Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738) was an Irish composer and harpist and is considered to be Ireland’s greatest composer. A lot of his tunes work very well on the ukulele – the campanella voicing helps to emulate the harp sound.
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Some of you were asking me how I play the triplets in the reels “Sweeney’s Buttermilk” and “Cooley’s Reel” and many other tunes. When the notes in the triplet are the same, I often use a kind of ‘chicken picking’ technique which kills each note after plucking making them more distinct than in campanella where I would play the same note on two strings. Watch the video and have a go. If you have any questions, please go to my Facebook page where I’m sure to see them.
Learn to play the notes A B C all across the fretboard. This will help you to learn all the notes by having several different starting points and will be essential when arranging your own tunes in the campanella voicing.
I’m afraid my interpretation of this song has an extra beat in the last bar – I don’t know why but I have this tendency to play things as I think they should be played regardless of the given time signature. That said, while searching the net for other examples I found a few that had one bar of 3/4 and one bar of 5/4. If you listen to other people playing it, you’ll see that most of them manage to get the tune into 4/4 all the way through.