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Folk Instruments

Resourses and contacts you may find useful

This is a rather subjective list of resources at present. Simply presenting my favourite stuff to you. It will be added to in the future as more people give me ideas and suggestions that they have found of interest. in the meantime I hope you find this list of some use.



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Tunepal is absolutely fabulous. Not only can you look up tunes, if you know there names, and get the dots. You can also play a tune into you phone/tablet and Tunepal will find the tune and the music, for you! AMAZING.


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Cleartune is the best tuner app I have found so far. Very clear and easy to use.


Violin tuner

My favourite tuner for fiddles. It just stays on my fiddle all the time and gives quick and easy tuning, even in sessions or other places where you can'y hear properly and other tuners wont work.

Cheap Shoulder rest

Finding the right shoulder rest can be a problem for a lot of violinists and they are often quite expensive. This one is pretty cheap but I have found it particularly good for a lot of students. Worth a try I would say.

Violin practice mute

This mute is a very heavy duty and reduces the volume of the fiddle quite substantially. I never really recommend practicing with a mute but if you need to keep it quiet this does the job.

Violin Strings

These are the strings that I use at present. They are very warm with a fairly low tension and would suit any violin that tends to be a bit too harsh. Not too expensive either!

Tune Books

Dave Mallinson books

The Dave Mallinson book series (Mally series) is great as a source of tunes. Tunes from his ‘Essential’ book are widely known and played in the Norwich sessions

Foinn Seisiún

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Another great book series of tunes from Ireland. Arranged in commonly played sets.

Ossian Books

Ossian books produce this series called Irish session tunes with plenty of good tunes and not too expensive.


Scottish tunes this time, although there are quite a few Irish tunes in this series too!

Recording Studios

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This is very subjective list of one at present because this is the studio that I run myself. My greatest love is to record folk artists but I don’t often get the chance as there aren’t so many around. If you want to record a track or a whole album, in the studio or at another venue with my mobile set-up, then please consider me as a possibility as I’m great value and I’ve been recording for over 20 years now.

Other Contacts

Renegade Rhythms - Fabulous bodhrans from our local maker
Oakwood instruments - where I got my bouzouki
John Stephen Ryan - violin maker and repairer - very skilled and lovely man. Set up my violin which is now like a fabulous new instrument.
Derek Roberts Violins - Although a maker he also sells cheaper instruments that are set up correctly and sound much better for it. A vast improvement from ‘off the shelf’ options!
Pete Shaw - Musician and Teacher with a large resource of tunes etc
Audiotree - good local CD production company - great to deal with and great value