This is a renaissance dance tune written by Thoinot Arbeau, a 16th-century French monk .
Branle, or bransle is pronounced ‘brawl’ in English and is sometimes spelled that way although it has nothing to do with brawl meaning ‘to fight’.
Get the tab for this here: angus-young-lick-ukulele
It’s not exactly like the video, I kind of made it up as I went along and didn’t always get it right rhythmically, so the tab is better.
This is a a study in alternating thumb fingerpicking. Try it like this:
thumb and index only
thumb, middle, thumb, index
thumb, ring, thumb, index (how I do it in the video)
Tremolo: play the open first string rapidly three times: ring,middle,index
Angus Young hit on this cool lick a long time ago – he used it in the live version of ‘Let there be Rock’ back in the seventies, and he recycled it for ‘Thunderstruck’ in 1990.
Not spectacularly original, I wrote this as a study in campanella picking. It’s a simple 32 bar slow jig. The hardest part is the notes A and G on the 12th fret – you will have to play a barre with your little finger (which is what I do) or an easier way would be to play the notes as 12th fret harmonics.
Nice tune. The guitarist Martin Simpson has a couple of beautiful versions of this tune, one of them on slide guitar. He says that some musicologists couldn’t believe that a folk song could be so rich – it’s almost impossible to say what key it’s in – but I think that someone with little musical education is less constrained by rules and conventions and therefore could come up with a tune like this more easily than someone with a classical education.
Get my book of Celtic tunes for campanella ukulele here.
The Blarney Pilgrim is quite easy to play and is an excellent example of how to get the best out of re-entrant tuning. A lot of the tune is played on open strings – it’s a simple tune – which makes campanella picking the most convenient and pleasing to listen to.