. He has a good knowledge of building instruments and I really think about ordering a 10 string bouzouki from him.

After a long conversation about the restoration of my Waldzither we sat together and played some tunes on Mandolin and Bouzouki. I really enjoyed the afternoon with him and hope to see him soon at a session somewhere.

Here are some more photos from his workshop

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Michael Chapman and Rino Eriksen

Lovely playing here by Michael and Rino on Cittern and Flute. Old Maid of Galway and The Green Mountain. Hope you enjoy it.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Pat Kelly's Summer School 2016

This year will be another Pat Kelly Summer School in Elmstein in Germany. The website is newly designed, so have a look and find out all about the many courses that will take part. Booking is open for 3 weeks now but more than 100 people have signed already. So you can be sure there will be lots of music and craic all around the place.

This is the English version of the page:

Of course there's a workshop for Irish Bouzouki, too. Here's the link for information:

Tobias Kurig is a well known bouzouki player in Germany, and in Ireland, too. He plays with groups Nua, Blue and many other musicians.

Here are some videos featuring Tobias:

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Beginner Tutorial Position of the Left Hand Fingers

Duncan Ross Cameron shows some basics for playing the bouzouki in this video. A good starting point for beginners.

Irish Bouzouki Tutorial by Declan Plummer

Declan Plummer is a musical teacher of classical and irish music and an amateur website designer. You can find his website here:
There you'll find some lessons for the bouzouki, chord charts and handouts.

Here are two videos from his youtube channel:

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Pat Kelly's Irish Summer School

And again this year's summer school in Elmstein, Germany has a workshop for Irish Bouzouki as well as numerous other courses for instruments in Irish Music. It takes place from 2nd to 8th August 2015.

The tutor for the workshop for Irish Bouzouki will be Tobias Kurig, a well known Bouzouki player from Germany. He will be joined by Colman Conolly on pipes. The course is not fully booked yet, so come on and join the fun! And of course there will be concerts and sessions every evening!

Here's a video:

and another one:

and another one:

And finally a video from the teacher's concert 2014:

Have a look at:
for further details.

Wikibooks book about Irish Bouzouki in German

Some who calls himself silent green (Remember the movie?)
startet a wikibook about the Irish Bouzouki some time ago in German. I wonder who he can be. Do I know him?
Well, the last post dates about two years ago. Nevertheless there are some good hints to be found there. Maybe some other bouzouki players may contribute to this work? I wonder, how he made the chord charts etc.? What programs do you need to produce the pictures? If anyone can help, please comment.
Here's the link to the book:

Is there a project like this in Englisch existing, too?

Petimar Press Books for Mandolin and Fiddle

I just came across a website offering books for Fiddle and Mandolin on a shareware basis.
That is you can watch and use the books and if you find it useful contribute 10$ each to the owner. That's really fair. I think, one or two of the books might be of interest for players of the bouzouki, too. Especially the one dealing with double stop runs.
You can find this one here:

Here's also a video from the website:

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Andy Irvine at Mighty Fine Guitars

Andy Irvine at Mighty Fine Guitars, Lafayette, CA, September 2012.
A Vortex Production, filmed and edited by Jeff Peach. A full concert. Many thanks to "ThreeTime Through" who posted the videos.

Andy Irvine performing at a house concert in Chico at the home of Steve & Cathy O'Bryan

Fantastic Videoshots of Andy performing on a house concert. A must-see!

Full Concert of Andy Irvine on youtube

A full Concert of Andy performed on June, 28, 2014 is to be found on youtube now. A must see for all bouzouki lovers. Nothing more to say about that.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Jens Wollschläger's ABC Transposer

This is a very useful tool if you have to transpose an abc-file from one key to another. Just paste in the abc and transpose it with the buttons on the right. And by the way look at the other pages of this website, too. It's the website of the Swiss band Sláinte and they are really worth listening. Many thanks to Jens for providing us with this tool.

You can find it here:

Irish Bouzouki Method by Roger Landes

So here's a new Bouzouki Book which will help the beginner to get in touch with our beloved instrument. I ordered it via Amazon, it took some time but finally it arrived. The book has got 48 pages and no CD, therefore it's only 7,95€ which is a really fair price. But don't worry, the audio files which go along with the book can be heard and downloaded from the website of the publisher ( Just fill in the Enter Code from within the book and here you go.

The book itself is aimed to the absolute beginner. It starts with an introduction on the bouzouki, it's anatomy, playing position, left and right hand and tuning. A short introduction on music notation, tablature and time signatures. That's pages 1-12.

After that you'll find some open-string studies with different pickings and one page on the fretboard.

On page 18 you'll find an introduction to Double Jigs (6/8 time). Lots of exercises which bring the jig rhythm to the beginner, which isn't easy for them. But after all the studies you should understand the jig rhythm when finished page 21.

