Lesson 68. O’Carolan’s Draught

One of the better-known compositions of the great Turlough O’Carolan.

Tony has set this arrangement in 4/4 rather than 2/2 or “cut” time, that is 4 groups of 2 quavers rather than 2 groups of 4. This is a subtle difference although with a tune played at the somewhat slower tempo than a reel, or even a hornpipe, the difference is barely noticeable. On reflection this tune could be written as 4/4 or 2/2.

In the first part of the tune there is one high B (6th bar). And the second part of the tune has some tricky left hand work so we’ve included in the transcription the left hand fingering Tony uses for playing the tune. Note that your local Classical Guitar Club members will probably be horrified by some of the fingerings but they work for Tony!

The finger number is notated directly under the relevant note. Where there is no fingering markings you can assume that normal open position fingering applies.

There’s a rather busy chord progression in the accompaniment, and Tony suggests you will need to spend longer than usual learning it. The chords are G, D, Em, C, A7 and D/F#.

Gerry GaffneyLesson 68. O’Carolan’s Draught