Sweeney’s Buttermilk : Irish Campanella Ukulele

I love this tune! It’s really the essence of Irish music. I played it F (G Dorian) so the two principle chords are Gm and F. I had to adapt one part of the tune because I should have gone down to Bb but don’t have it on a re-entrant uke, but I thought it was well worth the sacrifice because the rest of the tune is perfectly suited to campanella fingerpicking. I tried to arrange it in D dorian, which works, but the fingering didn’t allow for such easy movement around the fretboard.

This tune will be added to my collection of Irish tunes shortly.

Campanella Pentatonic Scale

I made this improvisation to demonstrate how playing a simple pentatonic scale can produce very relaxing sounds which are great for meditating or just chilling out. I’m not the kind of person that finds it easy to meditate properly, but I do find it incredibly relaxing to take my guitar or uke and play these scales. Pentatonic scales are common all around the world and might remind you here of what we imagine oriental music to sound like.

Here is one way to play the D minor scale:

Going up the neck a bit higher:


In the video I also use harmonics to go higher – natural harmonics on the first and fourth strings 12th fret and artificial harmonics on the C – first string third fret (touch the string on the fifteenth fret to produce the harmonic); C – second string first fret (13th fret for the harmonic) and D third string second fret (14th fret for the harmonic).

If you like this and want to use it for chilling out, you can download the MP3 (for free or for a donation if you feel like it) here: here at gumroad.com

Dingle Regatta – Jig

This one is great fun to play, I love the descending run in the third part which is really not too difficult. The second part is the most tricky, probably because of keeping it true to the campanella style.

I’ve seen it written out as a slide (12/8), but my guitar teacher, Bill Brennan, had it as a simple jig. I’ll let the purists argue that one out – it doesn’t make any difference to me.

I will be adding this one to my collection of Jigs and Reels for campanella uke soon, anyone who has already bought it will get it as an update.

Some Campanella Runs to Practice

This piece, which doesn’t have a name yet and probably never will, is a study in mixing straightforward fingerpicking patterns based on chords with Campanella runs. The central chord is a C5 and the second ukulele plays a C minor. I had a little trouble deciding what key it was in but thanks to Guitar Pro I was able to see that the least number of accidentals was B flat so that’s the key I’ve given it.  As it’s based on the second note of the B flat scale, that makes it C Dorian, but that’s neither here nor there. I’ll wait and see if anybody is interested in learning it before posting tabs, so in the meantime here are two of the campanella runs to practice. They are quite similar in sound and structure.


campanella run 1


campanella run 2