And off it goes with the first tune, a jig called "The Kinnegad Slashers". First you have the chance to learn to play the melody on your bouzouki. Then follows the accompaniment. I really like the way Roger develops the accompaniment. First he drones without chord changes. This gives a feeling for the melody and the changes in it. After four different sorts of Droning he starts to build up the rhythm, step by step, also only with droning. Really interesting! After you have tried 6 different rhythmic drones there comes an exercise with simple chords. And that's really simple chords. By the way - you won't learn many chords in this book. But that's ok.
Right after the chords follows the first introduction to counterpoints which leads to another simple chord progression. Two more counterpoint exercises and that's it for the first tune.

What I miss after that is a hint to other tunes which can be accompanied with the things just learned.

Second tune is a reel called "The sunny banks" and it is almost the same way of exercises.

Third tune is a slip Jig "Drops of brandy". This one is in the key of G. First without capo and then with capo on the 5th fret, now you can use everything you learned before.

The last tune is a reel in Em "Dunmore Lasses". Here only two chord exercises, that's all.

So for a very good price you get a well thought book for the absolute beginner. If you play the bouzouki for some time give it a try for the later exercises. I'm pretty sure you'll find some new thoughts on how to play the bouzouki.

All in all I really like the way Roger concentrates on the playing of the right hand. Most teachers concentrate on chords and on the left hand. If you want that buy another book or the fantastic DVD by Zan McLeod.

More information:

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Bouzouki Lessons at Irish Music School 2014

Looking for a piece of Ireland concerning music and craic in the Pfälzerwald within Germany? You are looking for the closeness to fantastic Irish traditional folk musicians, you want to learn from them and to do so you would even stay for a whole week with like-minded in a loose atmosphere of a remote guest house? This could be something for you!

You'll find courses for all the instruments used in Irish Music. Bouzouki (of course!), fiddle, flute, whistle, box, harp, bodhran, pipes, banjo and some more. Most of the teachers also offer individual lessons on an hour base in the afternoon.

The agenda for the week is now online. Look at:

More than 100 people have already enlisted. So this certainly will be a week of music and craic. And don't forget the concerts in the evening!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Crump Bouzouki for sale

Just found a nice bouzouki for sale, unfortunately I have not the money to buy it :-(
but maybe someone else is interested.

Handmade in 2005. I bought this second hand last year.
Instrument in perfect playing condition,
great intonation and tone.
Minor cosmetic issue is small pick scrapes on body at either end of the neck.
1-9/16" nut width, ~25-1/2" scale length
solid cedar top solid mahogany back and sides,
two-piece mahogany neck with center strip,
23-fret ebony fingerboard with fancy pearl and abalone inlays,
ebony bridge, maple-bound body,
abalone celtic knot rosette, cast brass tailpiece,
ebony headstock overlay with pearl and abalone celtic knot inlay,
gold Planet Waves tuners,
L.R. Baggs Dual Source pickup system installed
Included is custom heavy duty flight case.

He asks for 1.600€

 Here's a video:

The Fagans - The Long Run

The Fagans - James Fagan (vocals, bouzouki), Kate Fagan (guitar, vocals), Margaret Fagan (vocals) & Bob Fagan (guitar, vocals) - performing live at Humph Hall, Sydney, Australia in March 2011. It's a song written by John Schuman, who also wrote the song "The Diamantina Drover" which was covered by many Folk artists, such as Patrick Street. John Schuman recorded the song with his group Redgum.



Here' s a live version from Redgum recorded in 1984

And here's an acoustic version of "The Diamantina Drover" from Redgum. Unfortunately I can't find the original studio recording.

Nancy Kerr & James Fagan

I already posted some videos by Nancy and James, a fantastic Duo playing bouzouki and Fiddle.
You can find more information on their website at
it's currently under construction and leads to their Facebook profile.

This first song I first heard on the album "Broken Hearted I'll Wander" by Dolores Keane and John Faulkner. This is another fine version which shows them live at Shrewsbury Folk Festival in August 2010

Here's another video which shows Nancy Kerr and James Fagan live at Bath Folk Festival on August 17, 2013

