Review: Ukulele Ceilidh by Kevin Carroll

In the run up to St Patrick’s Day, I was looking for songs suitable for our “Fun with Ukulele” jam session at the local library in Dorchester, Massachusetts (part of Boston). St Patrick’s Day is celebrated like any other big holiday such as Christmas and Fourth of July in Boston. Coincidentally, Austin-based Kevin Carroll had just published “Ukulele Ceilidh: 18 Traditional Celtic Tunes arranged for Ukulele Session Playing.” The 67-page spiral-bound book is an amazing resource for the ukulele player.


Author Kevin Carroll makes no assumptions. He not only defines the words in the title but also how to pronounce them.

It’s obvious that considerable research went into producing this book, to get the eighteen traditional Celtic tunes into standard notation and ukulele tablature with chord diagrams.

I consider music for ukulele the ultimate test in simplicity. Just how easy can you make it for someone to sight read with others? Song sheets have achieved that goal for songs the singers are already familiar with. What about instrumental music that is unfamiliar? Carroll introduces the world of ceilidh tunes for the ukulele player by describing and annotating strumming and picking patterns. The 18 tunes fall into four categories of dance: polka, reel, jig, and hornpipe.

I have a year to study the contents of this book — to prepare for the next St Patrick’s Day ukulele jam.

How and where to get the book? Order it directly from the author.

Author: BLOGmaiden

As one of the earliest bloggers (since 1999), I enjoy meeting people who embrace "out-of-the-box" thinking and fear not the unknown. I believe in collaboration for sustainability because it increases stakeholder value.

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