Tyne of Harrow

I am a gallant highwayman; my name is Tyne of Harrow.
I come of poor but honest folk nigh to the hills of Yarrow.
'Twas for getting of a maid with child, to England I came over.
I left my parents and became a wild and daring rover.
And straight to London I did go where I became a soldier,
Resolved to fight Britannia's foes; no champion could be bolder.
They sailed me to a foreign land where the cannon loud did rattle.
And believe me, lads, I do not boast how I behaved in battle.
For many's the battle I was in, in Holland and French Flanders;
I always fought with a courage keen, led on by brave commanders.
But a cruel ensign called me out and I was flogged and carted;
Cruel the usage they gave me, and so I soon deserted.
And straight for England I set sail as fast as wind could heave me,
Resolved that of my liberty no man should e'er relieve me.
I slept by night in auburn fields, by all old friends forsaken,
And I dared not walk the roads by day for fear I should be taken.
But being of a courage keen and likewise able bodied,
Well, I robbed Lord Lowndes on the King's highway with my pistols heavy loaded.
I clapped my pistols to his breast which caused him for to quiver,
And five hundred pound in ready gold to me he did deliver.
With part of my new store of gold I bought a famous gelding
That could jump o'er a five-bar gate; I bought it from Ned Fielding.
Lord Arkinstone in his fine coach I robbed at Covent Garden,
And two hours later the same night I robbed the Earl of Warren.
And one night by Turnham Green I robbed a revenue collector,
And what I took form him I gave to a widow to protect her.
For I always robbed the rich and great, for to rob the poor I scorn-ed,
But now they leave me to my fate, in iron chains adorn-ed.
Yes, it's straight in Newgate I am bound and by the laws convicted.
For to hang on Tyburn tree's my fate, of which I'm much affrighted.
Farewell, my friends and countrymen and my native hills of Yarrow.
Kind providence will test the soul of Alan Tyne of Harrow.

Here are some more videos, all from Bath Folk Festival 2013:

And some videos from a performing at Humph Hall, Sydney, Australia in February 2013:

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Irish Bouzouki workshop in Elmstein, Germany

From August, 3rd until August 9th 2014 there will be a bouzouki workshop with Tobias Kurig, one of the best bouzouki players in Germany (Nua, Blue Project, Deirin De).

 If you are interested look at:
You can sign in directly on this website. You can expect a week filled with Irish music, concerts, lots of craig and beautiful people in a lovely venue and fantastic landscape. 

There will be courses for flute, fiddle, bodhran, harp, singing, whistle, guitar, accordion, ensemble etc, too, of course. So don't hesitate, bouzouki still needs 2 participants to be confirmed!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014


Just got her fantastic new album. Here's a little live set from a concert at the Old  Fruitmarket, Glasgow on Jan. 22nd 2014. Eamon is playing his guitar-bouzouki. Nice set.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Autumn Child/Road to Lisdoonvarna/O'Keefe's Slide

Fine Set of tunes here. Tijn plays a Fylde long scale archtop zouk tuned Gdad.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Aoife Scott - What you do with what you got

Fine backing for a wonderful song. Aoife Scott, born into the legendary Black Family, her mother is Frances Black, her aunt Mary. In spring she started working on her solo cd, in summer she became singer of the band "The Outside Track", a fantastic band, currently touring with the Irish Folk Festival 2013. Yesterday I saw them in Karlsruhe, fantastic show.


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Gazuki (Guitar Bouzouki) for just £450

Phil Williams offers a Guitar-Bouzouki for just £450. It's called GZ6 and is a matt finish solid spruce-top instrument. Back and sides are laminated.

Sounds interesting. If you have the chance to try one please feel free to report in the comments.

Here's a link to a short introduction video

James Fagan

James Fagan plays a guitar shaped bouzouki most of the time. On the first video he plays the bouzouki of Andy Clarke, which was made by Andy Manson. On the website of his Project "The James Brothers" you can find his bio, which I include here: (I hope you don't mind, James)

 • Born Canberra 1972, son of Margaret and Bob Fagan. Younger sister is Kate Fagan. Together they are "The Fagans", one of Australia's best-known folk bands for 30 years.

 • Met Nancy Kerr in 1995 and formed a duo that has become on of the most popular and respected duos on the UK circuit, winners of BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Duo (2003 and 2011). Together they have toured in the UK, Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

 • Main instruments - Vocals (Spiral Earth Male Vocalist of the Year in 2012). Bouzouki - James plays a Sobell guitar-shaped bouzouki.

 • Current projects: Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, The James Brothers, Melrose Quartet, Cara Dillon Band, The Fagans, Kerr Fagan Harbron, Glorystrokes

 • Record labels: Fellside (1997-2008) Navigator (2010-present) • Main musical interests: Singing, arrangement, composition, accompaniment

 • James is a sought-after session player and has appeared on albums by Martin Simpson, Eliza Carthy, Cara Dillon, Brian Finnegan, Spiers and Boden, Andy Irvine, John Kirkpatrick, Alistair Hulett. *

James teaches voice and bouzouki to undergraduate students on the Newcastle University Traditional Music Degree course.


One of his projects is the duo Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, where James sings and plays bouzouki and Nancy plays fiddle and sings, too. I post some of the many videos you can find on youtube.

qr code

Andy Clarke - Bonny Irish Maid

I already posted a video from Andy some time ago (look here): Now he wrote me an E-Mail in which he suggested to put up his new video. So it's a pleasure for me to have it here on my blog. Fine singing and playing. Love this song.

Celtic Fonts

The website with celtic fonts I linked to some years ago is no longer available. So here is another website with lots of celtic fonts for free. Have fun!